What makes a new alternator go bad?

I had my alternator replaced two months ago, and this new one already seems broken. The same stuff is happening with this alternator that happened with the old one. I don’t know how the mechanic screwed this up. What makes a new alternator go bad? Is this common?

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Answer provided by
Matt Terzi
Answered on Jul 19, 2022
We’re sorry to hear this happened to you. Here’s a rundown of some of the issues that might make a new alternator go bad, or stop working:
  • Jumpstarting the car (or another car) incorrectly
  • The battery is failing, has been damaged, or has worn down physically
  • The alternator belt is installed too tightly
  • Voltage regulator failure
  • Blown fuses
  • Wiring issues or bad wiring
  • an accessory is overloading your car’s electric systems
  • The battery isn’t grounded properly
  • Fluid leaks (oil, engine coolant, power steering fluid, washer fluid, etc.)
We strongly recommend calling the mechanic who did the initial alternator replacement and asking what could have caused this issue, and if they have any quality guarantees or warranties. Some mechanics will fix the issue free of charge.
If they won’t do that for you, call around to other mechanics in your area and tell them what happened, being sure to explain that this would be your second alternator. Shop around for good prices, too. That’s always a good idea whenever you need a pricey car repair.
We can’t help you find a trusted mechanic in your area, but Jerry can help you save money on your car insurance, possibly to the tune of hundreds or, in some cases, even thousands of dollars per year. That might help offset the costs of replacing your alternator again.
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