Alternater life span - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 31-03-07 Thread Starter
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Alternater life span

On the average, how long does the alternater lasts on the 3.0 V6?

I replaced mine in MAy 2005 with a new one but,last night, when i started her up, the battery light came on. Assumed it's the alternater.

Spoke to my regular mech. and he says it's a common problem due to the heat and it's proximity to the hot exhaust.. Consulted another ex-166 owner and he had to replace his at about 2 yrs of ownership.

Should I replace with a new one ( costs RM2300 here ) or, as advised by my mech, send it for a rewind and add an extra 2 rectifiers to beef it up.Costs about RM600 but dun know anything about it's reliability. It's been done before for a couple of units from Hong Kong .

I am about to go on a 4,500 km trip with AROC Malaysia to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap , Cambodia and don't want to be stranded there.

Any advise appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Cheers from Malaysia

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Re: Alternater life span

I think my 2 1999 and 2001 are on the original alternators.

In scotland we need the exhaust heat to help them .(Joke)

Never been inside an Alfa one but alternator are extremely robust items. The only thing which goes wrong (Unless wired wrongly) is the brushes wear down. A net set of brushes usually gets then going again.The difficulty is in getting the brushes as most items are now replaced rather than being repaired.

Looks like a nice drive ( In Britain they say "You should have joined the AA mate) . I'm with green flag breakdown Just in case as its an Alfa..Only had to call them out once when timing belt snapped.But that can happen to anyone.
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Re: Alternater life span

Sounds as if your insulation on the windings, plus the diodes may be giving out with your climatic conditions? Don't know really, got one on an old 'Banger' 100 k miles, that's still ok . Mind you, some motors alts. go on for ever, so you are a bit unlucky. So i'll wish you some better luck for the future.:
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Re: Alternater life span

the diode/rectoifier bit can be a weak link. I'd be very surprised if alternator gave up after 1 year unless it was faulty or badly fitted.
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Re: Alternater life span

In 20 years of driving I have only ever had 1 alternator fail, my current one has 125k miles on it with no problems. Regulators and diodes can fail and I would be more than happy with a refurbisahed unit if I needed one (most people do not realise that in the UK pretty much all alternators and starter motors etc are refurbed even if you buy a so called new one, all the wear and tear items in them are replaced.

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(Post Link) post #6 of 7 Old 02-04-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Alternater life span

So it looks like you guys over there in cooler climes fair better.
Anyhow, I've replaced it with the refurbished one and ,fingers crossed, no problems on the trip itself.
Thanks for the replies...hope my luck with this one is better.

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Re: Alternater life span


1. Check charge rate first?

2. Possible debis in alternator (washer dropped into alternator)?

3. Connecting battery in reverse (or similar action) can damage the diodes. (might be possible to change just rectifer unit in rear of alternator, if cost effective)?

4. Engines run at higher revs, wear brushes quicker (as do badly seated brushes, from new)
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