This is an often-asked question. Alternators are one of the few automotive parts that can be reused with reconditioning safely. Depending on your situation, there may be reasons to consider any of the three options. Here are a few things to know about the differences in a new, remanufactured and rebuilt alternator.
Rebuilt Will Cost Less
The reason you may be considering a rebuilt is the cost. You could save up to about half on a rebuilt alternator. In this process the broken parts are replaced, hence the term rebuilt. You may get up to a 90-day warranty. Remanufactured alternators still offer some savings, around 25% generally, and are different than rebuilt ones. They tend to come with a one-year warranty and have been completely inspected and rebuilt. However, if you’re planning on keeping your car for a long time, it is worth the increased expense to purchase a new one.
Although its true that quality varies on new products too, they vary more with rebuilt or remanufactured products. Depending on the product, only the visibly bad or worn parts may be replaced. Better quality ones have all the consumables replaced. You just don’t know until its in your car if its going to last for one day past its warranty or years past. Also, keep in mind that the parts used in both rebuilt and remanufactured alternators are not always of the highest quality. Again, the warranty will give you an idea of the quality, but not always.
Trust Your Mechanic
If your mechanic won’t rebuild your alternator, there’s probably a good reason. If they give you pushback about a certain brand remanufactured one and steer you to another brand, they probably know both manufacturer’s reputations. Remember, their reputation is also on the line if they sell you something that fails quickly.
Although there is no one right answer for every situation, we rarely recommend a rebuilt alternator. Sometimes a remanufactured alternator is a good option, but most of the time we recommend a new alternator. If you’re having an issue with your starter, bring your car (or have it towed) to Oldsmar Automotive at 3166 Tampa Road and we’ll help you make the right decision. You can call us at (727) 784-3501 with questions or to schedule an appointment.