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Yes, crappy tire wanted $708 to change my alternator. I got them down to $449 because i explained the belt was in fact two weeks old and did not need replacing and that they probably shouldn't charge me the core charge since they will be keeping the old one. And I didn't want to pay the $28 to clean my battery terminals, and a few other small things.

Unbelievable. Do not take your van there unless you have to (we had to, we were 6+ hours from our destination with no alternator)...

Also I should have known better. The gauge was low prior to it dropping off to zero, but I failed to remember exactly where the gauge should have been and I didn't have a multimeter. Lesson learned carry a multimeter if you drive an old car.

Pete
 

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Sorry to hear that. Without a little negotiating you'd been stuck with a $700 outragious bill. It makes me wonder if they high ball the first price quoted hoping most folks will just pay that. If they are seriously challenged on the quote, they come down a little.

To me, this does not seem like an ethical business practice.

It has been my experience that you can go some pretty good distances when the alternator first fails, providing the battery is good. That may not apply if the alternator slowly deteriorates and the driver gets no warning.

I once drove about 60 miles on a failed alternator. I shut every accessory off including the radio (low power draw) and made it to an AutoZone store in an out-of-town location. I was able to change the alternator in their parking lot with the tools I was carrying. Not fun, but doable.
 
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