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EOC Rank: Seagull
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had the alternator replaced about 2 months ago in my Honda Element DX 2003.
Today when getting an oil change, the mechanic told me the alternator pulley had some damage on its edge and appears to be digging into the belt. He recommended replacing the alternator pulley and the belt.

How could this have happened. The car's been driving fine and still is. Could the alternator have been damaged during its installation? Or could it have come defective and damaged and mechanic didn't notice it. I'm really concerned because I'm still paying off the $500 alternator. If the installing mechanic doesn't
fix it for free, it could cost a huge amount. Could the warranty on the part cover the problem?

And is it safe to drive for the weekend or longer?

Any guidance appreciated. Should I sell the car?
 

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EOC Rank: Seagull
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Discussion Starter #2
my thread title doesn't come up with search ?

when i search for my thread by title, it doesn't come up???
 

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EOC Rank: Crankypants
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It comes up now. Just takes a little time for the search engine to crawl the site.

Also, a photo of the damaged pulley would be helpful. And $500 for an alternator?

when i search for my thread by title, it doesn't come up???
 

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EOC Rank: Seagull
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Discussion Starter #4
alternator pulley.....

the alternator was actually $417.43. i was in a city i didn't know at all and had no choice or time as to choice of repair shop. is $417 too high?

i have no picture though it would have been a good idea. a very good idea.

my car has about 215,000 miles, and i love it and want to keep it. but i have had lots of repairs over the past few years that i really can't afford. i'm hoping in taking it back to the mechanic who put it in that maybe the "limited 12,000 mile or 12 month warranty on materials and workmanship" might cover it.

however i also just read in the printed warranty that: "with respect to replacement of any part(s) covered by limited warranty, the shop must restore the entire system to which a warranted part relates to its proper operating condition." then it says: "these ltd warranties do not cover cost of any additional parts or labor which may be required to restore the related system to its proper operation......"

doesn't the above statement contradict itself? what i'm worried about is if the belt also needs to be replaced, will that cost be covered along with the cost of alternator??

sorry to write so much, but i am very worried about the cost if the mechanic refuses responsibility, and if it's let say a
$500 + repair, i have to decide on the spot whether to and where to buy another car immediately and let this one go.
 

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EOC Rank: Crankypants
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> i have no picture though it would have been a good idea
What's stopping you from taking a picture now?

A belt is only about $30, and you'll eventually need to replace it anyway since it's a wear item.

All cars need routine maintenance. Add up what you spent on parts and service over the last year, divide by 12, and compare that to the monthly payment for a new vehicle.
 

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the alternator was actually $417.43. i was in a city i didn't know at all and had no choice or time as to choice of repair shop. is $417 too high?
A new alternator from Autozone is $160. So if you are wanting to tackle the job yourself then this can be a cheaper alternative.
 

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EOC Rank: Seagull
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Discussion Starter #7
alternator pulley crisis

thanks for the tip on the cost. in looking at my invoice the total of $417 is composed of $250 for the part and $166 for the labor. is that outrageous?

thanks for the info tho. i have no experience or ability fixing cars. i wish that were an option.

in taking a picture of the broken part and belt, where are they located in the engine. can i raise the hood and shoot from above or is part more visible from underneath the car...in which case it may be too dark there.
 

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EOC Rank: Crankypants
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in taking a picture of the broken part and belt, where are they located in the engine. can i raise the hood and shoot from above or is part more visible from underneath the car...in which case it may be too dark there.
One of the many threads on alternators includes this post, which shows the alternator's location—just below the power steering pump.
 

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Honda charges $700 for a rebuilt with a 3yr/36k warranty. New is $800 -
$900 with a 1yr/12k warranty. Independent shops will around ~$400 - $500 depending on local, so it is not outrageous.

You should still be under warranty for 1yr/12k for the alternator if its issues still persist. Take it back to the mechanic who did the install and have him look it over.
 

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EOC Rank: Crankypants
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Honda Parts Now shows $271 ($386 list) for new, $256 ($293) for a reman.
Bernardi: $271 ($386) new, $256 ($293) reman.
College Hills: $301 ($386) new, $229 ($293) reman.
Honda Parts Deals and Majestic are offline at the moment, but they are usually within a few dollars of the others.
 

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EOC Rank: Seagull
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Discussion Starter #13
a happy ending! i am so relieved. the mechanic who sold and installed the damaged alternator replaced it along with the belt with no fuss. he is the nicest. he did tell me though that there is rust on the underside of the car and maybe buying another car might be a good idea.
but thank you to rambler dan and others for your help and input.
 

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Sorry, I should have stated that the prices I quoted above were for parts with installation and standard warranty application with the dealer vs intepedent services.

I think the parts alone for Honda at the dealership were $400 reman and $600 new. They had no idea why honda offered a better warranty for the reman.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
alternator / pulley

i did take it back to the guy who originally installed the bad one. he was the one who replaced it and the belt with no problem.
 
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