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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:39 AM
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swchang swchang is online now
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Alternator

Hey, quick question for y'all. Any idea how much it should cost me to get my alternator replaced at a BMW service center? My dealer wants something like $1500, which they say includes parts, labor, diagnostic fee... Seems like 3x as much as it should cost, doesn't it?
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:52 AM
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hexy27 hexy27 is offline
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Alternator can be had for $200 from oembimmerparts and takes less than an hour to change if you are able to turn a wrench.....that amount is INSANE!
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:57 AM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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Very easy to swap this out!! LIke Hex said above, you can't beat the price from Max.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:27 AM
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Schwang !!! Haven`t seen you around in ages ! Yes, the dealer is ripping you off (they want you to pay for the new cappucino machine in their break room ). Tell them to pound it up their ass and find a cheaper place....
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:12 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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To answer the question directly, my dealer charged me $900 and that's a proper dealer rubber hosing! I have the unusual rare alternator.
$1500 is bleeding to death.

Some alternators are pretty inexpensive and swapping out can be simple for an experieced DIY'er. But some have problems with a sticking alternator, so no guarantee if you have little skill.
What are you going to do?
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2012, 06:57 AM
ails92t ails92t is offline
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Just curious: What is an "unusual rare alternator"?

OP: If you do go DIY, do NOT get an Autozone or other aftermarket brand. If you do a little research you will find they are junk. Mine lasted 4 miles.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:07 AM
CPBIII CPBIII is offline
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Replacing the alternator is butter. did mine afterlunch behind the shop a couple years back. I used a BMW remanufactured unit. Probably 60 or 70,000 miles on it...no problems.
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:27 AM
ails92t ails92t is offline
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I agree that the alternator is a pretty easy DIY. Hardest part is remoiving the fan (automatic) but that is not too bad (after you do it once).

Plenty of DIYs and videos on alternator replacement and fan removal if you do a search.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2012, 01:48 PM
CPBIII CPBIII is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ails92t View Post
I agree that the alternator is a pretty easy DIY. Hardest part is remoiving the fan (automatic) but that is not too bad (after you do it once).

Plenty of DIYs and videos on alternator replacement and fan removal if you do a search.
Ya I forgot about that. You need those super thin wrenches to get in there.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:40 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ails92t View Post
Just curious: What is an "unusual rare alternator"?

OP: If you do go DIY, do NOT get an Autozone or other aftermarket brand. If you do a little research you will find they are junk. Mine lasted 4 miles.
It's the Bosch larger unit without any provision for the air ducting. Came that way from the factory. Dealer had to special order.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2012, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Schwang !!! Haven`t seen you around in ages ! Yes, the dealer is ripping you off (they want you to pay for the new cappucino machine in their break room ). Tell them to pound it up their ass and find a cheaper place....
Hey, buddy! Yeah, been a long time. Too long. I can't seem to find the time to get on here every day anymore. I've even given up watching sports on a daily basis. Not sure where the time goes...

In any case, I did end up paying it. I got a bit of a break. Ended up paying $1200 for the alternator/labor/taxes and some kind of V belt replacement as well. I imagine I got thoroughly hosed with the price, but I called a different dealer out of state and they wanted $1000-$1100 for the most expensive of the three alternators (which I think is what I had). No idea what the difference is among them all, but I do know that I needed to get back to work or I'd be out a lot more than $1200... (I'm sure they realized that as well!)

Can't complain about my SA, though. Aleks at Manhattan has been great with me and, except in this one case, has always beaten or matched my reference points without prompting.
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