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OK Ladies and Gents...I'm looking for comments on something that happened to me the other day...

I had my 325ci towed to a mechanic after it had come to a halt. Just before it stopped I had the usual warning lights flashing at me from the dash.

Now five days previous, the roadside assistance came to my house because the car wouldn't crank or start. The result was I needed a replacement battery. One was fitted and my wallet was lighter by $215 AUD.

So here we are five days later and the mechanic tells me now that the alternator is not charging the battery. To have a replacement fitted would cost me $1300 AUD plus labour. I cannot believe this price, especially when you look on the BimmerFest site and see what others are paying in Europe and the US. Why so bloody expensive in Australia! If this is the price my mechanic has to pay for these parts...well OK.

What I'm also disappointed about is that the mechanic said he put the old alternator in the metal recycling bin. Aren't these things supposed to be rebuildable? Shouldn't it have been offered back to me? I certainly had that in my mind so I could offset the cost by selling my old one after it had been reconditioned. But this was not to be. Maybe someone else saw it in the bin, retrieved it and decided to have it rebuilt themselves.

Comments??
 

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Cogito Ergo Zoom
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3,579 Posts
Can't comment on the cost of parts and labor in Australia, but it sounds like a shifty mechanic. He certainly should have given you the option of keeping the old alternator and also should have left it in place until you gave him the go ahead on the job. Sounds like you're stuck this time, but next time, find a different mechanic.
 

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We want the Lion!
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Some shops actually have an area on the work order that lets you specify "Customer wants old parts". It's not uncommon for a failing battery to cook the alternator. It's another reason I replace batteries every 5 or 6 years, whether they seem to need it or not.
 

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Living Life At The Beach
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Some shops actually have an area on the work order that lets you specify "Customer wants old parts". It's not uncommon for a failing battery to cook the alternator. It's another reason I replace batteries every 5 or 6 years, whether they seem to need it or not.
+1 on this. The people who are proud of the fact that they got 8 years out of a battery do not realize that they didn't get away with something, they paid a price on their alternator life. Many also do not realize that after they install a new battery they should also connect a battery tender or similar to bring the battery up to full charge before driving. Otherwise, they are forcing the alternator to bring the battery up to full charge, and it was not designed to perform this level of charging.
 

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Just for perspective, in the US a reman alternator can be had for about $240US after subtracting the core charge for return of the defective alternator to be rebuilt.
We do profit from one of the largest most competitive markets in the world. Things are cheaper here, or the companies perish from competition.
 
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