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Old 03-18-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
MikeT325ci
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I need a new alternator. Is mine 120 amp?

So my battery light is on solid, and flashes as well. Got it checked out today and the battery comes up as 100% but the recharge cycle is only 56%. One shop quoted me around $600 to fix, another said depending on which alternator I have it could be $750-$850. He said he charges $105 for labor, it takes 2.5 hours. He said the alternator is $480.

I would like to buy the alternator online to save money and just pay for labor. How do I know what amp my alternator is?

I would like to buy this one right here:

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...412@Alternator

Anyone with a 2002 325ci know what amp the alternator is? Trying to save some money here, my car has 156,000 miles on it and lately everything has been going out on it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=583423

most likely its your voltage regulator, not your entire alternator..
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
MikeT325ci
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Looks like the entire alternator would have to come out to replace the voltage regulator, I'm thinking wouldn't it make sense to replace the alternator while it's out? How much more life can it have at 12 years old and 156,000 miles?
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #4
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Look at the alternator, obtain the part number, look it up on RealOem.com

A remanufactured OEM Bosch is around $250 - labor should be free because its a really easy job that takes no more than 1 hour start to finish.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MikeT325ci View Post
So my battery light is on solid, and flashes as well. Got it checked out today and the battery comes up as 100% but the recharge cycle is only 56%. One shop quoted me around $600 to fix, another said depending on which alternator I have it could be $750-$850. He said he charges $105 for labor, it takes 2.5 hours. He said the alternator is $480.

I would like to buy the alternator online to save money and just pay for labor. How do I know what amp my alternator is?

I would like to buy this one right here:

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...412@Alternator

Anyone with a 2002 325ci know what amp the alternator is? Trying to save some money here, my car has 156,000 miles on it and lately everything has been going out on it.
I'll text you.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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Also, it could very well be your voltage regulator.

Most of the time it is (my case included), and its about $60-80 for a Bosch VR - if you have a Valeo alt. you're screwed.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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You can get a bosch remanned for around $200 online. I replaced mine a few weeks ago. It took me maybe 20 mins.

Airbox out, fan out, belt off, alt out (2 bolts). Reverse.

If you have an auto, buy the fan tools--$50--you'll use them over and over again. Get new belts...also nice time to replace pulleys for another $50 or so in parts.

Or, fly me to LA, I'll do it for free.

Oh, the new remanned alts fit either Bosch or Valeo. I had a valeo before...the connector fit fine into the bosch alt.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, dmax I appreciate the offer lol

Mango I will be texting you back
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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You can get a bosch remanned for around $200 online. I replaced mine a few weeks ago. It took me maybe 20 mins.

Airbox out, fan out, belt off, alt out (2 bolts). Reverse.

If you have an auto, buy the fan tools--$50--you'll use them over and over again. Get new belts...also nice time to replace pulleys for another $50 or so in parts.

Or, fly me to LA, I'll do it for free.

Oh, the new remanned alts fit either Bosch or Valeo. I had a valeo before...the connector fit fine into the bosch alt.
DMAX if you fly me to NJ, i'll do all sorts of things for free
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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Helped Mike take a look at his alternator. It's a Valeo 120A with what I think is a rectangle connector (I forget) it had a bunch of leaves, debris, dirt, corrosion, and bees inside the intake tube. I suspect something overheated. Normally I'd say just replace the VR, but the VR in this case is approaching the cost of a remanufactured alternator.

Here are some choices, Mike:

http://www.alternatorpros.com/Result.asp?IDNum=1557 Reman Valeo 120A by aftermarket company $126.97 + $45 core charge. I believe it's free overnight shipping and you send the original back in a box that comes w/ a mailing label.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par.../N-jhyzlZ9ridy Autozone branded reman Get it in person at autozone.com $229 + 10 core

http://pelicanparts.com/BMW/catalog/...ELchrg_pg1.htm $352.50 brand new Valeo unit

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...7501599e46.htm $198 + $70 core Bosch branded reman 120a

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...412@Alternator Autohausaz only carries Bosch 120A. It should work if the connector is the same but not 100% sure. $197.52 + $111 core.

Honestly, if it were me, I'd go alternator pros. I've used them before w/ success. Super easy and painless. Shipping back and forth is a breeze.

If I needed it in a quick hurry, I'd do Autozone. I wouldn't bother with the other choices. Whether or not you can interchangeably use Valeo and Bosch alternators of the same rating is not 100% sure. Maybe someone can confirm. I don't see why not. The harness may have changed at one point using a different style connector (rounded vs rectangle)
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Last edited by Mango; 03-18-2013 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:22 PM   #11
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Big props to Mango for helping out a fellow fanatic. He had my alternator out in less than 30 min. Thanks for the links Mango, I will check out alternator pros and consider autozone as well. You are the man. Will call/text you when I am back from vacation.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:06 PM   #12
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Given the hit-or-miss nature of remanufactured parts like this, I would give a second thought to an alternatorpros unit, or an autozone one.

Just because one or two people had a good experience doesn't mean that you will. Autohaus has a good deal. Under $200 after core? Yes, please.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:15 PM   #13
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Given the hit-or-miss nature of remanufactured parts like this, I would give a second thought to an alternatorpros unit, or an autozone one.

Just because one or two people had a good experience doesn't mean that you will. Autohaus has a good deal. Under $200 after core? Yes, please.
No problem, Mike.

anything is hit or miss. In many cases, you can trust a re-manufactured part more than a new part--human hands have laid hands on it and has been visually inspected and tested before leaving.

And Autohaus does not have a new alternator for $200. Nobody does. Autohaus doesn't even have any new alternators. They offer a Bosch reman.

Nothing at all wrong with a reman with a part like an alternator. It's such a simple device that's easily rebuilt w/ new parts.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:49 PM   #14
MikeT325ci
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Ended up buying a remanufactured alternator from Alternator Pros. Very satisfied, the alternator looked brand spanking new. Mango stopped by and popped it in, car is now back on the road. Big THANKS to Mango for all your help!
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:28 AM   #15
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Are Bosch and Valeo units interchangeable?
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:48 AM   #16
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Is your power steering reservoir leaking?

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Old 03-25-2013, 07:15 AM   #17
MikeT325ci
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Are Bosch and Valeo units interchangeable?
Judging by the links Mango provided above, it seems like it is possible a Bosch alternator could work but it's not 100% guaranteed the connector is the same. He may want to chime in on this one as I am no expert.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:15 AM   #18
MikeT325ci
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Is your power steering reservoir leaking?

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Bimmer App
Yes it did have signs of needing a new gasket.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:25 AM   #19
David McMahon
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Is it possible to change an Expensive Valeo Alt to a cheaper Bosch one? I've just to discover what mine is.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:23 AM   #20
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Is it possible to change an Expensive Valeo Alt to a cheaper Bosch one? I've just to discover what mine is.
Yes. Bosch started making Valeo-style alternators with the rectangular plug. You will see many reman alternators that indicate they replace Valeo but they are Bosch.

I bought my new alternator from some guys on ebay - bnrparts. The cost was $127.00 + $21.00 shipping with no core charge. It seemed too good to be true so I called them up - great folks. They are a family business with over 40 years experience rebuilding alternators. They keep something like 10,000 alternators in stock. Each reman unit gets a new voltage regulator (many do not if the VR tests okay) and some new internals. Came to me looking brand new. I took a chance but they really seemed like they cared about selling a good product.
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