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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a while back that the Volvo dealer recommended replacing my alternator to the tune of $1000 because the bearings are worn and it is extremely noisy.

I decided to use a highly recommended Auto Repair shop called Back on the Road in Alpharetta, GA. They quoted me $720-750 for an OEM replacement. I scheduled the replacement for this morning, they have placed 2 alternators on the car and the Battery/generator warning light is now on along with the Brake failure light. I found out they are using some cheap re-manufactured alternator - I can't remember the brand and have never heard of it before. The darn front desk guy was trying to suggest the warning lights were on BEFORE brought the car in - they weren't.

I got a ride back over to the shop this afternoon (I dropped it off this AM) and reminded them they promised me an OEM alternator with the quote and told them I expect them to get one from the Volvo dealer tomorrow morning.

I should have used the dealer especially factoring in the 2 year warranty. I am really thinking at this point of telling them first thing tomorrow to put the original alternator back on and I will drive it to the dealer myself and that is hoping the warning lights go off once they put the original back on.

One of their mechanics gave me a ride home at least.
 

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What year model is your car? (no profile info)
-> 2004 is self regulated, 2005-> has communication with CEM or ECM (CEM on R's) to control target voltage for charging based on inferred battery temp (measured batt temp on P1 and P3 platforms). Higher voltage for cooler batteries and lower for warmer.
If the car is a 2005 up and a 2004 down alternator is fitted then you get messages even though it charges fine.
 

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I ran into a similar scenario with my 2006, it was resolved quickly because of a little research. As cattlecar stated, You have to be cautious of the correct part number or you get the battery light. There was a little star next to the part number with notes in the parts book.
 

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The alternators with and without the external charge rate control look identical and have the same exact wire connection. The small gauge wire traditionally for alt light has a digital communication pulse carried on it for the 2005 up version. The CEM (or ECM on others) sends commands and the voltage regulator, called an alternator control module with the smart charge feature, responds back to the CEM. The wire will check a bit below battery voltage when key is turned on but there is digital signalling if you lab scope it. IF the CEM doesn't get the LIN signalling then you get the power service message. It still charges but has the message and the warning triangle lit.
The parts catalogging from some suppliers is wrong or they are not fitting the correct voltage regulator with the
 

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If u still got the old alternator, swap the voltage regulator onto the new one. That's what I did
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After 2X tries of some off brand alternator and me reminding them they quoted the job price for an OEM (Bosch) alternator they got Volvo part #36050263 and installed it- everything seems fine so far. I had to walk 1 mile (I needed the exercise), take MARTA and a taxi to make my 25 miles commute into work this AM. I will be sticking with the Volvo dealer and planned trips to my friend's Auto Repair shop in Alabama when I am visiting family. My friend's auto repair shop lets me buy my own parts for their mechanics to install.
 

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My friend's auto repair shop lets me buy my own parts for their mechanics to install.
Yeah that's what I did. $700 for an OEM is a little insane. A little late now, but just buy a factory re-manufactured Bosch for $250 or so. Installed was about $350-$400. I toyed with the idea of installing it myself, but I've heard getting the alternator in and out is comparable to a breech delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am disappointed in that with the reputation (4 different co-workers recommended it to me) this shop has that they attempted to install whatever off brand junk rebuild alternator they originally got My friend Joe's Auto Repair shop in AL is one of the most run down, dirty looking shops you will ever see but I know
from having worked for him and constantly hanging out at his shop that he is picky about the brand alternators he puts on his customer cars and almost always tries to get an OEM one. Back on the Road in Alpharetta, GA in contrast has a nice clean waiting room with nice chairs and a flat screen TV but they obviously will try to
get away with cheapest part they can after quoting a price for doing the job with a more expensive OEM replacement.
 

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I am disappointed in that with the reputation (4 different co-workers recommended it to me) this shop has that they attempted to install whatever off brand junk rebuild alternator they originally got My friend Joe's Auto Repair shop in AL is one of the most run down, dirty looking shops you will ever see but I know
from having worked for him and constantly hanging out at his shop that he is picky about the brand alternators he puts on his customer cars and almost always tries to get an OEM one. Back on the Road in Alpharetta, GA in contrast has a nice clean waiting room with nice chairs and a flat screen TV but they obviously will try to
get away with cheapest part they can after quoting a price for doing the job with a more expensive OEM replacement.
At least you didn't preemptively replace your perfectly fine OEM alternator with a Bosch rebuilt for $400 because of a whirring noise, only to have the noise come back and then go to an alternator "specialist" who told you your rebuilt alternator was bad already and install a piece of crap aftermarket alternator that doesn't have the freewheel pulley and rattles and struggles under heavy load ONLY to find that it was a timing belt pulley going bad.

I still have to buy another alternator and get the aftermarket piece of junk out when I have the spare money to throw at it.
 

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I have newly joined the club of a dying alternator. Battery died second time in about 3 months and I got it tested and tyhe test read a diode short in alternator. 1st time the battery died I attributed it to not driving the car and the alarm siren was shot. Alarm sirens been fixed now for a while and I have been driving the car and battery died-good timess!! I am at 102k and I have done timing belt at 70k with water pump, changed the pedal assembly, changed the map sensor, all of the shocks and struts, other suspension components in front in rear including a sway bar that had cracked and the list goes on but I do love how the car drives and dont want a new payment for a car which will not be up to par performance wise.
 
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