Differences Between New & Rebuilt Alternators

by Alexis Writing
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An alternator is a device which transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. In your car an alternator's job is extremely important. However, alternators are very expensive and can cost up to about three hundred dollars for a new one. When your alternator breaks, you're faced with the question of whether you should purchase a new one or simply rebuild it.


One of the major differences between new and rebuilt alternators is the difference in cost. If you rebuild the alternator, you would save a significant amount of money. Rebuilt alternators can be up to 25 percent cheaper than buying a new alternator. However, AA 1 Car states that there is sometimes a problem of quality with rebuilt alternators. One problem is that good quality in a rebuilt alternator means more money---the cheaper the rebuild, the more likely that the alternator will break again. As a result, it might be more cost-effective to simply purchase a new alternator.


The age of the alternator is another difference between a new and rebuilt alternator. Alternators continually improve from car to car. There's a chance that rebuilding your alternator might not even be an option, because the part of the alternator that is broken is no longer manufactured. When deciding between rebuilding your alternator or purchasing a new one, questions of age are important. It might make more sense to replace an alternator that is a decade old with a brand-new one than try to fix outdated technology.

Safety Standards

A difference in safety standards exists between a new and rebuilt alternator. For a rebuilt alternator, there are no set safety standards, while safety standards and regulations do exist for a new alternator. The lack of safety standards for rebuilding mean that one rebuilder might do a better job than another rebuilder. For example, one rebuilder might fix certain parts of an alternator only if a failure has already occurred, while another rebuilder might take preventative steps when rebuilding your alternator to ensure that the failure won't occur. When you decide between purchasing a new alternator and rebuilding an alternator, you should question the merits of the rebuilder. Is this someone who you know does good work, or is it someone you are unfamiliar with and who might do the bare minimum to fix your part? A new alternator must meet a certain standard of quality that a rebuilt alternator does not have to meet.

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