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Old 08-23-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default General Mechanic Integrity? Question

Hey I posted a while back about the 2001 Intrigue, I have another concern which I would imagine cannot be relative just to this vehicle, which is especially why I would love everyones input on this subject. My dad has a mechanic who for some reason he trusts absolutely, and I really have no clue why. I could give a decent list of reasons why I do not think this guy is even decent as my father seems to think he is... The most recent issue, my dad tells me is that he needed an oil change and was having some other 'issues' with the car so had his trusted mechanic take a look. The results: Failing alternator and compressor is going out. The car has about 175k on it, and Lately, he has had, in my mind, some questionable work done on it by the same guy, for what I think is a ridiculous price, and I never like the half answers I get. SO...long story short, guy wants 375 for alternator, some for rear brake pads and labor, and new AC compressor....all totaling about 1500. Dad asks if he can just replace the Alternator and not have A/C....just as a have the vehicle for when its needed and decide whether its worth it to him later. His mechanic tells him that he cannot replace the alternator without replacing the compressor - because the alternator is what caused the compressor to fail and some bs about how they have some relationship. How many cars in history have had an alternator and no compressor. How many people don't have working A/C or the money to fix it.....SO i did some more asking

The compressor is what caused the alternator to fail, so you need to replace both to fix the issues he is having......I find this beyond hard to believe, I also started asking other questions, and it sounds to me like the cold air has been getting weaker over time, blower is fine, not blowing hot but not blowing cold. Dads knowledge is very minimal, as is mine, but sounds to me the compressor is just not engaging, I had a similar problem due to a very minor leak, every summer put another can of refrigerant in and good to go for a summer.

I recommended he take it to a local parts store or somewhere that tests alternators for free (I assume something like autozone), He declines because he trusts 'his' mechanic-who is such a great guy. Get alternator issue out of the way, and take it to a shop that actually specialized in A/C systems....again, dad does not like that idea because his mechanic is honest, and knows what is beyond his own limits (using the time the mech. sent him to a transmission shop to get a rebuilt trans put in as the one and only reference point).

Help me out here, Am I LOONEY? well I know I am, but does this sound legitimate? Now he is thinking of trying to trade it in and all that jazz...but its not really much of an option. I have half a feeling the next time I am back in the area I can buy an alternator, install it, take care of brakes, and check A/C pressure and most likely put a can of r-134a in there and be good to go for a lot less than 1500. OH, the same shop apparently 'fixed' something else on his A/C system not that long ago, which I am still waiting for him to go back in records and tell me what it was..............
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:46 PM   #2
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A bad A/C compressor can cause an alternator to fail, that is completely possible. However, you CAN replace the alternator, and just put a free wheeling pully on the A/C to "get rid of it".

Your dads mechanic is a loon, not you.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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that mechanic is the reason i dont go to mechanics unless absolutely necessary, and it wouldn't be him
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Technically, I really can't see how an a/c compressor can cause the alternator to fail. Even if the compressor pulley would screech to a halt, it wouldn't hurt the alternator. If the compressor seizes, and stops the serpentine belt from moving, then ya, the alternator will not work, along with the powersteering and waterpump. Yep, sounds like your dads mechanic is a serious loon.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:40 PM   #5
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The only thing I can figure is if it is dead shorting for a split second. Long enough to load up the alternator but not long enough to pop a fuse. Other then that, I got nothing.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:06 AM   #6
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Well...good to know all of your thoughts seem to be the same area my brain went...sad thing is I went through some of his service records today, and there is a note on one about trying to diagnose A/C, could not get it to fail, could be clutch issue....then a few thousand miles later he brought in in for another oil change, they changed the blower motor, the blower resistor, and they charged him over $700...and the 'problem' with the A/C is still not fixed. I don't drive the car, trying to get more info....The more I look at past 'problems...then down the road 'fixes' the more it just doesn't add up. Thanks for the input and lightening my mood, Next step is trying to get him to keep the car away from there.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:13 AM   #7
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Run and run fast
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:47 AM   #8
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Sounds like his mechanic has been taking advantage of him for a while, good luck with getting him to find a better mechanic!
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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ah...still not ummm agreeing on the issue. told him if he bought parts i will replace..even though its a PITA...its my old man I know i owe him. had him liking that idea, then once i figure what will work, what all needs to be done to get at that alternator, and parts costs...he wants to trade it in and not fix it...unless it will add to the trade in value enough to be worthwhile. ITS A CAR! you lose money on em left and right thats how it is...its an expense. I think his "mech." convinced him a newer used car will have less issues..keep in mind he bought the intrigue new...first new car in his life, not worth jack on trade in compared to something else he may have bought new...but a new car is something i dream of being able to carelessly afford so you how it was taken care of...a used car always has a wild card factor without extensive service records. Body is in good shape, not sure of the rest but he seems to think its in good shape other than recent issues....so why not let me put in an alternator and some new coolant? and bypass the AC until summer comes around---speaking of which can I get a shorter belt or is it easier to put on a free spinning pulley? do not have belt diagram..can a shot tensioner(no tension left) have enough effect to kill the alternator and the AC?

Any idea of an aftermarket alternator that is....decent? i might just buy one and go put it in while he is gone...decent cheap brake pads--do they exist, just got Myself EBC redstuff and USR rotors for the deville...which is too much for what he wants of course...just thinking get some pads, get the rotors turned...but i had those high quality brakebest pads on the buick for a whopping what 15 bucks? never again(they 'work' but holy brake dust hell)....whats cheap and not going to make me liable for his death?..............i swear as a child he drove using 2 feet on an auto trans. no wonder i was frequently sick....
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:47 AM   #10
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If you want a reliable alternator, at a decent price, RockAuto is my recommendation, they honor manufacture warranties, but of course do not offer any warranties of their own..
At RockAuto a REMY Part # 91604 is $184.79 plus shipping, the same alternator at AdvanceAuto is going to run you around $232.00

AutoZone'* Duralast Gold alternators are about $220.00
If money is really tight you could try the PURE ENERGY Part # 8241612N for about $150.00, I'd personally go with the Remy as I have not heard much about the Pure Energy'*, other than they have a 12 month warranty, and Remy has a Limited lifetime for noncommercial use. 12 months for commercial, industrial or off-road use warranty.
http://www.delcoremy.com/Documents/O...-WARRANTY.aspx


As for cheap decent brake pads, if it is not a daily driver, then you could go with RAYBESTOS Part # SGD698C, RockAuto has them for $21.79, you could save around 3.00 and go organic instead of ceramic, but you'll get a lot more brake dust, and only save a couple of bucks.
If that is going to be a daily driver, then I'd consider spending a couple of bucks more, and get some better pads, the RAYBESTOS Part # PGD699C are not bad for the price of 37.79, those are pro grade ceramic pads.



I am not sure about the free spinning pulley for the AC Compressor.
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