A relentless whine . . . the car's alternator

Discussion in 'The Tearoom' started by pubrunner, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. pubrunner

    pubrunner Regular Member Staff Member

    The alternator on my car is beginning to whir & whine a bit.

    What is the best option ? -

    I can buy a brand new one - costs £££s;

    or, I can get a 'refurbed' one from online.

    I can send it away to get it re-built . . . . . . . surprisingly, this is about half the price of getting one which has been 'refurbed'.

    Has anyone ever repaired one ? I suspect that what is required, is a set of new bearings and I'm tempted to have a go myself, when I've some spare time over Christmas - anyone fixed an alternator ?

    Which option, might be your choice and why ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  2. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member Staff Member

    A whine can sometimes be just the belt slipping.

    In the old days, dribbling some water on the belt might cure it because the fibres in the belt shrink a bit, tightening the belt.
     
    pubrunner likes this.
  3. Baron Vlad Harkonenn

    Baron Vlad Harkonenn Regular Member

    What car is it?

    A lot of modern cars have a non return clutch on their drive pulley to even and smooth out engine vibration. These failing are far more common than the actual alternator bearings failing.

    But before you go there, best practice would be to remove the aux belt and rotate each component driven by it, carefully feeling for roughness any freeplay or noise. It might not be the alternator at all.
     
    pubrunner and Bromptonaut like this.
  4. OP
    OP
    pubrunner

    pubrunner Regular Member Staff Member

    Correct ! :okay:

    The alternator belt snapped last night, lucky it was as I arrived home. The garage told me that the reason for this failure, was because the water pump had seized - which it had.

    Thankfully, the belt and water pump have now been repaired, though my wallet is £125 lighter.

    Thank you for the helpful replies.
     
  5. Welsh dragon

    Welsh dragon Senior Member Staff Member


    At least it didn't cost you too much money. That's one consolation anyway.
     
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  6. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member Staff Member

    Aye, getting a water pump and drive belt replaced for £125 sounds good value to me.
     
    pubrunner likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    pubrunner

    pubrunner Regular Member Staff Member

    Yes, i thought it was very good value.

    It possibly helped that it is a cam chain engine, rather than a cam belt.
     
    Welsh dragon likes this.
  8. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member Staff Member

    Very likely did help, the belt being more of a traditional fan belt.

    The drive belt on my car goes up, down, twists back on itself and then around again.

    Remembering its route would be almost as hard as changing it.
     
    Bromptonaut and pubrunner like this.
  9. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    You're lucky it wasn't summer and/or not driving far. Seized water pump can allow car to overheat in minutes.
     
    pubrunner likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    pubrunner

    pubrunner Regular Member Staff Member

    I had this happen about 25 years ago; the car did over-heat, but luckily, it had a cast-iron cylinder head, so no major damage was caused.
     
  11. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member Staff Member

    I had a water pump fail on my way to visit family about 200 miles away on Christmas Day.

    It was only seeping around the bearing to start with, so I would have got away with a top up.

    But the play in the bearing allowed the fan blade to slice the top hose, so it was recovery time.

    As it was Christmas, when I got to my destination my brother gave the AA man a bottle of whisky.

    AA man was chuffed, so brother half joking asked him if he wanted another.

    Brother was a bank manager at the time and got given lots of bottles of scotch at Christmas, none of which he ever drank, so he was always on the lookout for ways to give the bottles away.
     
    pubrunner likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    pubrunner

    pubrunner Regular Member Staff Member

    I like your brother a lot ^_^ . . . . . . . does he have any bottles left ? :whistle:
     
    Pale Rider likes this.
  13. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member Staff Member

    Retired now, but the chances are he will still have a bottle or two.
     
    pubrunner likes this.
  14. OP
    OP
    pubrunner

    pubrunner Regular Member Staff Member

    Please forward my address . . . . . . . I'll even pay the postage.
     
  15. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Active Member Staff Member

    With your pub contacts I'm surprised you haven't got a ready supply of cheap, or even 'free', whisky.
     
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