AutoZone - rebuilt alternators are garbage

Jun 26, 2010
review #187401

I have a 1998 dodge caravan.This will be my third rebuilt alternator that I'll have to put in.

The first I put in 2007, the second April 2010 and now the third June 2010.No problem with the life time warrenty,but this alternator is not easy to put in and take out.Where they rebuild them they need to chage everything out,not just doing what needs to be done.This is my last time I will change this out.I will demand my money back next time.This will be the last alternator I'll buy there.

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Johnny Angel

Jul 30 Torrance, California

I purchased a alternator and Duralast battery at AZ only to get stranded and drain my new battery. I had the new battery charged just to make it back to AZ to have them tell me the Voltage Regulator in the Alternator I just purchased wasn't working and draining my new Battery. So I missed another day of work, hopefully the next alternator they had to order is a better one. I was probably better off going to my Toyota dealer and saving the aggravation and probably saving more by not missing work.

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Autozone Sucks

Jun 19

F**K Autozone! We bought a Lifetime Warranty Alternator and it has failed 4 times! 3 of those times in the last month. Now, even though we have a lifetime warranty on this piece of ***, they won't allow us to return it for a refund, so we can stop spending $40 every time we need to get a new one put it. I will never step foot in another Autozone.

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unhappy consumer

Nov 30, 2013

I'm on my sixth alternator from Autozone. The Gold series. Unlike some other stories about installation pain this one is fairly easy to get to. (96 Suburban, 5.7L) I've had numerous quality issues with Autozone parts. I think their prices are lower because they stock the lowest bid equipment from suppliers. I am going to ask for my money back on the 7th unit. It already does not charge if I run anything other than the radio. The gentlemen's response of less diodes sounds about right to me. Rebuilt mechanical parts but keeping old electronics.

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high schoolers know more than

Oct 25, 2013

i went thru 4 alternators on a 2000 ford contour 2.5 v6 in the span of 3 months this was not an easy job to do the store said it was my fault i was doing something wrong or something was wrong with my car.(to get the 7 alternators out the door of the store it took them testing 5 others most the time to get one that passed on the bench)i finally got my money back after the fourth one and went over the store managers head and put a reman motorcraft (ford oem brand for you that dont know) its now been on just a month shy of 3 years and just over 62k miles no as much as a hicup... after this i ordeal i stopped buying anything from them just bc they have poor knowledge and customer service skills reason enough for me with out even mentioning poor quality products.

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kj

Jul 13, 2013 Richardson, Texas

I can tell you for a fact that after the second Duralast alternator failed within two years, I found the problem. Before removing the alternator this last time, I went and bought the replacement at Autozone with the intention of returning the expired alternator after replacing it. When I got home with the new remanufactured alternator I took it apart to find out why they were failing so frequently.

I discovered that while there should have been eight diodes,there were only six. It's a fact that an alternator cannot have too many diodes. You can externally bridge as many as you like and the life and reliability will be greatly improved. However you can have too few. The result of too few diodes is a shorter service life.

FACT.

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jimm

May 16, 2013 Gaylord, Michigan

Skip any AC Delco alternators completely. I purchased a NEW (not reman) unit which failed after about three hours - the front pulley fell off derailing and ruining the belt. Delco won't replace the belt. Worse, the unit failed in the middle of nowhere, 190 miles from home. Delco will only pay the first $75 of the tow and reimburses, so if you don't have the money up front you hitchhike / abandon your car / die. I believe Delco would prefer the third option.
Purchase any other brand but Delco. Even the Chinese make a better product and care more about their customers.

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Peaches2639

Dec 27, 2012 Cincinnati, Ohio

Two months ago, I purchased a Duralast alternator and put it in my '03 Mazda6. It overcharged and completely fried my electrical system, resulting in a little over $4800 worth of damage. Autozone is refusing to pay for the repairs, stating that the manufacturer of the Duralast alternator requires a PAID invoice before they'll consider or process my claim. I have been w/o a car for two months now and have NO WAY to pay for $4800 charges in repair. BULL$!*#. I've filed a complaint with the BBB and will be suing if it doesn't get resolved. What's strange, is that I can't find ANYTHING that tells me who the manufacturer of the Duralast alternator is. Everything I find points back to Autozone. Does anyone have any idea of who the manufacturer might be? :cry :(

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Art

Oct 07, 2013

The current manufacturer is MPA.

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airlar73

Dec 08, 2012 Katy, Texas

AZ is getting a bad rap - I bought a reman alternator from them - a coolant leak did my original one it. I dropped the alternator, took it to NAPA at the advice of MANY people who said they were more knowledgeable and had better parts than AZ - they tested the alternator and told me it was FINE, so I re-installed it so I could continue troubleshooting. This particular alternator (96 Infiniti I30) is a PITA to remove and install, mind you. After I'd excluded every other possibility I dropped the alternator AGAIN, and took it to AZ. They told me it had an "intermittent problem" and they FAILED IT. I replaced, and it lasted about 22 months. Needless to say I was a little irritated as it crapped out on me on a road trip - no bueno. Well, I upgraded to the Gold and they replaced it for free. When I dropped the replacement alternator I noticed it had an unusual amount of dirt/oil accumulated on one side of it, and then I remembered that my valve covers started leaking and I had them replaced about 4 months prior. The coolant leak killed my first one, and the oil leak killed the second one. Had I paid $800 + installation (yes, that's what they want for a non-reman alternator) for Infiniti to replace it I would have been SOL. I think some of these people who claim the AZ alternators are junk might have problems that CAUSE them to fail. That was my case... The guys at the AZ in Katy, TX are AWESOME. Super helpful, always polite, and they made the NAPA store in Katy look pretty bad,... Show more

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hollins1

Dec 06, 2012 Dallas, Texas

Number one if i purchased anything from AUTOZONE and It did not work the first time.Their is no way i would purchase another of the same part.I have an 07 HHR.And autozone does not carry any part's for my vehicle.I mean they do not even carry windshield wiper's for my vehicle.This is probably a good thing.HUH!You probably need to shop elsewhere don't you think.Why?Would you shop autozone and Nothing work's properly.WTF

0 1 Reply
autozone facebookand twitter

Sep 08, 2012

Photo of Louis paying me $154.08 and link to photos and audios posted at Autozone Facebook site. Alson posted to Twitter. :)

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bill in albuquerque

Sep 07, 2012

Autozone paid my alternator replacement labor cos of $154.08 IN CASH. Google 'Autozone unlimited warranty alternator failure and labor cost recovery' and drop down to pro se fight to pick up link to mp3 audios of Autozone conversations.

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AutoZone's Return Policy On Al

Jun 09, 2012

I have gone through two Alternators with Autozone in the past 90-days and each time I had to pay labor twice to my Mechanic to uninstall and install junk alternators. AutoZone sells junk!!! #period. I just want my money back to buy from a more reputable Auto parts store!

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2011 Mitsubishi 5787 miles

Jun 01, 2012

Alternator from Autozone had a bent lip on pulley which when running apparently shreded large enough pieces off serpentine belt to go into timing cover, caused timing to jump damage uncertain until we can get a new timing belt mid next week. Then see if motor turns over of if internal damages large bucks for repairs.

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airlar73

Dec 08, 2012 Katy, Texas

Did you not visually inspect it and/or see the bent lip on the pulley before installation? Perhaps whoever installed dropped it and bent the pulley... I can't imagine even the most incompetent parts inspectors from AZ or anywhere missing that...

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Mike

Mar 11, 2012

I'm on my second AutoZone "new" alternator in the past 6 months. The first one left me dead on the side of the road when it quit charging, and after getting a jump, I smacked it with a hammer and it started charging again. The first one was made in Mexico, and the one I received in exchange today was made in China! I think it's all *** unless you by from NAPA....just sayin....I have never had a NAPA part fail me and leave me sitting on the side of the road.

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Snipe

Feb 16, 2012

Ready for a 5th alt in 2 years,pure ***!

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airlar73

Dec 08, 2012 Katy, Texas

You REALLY think you got 5 bad alternators in a row? Did you ever consider the possibility that there might be another problem with your vehicle that might be CAUSING the alternators to fail? Probably not... face/palm

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skipjagger

May 16, 2013 Wallingford, Connecticut

Ya its safe to assume that. I have had enough cars in the past few years. Installed at least 2 az alts in them (time constraints if I had the option I would not have) one had 4 figured I would keep replacing them until the manager gave me my money back. Low resistance on charge back wire and engine ground and all the alternators were internally regulated. Nothing dripped spilled or fell on them. In all 3 cases I installed a oem or Napa new starter and had ZERO issues from then on. I feel as if I gave AZ more than their fair share of trys. You tell me that it's not az I don't believe it for a second. They sell *** alts (same deal with 2 of my ford trucks 2 starters each till I gave up / had time to get to Napa while they were open)

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Donald Hector Estes

Feb 10, 2012

I just bought a remanufactured alternator from Advance for $49. I installed it and out of the box it was drawing 3.3 amps through the sensing wire with the motor off. This is symptomatic of bad diodes/regulator. The alt is the standard GM 10si series. FWIW -- this is the same symptom that I had with the alternator I was trying to replace.

The problem with the remanufactured units is that they don't change ALL the electronics inside. Think about it -- you have a 10 year old shell with a bunch of electronics that are subject to years of heat and abuse. One fails and the alt is sent for rebuild. The remanufacturer changes the brushes, bearings (basically all the friction parts) -- but REUSES ALL ELECTRONICS THAT TEST GOOD. THat leaves you with a shiny remanufactured alternator with a bunch of 10 year old electronics that are probably nearing the end of their service life. And so -- even with a a lifetime warranty, you'll be back to the store swapping for another unit every couple of months. AND all of this is presuming that the rebuilder thoroughly tests the electronics for leakage, ripple etc -- which they obviously didn't in my case as it was bad out of the box.

I decided to spend the extra money for a new unit - and it wasnt that much more. Napa had a brand new unit for my car that was $78. So for 30 extra bucks, I get brand new everything which should last much much longer! ... Show more

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