Frequently Asked Questions❔ Why does the part I ordered says its for my model, but doesn't fit?
Parts that may interchange on the same model may have different internal components. Please match your part to the 'Interchanges' or 'Cross Reference' and/or any other qualifiers within the listing. Most models have options of engine size, transmission type, amperage outputs, and more. These qualifiers make a difference.
All component parts must be verified through description and/or cross reference before purchase. There is no returns on component parts. Exchanges only for like item during the warranty time. You will not be responsible for errors in our listing. If you believe there is an error in our listing and need to return your component part please email pictures of your unit and picture including manufacturer number for a return authorization #.
❔ I purchased an alternator when we had a long cold spell of zero and less temps. My alternator stopped working and I thought it was from the cold. I charged the battery fully, reinstalled it and started the car. The alternator didn't charge initially. I revved the engine and it kicked into charge. Problem is, if I don't rev the engine when I start the car the alternator won't charge. I have had cars for 40 years and never seen this. It is not really cold here anymore but this keeps occurring. Will you warranty this problem? The battery is good and everything goes fine as long as I rev up the engine on start but that is not normal so there is a problem.
This is a very common issue we see especially this time of year. Alternators can only work at 25-35% of their full capacity at idle speed. This prevents them being able to compensate for electrical issues of resistance, corrosion, battery condition, bad component draws... etc. The most common issue this time of year is battery condition. Week batteries that no longer hold 100% state of charge are a large draw on the charging system. Fully charged battery, sometimes does not equate to good, 100% battery condition. Bad grounds and connections are another large issue that mimic this problem.
There was a customer recently that had a car that would only charge revved up for a battery issue. At higher speeds the alternator compensated better for this terrible load on it. She had her daughter keep her foot on the gas revved to 2000RPMs while parked at the part store so she could run in to get a battery and be able to get home and install it. Once the new battery was in, the alternator worked fantastic. The battery buffers the complete charging system. A week battery will always effect the abilities of the alternator. People say to us all the time a battery is good when it is no longer holding 100% charge.
A customer in Maryland explained to me his new alternator was putting out minimal voltage of 13.6. And it should be 14.4. He wanted a replacement that would charge as expected. his battery was good, because it still could start the car. After troubleshooting more and deciding to put a new battery on, he was able to get the 14.4 Volts exactly as he expected. He thought his battery was good. 12.2 Volts is a 50% state of charge, 11.8 is 0%. A lead acid battery that has discharged 5-6 times will never hold 100% state-of charge any longer. They are just not designed for discharge like a deep cycle battery. An alternator is not designed to 'charge up' batteries. They are designed to maintain the charge of a good, fully charged battery.
There was a delivery vehicle we had that wouldn't charge at idle. We removed the alternator and tested it (thinking it might be it, but suspicious because our experience was otherwise. But the battery was new and checked good.). The alternator worked great on the bench, and on more checks of the car we found a burned fan relay. Once replaced the alternator worked great. It could not compensate for the draw.
A Honda cars specialty shop had replaced 3 of our alternators in a row explaining the same symptom. The Accord would not charge at idle. When he went with another suppliers alternator doing the same thing, he checked the car further, there was never any alternator issue, but clogged fuel injectors causing the car to idle low. Once he did a fuel injection service and car was running at normal idle the alternator could charge.
I do not know how many times it has been a belt causing this.
It is one of the most common complaints we have had on alternator swaps without it ever actually being an alternator issue, unless the issue was allowed to remain, eventually over working and burning up diodes in the alternator.
Unfortunately it is one of these ways customers of shops spend money on unnecessary repairs, but always unknowingly. A shop that has unnecessarily put 4 alternators on a customers car is not going to say that it was all unnecessary and here is your money back. They will say that the car also needs an injection service to idle properly or your new alternator will not last. So this is why these problems are not well heard of. Shops do not go around with list of how they messed up diagnosis and did not trouble shoot the problem correctly and cost customers more money than needed. It is inevitable that cars get diagnosed wrong (even by well experienced certified technicians). The unfortunate thing is that it is almost always the case that shops (even dealerships) have perfected the way of not being liable most of the time for this. All honest technicians will agree with this.
Sorry for the lengthy response, but it is such a common issue that never stems originally from an alternator, but when the issue burns up the alternator all together, you will not have any charge at any RPM.
A variation of this multifaceted question is common.
❔ I drive a 2014 Kia Soul and they told me that my Alternator Regulator is going out that is why it runs the way it does. Will this fit it? Are you completely sure? I am completely sure that nothing is completely sure until it is. I am very sorry for that. Our catalogs are good. The information made for our industry is near perfect but has had error here and there that I have noticed myself within the 15 years that I have been using this system.
Then there is different market vehicles! Our catalogs are for American Market Kia Hyundai. Japan and European Market cars end up over here from our service men and other reasons. When trying to order parts for a European Market car from American Market catalog proves to be a challenge; in the way not always correct! Many people are not completely sure that there vehicle is American Market if purchased from an individual. But if owned since new from a reputable American Car Dealer then you can be pretty sure.
If you have the Valeo manufacturer number from the alternator that you want to repair, then that is the best source of information to be just about completely sure.
And another thing to think about. The diagnosis and trouble-shooting done to let you know your voltage regulator is the culprit to your symptoms is the least sure part of this whole procedure. The ACE KIA Technician with 189 Years experience and has the most certifications purely bonified guy around (maybe even describes your mechanic; It is the description I get the most.) Can be wrong. Trouble-shooting and process of elimination from mechanics is far from a completely sure process. We send out far more parts that were not needed (faulty diagnosis) than the very seldom wrong part.
Most wrong parts are sent because mechanics are 'pretty sure' they are working on a 2009 Audi Q7, and order parts.... but when the parts arrive and look different they back track and look at the actual vehicle they are working on and then become 'completely sure' they have a 2011 Audi Q7 instead. There is always that. 😐
Anyways... Everything ordered is returnable within 30 days. That is one thing I am already completely sure of.😃