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Alternator Failed after Alternator Bracket Oil Leak Repaired

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Alternator Failed after Alternator Bracket Oil Leak Repaired

Old 07-10-2012, 10:23 AM
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I took my 04 545 with 90k miles into an independent shop that specializes in BMWs for several oil leaks. They found and replaced the vac. pump O rings, both oil pressure sensors, oil sep. hoses and the alternator base gasket and O ring. After I received my car I noticed it was still leaking. When I took it back to them they checked it out and re did the alternator base gasket and O ring. At that time we got in an argument because he said my car wouldn't be ready for Friday afternoon as promised. I needed the car back because I no longer live in the area and needed to return to work on Monday. Anyways, they got the car "done" on Friday and I picked it up. When I drove it again on Saturday I got an "alternator malfunction" and the car died as I turned into a parking spot. After a different shop charged the battery they said the alternator is bad and that in turn drained the battery and now it will not hold the charge (The battery is 2.5 yrs old.) The car was towed to the original shop and now they claim the diodes are bad and it is nothing they did. Any thoughts on this? I understand parts may go bad but it seems to be too much of a coincidence as they had to remove it twice and were rushed as well as upset with me while finishing. I appreciate any light you guys can shed on my situation. Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:33 AM
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if that was your original alternator, 90k is a MIRACLE. My first lasted 55k, second (CPO rebuild) lasted 15k. no they didn't do anything to mess it up.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rparik01 View Post
I understand parts may go bad but it seems to be too much of a coincidence as they had to remove it twice and were rushed as well as upset with me while finishing. I appreciate any light you guys can shed on my situation. Thanks.
Read this again. It sounds to me like you are stating that it's a possibility that they did something on purpose. correct? I doubt this is the case. But if you are feeling guilty for pressing them and feel you were an a$$ or not handling it professionally then I suppose it's possible. Was the person who worked on your car the same person that you were arguing with or something?
Good things happen to people and bad things happen to people. everything happens for a reason and a purpose. you may figure it out one day or you may not. You should keep a journal of things you own so you can diagnose it. If you have a 2004 it's probable that the alternator is bad.







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Old 07-10-2012, 11:20 AM
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I was indicating that the alternator failure may have been their fault. I doubt that it was deliberate, but more so because of their time frame. In terms of professionalism, I made this appointment two weeks prior to bringing the car in and explained my unique situation regarding a time frame. When I took the car back there for the continuing leak the service manager immediately told me they were busy until I reminded him that I called two weeks before and had an appointment. This situation happened before as I took my car there and it wasn't ready by close on Friday, so I had to pick up my car a couple weeks later. Needless to say this was a big hassle on my end. (I didn't want to bore you with every detail of the situation) In this case, as always with this shop, I spoke with the service manager who also works on the car. He told me that only their main technician was working on mine and he will not keep him a minute late to finish the car. I do not feel guilty in the least bit for the way I handled the situation, but more so disappointed that I did not get a thorough diagnosis of my alternator when it died. I intend on calling back the other shop to see if they have any other information for me.

Either way, thank you for your input.

Any suggestions for a new alternator? I have already put in a quote request to Turner and Gary at Newport.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:56 AM
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My other concern is I have not had any electronic glitches recently as other members have witnessed prior to their alternator or battery going bad.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:54 PM
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it's very strange indeed. i'm not you, so i don't know all the specifics but i feel for you and doubt that it could be something they've done. I would have the other shop check all the physcial connections. A lot of shops may not know this but your car runs on battery the whole time so if a new battery resolves the issue then that's the issue, not an alternator. I'm on 130K miles with original and I have no issues. I think the 545i had some alternator issues or something.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 545felix View Post
if that was your original alternator, 90k is a MIRACLE. My first lasted 55k, second (CPO rebuild) lasted 15k. no they didn't do anything to mess it up.
Interesting; I replaced the (original?) alternator on my 545 almost 2 years ago when it had around 75k with a refurbished unit. It also has the leaking valve cover/timing chain cover issue. I have noticed that since that replacement, the alternator has had a "bit" of oil accumulate on it. Finally today; the alternator seems to have failed (car now has around 94k). I would have attributed the failure to the oil getting into the alternator after so much time but it sounds like regardless; the refurb alt's don't last as long. Is this correct? Would I be better off purchasing a new alt versus a refurb (and of course... fixing the oil leaks)?
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:53 PM
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It makes no difference if it is a refurb or new they should last the same. Alternators go when they go depending on the conditions? If oil is leaking into the alternator then it it will not last as long or diminish the longevity of it. When an alternator is refurb all the important parts are replaced this way you can get it at a cheaper price. You can re-manufacture an alternator yourself and it will last just as long as the old one maybe longer depending on the parts you use. Some people do not know that changing the voltage regulator, bearings pulley/nut, lock washer, stator and lock ring is rebuilding it which can cost you as little as $25 or as much as $50 depending on the quality of the part and still give you the quality of a new minus the wear and tear of the outside (of course BMW parts are much more but cheaper than a new one). If you buy a reman alternator and do not get at least 4 yrs out of it then it was a bad rebuild. I have rebuilt mine in all of my cars and they have lasted longer than the original. The BMW has not failed yet (145K 10yrs) but I am anticipating it to fail any time. Of course the rebuild will not last 10 yrs but it will last well after I get rid of it.

Last edited by seanjordan20; 11-21-2015 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:13 PM
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Hmm... I still have in my possession the last alternator from the car and I am pretty mechanically inclined. Can you tell me the parts you would replace on the alternator to rebuild it and where you would purchase these (good quality) parts?
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:21 AM
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Found this...

Alternator Rebuilt Kit w/ Voltage Regulator, Brushes & Bearings for 180 Amp Valeo Alternators 2004-2010 BMW 323 325 330 525 530 545 645 745 550 750 Models - Alternator Rebuild Kits

Alternator Rebuild Kit 180 Amp Valeo BMW Alternator
For $60.00 and includes: lternator Rebuilt Kit w/ Voltage Regulator, Brushes & Bearings for 180 Amp Valeo Alternators 2004-2010 BMW 323 325 330 525 530 545 645 745 550 750 Models

Should I go for it?
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