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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old November 14th, 2019, 22:36   #1
2002silverTDI
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Default '02 Jetta TDI with an appetite for alternators

Approaching 180K and another alternator took a dump!
This is the fourth one to fail in my car.
Are they being made and/or rebuilt in China and only last a year now?
I've read about a lot of low quality parts being made in China,
then being sold under brand names that we know and trust.
Has anyone else had issues with them failing prematurely?
My son's been driving it so I'm just hearing about the latest failure from him.
He lives in another city.
Thanks!
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Old November 14th, 2019, 22:52   #2
STDOUBT
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Well, what brand did you buy?
Only the BOSCH reman is recommended.
Is that Jetta a manual?
If so you want the 120Amp vs. the auto's 90Amp.
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Old November 14th, 2019, 22:53   #3
Nero Morg
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Something something cheap alternators.... People here will talk til they're blue in the face, to only use genuine bosch alternators. The rest are junk. They're also fairly easy to rebuild yourself as well.

What exactly has failed on the current alternator?
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Old November 15th, 2019, 03:18   #4
WildChild80
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Valeo is also highly recommended or was at one point

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Old November 15th, 2019, 09:43   #5
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"Lifetime warranty"
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Old November 15th, 2019, 10:08   #6
2002silverTDI
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Yes, it's a manual.
I had a local reputable German only service shop replace it the first time.
I see that leaving it in the shop's hands isn't the way to go obviously.
They just buy a cheap one form their local parts supplier, install it and see you on your way.
Won't use them again...
Thanks guys.
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Old November 15th, 2019, 10:15   #7
2002silverTDI
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I'm not sure what exactly failed.
The battery keeps dying and my son had to jump it to get it started.
He took it to a local shop and they told him the alternator isn't charging.
He replaced the battery in it last week, then the cold weather got cold.
I'm only getting bits and pieces of information from him since he isn't a car tech guy.
He did not tell me if the charge light came on in the dash.
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Old November 15th, 2019, 10:17   #8
oilhammer
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Three things:

Genuine Bosch reman alternators only.

Make sure you have the correct H7 battery and that it is in good condition.

All the connections are good, especially the main lead from the alternator to the underhood fuse link box.
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Old November 15th, 2019, 11:23   #9
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I believe (and have seen first and second hand) that remans are often a sham.

I suggest a NEW alternator is in order. My alternator is original (320k miles right now) but I did put a new brush/regulator assembly in it a little while back.

Could there be a problem with the fusible links that sit on top of the battery?
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Old November 15th, 2019, 11:30   #10
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Bosch reman units are typically NEW units in the box.
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Old November 16th, 2019, 11:24   #11
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This is not just a VW issue. I had issues with reman alternators in my old '97 Taurus SHO. The originals would last 80-100k miles and replacements were lucky to get 20k.

On my ALH, the pulley has been the only problem and since I swapped it with a decent one from my id parts, it hasn't failed since.
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Old November 16th, 2019, 12:58   #12
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My brother has a Subaru and had the same problem, cheap remans he swapped it out twice before he lucked on to a good one.

I did the same with a vw starter 3 times.
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Old November 16th, 2019, 15:11   #13
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The so-called "remans" from the parts stores are GARBAGE. My OE one is coming up on 300k miles and I've replaced the clutch pulley on it, but it is otherwise ok. Several batteries over the years, obviously.

But... WHEN it fails (and it eventually will; all things that move do) it'll be another one of those or, if the kid can deal with the downtime, I'll pull and rebuild it myself, provided something catastrophic hasn't happened to it.
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Old November 16th, 2019, 15:49   #14
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This is why I pull Bosch alternator's when I see them, only clutch issues I've had was when it sat for months without being driven.

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Old November 16th, 2019, 18:26   #15
jettawreck
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A good friend of mine rebuilds starters and alternators as his main business. His return/warranty numbers are very low because he's a one man show and it's his income source.
Many "remans" from part stores are simply cleaned up cores with only whatever part(s) failed. Bearing seized up, they just put in a new one. Probably not the other bearing if it still spins. Regulator burned out, put in a new one, blast it clean or paint it, box it and out it goes.
I usually just take him my failed starter or alternator and have that one rebuilt instead of swapping one out. Haven't had one of his rebuilds fail in the non-VW fleet over the years. So far I've only had to have pulley clutches replaced in any of the TDIs. One starter, and that one was toast.
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