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Debating if I should install an alternator myself

Illustration for article titled Debating if I should install an alternator myself

This week, I made the decision to eventually get rid of my “ran when parked”‘94 altima (200k miles) while daily driving my ‘00 Mustang GT (also 200k miles) from Hawthorne to Universal City 5 days a week for the new job. It’s a social media editor position, and so far, I like it a lot. Problem is, I’m Spending 80 a week on gas, and a couple days ago my battery light started coming on and off.


On the 101 freeway, the light would come on for a while, then turn off. I drove to my mechanic, and he checked the battery and said everything is fine and the alternator may be the culprit, but he would charge me $220 to rebuild it including labor. I told him I’d think about it because I also needed to fix the brakes all around, and told him to work on that first. I can only afford to do one fix at a time.

After searching youtube, I realized with the right tools, it looked simple enough to try to fix myself, but my wrenching expertise is limited to basic bodywork and bondo.


Should I get a second opinion, let him take a stab at it when I get the money, or buy an alternator and do the fix myself?

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