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OB #3, 2011 Outback PZEV CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So 3 days ago, I was driving around and my brake light and battery light both came on at one time. A quick google search on the phone tells me that the alternator is starting to fail. Ok, but the car is still starting up no problems so I figured I had a little time. NOPE! Drove to work the next day, while on the highway, when I would use the turn signals, the speedo needle and tach needle would both drop to 0 every time the light blinked. By the time I got to work, maybe a 15 minute drive, the ABS light had come on and the Trans Oil Temp light was coming on... not enough power to run the fans I guess. I had AAA tow it home after work, got a new alternator from Advance Auto Parts (by online and pick up in store to save 20%) and switched it out. Took maybe 15 minutes. The windings in the old alternator were pretty roasted, smelled like burnt electrics and was pretty black inside. New one went in and after a quick charge on the battery it fired right up, no battery light or brake light on anymore and she's good to go! Side note, the alternator was like 102 bucks after discount and comes with a lifetime warranty.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,054 Posts
you can drive around on a car a little bit with a bad alternator,...so long as you are charging the battery with a wall charger overnight.

good luck with that alternator,

is it new and unused,...or rebuilt / reman'd ?.

does it have code or stock # on it?
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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207 Posts
I had that same thing happen to me when my alternator died. I was driving along and all of a sudden the gauges started going wild like I was driving through the Bermuda Triangle or something. I kept going, but when the car started bucking I pulled over and called Triple A.

Whatever alternator it was it came with the car and I had it for at least five years. It was replaced with an emergency refurbished alternator which left me dead in a parking lot a few months later. This was replaced with its twin which is now showing signs of stress, for my car the first sign seems to be the ABS light coming on. I think ABS must also mean "Alternator Breakdown Soon", especially when it comes on randomly or flashes on for a split second. This always happens before one of them dies.

I just got a Chinese made imitation OEM alternator from DB Electrical. If the alternator I have still has any life left in it after I get around to putting in the one from DB, I plan on keeping it in the car for when and if the new one ever fails.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,054 Posts
I had that same thing happen to me when my alternator died. I was driving along and all of a sudden the gauges started going wild like I was driving through the Bermuda Triangle or something. I kept going, but when the car started bucking I pulled over and called Triple A.

Whatever alternator it was it came with the car and I had it for at least five years. It was replaced with an emergency refurbished alternator which left me dead in a parking lot a few months later. This was replaced with its twin which is now showing signs of stress, for my car the first sign seems to be the ABS light coming on. I think ABS must also mean "Alternator Breakdown Soon", especially when it comes on randomly or flashes on for a split second. This always happens before one of them dies.

I just got a Chinese made imitation OEM alternator from DB Electrical. If the alternator I have still has any life left in it after I get around to putting in the one from DB, I plan on keeping it in the car for when and if the new one ever fails.
chinese? I thought they were all made new in Tennessee?

and EZ30 cars are really really particular what goes into them, vs. the plain H4.
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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chinese? I thought they were all made new in Tennessee?

and EZ30 cars are really really particular what goes into them, vs. the plain H4.
Nope. DB is in Tennessee, but they get their products from overseas. I asked them. However, it's supposed to be a decent imitation. We'll see. It has a one year warranty.

If this doesn't work out I've seen rebuilt genuine Subaru alternators online. I think this might be a good alternative. Genuine Subaru Remanufactured Alternators Medford | Subaru Parts

They're a bit more than the one from DB, but less than a new one. Maybe in a year I can afford one. ><
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Nope. DB is in Tennessee, but they get their products from overseas. I asked them. However, it's supposed to be a decent imitation. We'll see. It has a one year warranty.

If this doesn't work out I've seen rebuilt genuine Subaru alternators online. I think this might be a good alternative. Genuine Subaru Remanufactured Alternators Medford | Subaru Parts

They're a bit more than the one from DB, but less than a new one. Maybe in a year I can afford one. ><
I may have the original box that came with my H4 to see if it did actually say "made in USA" anywhere. @AWDFTW lives down in that area too.
(maybe they use to build such things there and then stopped:confused: ).

no need to order from a subaru dealer in oregon,

I get stuff from quirkparts, in Mass,...or subarupartswarehouse in CT (both close by, and ship in tax free to NY).
and can hopefully beat the price plus tax of the local dealer on a proper subaru reman of the original Mitsubishi USA that came in the car.
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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I may have the original box that came with my H4 to see if it did actually say "made in USA" anywhere. @AWDFTW lives down in that area too.
(maybe they use to build such things there and then stopped:confused: ).

no need to order from a subaru dealer in oregon,

I get stuff from quirkparts, in Mass,...or subarupartswarehouse in CT (both close by, and ship in tax free to NY).
and can hopefully beat the price plus tax of the local dealer on a proper subaru reman of the original Mitsubishi USA that came in the car.
That might be the case. They had mixed reviews indicating that others had the same idea, then were disappointed to find out they were imports. Others were happy with the product, albeit from China.

Yeah, there's probably dealers all over that sell things that way, I pulled up that one in Oregon because it was one of the first I found and had a good description on it.

Thank you for those links. I will check them out.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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aftermarket alternators have a high percentage of issues. let's say %75 success rate - that means 75 people out of a hundred will never have issues, most people can even replace a couple and never have issues, and most people replacing one here or there can get away with it. and most people aren't putting 100,000 miles on those replacements so they have no idea.

but i generally do plan on 100,000 more miles and 25 out of 100 failures is miserable, and i've seen it countless times. it's 25, or 30, or 22, failures out of 100, whatever it is, it's clearly significant and not a good fit for me. but it does work many times and for many people.

i install new OEM or used OEM alternators depending on the vehicle and situation.

just be aware and make the best decision for the given situation.
 

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Running on battery

Just an interesting related story. In high school, my '64 Bug stopped running, so I called my friend who knew about cars (I had no clue, at the time): he showed up where I was stranded, said the alternator was bad, and proceeded to charge the battery off of his, explaining that the spark could run off of the charge in the battery. After about 10 minutes, I said "Let's get going." He said "No: give it a little longer." I said "If it dies before we get to your house, we'll just charge it some more", but he insisted the charge continue. We were eventually on our way: the car died as I rolled into his garage. THAT'S know-how!
 
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