Now the wording on the web site for the genuine OEM Audi alternators make it sound very specific that you need to order the one that corresponds to what comes off the car, either the Valeo or the Bosch one. Is it true that these two units are interchangeable? Or is it that they'll fit, but one will be a huge pain in the *** and the other will pop right in just fine?
Also, everything ECS sells is remanufactured, even the genuine audi ones that are like $200 more expensive then the valeo and bosch ones. (Which, if there are two different genuine Audi parts, one for cars with valeo and one with bosch, they're probably exactly the same just with the stamped Audi logos, right? I figure if I'm going to go after market on ANYTHING the alternators probably is a direct OE part, right?) Is buying remanufactured ok for alternators? Is just about everything rebuilt because they're easy to replace the parts that wear out in them?
genuineaudiparts.com has one but doesn't state if it's remanufactured or not, and it doesn't say if it's for cars with valeo or bosch ones, they don't really provide much of any kind of information on it.
Also, do I replace the voltage regulator too, or is that PART of the alternator and only something you replace if you were rebuilding your own alternator? The parts diagram makes it look like the voltage regulator is nestled inside the alternator housing...
That said, yes, there are two different alternators. Yes the regulator is included. Yes, you need to put the car back in service position to remove it.
But I don't have to remove the timing belt, right? (So no crank lock pin?)
I've become fairly good at getting it into service position, a lot of the time is that crack lock pin and removing/remounting the timing belt. Actually, do I need to remove the viscous fan or clutch? I just need to be able to reach the tensioner for the accessory belt to loosen it and remove the belt from the alternator and then remove the alternator, correct? Would the type of alternator be in the VIN or do I physically have to pull the unit to get the type off the old part? (I tried looking but I can't even fit my phone down there to take a video/pic of it without service position, if I get it in service position, might as well pull the unit and verify the part number)
So sounds like I just need to get the alternator and verify that it comes with the pulley.
Call or email Carson. He can probably tell you with the VIN.
The only thing you need to remove is the accessory belt. But the alt slides out the front, so you will need to have the radiator far enough forward to sneak the alt out.
Email already sent mentioning that you guys sent me over to him and with my VIN and all details. I'm hoping I'll be able to get enough room in service mode without disconnecting the lower radiator hose since I don't want to drain/fill/bleed the system for a THIRD time, lol. I can get a good couple inches with that hose still attached though, so here's hoping *crosses fingers*
I don't mind replacing the stuff (well, kinda, though at the same time it gives me an excuse to cuss all day long AND listen to some podcasts...) but it's always having to send away for the parts that's killer. I wish my local dealership actually stocked parts or I wish there was a closer online site, like Seattle or Portland area or something where I could do ground shipping and still get it a day or two later, not fork over $60 extra for overnight or second day air. (Ground would seriously take like 7 days and with my weird schedule of only having time on certain days to work it turns a six hour job or something into two weeks, lol)
Also, I'm replacing it for good measure since it's probably very old (164k now, bought the car at 95k, I've never replaced it, who knows before that) but the big issue was the surge to 16v for 10 second or so and the CLUNK and then limp mode (I think?) for the rest of the way home... car started again fine and transmission seemed to be fine, but I'm almost positive I'm running off reserve battery power only now (showing like 11 to 12 volt MAX). I'm confused why the alternator would have pushed me up to 16 volt before the system killed it to protect it from over voltage (?? maybe?) or it burned it's self out...
I have noticed the last two winters random times that it would dip down to 12v while at a stop light and then as soon as I got on the gas it would jump back to like 13.5 to 14v so maybe it was on it's last legs...
Only thing I can think is the little bit of coolant the spilled on it must have shorted it finally, but it's odd that it took three or four days of driving it before that happened... and it seriously wasn't a lot of coolant, maybe two ounces total with one ounce going into the alternator and one ounce on the pulley... which is why I originally thought the belt was just slipping on the slick pulley and causing it to drop to 12v more often then before (wouldn't jump back up to ~14v until I stopped the car and let it cool down and start again...)
Either way, might as well just replace it, I've freaking replaced everything else. I've got a new battery, I want it charged well, I want the car running well (boy it feels better then ever for the short time it WAS running!) and I seriously will now have VERY few things to worry about on that engine for another 50 to 100k!
You guys both are! But ya, 4Driver4 has always provided awesome feedback before to me. I like people that know their stuff (aren't just guessing) and provide links or details. Really helps with the confidence when doing the job!
Ugh, CAN NOT tell which I have without pulling the part, PLUS he gets them remanufactured from Audi which means he has to order it and then have it shipped to me. Sounds like the car will be out of the game for about a week if I go with an official, if I pull it and it's a Bosch unit I still might be able to order a Bosch replacement (still remanufactured) from Amazon and get it shipped prime for Friday delivery... Plus like $70 cheaper too...