View Full Version : Growling from new Autozone alternator...

04-30-2004, 12:14 AM
Just installed the alternator yesterday and it improved my charging from 11.8v at idle to 14.2v at idle. However when I started my car tonight after work, I noticed this horrendous growling coming from somewhere under the hood. I think it is either the newly installed alternator, or my PS pump. The ps pump has some murky black fluid in it (it was red at one pont), but I donít think its coincidence that it is starting to act up now. I think it is the alternator.

Can I remove the belt and start the car to rule out the SC might be making the noise? It is so loud it is hard to tell where it is coming from. Has anyone else had problems with alternators from Autozone?

Wings Dirty
04-30-2004, 12:25 AM
You should have no problems taking the SC belt off and starting the car. just make sure yu take the belt off COMPLETELY, and remove it from the pulleys. :D

04-30-2004, 12:31 AM
i know a lot of people that have had trouble with anything electrical related from the Zone. i have heard stories of them putting an item back on the shef after it was returned due to problems (noise, low charge, and such).. i usually go to advance auto for electrical parts www.advance-auto.com

04-30-2004, 01:00 AM
Take a long handled something or other such as a broom stick or a screwdriver and put one in to your ear and the other to the part you want to check with the engine running. Sounds silly, but it works. You'll easily identify which thing is making the noise.

04-30-2004, 01:37 AM
Many of the items sold at these chain autoparts stores seem to be marketed with cost and profit in mind. They are ok if you have knowledge about the qualtiy level you are getting with the items.

In the case of the alternators, I have installed several on various vehicles. On a late model Ford, the bottom priced rebuilt alternator from Autozone failed about a week after installation. We returned it for warranty, and paid the difference for the next level up. This alternator is working, though its output is questionable. It also has a lifetime of car warranty. On the other vehicles, these alternators have thus far been fine.

If the alternator is the only signficant change you have made under the hood lately, I would venture to say that it is the source of the current noise. If you bring it back to Autozone they can check it on the car for output, which will likely be diminished if the bearings are failing.

As for your power steering pump, I would flush the system turning it by hand with some type F, then refill with new type F. This cleaned mine up nicely during a motor mount change. It should prevent premature wear on internal components that might occur if sediment is allowed to accumulate.

Hope that helps..

Parker Dean
04-30-2004, 09:27 AM
I learned the lesson long ago that if you want it to work and last then buy Motorcraft wherever possible.

05-01-2004, 10:23 AM
you can get a cheap stethoscope from any parts house.....probably $10 or less... .much safer than the screwdriver method and works lots better...trust me after years of using the long screwdriver i finally got a stethoscope and wondered why i never got one before!. As far as electrical products we don't have Autozone or Advance Auto here , but i would go to NAPA and get the 'Power Supreme' series alternator. It's COMPLETELY remanufactured, not just repaired, plus has lifetime warranty. plus Napa is the only parts chain that is nationwide, which is a plus if you travel and need a warranty replacement.

Still Crusin
05-01-2004, 04:16 PM
I would concur with most of what was said previous to my post. I also had bad luck with alternators from AutoZone. Had a friend warn me about them, but they were only ones still open when I needed it.
First one I replaced only lasted a day. However, I don't think my battery was fully recharged at the time.
The noise mine was making sounded like a propeller at idle on a small aircraft.

05-01-2004, 05:07 PM
I took it off of my car today and found the pully is completely loose from the alternator. It wobbles like crazy side to side and you can turn the pully without the internals turning! Are these pullys pressed on? It doesn't matter as they are going to have a new one for me on Monday. In the mean time, I am just going to drive with my old one. It still works, just doesn't charge very good. This is the last time I buy from them. Had enough troubles in the past.

I recently bought a upper radiator hose from them because they were the only ones who had it in stock. It was only $6 bucks, but I had to cut it to fit right and now I can't keep it from not leaking. It leaks at both ends. Guess I am going to shell out $35 bucks to Ford for an OEM one.

05-02-2004, 11:53 AM
you dont have to go to ford for a radiator hose. GATES is just as good and you can buy it for much less (NAPA hoses are GATES also). It's very common to have to cut it to fit, that should be no big deal.

05-02-2004, 01:09 PM
as for napa being the only nationwide parts house, that is not completly true.. advance auto is part of a nationwide company, and if you go to the website it will tell you about the other stores, you just put in your zip code,and it gives you the closest stores. they are with checkers and a few other stores.. try the web site just for prices sometime, it is a fairly good site for parts it is