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I have been told that the alternator on my 1997 Cadillac…

I have been told...

I have been told that the alternator on my 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS needs to be replaced. My ZIP is 95112 and I have been quoted $1500 to do the job. Is that a reasonable estimate?

Mechanic's Assistant: Have you done a battery test? Has there been any change in headlight brightness?

The mechanic I took the car to for a SMOG test told me the alternator needed to be replaced. I am afraid to turn on the headlights because I suspect that will drain the battery quicker ;-)

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Seville yourself? What have you tried so far?

I am NOT fixing the Seville myself. I have tried nothing so far.

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Answered in 7 minutes by:
7/10/2017
Jaybird61
Jaybird61, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Cadillac
Satisfied Customers: 2,318
Experience: Automotive Instructor at Palm Beach State College
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Hi, My name is Jay

The alternator replacement calls for 2.0 hours labor to replace it and dealer list price for a new Delco alternator is $366.18. If shop is charging $120 an hour for labor then the job should be closer to $600 to complete. Need to see why the charge is $1500 to replace alternator?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Hi Jay,The mechanic I spoke to mentioned having to move/remove several belts and other parts to get to the alternator which is apparently under or below the engine. This would take several hours for the removal and several hours to restore, hence the high price.I have looked at several youtube videos on replacing this alternator showing mechanics coming in from the top (takes longer), but also from the bottom (much quicker). Since the time differential is so big, why choose the former?That's why I turned to you for help. Sorry for the delay responding... I got quite sick late Monday, but am feeling considerably better now.Thanks,
Mal

Hi, Mal, Glad you are feeling better. The time and price I gave you is straight from the Mitchell ProDemand estimating guide. If the mechanic is trying to exceed this time then I suggest getting different quotes. If the labor I gave you does not include any diagnosis time that may be charged and this should not be more than an extra hour. The part price is in my software and you could call to see if dealer price matches or is close to what I gave you since this should be dealer list price.

Jaybird61
Jaybird61, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Cadillac
Satisfied Customers: 2,318
Experience: Automotive Instructor at Palm Beach State College
Verified
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