My 2005 ford e350 former paratransport (used to have a wheelchair lift) high top van has been making odd noises under the hood lately. A mechanic diagnosed it as a dying alternator. He said as my rig has two batteries, the alternator needs to be a high output. He quoted a part price only of well over $1000 usd owing to the rareness of this part as there is apparently only one manufacturer.
My question is simple: is this legit or is this mechanic hoping for a ridiculous payday from me?
(The original alternator was a 115 amp output. But, the wheelchair lift could’ve been added after market.)
Help me projectvanlife! You’re my only hope!
Sounds like BS to me, check out RockAuto.com Just put in your year make and model and a list of all alternators OEM and aftermarket will be listed. Really great prices, I have been using them for years, great company.
I agree with @Flipperfla - I checked rockauto (I use them a lot too), and regardless of engine that year, there are about 20 options each, none over $200 many under $100 and many well over 115 amps which is not out of the ordinary for vans and trucks. Typically alternators amount to 3 bolts and a few wires to change. I would definitely get get a second opinion as labor should not be more than a couple hours.
Thank you @Flipperfla and @Bretly.
it’s important to get a second opinion from another mechanic to confirm the diagnosis and price quote.
UPDATE: I was being gouged, kinda. Took my rig to another shop, they said if I wanted to replace the alternator with the exact, high-output model h that recharged both batteries very quickly), it would be very pricey BUT they suggested to replace it with the factory model (as my van no longer has the wheelchair lift installed) which would charge both batteries fine, it would just take a little longer, like a regular alternator.
Going to the other shop saved over $1800.00!