As you know, alternators are critical to vehicle function. Without one, you won't get very far...and a weak alternator can cause problems too (especially if your car won't start because the battery isn't fully charged).
Because alternators are relatively similar from one car to the next, there are a lot of after-market alternator options on the market...some of which are so cheap as to be "too good to be true."
As a general rule, cheap after-market alternators that seem almost too good to be true ARE. Genuine OEM GM alternators are best for your vehicle because:
- GM doesn't go cheap on the windings, which is how most after-market alternator companies "save" you money. The problem is, if you cut a radiator's windings, you shorten it's lifespan and reduce it's effectiveness in heavy-duty situations.
- Generic brand alternators often aren't designed for your car, which means they can sometimes come up short in terms of amperage and/or voltage, which can effect your vehicle's performance.
- Many aftermarket alternators use the cheapest bearing available, which decreases the lifespan of the replacement and increases parasitic loss (which means your gas mileage will go down)
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