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Have 2006 4 cyl base AWD RAV4 with 160,000 miles

Alternator sounds like it is failing so going to have it replaced. While they're at it they will replace the serp belt, tensioner assembly, and water pump.

The mechanic I've used for years (trustworthy) uses Napa for their parts and says the alternator is $450 and belt tensioner $450. He says he was shocked at the prices.

Is this the going rate? I really am not familiar with cars but especially the belt tensioner seems very high.

I suppose this is the only logical way to do this, but it's hard to stomach paying, what, $1500 or so? for all these items and labor when the car is running fine (the alternator is rattling though).
 

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Have 2006 4 cyl base AWD RAV4 with 160,000 miles

Alternator sounds like it is failing so going to have it replaced. While they're at it they will replace the serp belt, tensioner assembly, and water pump.

The mechanic I've used for years (trustworthy) uses Napa for their parts and says the alternator is $450 and belt tensioner $450. He says he was shocked at the prices.

Is this the going rate? I really am not familiar with cars but especially the belt tensioner seems very high.

I suppose this is the only logical way to do this, but it's hard to stomach paying, what, $1500 or so? for all these items and labor when the car is running fine (the alternator is rattling though).
I always shop Rockauto first:

GATES 38216 {#38216M} DriveAlign Premium OE Automatic Belt Tensioner Info

$83.79

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,2006,rav4,2.4l+l4,1433300,belt+drive,belt+tensioner,11659?a=Referer+www.rav4world.com+URL+/en/catalog/toyota,2006,rav4,2.4l+l4,1433300,electrical,alternator+/+generator,2412

DENSO 2100656 Reman Info
100 Amp
price core
$140.89 $68.00 208.89


Total for both parts:224.78


http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,2006,rav4,2.4l+l4,1433300,electrical,alternator+/+generator,2412


Also go on NAPA's site the prices he is quoting are a joke. A new Alt 309.00 Tensioner ass 122.00.
 

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Time for a new mechanic!! :egad:Seems all you can trust him for is to rip you off.

In my area I'd be buying the alternator from Advance Auto. Their walk-in price is $188 but I'd order it online with my CC before going to the store, use promo code TRT30 to get 30% off, and get it for $131.60 from the same guy/girl at the same store.

If I wanted to pay more because I believed "you get what you pay for" there's an AZ next door and a NAPA across the street. :wink

Oh, and before I did any of that I'd take it off and replace the bearings myself. Might cost me $20!
 

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Time for a new mechanic!! :egad:Seems all you can trust him for is to rip you off.

In my area I'd be buying the alternator from Advance Auto. Their walk-in price is $188 but I'd order it online with my CC before going to the store, use promo code TRT30 to get 30% off, and get it for $131.60 from the same guy/girl at the same store.

If I wanted to pay more because I believed "you get what you pay for" there's an AZ next door and a NAPA across the street. :wink

Oh, and before I did any of that I'd take it off and replace the bearings myself. Might cost me $20!
Carquest versus Denso ....about the same price... agree time for a new mechanic..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't have the ability to do this work myself so one way or another I have to hire somebody. All mechanics seem to have their preferred source for parts so I still have to go with whatever they are saying it costs. I asked this mechanic and naturally he won't let me buy the parts and have him install them.


He's at $450 for the alternator.


For the tensioner assembly he got a price of $392 and says he can now get the part.


water pump $92


I could call around a little but then I get into unknown mechanics whereas this person has always done a good job (I haven't needed a lot of work - just servicing, no actual repairs).


Any suggestions and I'm all ears.
 

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I don't have the ability to do this work myself so one way or another I have to hire somebody. All mechanics seem to have their preferred source for parts so I still have to go with whatever they are saying it costs. I asked this mechanic and naturally he won't let me buy the parts and have him install them.


He's at $450 for the alternator.


For the tensioner assembly he got a price of $392 and says he can now get the part.


water pump $92


I could call around a little but then I get into unknown mechanics whereas this person has always done a good job (I haven't needed a lot of work - just servicing, no actual repairs).


Any suggestions and I'm all ears.
You have to find a shop that lets you buy your own parts... otherwise you are at the mercy of the shop you have now. Currently I am using STS tires... but I don't know if they do the work you are talking about.
 

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Yes, you definitely need to find another shop/mechanic. The shop I use specializes in Asian cars and they will gladly install the parts I bring them. Of course they always say they can't guarantee the parts themselves but only the labor. And they only fix what I tell them to fix--if they find another problem they call me and ask me to OK it first.
 

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Yes, you definitely need to find another shop/mechanic. The shop I use specializes in Asian cars and they will gladly install the parts I bring them. Of course they always say they can't guarantee the parts themselves but only the labor. And they only fix what I tell them to fix--if they find another problem they call me and ask me to OK it first.
Yes, that is the only draw back... if the part fails they would charge for the labor again. Its important to get a good quality part. However, say I needed a water pump I would let them buy the part because the pump is relatively cheap and the labor is high.
 

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Yes, that is the only draw back... if the part fails they would charge for the labor again. Its important to get a good quality part. However, say I needed a water pump I would let them buy the part because the pump is relatively cheap and the labor is high.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that the part your mechanic installs may be guaranteed, but if it fails, only the part is covered, not the labor to replace it.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that the part your mechanic installs may be guaranteed, but if it fails, only the part is covered, not the labor to replace it.
If the shop buys the part it is covered with labor for a certain amount of time maybe 6 months. If I supply the part(which would have its own warranty) and it fails they will charge me for the labor again.
 

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I don't have the ability to do this work myself so one way or another I have to hire somebody. All mechanics seem to have their preferred source for parts so I still have to go with whatever they are saying it costs. I asked this mechanic and naturally he won't let me buy the parts and have him install them.


He's at $450 for the alternator.


For the tensioner assembly he got a price of $392 and says he can now get the part.


water pump $92


I could call around a little but then I get into unknown mechanics whereas this person has always done a good job (I haven't needed a lot of work - just servicing, no actual repairs).


Any suggestions and I'm all ears.
OK this is a nationwide come to your house service. Your total price with a 12 month/12000 miles warranty for :


Price breakdown of your quote

Labor
Alternator Replacement
Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement
Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement
Water Pump Replacement
Labor fees $238.00
Parts included Brand Quality
Accessory Belt Tensioner Assembly Gates(R) New, OEM Quality $160.78
Alternator Ultima(R) New, OEM Quality $247.18
Coolant - 1G Pentosin New, Aftermarket $26.99
Multi Rib Belt - Primary Gates(R) New, OEM Quality $27.58
Water Pump Import Direct Water Pumps New, Aftermarket $64.78
Total cost of parts $527.31
Tax on parts $31.64
TOTAL $796.95

https://www.yourmechanic.com/book/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Starting to wonder if I should give it a shot and replace this all myself.

I have never done anything this involved on a vehicle before. I would have to buy some of the specialized tools and a good car jack. I'm not experienced but I can follow a video and I see the I4 alternator job is much easier than the V6.

Is this a colossal mistake?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Also some might want to try this service. I have not done so but could well be the trend of the future.

https://www.yourmechanic.com/we-come-to-you
That is amazing. Thank you for that. Our local your mechanic has 233 reviews averaging.4.5 stars. The price is about half what my mechanic is asking, at least $500 cheaper. I any have to give this a try.
 

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That is amazing. Thank you for that. Our local your mechanic has 233 reviews averaging.4.5 stars. The price is about half what my mechanic is asking, at least $500 cheaper. I any have to give this a try.
You could also buy the 5 parts from rockauto for 287.00 (labor 238.00) making the total job 525.00... saving 271.00. However, that would void the warranty and if any of the parts failed they would charge you labor to replace the failed part. If you do try the service come back and post your results. Good luck.
 

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i did the replacement 2 days ago. Denso makes the original so I bought a remanufactured denso alternator from rockauto for $138 plus core this week. i was surprised mine failed at around 76k miles. mine is a 4cyl. none of my toyota cars never had an alternator just go bad. i replaced the brushes and it did not work. it took me 3 hours from start to finish to replace the alternator. i took my time. have a good set of metric wrenches, sockets, deep sockets, and a serpentine belt tool and you should be good. i had to use the deep well sockets for the 2 bolts that mount the alternator to the engine. be sure to unhook the battery so you don't short circuit anything
 

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Some really good posts here, thanks guys. That's what these forums are for.

Just wanted to add that the tensioner assembly is fairly expensive even at the best quoted prices. But you'd rarely need the whole assembly since just the bearings in the pulley fail. I didn't look it up but the pulley, often called an idler, should be much less expensive by itself.

To rvshrinker: The most important four words in bionictony's post are, "I took my time." If you do that and don't tighten small bolts too much you'll get the job done, saving lots of $$$, starting your tool box with some good tools, and most important, having the satisfaction that you can do this stuff yourself.
 

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Some really good posts here, thanks guys. That's what these forums are for.

Just wanted to add that the tensioner assembly is fairly expensive even at the best quoted prices. But you'd rarely need the whole assembly since just the bearings in the pulley fail. I didn't look it up but the pulley, often called an idler, should be much less expensive by itself.

To rvshrinker: The most important four words in bionictony's post are, "I took my time." If you do that and don't tighten small bolts too much you'll get the job done, saving lots of $$$, starting your tool box with some good tools, and most important, having the satisfaction that you can do this stuff yourself.
Which ever way he goes its clear he should run from his present mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
report back

used yourmechanic

very convenient!

local guy had great reviews (average 4.5 out of 5 stars) and was personable and professional. Seemed to know what he was doing. Only problem is the water pump wasn't included in his supply pack so he had to spend 90 min to go back to the store to get it.

Otherwise the convenience cannot be beat. I just left my car in my garage. He comes and fixes the car. I went and did errands off and on til he was done. Didn't need a ride to or from the shop.

Total price under $800 as promised. Lowest quote from an independent shop was $1200 and the other 2 were $1300-$1400.

Assuming the work holds up, I'm very happy with the service. Thanks for the tip!
 
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