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Alternator not charging - best new option or reconditioned?


Active Member
Aug 25, 2015
Hi all,

Alternator has gone on my Seat Leon S 16v 2003 model.

Mechanic says he will try to get a reconditioned one for £160 or so instead of new for £300 he says.

Which is the best option and does it have to be OEM VW or will a new Bosch be OK for about £190?




Active Member
Mar 2, 2016
I'd say put a recon on or a new aftermarket if it has a decent warranty. It's not worth paying dealer prices on a car that old

Had the alternator replaced on my 2003 Leon a couple of years ago. Not sure what they put on it but they had the car for a week. Turned out the wire from the alternator was heating up & melted the fuse box. So didnt really need a new alternator, hope your mechanic does a better job than the garage I went to.


Active Member
Jun 4, 2008
South Scotland
I've repaired alternators in the past, if the bearings and sliprings are still okay, repairing it will work okay, either the regulator assembly which included new brushes are the rectifier.
Once, for my daughter's late 2009 Ibiza, as it was only 4 years old at the time, I bought a proper Bosch reconditioned alternator from ECP and returned the old one for credit/body allowance.


Active Member
Nov 19, 2019
Like the other two guys have mentioned you don't need to fit original VAG part, aftermarket or reconditioned are fine for a alternator or starter motor.

Plus there are specialist companies out there who can repair it from £50 to £100, they'll just carry out the repair as needed to your alternator.



Active Member
Mar 22, 2016
My girlfriend's Ibiza 01 had a sudden death at the beginning of a weekend's holiday trip and shut down completely. Alternator was seized. Buyed a pair of brushes, cleaned it well and still sits there giving revigored voltage to the battery. Saved myself a lot of cash.


Active Member
Jul 3, 2008
Chucked an ECP one on mine at 4 years old and it was still fine yesterday when it went to the scrapyard for other reasons 11 years later :mad:


Active Member
Dec 4, 2018
Hemel hempstead
Seat don't make alternators. Nor do they make starter motors injectors headlamps and so on and so on. If you pull your alternator off it more than likely has a seat or vw stamp or moulded in to it. But if you keep looking you will see the manufacturer's name.
Personally I would go for a good named brand rather than a back street rebuild but then again some of the rebuilds can be just as good as new but not as much work has gone in to them so can be a lot cheaper. If you have a search of your local area there will be places that can rebuild.


Active Member
Jun 4, 2008
South Scotland
Mainly the trouble with replacing a genuine VW Group alternator with another non VW Group specific one is, the wiring will probably end up getting butchered - this is what too many people have found, I'd always plan to fit a compatible alternator and would mean that it - fits easily, pulley alignment correct, pulley diameter correct and the wiring fits correctly without needing butchered.
Always do your homework, I saved £45 by buying the correct alternator with the slightly wrong pulley diameter to my older daughter's late 2009 Ibiza, then swopped the pulleys over - that got me a brand new Bosch refurbished alternator, maybe I was lucky that they had thrown some brand new ones into the pool!


Active Member
Aug 14, 2014
Those prices you’ve been quoted seem a bit odd. My alternator had a wobble earlier this year so I bought a brand new Bosch alternator from Carparts4less (with a money off coupon that they send via emails every week) and it was £266 (incl the £107 ‘surcharge’). I sent my old one back and was refunded the surcharge. I fitted it along with a new belt (approx £15) which was very easy. I did have to contact them to arrange the pick up of the old unit though.
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