Question: My car needed a new alternator recently, and the service advisor at your auto repair shop in Wausau (Weston) suggested installing a remanufactured unit. Will a rebuilt alternator last as long as a new one?
Answer: Yes, your service advisor was correct, and there are a lot of financial and environmental reasons for choosing rebuilt parts! According to the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Assocation (APRA), a properly "rebuilt" automotive part is the functional equivalent of a new part and is virtually indistinguishable from a new part. A whole host of rebuilt auto parts are available, including alternators, distributors, fuel pumps, water pumps, A/C compressors, starter motors, radiators and suspension and transmission components.
When a part goes through the remanufacturing process, the part must be completely disassembled, cleaned and examined for wear and breakage. Worn out, missing or non-functioning components are replaced with new or rebuilt components. Electrical parts frequently need rewinding or rewiring. After all work is done, the part is reassembled and tested for compliance with performance specifications.
Remanufactured engine parts can cost 25-50 percent less than domestically made new replacement parts, and often carry the same warranty or better, according to APRA.
In addition to saving you money, rebuilt and remanufactured offer other benefits:
- Energy conservation: Automotive and truck parts are kept out of the resmelting process longer because of remanufacturing. As a result, millions of barrels of oil or comparable forms of energy are saved.
- Raw material conservation: Remanufacturing gives a product numerous lives instead of just one, thereby saving on raw materials. Rebuilders annually save millions of tons of natural resources such as iron, aluminum, copper, etc.
- Landfill space conservation: Landfills are spared from the dumping of of millions of tons of iron, aluminum, copper, etc., because of the monetary value the industry places on parts. This "core charge" ensures parts are returned to be rebuilt.
- Air pollution reduction: Once again, keeping parts out of the resmelting process benefits the environment by reducing the air pollution that is generated by resmelting.