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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a few weeks ago, i posted a prolblem concerning the fact that the instrument cluster on my 03 escape, goes bezerk, with the indicator dials shooting far right, then dropping to zero, then finally leveling off to correct positions. well 4 hundred bucks later (ford diagnostic charges) it turns out to be a bad diode in the alternator, which spikes the voltage, thus causing the prolblem. ford wants 1000 to change the alternator. now i have seen alternators for this car as low as two hundred bucks! is there any special difference in the one that ford uses, or are they just ripping me off? help pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! outside of ford, how much should an alternator, AND labor cost for replacement? and is there any significant difference in the quality, or is ford just charging based on its name?
 

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$1000 sounds really high. Back at the end of 2004, I went on an offroad trip with a bunch of Escapes (see my sig pic). On the way home, several of the Escapes died because their alternators had mud in them. They had them replaced and a few posted the costs. Two just paid warrentee deductables of $50. The guys that had it done at a dealership that wouldn't do it under warrentee paid around $470. One guy was towed to Pep Boys. His final cost was $368. Again, these numbers are from 5 years ago but the cost shouldn't have doubled in that time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for your insight! i am not at all that knowlegeable about prices on car parts and labor, but 1000 bucks seems a bit crazy! i had a nissan maxima back in like 2002, and on that foreign car i paid under 500 bucks for an installed alternator, if i remember correctly. anyway i think these dealers have different fee structures based on whatever. i dont think they ALL charge the same price for the same issue. (the dealer i went to is in manhattan new york) but in all fairness, i have see posts in this very forum where some guys were charged close to a grand for the same scenerio. so who knows? i will just ask the questions, and wait for those wiser than me to chime in.
 

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Hi, My 03 V6 had an alt replaced and it was around $800. I was a captive audience. I was on a drive coming home from a vacation and it was a sat afternoon. At best, If I could have shopped, it would have saved me a few hundred.
The problem with this is that the Alt is in an unprotected location. -low in the back of the motor. Not only is it susceptible to water damage, getting to it is difficult. I was able to watch as the mechanics had to remove the half shaft from the Pass. side of the front suspension so that they could get to the Alternator and replace it.
http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/d...4.html?apwcid=P1135867996W43b3f85c7ab9e&gan=1

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_replace_the_front_wheel_bearing_on_a_2003_Ford_Escape
 

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first time i did one on an escape it took almost 3hrs. i also wanst under a time crunch so i was not rushing. there are a few bolts that are just plain not nice, and there is way too much stuff that has to be undone just to get that thing out. i got my alternator at a junk yard for 100 bucks with a 1yr warranty. then did the work myself.

next time around it should take be about 1.5hrs not counting beer and smoke brakes.
 

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I had the same exact issue with my instrument panel. After reading this post I assumed that I had the same problem, the alternator. $169+$25 core charge (Advanced Auto) and 3.5 hours later I had a new alternator in. Unfortunately this did not fix the problem. While driving, my dash lights will flicker then all of the guages go berzerk as mentioned above. The other thing I noticed is that with the engine off and key out of the ignition, if I step on the brakes my dash lights and parking lights come on with my brake lights. Now I am thinking I may have a short somewhere which could be a pain to find. Anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Turns out to be a bad battery and a short in a poorly wired aftermarket wiring harness for a trailer that was installed when I had my hitch installed. I would have done the hitch and wiring harness myself but it was included with the purchase of the hitch and Im not gonna turn down free labor. Now I wish I had. I hope this helps.
 

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open your hatch, and look for a plug under where your spare tire is, then a rubber grommet in a body hole, i had to reqire my 04 because the factory installed trailer wireing end coroded. i unplugged it, cut off the conector and soldered a new section of wire on it. took me longer to clean the garbage outta the trunk then it did to replace the wire LoL.
 
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