Which alternator to buy?

About a week ago the alternator in our 2006 Toyota Rav4 died. Our Rav4 is a 4-cyclinder 2.4 L engine and thank goodness because the V6 Rav4 requires removing the radiator and hoses to replace the alternator!

So, I started my search for a remanufactured alternator. Online I searched at AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts and NAPA Auto Parts, since these are the stores local to me.

For local in-stock remanufactured alternators (100 Amp, 7 groove serpentine belt) AutoZone had Duralast (part no. 11201), Advance Auto offered CARQUEST (part no. 11201A), O’Reilly carried Ultima Import (part no. 11201) and NAPA had Power Premium Plus (part no. RAY 2139724). Sadly, the Denso remanufactured original equipment (OE) alternators were not in stock at Advance Auto or NAPA. Also the NAPA Power Premium Plus (RAY 2139725) with a new clutch pulley was not in stock.

Relying on my own “crowdsourcing” of online comments and recommendations from coworkers I went with NAPA’s Power Premium Plus (RAY 2139724). NAPA conveniently has the Warranty PDF and “Features and Benefit PDF” on the product’s web page. In the warranty pdf you’ll find that the alternator is backed by BBB Industries (bbbind.com) headquartered in Alabama.

Interesting to note this number “11201” happens to be the same number for Duralast, CARQUEST and Ultima. Doing a quick Google search of “11201 Alternator” returns results for Amazon where they offer the Quality-Built Alternator
(origin is Mexico) or the BBB Industries Alternator.

When I got home I checked out the NAPA (BBB) alternator. Lo and behold, on the box it says the alternator is “Remanufactured in Mexico” with the code “11201” on the bottom right.

Remanufactured Alternator

It seems to me that these major auto parts chain stores offer the same remanufactured alternator. Revisiting the bbbind.com I do find at the bottom of the “About” page that operations were moved to Reynosa, Mexico.

Oh well, so much for finding a remanufactured alternator that stands out from the competition!



Research Nugget: cross-reference part numbers, manufacturer ids, model numbers, stock codes, etc.