Depends on the shop's hourly labor rate, the engine size and options, and whether they install a new, used, or rebuilt generator.
Most shops use a "flat rate guide" that spells out exactly how many hours it should take for a procedure and it takes into account those things I mentioned. That way every shop can provide a fair estimate without having to do the work first to find out how long it took them. If they have a lot of experience or have invested in expensive tools and training, they will get the job done faster than the flat rate time, so in effect, they earned more dollars per hour. You still pay the same amount. If they run into trouble, such as rusty or stripped bolts, and it takes them longer than flat rate, you still pay the same and they earn fewer dollars per hour. The checks and balances is if they rush to get done quicker so they can do more jobs per day, and they mess something up, you don't pay for them to correct their mistakes and the mechanic doesn't get paid again. He works for free to fix his goofs.
You might expect a total bill of around $200.00 to $300.00 for a domestic car, more for smaller cars where the generator is hard to reach. The exception is for Chrysler products. Usually a ten dollar part wears out that can be replaced without removing the alternator from the engine. Imports will be higher both for parts and for labor. If you think your estimate is high, get a second opinion.
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 AT 5:28 PM