Alternator trouble

Sir,

Have component manufacturers really made any progress in making cars more reliable and easy to maintain ? Years ago one's car was fitted with a dynamo which did its job satisfactorily, and with little maintenance and a few replacement brushes, would give trouble-free service for the car's life.

Now we have alternators, which in my experience break down regularly and must be replaced as a unit.

I run a Scimitar GTE, a most enjoyable but far from trouble-free car. After 27,000 miles and two years running, the Lucas alternator failed and had to be replaced at a cost of £20.02 including labour and VAT. Now 18 months and some 20,000 miles later, the replacement alternator failed and had to be replaced at a cost of £29.00 including VAT (inflation!). I took the matter up with the Technical Sales Dept. of Joseph Lucas and their reply, whilst very polite and sympathetic, disclaimed responsibility, on the grounds that their components only carry a 12-month guarantee.

Bad luck for me—or fortunate for Joseph Lucas—"progress" from dynamos to alternators must enhance their turnover and profits.

Leicester P. H. SIMON