1999 Infiniti G20 – ABS and airbag lights come on

Dear Doctor: I have a 1999 Infiniti G20 with 112,000 miles (original owner-always serviced-garaged kept). The last three years I’ve had to install three alternators (rebuilt). My mechanic tells me there is a short somewhere but cannot find it. The ABS and airbag lights come on. Another mechanic said this is because I should put in a “new” alternator, not a rebuilt one. What could be causing this? Is the car worth spending the money to find the problem? The car needs struts, too. Marianne

Dear Marianne: Replacing the alternator with a rebuilt alternator is what most shops do. There are many alternator-rebuilding companies that do not do good work on these alternators and starter motors. Some companies, such as Bosch, have a two-year warranty. You can also find an independent rebuilder in your area to check your alternator and see what went bad. As for the ABS and airbag lights, have the technician check for any fault codes. Struts are not cheap, but are worth the money for ride, safety, and comfort.

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