Well, here is my two cents. I just went thru this, and considered the Alternator route. I had no alternator bearing noise, and in my case, under high acceleration on the freeway, periodically, my dash battery light would go out, telling me the system was partially charging under these conditions. I have the Valeo alt and I removed the regulator while the alternator was in the car. I found a lot of carbon dust, and extremely low brushes. I cleaned the regulator out, got some brushes and installed them. then I cleaned the contact area for the brushes and reinstalled the regulator. It takes about 10 minutes to get the regulator out and it hardly cost anything. The car is up and running and Mom is happy. good luckBump, any ideas?