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Car Tech Talk

Double Check Your Factory Warranty By Walter Ford Some auto repair shops will perform work on cars that are still under factory warranty, but you should proceed with caution. Why? We recently had a customer come in who had some timing chain work done for around $2,700. She became a customer of ours after she became suspicious of the previous shop she had been going to. One day, I had mentioned that there were some things that were recalls that we may want to do, now that we started taking care of her car. When I mentioned the timing chain, she said just had that done by another shop and she paid $2,700 for it. Come to find out, this was covered under her warranty! The shop owner who ran a specialty repair shop SHOULD have known about it. Here’s a good rule of thumb when you’re wondering about your warranty coverage. If you have a car that’s less than 7 years of age, it doesn’t hurt to call the manufacturer to see if any proposed repair is covered under your warranty. Most people don’t know that some components of an engine or a car actually carry, by federal mandate, a warranty much longer than what the manufacturer’s normal factory warranty is. Major emissions components carry an 8 year 80,000 mile warranty. So, they may see that they have a problem with a certain component of a car and end up covering it under warranty. If you have any questions or doubts, don’t be afraid to ask!

12 GO FOR IT April 2014

But don’t just limit this question to your repair shop. Get a second opinion. We make it a priority to know about these things as much as possible. For example, if we have a car that comes in that was built in 2008 that has 70,000 something miles on it and it needs major engine work, I’m going to go back to the manufacturer and say, “Hey, this is a little out of the ordinary, is this something you will cover?” If that doesn’t work, a quick web search will turn up the truth. We’ve also had people come to us and say, “I need to replace this timing chain and I heard it was covered under warranty.” From there, we can council them on what to do. I don’t think most people know that there could be things that are covered under a service bulletin that go beyond the standard warranty, especially if it’s a defect in the car’s design. If a component in your car breaks, like the door handle, if it is still under warranty, the manufacturer will have to fix it. If it is out of warranty, they’re not going to fix it. But, if they find that a whole bunch of them are breaking, and they’re all breaking the same way, it may become clear to them that there’s a defect in the design and they will sell an updated component. This actually happened with the Mini Cooper power steering pumps. When you replace a Mini Cooper pump, you get the updated design.

Goforit april14  
Goforit april14  

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