Last post on Jun 07, 2008 at 4:54 PM
You are in the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis
What is this discussion about?
Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Sedan
Dec 23, 2007 (7:54 pm)
I cannot cite the suit or the source, but it is my impression that there was some kind of class action lawsuit in the last 10 years about that same subject...in other words, is the warranty void if routine maintenance is done by anyone other than the dealer, i.e. Jiffy Lube, Goodyear, Big 10 Tires, etc.
I believe that the decision was for the little guy, that mean US, you and me...as long as the receipt shows that the oil was changed, the right oil was used, and the filter was changed, and it was within the mileage/time requirements of the manufacturer, then it must be accepted by the dealer if warranty work must be done...
In other words, they can't refuse to perform warranty work if your oil was changed somewhere else, or your tires were rotated somewhere else, etc.
But only the dealer can perform warranty work and be held responsible for it...if you take your car down to Brake-O to have new wheel bearings installed because Ford had a recall, the work done by Brake-O is not considered under warranty, and if anything goes wrong, Ford would not be responsible to repair (for free) any work done improperly by Brake-O...
#114 of 152 Re: Warranty [ionosphere1]
Dec 26, 2007 (7:26 pm)
Yes ioonosphere1 I have worked in the industry for more than 35 years, on both the manufacturer's side and the dealership side.
You won't be disappointed in your Norsea Blue Grand Marquis. You should have gotten a receipt for your deposit, anytime you give anyone money, you're entitled to an acknowledgment that they have received it, and what it was for. There's an old saying, "What separates the men from the boys and the ladies from the little girls, is CASH"; they asked for a deposit to cement your commitment to the deal, so I'm surprised that they haven't cashed it. The great thing about cash is, you can always give it back, but you can't always get it. I wouldn't worry about it though, because should they cash it, your cancelled check can always act as your receipt, and you can always add whatever additional down payment you wish.
Marsha7 is correct in that there were legal actions regarding manufacturers tying warranty coverages to a mandate for dealership maintenances. But that was much more than 10 years ago. And her answer is correct. The manufacturers can require a minimum standard of maintenance services be performed for your manufacturers warranties to remain in effect, but they cannot require that those services be performed at the dealership. You can in fact perform those services yourself, as long as you are able to provide receipts that these services were performed, or that you purchased the acceptable SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) approved parts and fluids along with date logs showing when the appropriate services were performed. In the absence of such proof, approval of warranty repairs could be denied. Marsha7 is also correct in that manufacturers will only pay for their dealers to perform warranty repairs, with only very rare exceptions; and will only guarantee the quality of work performed by their dealers. All maintenance requirements, including types of oils, fluids and filters, can be found in the manufacturers maintenance manual that comes with your new car.
Most manufacturers have come to realize that there's a lot of maintenance, wear, and repair work that their dealers are loosing, and have been doing a lot to help lower the cost of those basic services to the owners of their products. They realize that the dealerships have a much higher cost of doing business than the local Jiffy Lube, Super Tune and Big 10 Tire stores. They often sit on the most expensive real estate in town, and usually have factory trained (often unionized) technicians who are paid a lot more (often $25-$35 per hr. or more) + benefits, and they provide expensive specialized tools & computers that many places don't have. It's hard for dealers to offer specialists in all areas and still compete with the Jiffy Lube down the street, who may have recent high school auto shop grads working as lube techs making $8-$9 an hour. So they are encouraging and even subsidizing many of the basic services, to the point where the dealer's prices are very close to those offered by most of these after-market places. It's good for the dealer, the manufacturer, and the customer. The dealer wins because, the customer will often have other services & repairs done there, besides they get into the habit of coming to the dealer for all services and repairs. The manufacturer wins because, if the quality of repairs are better customer satisfaction with the brand rises, besides the more customers visit their dealer, the more they're exposed to the brand and the probability of repeat vehicle purchases increase. And finally the customer wins because, theoretically they're getting higher quality repairs that are hopefully fixed right the 1st time more often, besides other looming concerns that the customer may not know about can often be caught before the problem becomes a problem (like recalls, open technical service bulletins, and other growing service issues). Too often the Jiffy Lube guy doesn't care that your brake pads are only at 15% and may soon cause rotor damage, or the Big 10 Tire guy is not aware of an electrical component recall or a technical service bulletin out on your transmission.
Needless to say, I'm a strong proponent of dealership servicing of your vehicle. The good thing with Ford is that they offer probably the industries best pre-paid maintenance plan available, ESP Premium Maintenance Plan. Plans are available out to 6 years or 100,000 miles. It still baffles me as to why most dealers never even offer it to their customers. They always offer the extended warranties, which can be a good thing as well (just make sure you get the manufacturer's branded warranty, a little more expensive but usually fewer holes in the coverage). But the pre-paid maintenance plans will cover money you're going to spend anyway, and usually your out of pocket expense may be as little as 50%-65% of what you'd spend on a pay as you go basis. The Ford ESP Premium Maintenance Plan besides covering all factory scheduled maintenance, will also cover most wear items (e.g.: Brake Pads & Linings, Wiper Blades, Shocks, Spark Plugs, Engine Belts & Hoses, etc.), additionally it will usually cover all taxes, hazardous waste disposal fees, it's good at any Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealership and it's transferable. Virtually every finance source will gladly add it into the financing. Now that's the best way to keep your maintenance cost down. Typically you can negotiate pricing on your pre-paid maintenance plan just as you can on you car.
Just remember, you are in the driver's seat. If you don't understand what's being told to you by your service advisor, have him or her re-explain it over and over until you do understand it. The only stupid question is the one that goes un-asked. I'd talk to the different service advisors and pick one who's personality is acceptable to you. Service advisors are like salesmen, except they don't sell cars or parts, they sell service and repairs. If you feel uncomfortable about what's being suggested to you, have them explain it to your satisfaction or get a 2nd opinion. Stick with your favorite advisor if you can, even if it means waiting a few extra minutes. They usually have a small commission or bonus component to their pay plan, and will often reward your loyalty by seeking out extra considerations for you when a gray area exists, expediting your repair order, or getting extra services for free (e.g.: loaner cars, discounts, etc.). Besides, they get to know you and your car's history. Often the manufacturer performs customer satisfaction surveys, and those surveys are critical to their ratings, bonuses, and raises. Let them know you will reward their active interest in you and your car with exemplary surveys and loyalty. If all else fails, there's always another Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer who would love your service dollars, even the factory pre-paid ones.
Anyway, hope you had a merry Christmas and here's wishi
Dec 27, 2007 (7:42 am)
Thanks for all the great information. My first choice would be to get everything done at the dealer and avoid any possible problems with warranty work, which hopefully won't be needed in the first place. If they offer some kind of pre-paid discount on stuff like oil changes, I might be interested. For an extended warranty, I think Consumer Reports says they are a bad deal. Actually, they say anything the dealer tries to sell you after the sale is a bad deal for the buyer, otherwise they would have talked about it before the sale as a selling point..
#116 of 152 Re: Good information [ionosphere1]
Dec 27, 2007 (5:10 pm)
You're welcome. If you can find a dealer you like and can build trust in, you'll probably be better off getting all your services and repairs done there. If you don't want to pay a large premium for your services at the dealer, you'll have to do one of two things: 1) Look for manufacturer/dealer discount coupons or price shop for the required services and then negotiate the pricing offered on a per case basis (hard work); or 2) Buy Ford's pre-paid maintenance plan 'ESP Premium Maintenance Plan', it represents your best value in maintenance & wear items coverage. Ford does not pay it's dealers retail prices on warranty or service claims, and they know that product satisfaction is higher when there's a 'gas & go' relationship, so they actually subsidize the plan's price so dealers can make a little money but still offer real customer value. In my experience the total you'd pay would probably equate to as little as 50-60% of what you'd pay over time at dealer retail prices, for the same services, and roughly 70-80% of independent budget shop prices.
Vehicle costs are basically divided into 5 categories; Acquisition, Operating, Maintenance, Wear, and Repair. Acquisition, is the cost of purchasing, cash, payments, interest, etcetera. Operating, is the cost of gas, insurance, registration, etcetera. Maintenance, is the cost of oil changes, filters & flushes, rotations & adjustments, etcetera. Wear, is the cost of replacing things that just wear out, like tires, brakes, shocks, belts & hoses, etcetera. And Repair, is the cost of fixing defects, damage, things that should have worked but didn't, or broke, etcerera. Aquisition is a choice, Operating is a given, Maintenance & Wear are a necessary protective choice, and Repair is a possible reality. Ford's pre-paid maintenance & wear plan is a way of managing and capping a neccessary expense, to avoid future repair issues. Be smart, look into it. last time I checked, Consumers Reports wasn't paying anybody's maintenance or repair bills.
Don't get me wrong, I hold Consumers Reports in very high regard. They are right in that if you have the financial dicipline and wherewithall, extended warranties on any item are usually a waste of money. They are usually heavily laden with profit for the seller. But that's only one perspective. Warranties are like insurance. You're betting the insurance company that something bad is going to happen, and they're betting you that it's not going to happen, and they're giving you odds. All insurance is like this. Every time nothing bad happen, you loose, and you forfeit your bet, your monthly or annual premium. Every time something bad does happen, you win, and the insurance company pays what they bet (the covered loss). Auto insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and so on all work on the same principal as mechanical breakdown insurance, often referred to as extended warranties. If someone took Consumers Reports position as the gospel truth, then no one should buy any insurance of any kind. But there's another perspective. If you cannot afford, or don't want to risk taking the loss, it's better to insure against it. Another way of putting it is, 'It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it'. Warranties are like any other insurance, there are good companies and not so good companies; and within each, there are good policies and bad. There's no one size fits all policy that I know of. It's like anything else. Do you homework, assess your risk tolerance, shop around, and then negotiate. My personal opinion is that the manufacturers warranties are the most expensive, but they are generally the best. They have the most to loose if they piss you off. Keep in mind that Ford's name is on the Ford extended warranties. So if they don't pay a legitimate claim presented to them, or hide behind loop-holes, someone may choose never to buy another Ford product again as a result, as well as bad mouthing them along the way. So rather than have that, most manufacturers charge a little more for their policies, but offer plans that have fewer holes in the coverages, so they won't have as many occasions to need to deny a claim. In fact, they often approve claims that should be denied, for customer satisfaction reasons.
So if you feel uncomfortable about taking on the financial risk of not having the protection, buy an extended warranty. Just don't get cheap. Buy a manufacturers plan, make sure you understand the coverages and choices, pick the plan that best suits you need, negotiate to pay a reasonable profit margin to the dealer, and call it a day. Then hope it is a waste of money. I don't know anyone who wants something to go wrong so they can USE their insurance, especially not their life insurance. And remember opinions are like ass-holes, everybody's got one. Consumers Reports has theirs, and now you have mine as well. Always seek out more than one opinion. Besides, if you don't get a warranty because Consumers Reports say not to, and something goes wrong, try submitting the bill to them and see if they'll pay it for you.
Lastly consider this. The best Ford extended warranty plans should retail for approximately of 4-5% of the car's MSRP (rule of thumb) for a 6 yr./75,000 mile plan, and 7-8% of the MSRP (rule of thumb) for a 7yr./100,000 mile plan. So a 6 yr./75k mi. Ford Premium Care extended warranty on a $30k MSRP Grand Marquis, should retail in the neighborhood of $1200 - $1500, but remember, NEGOTIATE. A pittance compared to the cost of a major repair, like an engine, a transmission, or major electrical malfunction. Keep in mind, almost everything on today's cars are computer controlled. If you're buying a $1000 washing machine, and they're trying to sell you a 3 or 4 year warranty extension for $150 or $200, that's 15-20% of the cost of the purchase. I can afford to take the risk of self insuring in that case.
A lot of the other stuff is not always worth considering. Credit Life & Credit Disability insurance is usually not worth buying from a dealer. Contact somebody like Met Life or Prudential if you want to buy life or disability insurance. Pin stripes and fuzzy dice for the window mirror , amoungst a host of other things, are just a rip. So stay away, 'Just Say No!
#117 of 152 Altho this is not
Dec 27, 2007 (8:02 pm)
a scientific opinion, but the ONE advantage, IMO, to buying credit life or disability from the dealer is if the buyer is virtually uninsurable due to pre-existing health issues, and the quasi group policies from the dealer almost guarantee being issued...
The same with mortgage life insurance...while not the best move financially, if you cannot get cheaper insurance from an independent agent, buying mortgage life from the lender almost guarantees a policy being issued, so that if you die, your surviving spouse at least has a paid off home w/o a mortgage, making the post-death transition a little easier since they do not have to worry about becoming homeless 2 months after someone's death...
#118 of 152 Re: Altho this is not [marsha7]
Dec 27, 2007 (9:48 pm)
It depends on which state the LA&H policies are being sold in. I'm not familiar with the laws in all states, but I am familiar with the laws in about 20 states, as one of my recent job responsibilities for a major 'captive' finance company was in the marketing and training arena. The M&T area I worked most with was F&I, especially since I held state licenses for L&D as well as F&C, along with my NASD registration. In many of the states I'm familiar with, there are still escape clauses for the Insurance companies; and for those that don't allow for underwriting selection, the premiums are so heavily loaded, that all but the most uninsurable would probably reject the purchase offer. Especially if they new exactly what they were buying, and the claims process especially as pertaining to credit disability. I have been out of that loop for a little while, so things may have changed, but I don't think much, if any at all. And then things may be different in your state.
I can't speak to the mortgage industry, other than to say that most product types tend to follow the same trend lines. My guess would be that most people who think they are uninsurable, might find that they in fact are insurable. There are companies out there who make a market in medium, high, and very high risk applicants, and their policies are rated to accommodate the risk. They may find that there is a policy available to them that offers level coverage for a similar or smaller premium, as opposed to declining coverage for that level or increasing premium. I grant you, that those who are truly uninsurable in the open market, may not have much choice. But most people who buy that stuff are not uninsurable, they are just uninformed, misled, or too lazy to shop around.
Anyway, I don't really want to discuss life and disability insurance. I'd rather get back to discussing cars. I just wanted to help my amigo from the upper north-west to make some informed choices. Nuff said on the subject as far I'm concerned.
Now what would you like to see Ford do with the CV/GM/TC trio going forward?
Dec 29, 2007 (4:23 pm)
Why does it take 8-12 weeks to get the car? I wonder how many people, unwilling to wait so long, end up buying a different car instead? Is it due to this being an unpopular model?
Dec 29, 2007 (6:03 pm)
It takes about six weeks to order and actually program the car for manufacture...two more weeks to start up the plant to make your car and your car only...then it takes another six weeks to locate a geezer who can only drive 50 miles per day before needing to stop for the night...assuming you live 1000 miles from the assembly plant, that adds another 4 weeks (5 weekdays x 4 weeks is 20 days; 20 days x 50 miles per geezer day is 1000 miles)...
OK, I made all this up...
#121 of 152 Re: Waiting [ionosphere1]
Jan 03, 2008 (5:46 pm)
Under normal situations it takes between 5-7 weeks from order to arrival for a new vehicle. It used to take 6-9 weeks back in the late 90's to get a car, but Ford has been working to shorten that time frame. A lot of it depends on how quickly the dealer gets the order into the system, whether the dealer has available allocation or not, whether there are commodity holds or not, and sometimes there is higher demand than supply issues (e.g.: Escape/Mariner Hybrids), or production stops.
In the case of the Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria, there are a couple reasons. Normally there are production stops around the Christmas/New Year holidays, as union contracts require much higher wages for Sundays and holiday work (e.g.: Christmas Eve & Christmas, New Year's Eve & New Year's day). So most factories close down for the 2 or 3 weeks around that time, since as many as 6 or 7 of those days would require premium pay anyway, and it allows them to bring in mechanical engineering teams to service and adjust the production machinery. So there goes a few weeks of your wait time anyway. Also, the Wixom (Michigan) plant that produced Town Car was shut down, and Town Car production was moved to St Thomas (Canada) plant where Crown Vic & Grand Marquis is produced. So CV & GM production had to be interrupted while Town Car tooling was put in place. That caused several weeks of delayed production. As I understand it, the plant's full production starts again this coming Monday. So barring some other problem (like the dealer's lack of allocation, which I doubt), you should probably see your car arriving at the dealership within 4-6 weeks or so.
And for your edification, if someone wants and orders a Grand Marquis, they probably wouldn't end up buying a different car. It is nearly impossible to find a new RWD, large car, similar to the Grand Marquis; especially a very loaded car for well under $30k after incentives. For the few who cannot wait, the dealer can always dealer-trade to get a unit similar to what the person wants. On a car like this, in relatively well populated areas, there are usually many dozens of stock units to choose from within a 100 mile radius of a given store. Often a dealer will absorb the cost of transporting the vehicle, to get the sale today rather than in 2 months; besides, that customer that gets the itch, might go looking around elsewhere, and another dealer may end up scratching his itch, and he end up in a similar car sooner. So it amazes me that your dealer didn't at least make an attempt to locate you a Norsea Blue Grand Marquis, and remove you from the market.
Jan 04, 2008 (7:24 am)
If you do an inventory search of dealers around here, you'll see a lack of inventory for Grand Marquis. Most have none. Maybe dealer already knew that so didn't even bother looking.
Another thing I'm wondering about is why the Lincoln Town Car is almost double the price of the Grand Marquis. Aren't they basically the same car? Is the Town Car that much more luxurious to justify the difference?
I also find it odd that as the $5,500 rebate deadline of 1/2/2008 passed, they just advanced the expiration date to 1/8/2008. Strange to just add 6 days, isn't it? I know for awhile last year they had a $7,000 rebate on the Grand Marquis. I'm hoping they increase the rebate before my car is ready so that I'll get a bigger rebate.