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#21 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [euphonium]
May 23, 2012 (11:56 am)
If your idealized description of the way things "should" be was correct; shops would already be doing free warranty replacements. Carrying that logic further; the shop should also compensate you for your time and trouble in making a second trip there. But it doesn't work that way; regardless of your theories. Your theory that "the shop should make good without an additional charge to the customer who does not intend to finance the risks of being in business" is simply unrealistic. Happy, realistic car owners understand the risks of business, and expect the shop to charge for additional issues which were unanticipated.
The manufacturer's warranty is clearly spelled out in writing: They will replace the part if it turns out to be defective within the warranty period; but they will not cover the cost of its removal and replacement. The shop did not take ownership of the part when they marked the price up; they simply charged you a service fee for obtaining the part, in addition to charging for their labor to install it.
Paraphrasing what I already wrote; don't take your car to a competitively priced independent shop if you expect your every whim to be catered to and to be treated like a king. Royal treatment costs royal prices.
The only shop that takes ownership of a part they install is a dealership; as they are the agent of the manufacturer. If you want defective parts replaced at no labor charge; have all your work done by a dealership. But if you keep track of the relative costs; you'll find that paying the dealership's grossly inflated prices far exceeds the savings from their free warranty replacement policy. If it is more important to you to be given "freebies" while you pay through the nose; the dealership is the only place to go. There is no free lunch in the real world.
#22 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [zaken1]
May 23, 2012 (11:55 am)
If your idealized description of the way things "should" be was correct; shops would already be doing free warranty replacements. Carrying that logic further; the shop should also compensate you for your time and trouble in maing a second trip there. But it doesn't work that way; regardless of your theories.
I've had mechanics replace defective parts for free in the past. Heck, in one instance I know they had to have lost money on me. I had an '89 Gran Fury that was an ex-police car, and it used a lightweight starter. First time the starter failed, I had them replace it and paid for it. But, the replacement failed soon after. I lost track of how many times the replacements failed, but I think it was FOUR! I remember it having to be towed from my condo twice, once from a restaurant, and once I got lucky and after a few tries it reluctantly fired up.
There was some shaft that kept breaking, and the shop was blaming it on the crappy rebuilds, but unfortunately, they said that was the only thing available for my car. Anyway, they replaced the starter each time, and never charged me beyond the first time.
I always wondered, since it was just a 318, if a full-size, regular, older-style starter could have just been swapped in instead?
I also remember, back in the late 90's, they did some brake work on my grandmother's '85 LeSabre. I forget what the issue was, but something ended up going bad and the back wheels started locking up too easily. So the fixed it, no charge.
I haven't had anything fail twice in a long time though, so I don't know if they still operate this way, or not.
**Edit: I had missed your earlier post about the alternators and starters. Guess my '89 Gran Fury fit that description to a tee!
#23 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [andre1969]
May 23, 2012 (12:04 pm)
Sure; ethical mechanics sometimes do warranty work for free; but this is not a constant, rigid policy. Mechanics are responsive to the situation. If someone walks in dripping with a sense of entitlement; I usually invite them to leave. People like that do not deserve preferential, or even kind, treatment.
There was a wonderful sign in a garage I once visited: Prices will vary; according to the customer's attitude.
Mechanics are PEOPLE. We take risks, and have feelings. If we are disrespected; we respond in kind. It is unfortunate that some members of the public just don't get this.
#24 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [zaken1]
May 23, 2012 (1:46 pm)
As you may be a standard quality of mechanic, stick with your day job and avoid going into the Sales field.
#25 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [euphonium]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 23, 2012 (2:31 pm)
Most shops I know will replace a defective part labor-free, but you know, if it's like a clutch disk 90 days out---that's a tough call, especially on cars like mine, with 12 hours R&R.
#26 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [andre1969]
May 23, 2012 (7:52 pm)
As a historical note; the 318s ever since the 1970s were plagued with starter issues. I had a 1971 Dodge B100 van with a 3 speed manual transmission and 318 motor; which I bought in 1982 with 38,000 original miles on it (it was previously a navy paddy wagon; complete with expanded metal screen to shield the driver from the people in the rear). I kept this van for 28 years and 130,000 additional miles; drove it to Canada and across the U.S several times, and soon got fed up with the repeated starter failures. So I analyzed what really was going on when the starter refused to function; and found that there was a relay between the ignition switch and the starter solenoid, which is called the "starter cut-off relay." This relay was the part that was preventing the starter from functioning. Whenever I replaced it; the starter would magically work again. It would then be fine for a few months; and would again refuse to crank. And a new starter cut-off relay would get it going like new every time. I never had to change the starter.
It turned out that the stock relay was unable to switch the current drawn by the starter solenoid without its contacts burning out. I then replaced that stupid relay with a Filko constant duty 200 amp rated relay; and never had another starting problem for all the remaining years I owned that vehicle.
All 318s had a much lighter weight starter than other brands. It was made of aluminum, and was an offset reduction gear design. The older starters would interchange with the newer ones. I initially went to a much later model starter before I finally figured out the real problem.
#27 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [euphonium]
May 23, 2012 (8:02 pm)
That is excellent advice! I never was a salesman; and have no interest in being one. This forum is for and about Mechanics.
#28 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [zaken1]
May 24, 2012 (5:06 am)
The shop did not take ownership of the part when they marked the price up; they simply charged you a service fee for obtaining the part, in addition to charging for their labor to install it.
I will respectfully disagree. The shop got an invoice and paid for it. Technically they took ownership of the part. I had no part in the choice of part.
As a matter of fact, I'm taking my car back to the indpendent shop to replace a drive axle and boot for the 3rd time that is defective. The manufacturer offers a 3 year warranty on the part and the shop is more than willing to hold up their end of the bargain. He made money on the part and the labor to install and is standing behind his choice of manufacturer.
He's even willing to now go to the OEM part as I long as I pay the upcharge between his part and the OEM. He has now lost faith in that manufacturer and is letting his jobber know.
#29 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [robr2]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 24, 2012 (9:18 am)
Lots of problems with aftermarket axle kits. I'm not surprised to hear this. My buddy who owns an indie Subaru shop won't even use them anymore. Either you buy new OEM, or you let him source a used one from a wreck (which said part he disassembles and inspects, or course); otherwise, no dice, he's not doing it.
Burned too many times.
#30 of 4850 Re: Warranting parts [robr2]
May 24, 2012 (11:35 am)
The problem with this situation is that the parts manufacturers have passed the buck on warranty labor down the line to the mechanics who install the parts. But both mechanics and customers are trapped into buying parts of questionable reliability that they have little knowledge about and did not have a choice in selecting. We thus become pawns in the manufacturers power games.
The fair way this could have been done is for the parts manufacturer to cover the labor costs of replacing failed parts, as well as providing a free replacement part. Sure; this would create a potential nightmare of legal hassles; but even more significantly; it would force manufacturers to take greater responsibility for the reliability of the parts they produce. Right now; manufacturers can gamble that only a certain percentage of the thousands of parts they produce will fail; and their only liability in these failures is to provide a free replacment part. So they come out smelling like a rose. Meanwhile; the mechanics and customers are stuck with the labor costs which result from the manufacturers gambling.
Producing high quality, reliable parts costs more money and requires much greater time to test and evaluate the parts long term reliability. So manufacturers often CHOOSE to cut corners. Since the manufacturers do not bear the greatest liability of failed parts (which often is the labor cost of replacement) there is little downside to their actions.
Some years ago; GM was slapped with the largest class action lawsuit in the history of the automotive industry; for producing a coolant formula (DexCool) which turned out to attack the silicone intake manifold gaskets in the engines they used; and then filled the cooling system with brown, muddy sludge. GM forced owners to use only this coolant; under penalty of voiding warranties.
This caused enough damage that entire engines sometimes had to be replaced. After countless engines were damaged by this coolant, and the lawsuit was filed; GM still never admitted responsibility; but quietly agreed to a "settlement" which had a sliding scale of payments for repairs, that dropped with the age of the vehicle. Many people received less than $100 for their losses. And GM got out of even that responsibility when they declared bankruptcy.
This is an example of what parts manufacturers will do if the responsibility for their policies and quality becomes too expensive.