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Old 6th March 2011, 14:41   #1
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Default TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Remember how you used to have problems which were never solved during the free services? And how the problem became a serious fault to the workshop(!) after the warranty expired?

Here's how I sorted out one such problem, after facing the same situation on several previous occasions. My brakes were not releasing, and sometimes I had to stop on the road and actuate the brake several times before I could drive away. It would hold even when I was on a slope, without actuation. But the problem was intermittent and could not be repeated at the Company Workshop.


These visits to the Company Workshop turned out to be fruit less, in spite of me suggesting solutions for the problem and paying for the work which were done during mid service visits (I was getting terrible FE). We stripped all the brakes and checked all the parts for free movement. Changed brake fluid and brake cylinder seals. Finally the only remaining component to be checked was the master cylinder, a non serviceable part, and could only be replaced (5k!). Since I could not repeat the problem in front of the Technician, this solution was not entertained by Workshop, as warranty issues were involved. A warranty item replaced without justification can cause the cost to be charged to that Workshop.

I solved the problem by visiting a different Workshop from my usual one. I told the Technician my master cylinder was damaged and I wanted to change it. I informed him the vehicle was out of warranty. He gave me an estimate for the work. I then informed him I wanted to claim it under extended(!) warranty.

Bingo!

The work was done and now the vehicle is running like a dream! Urrgh, imagine running 35k kilometres with a stuck master cylinder. Thank goodness it was an intermittent condition.

Of course there is a problem with my solution. No prizes for guessing what it is.

Last edited by GTO : 7th March 2011 at 17:08. Reason: Putting important part in bold
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Old 6th March 2011, 17:44   #2
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

One thing that I haven't been able to understand that if you have a stuck master cylinder, brakes will remain jammed. So it will show.

I have gotten many parts changed under warranty including having had problems with stuck brake. So I'm quite surprised that the ASC couldn't figure out the problem.

BTW was the other workshop also an ASC I would presume.

Also please let us know which vehicle we are talking over here.
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Old 6th March 2011, 18:03   #3
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Hi MileCruncher, the vehicle is a Versa. Nowadays the mastercylinder is a vacuum boost unit, so the fault could be at several different points, and can be triggered by different sets of circumstances. My problem was that I could not even compare my unit with other Versas, as the vehicle is as rare as hen's teeth. The last visit, I showed the Tech my brake pedal had no free play, compared with the now numerous Eecos coming in to the service bay, which had significant amount of freeplay. Difficult convincing the Techs about the norm, when there is no benchmark. Let's not even get into the level of technical competency found in ASCs today.

The first sign of problems is a ringing sound from the brakes, as the pads start floating and scraping. I have passed several Marutis with this ringing sound, so this might help those of you with this problem.
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Old 7th March 2011, 17:10   #4
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton View Post
I solved the problem by visiting a different Workshop from my usual one. I told the Technician my master cylinder was damaged and I wanted to change it. I informed him the vehicle was out of warranty. He gave me an estimate for the work. I then informed him I wanted to claim it under extended(!) warranty.
Brilliant, simply brilliant. Thanks for sharing this tip, Proton.

I guess it's most relevant to "extended warranty" than the regular 2 year coverage. Reason : For a car less than 2 years old, they would know you have to have standard warranty.
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Old 7th March 2011, 17:30   #5
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton View Post
Remember how you used to have problems which were never solved during the free services? And how the problem became a serious fault to the workshop(!) after the warranty expired?


These visits to the Company Workshop turned out to be fruit less. Finally the only remaining component to be checked was the master cylinder, a non serviceable part, and could only be replaced (5k!). Since I could not repeat the problem in front of the Technician, this solution was not entertained by Workshop, as warranty issues were involved. A warranty item replaced without justification can cause the cost to be charged to that Workshop.

I solved the problem by visiting a different Workshop from my usual one. I told the Technician my master cylinder was damaged and I wanted to change it. I informed him the vehicle was out of warranty. He gave me an estimate for the work. I then informed him I wanted to claim it under extended(!) warranty.

Bingo!

Of course there is a problem with my solution.
Call me dim witted. But I cannot understand the scene here.
In second workshop how did he allow the work to be done? What was the justification he gave? Just that he gave a cost estimate is a proof that something is proved to be wrong with the car? And he gave estimate in writing or was it just oral?

And finally, What is the problem with your solution?
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Old 7th March 2011, 18:15   #6
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

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Originally Posted by download2live View Post
Call me dim witted. But I cannot understand the scene here.
In second workshop how did he allow the work to be done? What was the justification he gave? Just that he gave a cost estimate is a proof that something is proved to be wrong with the car? And he gave estimate in writing or was it just oral?

And finally, What is the problem with your solution?
What OP has demonstrated is smart play of words, coupled with the fact that his regular ASC already knew about the problem but intentionally chose to ignore the problem to avoid replacing the part under warranty.
He went to another ASC, told them about the problem, adding that the vehicle is out of 'standard' warranty. After they correctly diagnosed the issue, OP cleverly revealed that the vehicle has 'extended' warranty - and got the job done!

Last edited by Puneet.S : 7th March 2011 at 18:22.
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Old 7th March 2011, 18:29   #7
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Why wouldn't an ASC want to replace master cylinder? Is it that they are bearing the cost ? Don't they charge service fee to Hyundai for replacing a faulty cylinder ? I am new to these retail business related things. How does it work ?
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Old 7th March 2011, 22:33   #8
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

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Originally Posted by snorting bull View Post
Why wouldn't an ASC want to replace master cylinder? Is it that they are bearing the cost ? Don't they charge service fee to Hyundai for replacing a faulty cylinder ? I am new to these retail business related things. How does it work ?
Boss, the scenario was described. Parts become critically unusable when the warranty expires. This is not a coincidence. I can list out all the experiences I have had, and bad mouth a bunch of companies, some of them Fortune 500.

IOW, the intention is to patch up a part during the warranty period, and then diagnose them as terminal when the part change becomes chargeable. Of course if you could prove the part was reported faulty for 5 consecutive services, this could expose them to suit. That's why they never log your complaints.

This has a bad affect on car buying patterns. People began avoiding Fiat and Alfa Romeo when they charged astronomical sums for their spare parts, for cars which had cheap initial outlays. That's the Gillette principle: sell the razor cheap (heck, give it way free!), gouge the consumer for the cartridges.

Next, people began to take less risks. Why plonk down big bucks for a new and high end vehicles, when you could reduce your exposure by buying cheap cars with proven track records or were expendable. (I only buy throw away razors now). Car makers began to see where their sharp practices were turning around and biting them in the rear end. They began to offer total maintenance packages. And they would give you the next higher model car as a loaner if your car broke down, until your car was fixed. New technology is reducing service intervals. A few firms are offering life sealed engines and gearboxes.

Unfortunately, that situation is not yet here. I've taken a TMP for my Chevy Beat, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Until the scene matures, you have work around the system.

I reported the fault (they were holding out for 5k, but my fuel bill losses were exceeding that!), I dangled a few carrots of making spends for accessories, tuning, I tip the mechanic (heck I tipped the Service Booking Assistant a hundred bucks!), and when the fault was not fixed I complained and informed my intention to change ASC (and did, 4 times!) The last trip to the ASC, I flushed the engine, switched to synthetic (great investment!), paid for brake oil change before the recommended period (twice!), but stopped short of picking up the K&N filter (its a Versa, mon!). But no cigar! Engine smooth, but vehicle falters between gear changes. Grrrr!

The two main problems with my last resort at fixing the problem was you need to have the extended warranty, and you need to have the technological chops to figure out the problem without the Shop Manual. The scraping sound from the pads was a goose chase. They were symptoms, not the root cause. A single binding disc cannot cause the master cylinder to have a reduced free play (engage the handbrake: the mastercylinder play remains the same). But I did not have the specs to know what is the recommended free play. The other problem (if you decide to bear all the costs of the fix) is that you can open a big can of worms. The toe bone is connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, which is connected to the knee bone, etc. The bill can mount up. Even the initial estimate is still just an estimate.

You don't know how much sleep I lost over the issue, and over figuring out a way to resolve the problem! Ah! Finally! Bliss!

Last edited by proton : 7th March 2011 at 22:37. Reason: fixed spelling
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Old 7th March 2011, 23:08   #9
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Get an estimate, have the job approved, THEN spring the surprise of an extended warranty. Terrific idea, should work well for those with a vocal volume issue. Even in a car that's just less than 2 years old, one can pretend not to remember the date of purchase!

Some would prefer to yell their lungs out at the original ASC if the job wasn't done properly.
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Old 8th March 2011, 03:57   #10
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

All is well that ends well.
I never knew Maruti too had unfriendly ASCs until I read this post.
You used your intelligence and skill quite well.
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Old 8th March 2011, 07:37   #11
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Question Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Two questions puzzling me:

1) Why did the original ASC not replace the master cylinder and confirm that the problema was resolved, this would be the justification for the replacement. Also the fact the you had extended warranty the replacment would be but justified.
2) How did the second ASC agree to the simple fact that you said that there was a problem with the master cylinder when the cost of replacment would be still the same.

If the first ASC had deliberatley avoided the issue, then why was it not brought to the notice of Maruti. I do agree that sometime simple change of wiord do work wonders with the workshops but this extent, I never imagined. Anyways thanks for sharing the tip, will keep it in mind.
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Old 8th March 2011, 11:31   #12
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Not sure if this trick works for all cars. Not for Hondas definitely. The computers are networked at all Honda showrooms and they will be able to identify if the car is in or out of warranty.
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Old 8th March 2011, 15:42   #13
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

Proton, superb trick, really like the strategy that you abopted. This should go in a refused warranty claims manual.

Especially useful for extended warranty situation. Will keep this in mind for my 3rd and 4th years.
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Old 8th March 2011, 16:05   #14
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

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Not sure if this trick works for all cars. Not for Hondas definitely. The computers are networked at all Honda showrooms and they will be able to identify if the car is in or out of warranty.
Thats exactly my question! Even at ford, its just a click away for the dealer to find out if the car is in warranty/extended warranty!
Or may be they wont check that till the job is done and billed?
So for getting an estimate, it might still work out?
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Old 8th March 2011, 16:28   #15
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Default Re: TIP: How to get your warranty honoured.

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Thats exactly my question! Even at ford, its just a click away for the dealer to find out if the car is in warranty/extended warranty!
Or may be they wont check that till the job is done and billed?
So for getting an estimate, it might still work out?
Its same with Maruti too. I think, this trick will work 90% of the time, Whenever, I have taken my car for service, unless i meet my regular supervisor (who knows about my car history), no one will bother to check the car records. You can tell the problem and they will check it/ advice how to fix it. Catch is on a bad day, they may check the details of your car before they release an estimate.

For instance: For the past 15 days a lady from the service station has been calling me to give the car for service. Last weekend, When i went there to check an uneven tyre wear-out, some random guy showed up (my supervisor was not avialabel) and took the car in, did some alignment and gave back the car. They wouldn't have done any work had they known that I was due for service shortly and they would say, 'Sir, we will fix it during service'.
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