Engine failure and oil ?

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1,065
Location
MA.
Just wondering if anyone knows .. If you had an engine fail under warranty let's say you threw a rod will the auto company even bother to do an oil analysis to see if the customer is running the correct oil viscosity etc? Or would they just ask for your oil change slips to see if you did indeed change it in the time or millage recommended in the owners manual?
 
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5,425
Location
Ohio
I find it hard to believe any particular modern oil can cause a rod to break. I would believe a manufacturing defect more than anything. The automaker because of policies would likely review maintenance records. Sometimes I believe they are looking for something just as an excuse not to warrant a major repair.
 
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10,902
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted By: Camprunner
Just wondering if anyone knows .. If you had an engine fail under warranty let's say you threw a rod will the auto company even bother to do an oil analysis to see if the customer is running the correct oil viscosity etc? Or would they just ask for your oil change slips to see if you did indeed change it in the time or millage recommended in the owners manual?
They'll likely check both (especially if it's a rod bearing failure & not a physical fracture of the rod). In my experience, throwing a rod happens because of oil starvation, or running high RPMs for an extended period (racing)-usually a rod doesn't just break due to metal fatigue or bolt failure, something caused it to occur.
 
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5,928
Location
Waterloo, ON
I know of one person who sabotaged their engine by putting a product in the oil designed for that purpose. Dealer put in a brand new engine under warranty and no questions were asked.
 
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2,943
Location
Georgia/Retired
If an engine fails under warranty you can bet that it's not an isolated case. Vehicle manufacturers that sell millions of engines have a good idea of what to expect once a product hits the public. If you have the only failed connecting rod in the entire world then you'll probably be asked a few questions. If you're the 100th rod to fail on this production run then engineering is going to start a monitoring archive and collect data to see if a recall is necessary or if the dollars are better spent elsewhere. The manufacturer will pay a visit to the service center to view the failed component, authorize warranty replacement, and request the failed product be returned for engineering evaluation. If the failure is obviously due to neglect or failure to comply with warranty procedures then warranty will be denied due to failure of compliance.
 
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4,638
Location
Massachusetts
Ford replaced the 5.0L in my F150 three thousand miles ago (at 24K). I kept hearing a knocking sound from time to time. I am a small shop owner and every one of my mechanics could hear it too. After three visits (and a persuasive call from my wife to keep it until they could hear it) they finally heard it with the manager and other techs present. The problem: a small batch of 5.0L's were built with oblong cylinders. In my case, it was cylinder 3. They also noted unusual wear in the camshafts too. Obviously, I do my own oil changes in my shop and ran the required spec 5W20 the entire time. I record my personal vehicle maintenance in a numbered log book. I asked if they needed to see it for the warranty repair and they said I was all set. I'm not sure if being a regular customer helped, but not having documented service had the potential to be disastrous. Just to add, if you do have a major warranty repair, just be very nice and work WITH your dealer. I asked and was given a free loaner F150 crew for the entire week. That says a lot about my dealer and Ford, IMO. Vehicle repair is akin to going to the doctor. You build relationships with your patrons and it benefits both. My only problem now is how much cake and cookies my customers bring me for Christmas...LOL
 
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411
Location
Ohio
That's interesting. The 4.6 in the wife's Mountaineer has an intermittent knock. At first I thought it was the engine pinging, but I dosed the tank with a mid grade gas and the noise still persists from time to time.
 
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4,638
Location
Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: jrmason
That's interesting. The 4.6 in the wife's Mountaineer has an intermittent knock. At first I thought it was the engine pinging, but I dosed the tank with a mid grade gas and the noise still persists from time to time.
The 4.6L is actually quite different from the 5.0L Coyote and the batch of cylinder issues is limited to it. The 4.6L in your Merc is, IMO, one of the most reliable engines Ford has ever made, however, there are known issues (or maybe a better word is "complaints") with the cam phasers in the 3V 4.6 and 5.4 engines that could produce a slight knock at idle. Using a quality filter and oil should make your 4.6 last a long time.
 
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989
Location
Iowa
They will check to see if it was serviced regularly, that there is still enough oil in the crankcase and for a modified PCM/ECM. The latter of the three is a big one. If they find signs of a modified PCM/ECM the warranty on the engine is void.
 
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9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: jrmason
That's interesting. The 4.6 in the wife's Mountaineer has an intermittent knock. At first I thought it was the engine pinging, but I dosed the tank with a mid grade gas and the noise still persists from time to time.
2 different animals. The only thing similar between these 2 engines is they are made by ford.
 
Messages
1,142
Location
Pa, USA
Originally Posted By: Zaedock
Just to add, if you do have a major warranty repair, just be very nice and work WITH your dealer. I asked and was given a free loaner F150 crew for the entire week. That says a lot about my dealer and Ford, IMO. Vehicle repair is akin to going to the doctor. You build relationships with your patrons and it benefits both.
This is always an advice most people forget and it can go a long way. At least hold your tongue, till the dealer acts like he's at the end of his road and refuses to help you any more.
Originally Posted By: Zaedock
My only problem now is how much cake and cookies my customers bring me for Christmas...LOL
If I feel you helped me enough that you deserve cake or cookies out of me, that means I am unhappy with my vehicle.
 
Messages
4,638
Location
Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: NH73
If I feel you helped me enough that you deserve cake or cookies out of me, that means I am unhappy with my vehicle.
? Unhappy with the vehicle they drive or the quality of the work? The patrons who drop off goodies do so as a "thank you" for taking care of them with quality work at an economical price. The community my shop is in, is full of hard working middle class people trying to keep their 10-15 year old car going with their weekly pay check. I am not good friends with most of them, but I have a good relationship with all of them.
 
Messages
88
Location
MD, USA
I think its more so along the lines of always having a car in the shop. I'd be unhappy with my car regardless of miles if I had to take it into the shop often. As for the OP question. If your car is within warranty and X problem happens, the only way they can deny the warranty work is if they can prove whatever you did or didn't do caused the damage. For example, if they find that the engine shows signs of low oil, or too high of oil, or if they find signs of really old oil, they could argue that the failure was caused by that. Running the wrong weight oil could also be an issue if they could prove that because of the wrong weight oil, the car threw a rod. Good luck with that... Problem is, dealerships would rather you pay them for a new motor than to get paid the warranty rate by the company that made the car. Subaru guys will know what I'm talking about with STI motors blowing up and some dealerships doing anything they can to deny the work even on cars with less than 10K miles... Some nissan dealerships did the same with the 350Z and the oil burners as with the first year 350Z transmissions which almost all of them had to be replaced. Know your rights and you'll you wont have an issue. Personal story of dealerships trying to get warranty work paid for out of pocket by me. We had a 2007 Civic SI, it had the normal 3rd gear issue which pretty much all SIs of that year had. I called 3 different Honda dealerships and each one said the same thing. We would be more than happy to replace the 3rd gear in your transmission, the job is $2800 when can we schedule the appointment? I then questioned why it wasnt covered under warranty and was told sorry your bumper to bumper warranty is up, rather then give them my warranty work, I figured, [censored], the next Honda dealership will want the job... nope 2nd dealership didn't want it either! finally on the 3rd dealership when they told me it wasn't covered under the bumper to bumper warranty I told the guy to cut the [censored] and explain to me why my transmission WAS NOT covered under the drivetrain warranty which the car was still under, and why they kept saying it was only covered under the bumper to bumper warranty, the guy got defensive and said well sir, we would be more than happy to talk with Honda of American on your behalf to see if they would extend the transmission to be apart of the drive train warranty. I told the guy that's ok, I'll personally call them and ask why it wasn't covered under the drivetrain warranty when the transmission is apart of the drivetrain. Guy replied, sir, i'll order the parts today and will call you when they come in.
 
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Messages
2,502
Location
NJ
Originally Posted By: jeffie7
Problem is, dealerships would rather you pay them for a new motor than to get paid the warranty rate by the company that made the car. Subaru guys will know what I'm talking about with STI motors blowing up and some dealerships doing anything they can to deny the work even on cars with less than 10K miles...
There was a case on nasioc where a dealer initially denied warranty coverage for bearing failure on a low milage, dealer serviced WRX. The dealer kept blaming the owner for failure to check his oil level. SoA eventually agreed to goodwill the warranty coverage. OTOH, I've had warranty coverage on a turbo without needing to provide my oil receipts. My dealer knows how anal I am about oil and they went to badt for me with the district Subaru rep. I've also heard of cases where engines were sent to Subaru of America for inspection. -Dennis
 
Messages
88
Location
MD, USA
It would be vary VARY hard for Subaru to deny warranty work on an engine when it's so well known of failures. It blows my mind that they still try.
 
Messages
6,930
Location
NH
Originally Posted By: Camprunner
Just wondering if anyone knows .. If you had an engine fail under warranty let's say you threw a rod will the auto company even bother to do an oil analysis to see if the customer is running the correct oil viscosity etc? Or would they just ask for your oil change slips to see if you did indeed change it in the time or millage recommended in the owners manual?
If your engine throws a rod, or has some other catastrophic internal failure, will the car mfg check to see if you did proper maintenance before fixing it under warranty? YES! In my experience anyway. Not if you are driving off the lot of course and obviously if you aren't even due for an OC yet but don't think if you are past the 1st scheduled OC they won't check. They will. When an engine fails the 1st thing the mfg looks for is that you took proper care of the engine. If not they use that as an out. I saw the auto mfg check for proper maintenance many times when I worked dealer service. Heck, I was the guy who asked the customer to see receipts when their engine was bad and we didn't have records of maintenance at our dealer or through the dealer network. I have also been on the customer side when my Sister's 06 Impala had to have the engine replaced due to some strange internal issue we couldn't figure out. GM asked the dealer about proper maintenance being done. We actually had all the work done at the dealer so they verified it for GM who then replaced the engine. Had we done the OC's ourselves or elsewhere they wanted proof. Her car had about 8-9,000 miles at the time as I recall and they still wanted proof of 2 OC's with the correct oil and filter used. Most auto mfg's will ask for the proof via receipts. A UOA won't always show proper oil was used. It will to some degree, and they may do one for others reasons in their investigation, but a UOA would not be used solely to deny you. You should always be prepared with receipts however. They will be asked for 99.99% of the time plus it is something you can use in your defense as well. The mfg can say you used the wrong stuff even if not true. If you have the receipts as proof you can counter their claim if it goes to court( and major engine repairs many times go there ). Probably the best answer to your questions is to talk about the member here that had an internal part failure in his Toyota. It was about two years ago +/- with a Toyota that had hard parts fail in the cylinder head. Toyota not only demanded receipts before they would fix it showing he did proper OC's but they required the receipts to verify he used the right oil AND filter and they required a certain # which would cover the time he had the vehicle. As I recall he had to show proof, via receipt, of 7 OC's with the correct oil and filter. Lucklily for him he had the receipts to back up he did proper OC's and also the correct number( think I remember he actually did it more often than required ). Toyota eventually fixed his vehicle. If he had not had those slips though they would not have fixed it under warranty. Not without a court fight at the least. Bottom line is if under warranty use the correct fluids and parts and do all maintenance on time or early. While the law will say the auto mfg must prove such and such fluid or part caused the failure for the mfg to not cover the repair if they are saying you did not follow requirements, the reality is, YOU have to prove it didn't do the harm. The car mfg will take you to court and will fight and they win a lot of the time. Just better to use the right stuff and do the maintenance on time. That way the auto mfg has no way to try and get out of the repair. If you use the wrong fluid or part and/or don't do maintenance when the mfg says it is due you are setting yourself up for problems if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a major failure.
 
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Messages
88
Location
MD, USA
Yup dealerships try to get out of honoring warranty work. It's nomral. Nissan dealerships were doing it for the 350z and the easy fix was go to another dealership and hope they do it. If that didn't work, talking directly to Nissan of America Sometimes did it. In the end for the guys who got no where. Offering up the option to take it to the state commissioner that handles businesses normally got the job done. They know if it goes to court they will lose unless they can prove damaged was caused by failure to use the right oil. Most people use 1 dealership and choose to believe whatever that dealership says and that's it. Again I was told by 3 different dealerships our car wouldn't be covered under warranty. They only offered to do the work when I told the manager to cut the [censored] or I was going to take it to a higher level.
 
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