Warranty Claims: How can dealer tell what oil was used?

Messages
97
Location
NYC
Hey guys- I see a lot of people recommending the use of a specific weight oil because it's "manufactured approved" and you will "void your warranty" if you use something else. Say you spin a bearing and you go in for a warranty claim. How in blazes would a dealer EVER be able to tell that an incorrect weight was used? The oil is going to be full of metal and other junk and would probably be useless under analysis. What am I missing? -Mike P
 
Messages
79
Location
Mi
However, there is always a way around everything. You could dump some old oil you drained lets say 2,000 on it and save it. Somthing goes wrong, drain and refill with older oil. THey would never know. ANd besides, dealers will do most anything to get the warrenty to pay. In fact, I had a Air comparessor go in my truck, the warrenty comp wanted to know if the dealer took apart to see if shavings or somthing was in there, indicating that I overfilled unit. Well, he put the phone on the counter for 30 sec's, talked to me got back on the phone and said, yep, looks defective ,just so they would cover it.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,990
Location
Oakville, Ontario
What if the oil you used thinned out in use though? For example, say my wife's Honda blew up right now, and they sent in the 5w30 Royal Purple for analysis and found it to be 5w20. Since her 2000 Civic calls for 5w30, they could theoretically deny the warranty claim. Scary!
 
Messages
47,716
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Thinning or thickening one grade could NOT be cause for warranty rejection!! API even allows this. I'm sure the car companies try this and succeed, but it wouldn't happen if you hang at BiTOG. I'm sure if the automaker spent the money they could find out what oil you used. Unless you used an SA or SB (or other trash) oil they would hard pressed to say it's the oil alone.....Now if you didn't do the maintenance, that's a whole new story.
 
Messages
372
Location
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
quote:
Originally posted by dagmando: At BMW we asked for receipts of oil changes to verify if a regular scheduled maintenance was complete. On the receipt it shows the oil weight or a part # that we will call the shop an ask what type of oil it is. You are right when you say you could just give them someone elses receipt. Considering that an engine failure is usually unexpected, it is pretty hard to come up with fake receipts within a day that can match the mileage or YOUR car close enough not to cause a red flag to go up. Assuming you use the wrong type of oil, could you come up with the last 30K miles or so of oil change receipts from another car or fake store receipts for the CORRECT oil and filter part# tomorrow if I asked to see them? 99% of the people will say no. Also remember it is up to the manufacture to determine whether you have enough proof of regular oil changes. This is why I would recommend buying your oil and filter at the time you are going to change the oil and write the car and mileage of the change. This shows a clear record of the date that match up with current mileage. BMW would require us to put some effort into this verfication process before we do a $5000 rebuild or $12,000 replacement in the V12's under warranty.
Good grief. Do they radio-carbon date the ink to assure it was written on the same day that the receipt is dated? I keep a spreadsheet file of all my maintenance, which is more detailed than any owner's manual maintenance schedule. I bet that wouldn't be good enough for the dealer if warranty work needed to be done.
 
Messages
233
Location
Midwest
I keep a spreadsheet file of all my maintenance, which is more detailed than any owner's manual maintenance schedule. I bet that wouldn't be good enough for the dealer if warranty work needed to be done. [/QB][/QUOTE] Absolutely NOT! You show up with a spreadsheet with no receipts, you might as well turn around and go home if we are about to replace an engine with 60K and a spun bearing. You could have thrown that together in 10 minutes after asked for receipts. Let me clarify one thing also, you do not have to have EVERY receipt but a CLEAR record of regular oil changes/maintenance with MOST receipts to back it up. They are not out to get you but just to make sure they are fixing something that is THEIR fault and caused not by someone that buys a car and does no maintenance and expects the car company to pay for their neglect. This is why I always reply to post when "experts" on this forum say "go ahead and use a 10w-30 in your brand new Honda instead of the 5W-20 recommended by Honda." They are right, it probably will not hurt the engine at all, but they do not have to fight the dealer when told they used the wrong oil. Another subject that I always read is people recommending putting that Auto-RX or Nuetra crap in your car. It does not belong in there! The only thing that belongs in the oil pan is OIL. [ June 20, 2003, 02:04 PM: Message edited by: dagmando ]
 

Al

Messages
19,206
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Just to continue on Pablo's point (which I totally agree with). Does anyone here think a 40 or even a 50 wt would allow a bearing that calls for 30 wt oil to spin ?? I certainly don't. We are talking ranges from 14.3 to 80 cSt. (0W-40)and 10.3 to 56 cSt (0W-30)-These are at 100 C and 40 C. Once we are even at 70 degrees Fahrenheight we are well above 100 cSt. for both these oils. So if the bearing is gonna spin is it gonna' be at operating temperature for a 40 wt?? Answer : No!!!
 
Messages
40,440
Location
Great Lakes
Since even my Audi dealer does not use the correct viscosity oil recommended in my owner's manual (0w-30) during the free maintenance intervals (first 50K miles), they can't possibly deny my warranty beacause I don't use this particular viscosity either.
 
Messages
2,007
Location
North Carolina
Does anyone know of an oil related problem that was cause for a total engine change? I'm saying that all the regular scheduled maintanance was done but the cause was from the oil itself. I'm just curious. In my short life time I have not heard of any that was caused by the oil alone. If so it would be interesting to see how it was handled.
 
Messages
246
Location
Atlanta, GA
quote:
Does anyone know of an oil related problem that was cause for a total engine change? I'm saying that all the regular scheduled maintanance was done but the cause was from the oil itself.
Who can tell. Look at the case with Toyota oil sludging (geling) before they changed their policy. It became a 3 way blame game between poor user maintenance, sub-quality oil from fast change places, and engine design problems. Toyota for a long time held to the claim that the existance of sludge was proof in itself that the oil wasn't changed properly. When customers had receipts , the quality of oil from the fast lube places was blamed. Actually they still stick to this claim, but will now replace engines strickly out of a good faith gesture. It seems whenever there is an oil related failure, whether by cause or effect getting the auto manufacturer or the oil manufacturer to pay is a major major pain. It's best to try and avoid using anyone's warranty if possible.
 
Messages
4,635
Location
The Garden State
Al, Unless you use some really "different" spec oil, like 20W-50 in MN in the winter when 5W-30 is called for, I don't think your causing any problems to the engine. The problem is the manufacture states preferred or required oil specs. and since they are the one's warranting you take a chance on running other than their spec'd oil. This does not say they are right. If you use 10W-30 instead of 5W-30 and while under warranty you have upper valve train wear and noise and need warranty work they could possibly give you a "difficult" time about it. Heck, when my 2L Ford Zetec engine was new I was using 5W-50 Syntec instead of 5W-30 oils. No harm was done except for gas mileage and power. I'm now using Mobil 1 5W-30 [Big Grin] . Of course I must say that when dealing with Ford and their 5W-20 oil req. be afraid, very afraid if you need engine warranty work and weren't using their spec'd oil. Part of their cost savings plan, deny any warranty work they can! Whimsey
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
"When customers had receipts , the quality of oil from the fast lube places was blamed." Most of those places claim to be using Quaker State or Pennzoil. Maybe there are better oils, but I thought they were OK, well maybe some doubt aabout Quaker State.
 
Messages
233
Location
Midwest
At BMW we asked for receipts of oil changes to verify if a regular scheduled maintenance was complete. On the receipt it shows the oil weight or a part # that we will call the shop an ask what type of oil it is. You are right when you say you could just give them someone elses receipt. Considering that an engine failure is usually unexpected, it is pretty hard to come up with fake receipts within a day that can match the mileage or YOUR car close enough not to cause a red flag to go up. Assuming you use the wrong type of oil, could you come up with the last 30K miles or so of oil change receipts from another car or fake store receipts for the CORRECT oil and filter part# tomorrow if I asked to see them? 99% of the people will say no. Also remember it is up to the manufacture to determine whether you have enough proof of regular oil changes. This is why I would recommend buying your oil and filter at the time you are going to change the oil and write the car and mileage of the change. This shows a clear record of the date that match up with current mileage. BMW would require us to put some effort into this verfication process before we do a $5000 rebuild or $12,000 replacement in the V12's under warranty.
 
Messages
372
Location
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
quote:
Originally posted by labman: "When customers had receipts , the quality of oil from the fast lube places was blamed." Most of those places claim to be using Quaker State or Pennzoil. Maybe there are better oils, but I thought they were OK, well maybe some doubt aabout Quaker State.
I just had this image of following the oil dispensing hose into the back of the quickie lube and seeing it hooked up to a barrel of Karo's Syrup.
 
Messages
1,992
Location
Windsor,Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by timzak:
quote:
Originally posted by labman: "When customers had receipts , the quality of oil from the fast lube places was blamed." Most of those places claim to be using Quaker State or Pennzoil. Maybe there are better oils, but I thought they were OK, well maybe some doubt aabout Quaker State.
I just had this image of following the oil dispensing hose into the back of the quickie lube and seeing it hooked up to a barrel of Karo's Syrup.

At the local Chrysler dealership here in town a "Lubco" truck is filling the bulk oil tank for oil change customers...what is Lubco...I don't know...but I'll put money on it that it's recycled oil...somebody has to use recycled oil [freaknout]
 
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