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Should Warranty Cover This ? (Story)

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Restrorob, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    This is my worst 'dumbest' find of the season, I thought I'd share.....

    A older lady owns this machine, Had her brother bring it in (on my day off) because the battery had went dead. He charged the battery before dropping off;


    When I pulled the work order it said "Check charging system warranty ?"

    I grabbed my multimeter and headed out where it was sitting and raised the hood;


    My first thought..... This thing is over 2 yrs old, A quick look at the code number proved it was 3 yrs old. I then checked the oil level (this is done on EVERY engine before crank-up) and found it black and just below the add mark, It would be fine for the 20-30 second run I needed to check the charging system output.

    I cranked it up and got a rude awakening, Couldn't get it shut down quick enough. You could hear the valves/counter balance assembly and rod rattling like crazy !

    I immediately popped open the air filter cover;


    This is what I found;




    Hey..... He gets a "E" for effort leaving the pre-cleaner in right ?!?!?

    Boss calls the lady and try's to explain the engine is shot and warranty will not cover it, She calls her brother then he calls the boss. Boss finds out brother is the one doing "maintenance" on this thing and says they have a extended warranty, Again boss try's to explain no warranty (we've dealt with extended warranty companies in the past).

    Here's the fun part !

    Boss gets a call from this warranty company, They cop a attitude with him and tell him to look the machine over and estimate the cost to repair. Said THEY decide if it's covered or not..... Hey, It's their dime right.....

    Boss told me of this so I went out and cranked it back up, Revved it up (while standing behind the machine) and did my test to find the charging system working fine. I think the lady left the key on and the fuel solenoid ran the battery down.

    Turned the work order in for a new engine and set of blades, It came to roughly $1250.00, We're waiting to hear if this warranty company is STUPID enough to put $1250.00 in a $878.00 Wally World junker the customer tore up themselves...... :hammerhead:

    Oh..... My estimate fee on this one is 1 hr, Just because I can..... payup

    Moral of the story; You CAN clean a air filter TOO good ! :laugh:
  2. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    Did you note about the cause of the blow motor or just left it up to them to ask.
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,165

    If I were the warrenty company then no it wouldn't be covered. If I'm the repair shop then I would hope that it's covered to get the business. Everything said and done the owner is an idiot for not having an air cleaner in it or changing the oil. If not covered they will junk this machine then buy a new one next spring, maybe get some lawn-boy off of CL to come hack down their jungle yard this fall.
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    The whole back of each work order is a comment page, ALL conditions found are noted for future reference.

    Customers are called to be given explanation of issues/conditions found and estimated cost of repair.

    When a customer claims something is warranty but is a result of their own stupidity, I immediately SHOW the Boss/Owner my findings and he deals with the customer personally.

    Boss EXPLAINED to three people, It fell on deaf ears.....

    Sorry, I don't hope people get away with their own stupidity just so I can make a buck, With a average 3 week back-log, I can afford to loose a couple here and there......
  5. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    It shouldn't be covered no matter what.

    That being said they bought this from a big box store which sells plenty of these warranties that end up never being used. The warranty company knowing the customer will make a big stink and most likely go to the store to complain may cover it under a good will gesture if their claims rate is as low as I think it is.
  6. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,335

    Its a conspiracy...BillyBob and his sister DaisyMae are ganging up on you....One of their kin" must have Come across one of your salutory posts about the local folks. I guess the JoeBob's are getting computers too.

    Seriously....You did the right thing by taking pictures and documenting the lack of competant maintenance.
    Copy a few pics out of the Briggs or Kohler failure analysis books and put them along with the pics of the mower, and send them to the Warranty company. The warranty will probably be denied unless BillyBob's cousin-in-law is pushing the papers.

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