My dealers view of mods and warranty work - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-10-2004
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Very happy to have talked to the service manager in my town as they were working on my self-inflicted wound vis-a-vis my wheel problem.

They were scratching their heads over they keypad, overhead console and EATC mods -- they have never seen the like. We agreed I've blown the warranty on the heating and air conditioning controls -- especially since they are not the same ones that were installed.

But he had some other interesting answers to my questions:

Q:What about performance enhancing chips?

A:Well, I tell people that if you have one, take it out before you come in with a problem. I don't think the 10 or 15 or whatever horsepower they generally make in an engine is a problem. But if the chips not there, with all but the latest PCM's we can't prove you ever drove with one. [I wonder about newer ones, therefore -- JG] It's just not a problem if it's not in there. We had a customer whose CEL was coming on after long stints of highway driving because of the extra enrichment. Some of the chips push the limits so closely that on some vehicles they go over the limits -- just tolerances. I don't think you need to worry if you get one -- but I'd take it out and drive it and make sure it's not the problem and leave it out if you bring the truck in.

Q: Do those traction bars of mine cause any problem?

A: No, actually I think those are great. They'll probably keep you from having problems. We have no problem with things like that.

Q:What about lifts?

A:If they're done right they're not a problem. I mean, we won't warranty the lift components or anything -- but take your case as an example. If you were to lift this truck and do it right -- and by right I mean paying attention to pinion angle and things like that -- and then your axle went bad, it wouldn't be the lifts fault. In fact, we just honored a claim on a transmission on a lifted vehicle that was done well and there was no way the lift caused a problem. The driveline angles were perfect so we considered it just a transmission failure. I think that was a 4 inch lift but we've honored drivetrain warranties on 6 inch lifts on some larger trucks. If you're not sure if your lift is right, you can bring it to us and for a fee we'll check it for you and let you know if you need to adjust it. I have no problem doing that. Then your warranty is protected.

Basically, he was saying that changes, if done well, don't necessarily void the warranty. It's a good case for checking with the service department where you'll be taking a vehicle for warranty claims and talking to the service manager and maybe paying a few bucks for them to look at your truck afterwards and tell you if they see a potential problem.

I liked this guy.
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Old 11-10-2004
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lift kit

Mine are pretty cool about mods as well. They even ask me about which aftermarket stuff is the best. As long as it doesn't make their jobs harder, they are very tolerant of mods.

If you frequent a dealer's service center that also gives you a lot more leverage when warrenty issues pop up. My lower ball joint cover got torn up (probably from my 30 foot slide off the highway), and the truck was about 1,500 miles past warrenty. The service manager did an warrenty adjustment claim; and my cost to fix was $20. Can't beat that, since it would have been an expensive repair.
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Old 11-10-2004
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Wow, sounds like a cool dealership. My experiences haven't been quite as nice. All too often they seem to be shaking me down to find a reason not to honor my claims. This is a big turnoff for moding as a whole. I'm particularly surprised at the reponse to the lift question! Hang on to that guy's number man!
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Old 11-10-2004
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"your larger tires make the trannsmission die" or something along those lines... it was a p.i.t.a. getting my transmission replaced...
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Old 11-10-2004
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Well, I have 4.10 gears and only 31's -- I don't know how he would have reacted to your setup. It MIGHT have been more reasonable than what you went through though!
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Old 11-10-2004
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The "larger diamater" supposivly, screws up the transmission, just like it screws the speedo, and prob changed ur shift points, which didnt help the computer which tells your tranny when to shift...

I bet nothing would have happened if you got a chip...lol

Tire size correction and speedo correction...

Just my 2 pennies.
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Old 11-10-2004
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Thats great news John. For the most part I think it depends on the service manager and the way one interacts with them.

Thanks for the info. John, but thats how your service manager took it. I don't think Colin's SM would be the so nice.
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Old 11-11-2004
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man i wish my dealer was that cool about mods....."now rember i live in hillsboro it's about as big as a big mall"....the week after i bought it i'v put the tires and all this kinda of stuff on it and the guy who sold it to me saw it at walmart and was saying how it was void...o well lol
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Old 11-11-2004
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Well, he's full of sh**. Remember there is an appeals process to Ford when a dealer denies you. It's a time-waster, but can result in the dealer having to do the work. Maybe you should ignore the salesman and go talk to the service manager BEFORE you need any service and see what you might be up against.
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Old 11-11-2004
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The problem (in my view) is that if you go through the trouble of appealing to Ford and they 'make' a dealer perform service, how well do you think they are going to perform it? If you make a fool of someone, or go over their head like that, they are more likely to drag their feet and/or do a poor job. I think you're better off to just try to find another, more cooperateive dealer in the area. This is a big reason why I drive right past the local dealer and spend 20+ min on the highway to get to the dealer I've been going to.

Unfortunately in this day of flat-rate techs and Ford imposing reduced labor rates on dealers when performing warranty service there really is no way to win. We, the customers, loose out in the end pretty much no matter what. The only 'weapon' we seem to wield these days is the threat of buying our next vehicle somewhere else. That seems to be the driving force behind any cooperation I've gotten out of my service people..
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Old 11-11-2004
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Not necessarily so since the dealer is now "under the microscope" as a result of Ford having to override them. Most dealers don't need their rating with Ford downgraded and as an entity wouldn't want to add to the problem by creating more work and getting more negative attention.

Individuals are another matter. However, the alternative, looking at it your way, is perhaps NO warranty service at all. Hardly seems to be an alternative. I'd rather fight and lose than give up without a fight.
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Old 11-11-2004
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Just offering a perspective. Call it the devil's advocate..
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Old 11-11-2004
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very good information b d
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