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Warranty Issues: Engines    
     
Quick Links:
General Info About Warranties   What to do if you have problems
Things Not Covered  

General Info:

  • You probably have more than one warranty that applies to your equipment. One for the equipment that is given by the equipment manufacturer with a separate warranty on the engine, issued by the manufacturer of the engine.
  • As purchaser, you are obligated to operate and maintain the engine according to the manufacturer's recommendations in order to qualify for warranty consideration.
  • Warranty coverage is given to the original purchaser only unless it is otherwise stated specifically in the warranty. If you purchase a piece of equipment second hand, it is very likely that the original warranty is void. READ THE WARRANTY.
  • You may be required to show proof of purchase in order to qualify for warranty consideration. KEEP THOSE RECEIPTS IN A SAFE PLACE.
  • You can possibly void your warranty by tampering with or modifying the engine, installing non-original parts (if the non-original parts are determined to be the cause of failure or breakage) or by allowing repairs to be made by a non-authorized service business. READ THE WARRANTY.
  • There is normally a difference or possible exclusions in warranty coverage for products used by the consumer and those used commercially. Be sure you know the difference. READ THE WARRANTY.
  • Misuse and/or neglecting normal maintenance are two of the primary reasons for engine failure or breakage, and neither situation is covered by warranty.


Things not covered:

Your warranty probably has a statement to the effect of "...covers defects in materials and workmanship...", and can be interpreted in different ways depending on the party doing the interpreting.

Basically, that means that your warranty will not cover any situation that the manufacturer has no direct control over after the manufacturing process, including shipping damages.

Here are a few things that are NOT usually covered by warranty, regardless of the interpretation:

  • Misuse or Abuse: Any use of the engine or equipment it powers that is considered abnormal, including the modification or misadjustment of engine components and/or breakage due to operator error.
  • Normal Wear: Items that normally wear during regular operation such as spark plug(s) and air filters.
  • Neglect of Maintenance: Insufficient or lack of lubrication.
  • Abnormal abrasive wear caused by dirty oil.
  • Foreign materials in the fuel tank or carburetor. (water,trash,etc.)
  • Abrasive damage caused by a dirty air filter.
  • Bent or Broken Crankshafts: See notes on Misuse above.
  • Over Heating: Due to blocked cooling fins
  • Failure of Non-Original Parts: If a non-original part is installed on the engine and that part is determined to have caused damage or failure.


Note - The engine manufacturer will accept no liability for the damage or failure since they have no control over the quality of the parts that they do not manufacture or supply.


WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WHILE UNDER WARRANTY

  • Locate your closest authorised repair center. This may or may not be the company or business you purchased it from. Many retailers DO NOT service the products they sell .
  • Make detailed notes of ALL the current and previous problems with the engine.
  • Gather up the following: Proof of purchase (receipt, canceled check, etc.), Warranty papers, Service and maintenance receipts. (not required but helpful)
  • Take your equipment to the authorised repair center or make arrangements for pick up and delivery. Charges for this services ARE NOT generally covered by warranty.

Remember that It is very important that you let them know that the engine or equipment is still covered under warranty (if it is) and that you need a warranty evaluation.

Generally, the repair center will probably do a quick check of the engine, ask for your proof of purchase, write up a service order and advise you of the estimated time it will take before they can get started on your engine.

The warranty evaluation and any subsequent repairs may require a complete removal and/or disassembly of the engine, possible factory authorization, and ordering of special non-stocking parts, all of which must be handled in addition to the actual time required to make repairs.

Be as patient as possible. The repair center may have many repairs going on at any given time. They will appreciate your patience and cooperation.



If They Say "It's Not Covered"


If you are told that your problem is not covered by warranty and you disagree, try this:

  • Ask them to fully explain the reason for their decision.
  • Ask to see proof to substantiate the decision.
  • Ask about who was responsible for making the decision and if that person has been properly trained to make the decision. If not, ask for someone else to verify the results.
  • Keep accurate notes about the situation for future reference.

If you are not satisfied at this point, you still have some options available to you:

  • Have the repair center file a Disputed Warranty Claim: This simply means that pay for the repairs and then wait for the factory to accept or decline the warranty claim reimbursement.
  • Ask the repair center to contact a Factory Field Rep: This can be time consuming. The rep may have MANY evaluations scheduled in addition to other responsibilities and it may take a while to get to yours.
  • Contact the Manufacturer: This may or may not be of immediate help. You may be instructed to wait for a rep to come by, told to take it somewhere else for evaluation, or even that you must send it back to the factory for evaluation. I assure you that they WILL do the best they can to resolve the situation.
  • Send the engine (at your expense) to the factory for evaluation: If warranty is declined at this point, you can be assured that this is pretty much the final decision that will be made.

Things NOT to do:

  • Throw a temper tantrum, get "wild eyed and crazy" or threaten physical harm. OK, you get the point. It's helpful to stay calm and rational.


It's been my experience that the manufacturer's are VERY FAIR MINDED about warranty issues. To the best of my knowledge, they make every possible effort to honor the warranties they give and the consumer has the benefit of the doubt when there is any reasonable question about the cause of failure. I can say without any hesitation that all of the evaluations I was involved with were done so accordingly.


Uh-Oh, I Goofed Up...

Hey, it happens!
All kinds of things can happen un-intentionally that can cause damage or engine failure that is not covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Should you find yourself in this situation, the best way to handle it is to be honest about it. Acknowledge the fact that you have made a mistake and act accordingly. You might be pleasantly surprised how helpful the manufacturer may be if they know that you have made an honest attempt to properly use and maintain the engine, recognize and acknowledge making an unintentional mistake, and accept the consequences without causing grief for everyone around you.


If there is one thing that I've learned through factory training, it is the fact that engine failures, whether covered by warranty or not, all leave unique "traces" that will indicate the actual cause of failure. Trying to hide, or cover up a mistake is really hard to do, not to mention dishonest.

I can say in fact that when I was responsible for handling warranty evaluation at the field level and involved with this type of situation, my cooperation level declined accordingly.

 
       
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