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Old 11-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
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Chrysler is Voiding My Engine Warranty For Using Their Cold Air Intake

I thought it best to inform everyone of what I'm dealing with currently as result of using the Mopar Cold Air Intake that was installed by an authorized Jeep dealer. I'm hoping anyone thinking of buying this intake will take a hard look before making their decision. My check engine light came and went into limp mode on 9–21 with 19,520 miles. I made an appointment and took it to Jeep Chrysler Dodge of Ontario on 9-26. The dealer stated the jeep was 3.5 quarts low on oil. This was a surprise as I checked it a few weeks before on 8-31 for JKX and it was good. This was also about 4700 miles since the last oil change. The dealer changed the oil and cleared the code.

On 10-18 I went on a trip on the Mojave Trail. On the second day the engine light came on again and went into limp mode. The mileage was at 20,305 miles. We checked the oil and had to add 3-1/2 quarts. I cleared the code to get it out of limp mode and it was good for the rest of the trip. This was a big surprise as it was only about 700 miles since the previous oil change by the dealer. I made an appointment and took it back in on 11-4 and told them the problem. I received a call later that day and was told the throttle body was very dirty and the engine ingested dirt causing internal damage and needs to be replaced. I was also told that I ran my jeep without an air cleaner for some time for it to be that dirty. WTF! In all my life I've never ran a car, motorcycle, or jet ski, without an air cleaner. I was told it would be easier to explain in person.

I went to the dealer after work to take a look. The service writer walked me to my jeep and explained that there was dirt in the engine and must've be caused by the air cleaner being off. I told him it has never been ran or started without an air cleaner. He grabbed a screwdriver to take off the tube and show me the inside of the throttle body. He loosened the two clamps and tried to take it off, as it doesn't come off easily I had to help him pull it up and off. Inside the throttle body the walls were brown and dirty. I asked the service writer if the intake was loose when they looked at it and he said no.

I asked to speak to the service manager. He was already aware of the issue with my jeep. He had called the local warranty rep and showed him the picture of the throttle body and the rep denied the repair. The service manager then called the regional zone rep who also denied the repair. The service manager said he couldn't replace the engine without Chrysler approval as it would be approximately $6500.

I asked the service manager if the Mopar air cleaner, which is under warranty and was installed by a Chrysler dealer, was defective couldn't this be the cause? He said I had a valid argument. The Mopar warranty clearly states that if a Mopar part installed by an authorized dealer causes other parts to be damage those parts are also covered. I asked to speak to the GM and the service manager said I could but the answer would be the same as the approval would have to come from Chrysler. I asked him where do I go to get approval. He gave me the number for the Chrysler customer help line. He said it may or may not help. I asked him if not then what was my next course of action, he said small claims court.

I called their customer support line spoke to a rep named Harper. I explained the problem in detail and was told a case manager would be giving me call within a business day. He verified that there was now a restriction on the repair. The next day I received an email as well as a voicemail from Gabby at Chrysler. I returned the call and left a message. I received a call back the next day. I explained the problem in detail. I told her that this was my first jeep and I was disappointed that after 20,000 miles I was having theses issues and this was the Chrysler response. I told her that it is a Jeep and is made to be driven in the dirt. I told her that I never ran it without an air cleaner as it would be like driving without a tire. She agreed and seemed genuinely interested in helping.

I informed her that I have all the receipts for oil changes, tire rotations etc, as well they were all done way ahead of the Jeep recommended intervals. I also made sure she knew that the intake was dealer installed and that I knew the Mopar warranty for a defective part covered any parts it damaged. I also politely told her I would go to the Better Business Bureau as well as small claims court to resolve this if it was denied. There was no way I should be paying for or needing an engine after 20,000 miles. She said she would do some research and get back to me by Thursday at the latest.

In case anyone is wondering I also have a K&N pre-filter over the Mopar filter. This isn't a high performance product that voids or affects your warranty, this is a California legal CARB compliant upgrade. I've cleaned the filter every time the oil is changed and after dusty trips. I also cleaned it the day before JKX and when I got back.

Be careful if you are using this intake and make an educated decision if looking to buy one in the future. I'm pretty sure having your warranty denied wouldn't normally cross prospective buyers minds when using a street legal Mopar parts but right now I'm being told my warranty is no good. I will post the response from Chrysler when I get it. I'd like to be optimistic but with my luck I might have to pay for this out of pocket and then go to small claims court to recoup the costs from Chrysler. I've posted this in the other forums I'm on as well to get the word out.

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Old 11-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Wow. One thing I notice about aftermarket air intakes is the IAT sensor does not seat well at all. I've never seen one that did. Air can get it in all around it. I had to RTV my aftermarket intake to get the IAT to seal perfectly.

I kept my OEM intake for dealer visits. It's a quick swap.

Thanks for sharing... Good luck.

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Old 11-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Did I read correctly that you are from Ontario? Us 'mericans have laws protecting us from such BS, so I can't really help you. I can bet your engine is fine though, and you should be able to diagnose and fix it yourself. What exactly is the problem? What codes are you getting and what bad behavior are you experiencing. It's normal for a throttle body to be dirty to a point. Fine dust particles wont kill an engine.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #4
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I might be wrong but I'd be more concerned about the engine burning oil. I suppose it could be caused by dirt ingested to the engine but you mentioned the oil was low before your trip to the Mojave. Perhaps whatever caused the oil to be burned also caused the the dirty appearance on the throttle body.

Of course if you actually saw dirt on the throttle body that's different but in my experience burned oil can dirty up an engine.

Just make sure you get to the root cause of the problem and don't jump to the conclusion that it was a faulty air cleaner install especially if there were indications of problems before it was changed out.

Good Luck with this.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #5
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Really sorry for your trouble. This is the very reason I would never install any aftermarket parts while the vehicle is under warranty. I understand that the part is a Chrysler part and how you would think that should cover you. Any chance the intake is "for off road use only"? It is widely documented that K&N air filters let more dirt into the engine. So let this be a cautionary tale for others. Best of luck getting this resolved in your favor. Let us know how it turns out. Cheers.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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Seems like you are going through a lot of oil.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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I wouldn't be surprised if they planted the dirt in there themselves. Look closely if you can, with them not standing over your shoulder.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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Given that he talks in miles, and he mentions trips to the Mojave I'm guessing he means Ontario California.

As for the rest, I don't see where Chrysler is voiding the warranty because you installed the CAI. The dealer is claiming that you ran the Jeep without an air filter. You are claiming that it was a defective CAI (which makes sense) So far it doesn't seem like Chrysler has said that the CAI warranty won't cover the engine.

Anyway, good luck. And you may want to check with other shop to see if you really need a new engine.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Most small claims courts have a low limit, like $2,000, before you are required to go to district court (lawyer, time, costs) so check this in your jurisdiction. I also don't get the connection between the oil loss and the air intake. I would think that you would notice the burning oil (if that was the case) losing that much oil that quickly. Otherwise, where did the oil go? A compression check and oil sample test would be useful here before deciding to replace the engine. There are other Mopar cold air intakes out there, so this is strange. Sorry for your travails. Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Most small claims courts have a low limit, like $2,000, before you are required to go to district court (lawyer, time, costs) so check this in your jurisdiction.
I think my area allows up to $10,000 in small claims, so you never know, could be in luck if it comes to that.

I used to deal with this kind of stuff a lot with the Corvettes and Camaros. Your vehicle warranty CANNOT be voided because of the installation of ANY aftermarket part, by ANYONE. They can deny a claim, but they must prove it was the aftermarket part that caused the damage. If they tell you this, tell them you need a signed statement saying they are voiding your warranty because of that part. Then the fact that the dealer installed a Mopar product, should leave you with no problems getting the repair done. I have found that dealing with the Chrysler customer service reps, not the dealers, is usually more effective. Wish you the best, and be sure to let the dealer know you have let all of your friends on the Wrangler Forums know how they treat customers, all 6-7 million monthly users here!!!
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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This is interesting because if the throttle body was in fact loaded with dirt then either the air intake was installed wrong, or it doesn't filter correctly. A Chrysler part installed by a dealership, someone screwed up. I think you have a good case against Chrysler for selling a lousy part or the dealer for installing it wrong. Get plenty of pictures and consider a lawyer. Honestly I think you have a great case.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #12
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Interesting, I have the same unit on my Jeep....
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #13
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Read some of the OPs other posts about mods, repairs and trail adventures. I can see why there may be issues with the jeep and I would suspect it doesn't have to do anything with the air cleaner. Good luck with Chrysler
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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It is common knowledge within the jeep community that CAIs do not offer adequate levels of protection for offroading purposes. These systems may work for street rigs but not trail rigs. Chrysler offers the product because most wranglers are only driven on paved roads. There are numerous posts on this subject throughout the TJ and JK forums.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #15
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Good luck with the resolution. I'm interested to find out what happens.

On another note, I just don't get why anyone would install a CAI on a Jeep. There is a reason that hi-flow air filters get more air to the engine - they don't filter as well.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #16
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Russ-

Kudos for keeping a calm-cool-head while dealing with Chrysler and a warranty claim. My suggestion to you is to maintain a level of professionalism and integrity in all of your communication. From what you are stating you have a valid claim, especially given that a Chrysler dealer has done all the work and you have paperwork to support your claims.

One suggestion I would make to you IF you have a friend/family member/co-worker that IS an actual attorney, see if you can run your situation past them and see what they have to say on a pro-bono basis. Knowledge is information, and IF you speak to an actual lawyer, I would not share that information with anyone you are dealing with at Chrysler claims department for the time being. I have done better in the past playing Nate Niceguy on warranty issues up until a line is drawn in the sand. It sounds like you have Gabby's ear, you want Gabby to be working for you, play nice. If Chrylser kicks you out of the sandbox, HIRE and attorney and best of luck!
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:13 PM   #17
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If the oil was down 3.5 qts twice, I suspect the engine is toast. I'm also a little fuzzy on exactly what was installed by your dealer. (did you remove the factory airbox?) Got a pic of what was installed?
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:26 PM   #18
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If the oil was down 3.5 qts twice, I suspect the engine is toast. I'm also a little fuzzy on exactly what was installed by your dealer. (did you remove the factory airbox?) Got a pic of what was installed?
I think he installed this:
Mopar® Cold Air Intake | Jeep Parts and Accessories | Quadratec
Which should not have toasted his engine if installed/operating properly.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #19
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Thanks Grouch. Agreed, if installed correctly you would think it should just clog and starve the engine of air, not let dirt pass. Gotta let a lot of dirt to pass to screw up the rings enough to lose 3.5 qts of oil.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:18 PM   #20
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Cold air intakes are a the best way to void warranties.

I was asking about a cai for my previous dd directly from Toyota. The S-A was kind enough to tell me.

His tech will just tell me it is dirty and never touch a K&N or any cone filter

A cai voids the engine warranty in the easiest of ways. It's an automatic out-clause for 99% of future claims. Even dealer installed, factory parts.

They're for track racers, not trail dust.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:23 PM   #21
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It is common knowledge within the jeep community that CAIs do not offer adequate levels of protection for offroading purposes. These systems may work for street rigs but not trail rigs. Chrysler offers the product because most wranglers are only driven on paved roads. There are numerous posts on this subject throughout the TJ and JK forums.
In general, this unfortunately is the bottom line. As far as a resolution to the situation with the OP, I couldn't even guess what Chrysler might do if anything. The oil consumption issue should be a prime concern.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:33 PM   #22
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I used to deal with this kind of stuff a lot with the Corvettes and Camaros. Your vehicle warranty CANNOT be voided because of the installation of ANY aftermarket part, by ANYONE.
In general, the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act provides such protection.

However, the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, has an exception. Abuse.

If there is any sign or evidence of abuse, the manufacturer can void out the entire warranty. No cause-and-effect relationship between the modification and the failure needs to be proven.

What's abuse? Two things generally come up. Racing and off-roading.

Yea, you could have made the "racing" mods, or the "off-roading" mods, just for their look, and not actually raced nor off-roaded. But these mods can, as I mentioned, be considered evidence.

Both Ford and Chrysler has successfully defended such in court over and over again. So, there is lots of overwhelming legal precedent to support them winning if you want to try and sue them.

Though, I have to add that the best thing is to simply not go down this road (a pun?). Have a good relationship with the service manager such that he would always be reasonable with you. If he chooses to just look the other way, then none of this happens.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:44 PM   #23
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A friend once ran his Yamaha Race Kart on El Mirage Dry Lake ... the Kart stopped running. He asked me if I wanted to buy it for $100. I said sure. Then after pulling the motor apart I found the K&N allowed a significant amount of dirt into the combustion chamber.

That was all it took, it cost me a few bucks to rebuild the top end and it fired right up.

His loss, my gain. Play, you pay ...

No one likes to hear these stories, but you assume the risk of losing your warranty when you modify your Jeep - the Dealer and Chrysler has the upper hand.

Best of luck with it ...

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:56 PM   #24
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Did I read correctly that you are from Ontario? Us 'mericans have laws protecting us from such BS, so I can't really help you. I can bet your engine is fine though, and you should be able to diagnose and fix it yourself. What exactly is the problem? What codes are you getting and what bad behavior are you experiencing. It's normal for a throttle body to be dirty to a point. Fine dust particles wont kill an engine.
everybody thinks that is the case but in most cases we Americans are just as shit out luck as the Canadians when it comes to having our warranties denied.

The OP probably has no case against the mothership but I bet he would against the installing dealer.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #25
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Cold air intakes are a the best way to void warranties.

I was asking about a cai for my previous dd directly from Toyota. The S-A was kind enough to tell me.

His tech will just tell me it is dirty and never touch a K&N or any cone filter

A cai voids the engine warranty in the easiest of ways. It's an automatic out-clause for 99% of future claims. Even dealer installed, factory parts.

They're for track racers, not trail dust.
Any oiled filter like a K&N is terrible for day to day use. Yes they do allow more flow but at a cost of less filtration.
One of the main reasons why (mostly Chevy) will try and void powertrain warranty in the presents of a oiled filter is that the customer is oiling the filter. Too little oil causes more particulate to pass by and too much oil will get onto the MAF sensor causing the ECU problems reading the sensor putting the motor into a rich or lean cycle.
There is dry flow cone filters out there, I believe AEM makes them but I havent heard/read up on their filtering rate
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:21 PM   #26
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Most if not all air filter systems have a particle size rating that they filter out. All smaller particles go right on through the filter. We have lots of gravel roads where I live and the throttle body of these gravel road cars is always coated with the fine dust that is too small for a filter to filter out. This dust really builds up after lots of miles but is so fine it poses no hazard to your engine internals. This dust is what you are seeing and everyone involved knows it. If a filter were designed with a small enough micron rating to catch this ultra fine dust it couldn't pass enough air through for the vehicle to run.

I use the stock air filter system on my JK and after a long summer of Offroading I always have noticeable dust in the intake tubing past the filter. Its completely normal. Just keep pushing Chrysler and be very professional yet courteous. You will see results. Your engine is drinking oil because of a completely different reason, mostly because it is a Chrysler product but that's a whole separate issue. If your compression is fine it's time to start looking at the PCV system.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:39 PM   #27
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This ^.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #28
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Seems like you are going through a lot of oil.
This reminds me of the motors from Mexico.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #29
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Any oiled filter like a K&N is terrible for day to day use. Yes they do allow more flow but at a cost of less filtration.
One of the main reasons why (mostly Chevy) will try and void powertrain warranty in the presents of a oiled filter is that the customer is oiling the filter. Too little oil causes more particulate to pass by and too much oil will get onto the MAF sensor causing the ECU problems reading the sensor putting the motor into a rich or lean cycle.
There is dry flow cone filters out there, I believe AEM makes them but I havent heard/read up on their filtering rate

+1 I used a K&N filter many years ago before I knew any better. Once I learned that there's no free lunch and better air flow and more power comes at a price, into the shit can went the K&N filter. If I was looking to win races and rebuilding engines as often as people who professionally race do, a K&N might have a purpose. For me I want my engines to last and if it means giving up a few HP I have no problem doing just that.

Typically people using K&N filters who do Used Oil Analysis have more silicon in their oil and higher wear metals than people using stock air filtering systems. Now if there's an aftermarket air filter that boosts HP and filters as good as stock I have no problems at all with using it.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:26 PM   #30
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While I know people are trying to be helpful, giving legal advice (even general) in an online forum is fraught with problems. There is a lot more to Magnusen-Morse, including relevant factual details, than what is stated here. If you want legal advice, see a lawyer on a formal basis- and one familiar with warranty and mechanical issues. Many attorneys will hear your story without a fee and then tell you what will be involved if they do represent you. Ask beforehand if they will do this. They can also suggest how you can best preserve your rights here so you don't do anything to prejudice them by your actions.

I again suggest a compression check and even a second opinion from another shop. It can only help your decision process. Even if Chrysler agrees to replace the engine, they may insist on a contribution from you since your engine has 20K miles already and they would be replacing it. with a new one. Good luck.

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