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Old 10-30-2015, 05:06 PM
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Dealer won't warranty serpentine belt - Help Needed

Hi guys,

So I was driving yesterday and all of a sudden lost my steering. Had to get it towed and found out the idler pulley was bad and the belt was gone, snapped.

The dealer refused to cover it under warranty citing my modifications as the reason. However I haven't touched the engine at all. I've done lift, tires, some lights, exhaust, etc. but I can't imagine any of that could have caused this. One thing against my is that the engine bay was covered in mud (what could I say).

I know there are laws (Magnusson-Moss Act) that state that the modification has to have caused the problem to void the warranty. So does anyone have any advice/experience on how to proceed from here? Could my mods or the dirt have really caused this?

Thanks,
Andrew

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Old 10-30-2015, 05:19 PM   #2
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I don't think lift, tires and wheels or even a little mud would have caused the problem. I do think, when you take it to the dealer and they see mods, they think they can use that to void your warranty. I think many dealerships do as much as possible to get out of fixing problems by whatever means.
You could try another dealership or calling FCA to try and get some help.
Did they explain what mod caused the failure?
Good luck hope it all works out.

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Old 10-30-2015, 05:36 PM   #3
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One chance. Explain to the service manager that he is violating Federal Law (Mag Moss Act as you correctly said) by even making the claim unless he can PROVE your modifications caused the defect. They are NOT allowed to make the claim and make you prove otherwise. Explain to him he has one chance and then you will take it to a consumer law attorney who will eat them for lunch. Then do it.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:42 PM   #4
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lets see photos of the engine bay. How much mud is packed in there? I would say that makes a big difference.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewoc15 View Post
I know there are laws (Magnusson-Moss Act) that state that the modification has to have caused the problem to void the warranty. So does anyone have any advice/experience on how to proceed from here? Could my mods or the dirt have really caused this?

Just be careful. The Magnusson-Mass Act also allows manufacturers to completely and totally void your warranty, if there is any abuse. Common law has further defined such abuse as off-roading and racing, and mods typically of such, are the evidence of such abuse.

There are some (bad) Jeep dealers that will take pics of a mod'ed vehicle, and submit them to FCA just to get the warranty voided.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:57 PM   #6
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Principles aside, wouldnt it just be easier to replace the belt than go to the trouble of making the dealer do it after a bunch of fuss?
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys! I just got off the phone with the dealer (he was talking to my mom before). I got him to admit that it wasn't the modifications that caused it but the mud that did. I got the price down to $210 which still seems like a ripoff to me. I figure it's about $50 in parts for the idler pulley and belt, then maybe an hour labor if you're slow.

I would do it myself or even take it somewhere else, but the problem is I'd have to get it towed and pay out of pocket since I already had it towed to the dealer. Unless the dealer lets me sit in his parking lot and do it lol. Will have to weight my options and find out.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:24 PM   #8
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Just be careful. The Magnusson-Mass Act also allows manufacturers to completely and totally void your warranty, if there is any abuse. Common law has further defined such abuse as off-roading and racing, and mods typically of such, are the evidence of such abuse.

There are some (bad) Jeep dealers that will take pics of a mod'ed vehicle, and submit them to FCA just to get the warranty voided.
They would have a real hard time doing that with a vehicle that is SOLD to you as an off road capable vehicle. That "Trail Rated" badge would come back and hurt them really bad.

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Principles aside, wouldnt it just be easier to replace the belt than go to the trouble of making the dealer do it after a bunch of fuss?
Why should he cover something out of pocket that should be covered under warranty just because it's easier? If you let the dealer get away with it on the small things its easier for them to get away with it on the bigger things and then we all lose.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:06 PM   #9
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Principles aside, wouldnt it just be easier to replace the belt than go to the trouble of making the dealer do it after a bunch of fuss?
Exactly

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Why should he cover something out of pocket that should be covered under warranty just because it's easier? If you let the dealer get away with it on the small things its easier for them to get away with it on the bigger things and then we all lose.
Because sometimes we don't want to go to battle over a couple hundred bucks. Not having use of the vehicle and wasting a few hours time eats up a lot of that cost anyway.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:14 PM   #10
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well being packed with mud is a legitimate reason to deny warranty. Just bring your tool box and buy a belt at napa and drive over and fix it.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:15 PM   #11
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Dealers don't warranty maintenance items, ie. Brakes, tires, wiper blades, serpentine belt, battery, and the list goes on. Sometimes you will find s dealer that will if something happens under very low mileage and time frame from purchase. Otherwise your shit out of luck.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:47 PM   #12
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I am going to have to agree with the dealer on this one. I have personally seen mud cause belt failures several times. Next time, do your best to clean the engine bay, and hope your dealer doesn't notice.

Also we are missing vital information. How many miles is on your Jeep? As stated before, unless it has very few miles, the belt will not be warrantied because it is a regular maintenance item.
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:29 AM
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The jeep has 19k miles on it. I'm going to attempt to do it in the lot myself, and if they object I'd rather pay the tow bill to the nearest parking lot then to give them my money. It probably is my fault for not cleaning the it, but over $150 for 15-20 minutes of labor is ridiculous. Thanks guys for the help!
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by andrewoc15 View Post
The jeep has 19k miles on it. I'm going to attempt to do it in the lot myself, and if they object I'd rather pay the tow bill to the nearest parking lot then to give them my money. It probably is my fault for not cleaning the it, but over $150 for 15-20 minutes of labor is ridiculous. Thanks guys for the help!
they are probably including cleaning in their labor rate. Nobody likes to work on a mud covered rig

It looks lie a two person job as the tensioner is a little different. Need a long breaker bar one guy compresses the tensioner and the other removes/replaces belt.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:19 PM   #15
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Mud will make the belt slip but it doesn't affect an idler pulley. It's just a pulley with a cheap bearing that either last a long time or goes out quickly. Idler pulleys generally go out because the tensioner is bad so u may want to check that while you're under the hood. Screw the dealer, u have a trail rated badge and trails have mud. Drive your Jeep off the lot and do the work right there on side of the street if they have a problem doing it on their lot.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:24 PM   #16
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My wife is a mud fanatic. I can tell you the ider pulleys dry out and start singing is short order. Running 37's she is one her 3rd pwer steering pump, and her 2nd alternator and AC compressor. Being submerged in water and caked with mud shortens the life of anything with a pulley. The item starting to fail will start a very pronounced whining noise. Not sure if you heard one or not. I order replacement idler pulleys by the half dozen.

The other items I get from Rock Auto. Inveested in a pulley puller too.

Not complaining though. It's her rig.

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Old 10-31-2015, 01:42 PM   #17
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Mud will make the belt slip but it doesn't affect an idler pulley. It's just a pulley with a cheap bearing that either last a long time or goes out quickly. Idler pulleys generally go out because the tensioner is bad so u may want to check that while you're under the hood. Screw the dealer, u have a trail rated badge and trails have mud. Drive your Jeep off the lot and do the work right there on side of the street if they have a problem doing it on their lot.
actually the trail rated system does not include mud in their rating lol.
traction, water fording(which is not the same as mud), maneuverability, articulation and ground clearance.

Again I want to see how much mud is in the engine compartment. Is it a spatter or two or is it packed in?
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:12 PM   #18
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So how well does the Jeep do with spraying the engine compartment? Does the water, steam and moisture make the electronics go bonkers, setting of lights etc that will then make the dealer say oh u sprayed your engine with water so we can't do nothing??? I personally don't fool with the dealer since I worked pretty close to them for 10 years. I'm not even gonna go for my complementary first oil change.....
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:24 PM   #19
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The jeep has 19k miles on it. I'm going to attempt to do it in the lot myself, and if they object I'd rather pay the tow bill to the nearest parking lot then to give them my money. It probably is my fault for not cleaning the it, but over $150 for 15-20 minutes of labor is ridiculous. Thanks guys for the help!
Let us know how long it takes to swap out the belt... I'd be surprised if it only takes 15-20 minutes.

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Old 10-31-2015, 03:51 PM   #20
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I would go get your Warranty Information and read it word for word. I do believe making Modifications to the Jeep and trashing the engine with mud is the reason you lost your warranty. And I can almost guarantee you the Dealership you took your Jeep to made a lot of Pictures of your Jeep. Quote me if I'm wrong. I'm not trying to be an ass.
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:16 PM   #21
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I would go get your Warranty Information and read it word for word. I do believe making Modifications to the Jeep and trashing the engine with mud is the reason you lost your warranty. And I can almost guarantee you the Dealership you took your Jeep to made a lot of Pictures of your Jeep. Quote me if I'm wrong. I'm not trying to be an ass.
Oh yea if they declined work u can bet they took pictures to save their ass, if they end up having to prove why they declined. I'd like to see just how muddy it is under the OP's hood. Just out of curiosity.. But I also say changing the belt and pulley and possibly the tensioner isn't to expensive or challenging for anybody with a few tools and the desire to want too.

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