We have long perceived the obligations of domestic manufacturers without illusions, taught by bitter experience (ЗР, 2004, No. 1, p. 138), but we trust “abroad”: good cars, glazed halls of service centers and magic numbers in the warranty card - three, five, eight years. Warranty, warranty on spare parts, warranty on corrosion …
However, by the standards of those countries where we make our favorite cars, Russia is a harsh testing ground. Here, even the first years of operation are far from always easy and trouble-free. The costs of maintenance and consumables are usually laid down in advance in the family budget, but when the bill for the repair of the warranty machine is comparable to its price, it’s right to shout “Guard!” However, before adding “Rob!”, Refresh your warranty - you will often find a lot of new things in the “second reading”.
NO RULES WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS
Warranty for officially sold cars in Russia includes factory and dealerships. Most European manufacturers limit obligations to one or two years, the Japanese and Koreans give three. Russian dealers often extend them for a year or two, as a rule, significantly reducing the number of warranty positions (sometimes to only one engine). Sometimes a service puts more stringent conditions on the owner than the manufacturer. For example, in order to maintain the guarantee against through corrosion of the body, the latter prescribes inspection of the paintwork at each MOT, and the dealer requires visiting the service station at least twice a year. It is better to discuss all the nuances in advance with the warranty engineer in a particular service (at the same time, evaluate the approach to the client). You can, of course, buy a car from one dealer, and service from another. Remember only that the service station provides a guarantee for diagnostic, adjustment, painting and other works, and competent diagnosis and treatment of malfunctions save time and nerves.
WHO DOES NOT WRITE INSTRUCTIONS
As Zhvanetsky correctly noted, intuition successfully replaces information with us. Instead of reading chubby instructions, we learn a new technique with the excitement of pioneers, but, unfortunately, not without losses. Starting the engine “from the pusher”, towing a car with an “automatic machine”, checking the ignition coil “for a spark” - these are just a small part of typical violations of the operating rules, often leading to sad consequences. You can forget about the warranty repair of these units and do not even insist on an examination: it will take the owner to clean water in two ways, and the losing side will bear all the costs in such cases.
The owner came with a complaint about the hum of the bearing, but after removing the wheel, a dent was discovered on the inside of the rim - a trace of an impact. Workers in service stations recorded damage and, of course, performed repairs at the owner’s expense.
Forgetfulness or inattentive reading of warranties is another common cause of unexpected expenses. The owner of the Mitsubishi complained about the beating of the brake pedal during the first maintenance (due to the curvature of the brake discs). But the guarantee for these parts is only six months, and eight had passed by the time of the appeal. Vibration, however, he said, arose a long time ago, but at first it was not annoying. “I would know, I didn’t draw to THAT,” the driver lamented. By the way, often in the text it is explicitly stated that the owner is obliged to immediately notify the representative of the service station about all the problems noted. Violation of this paragraph is also a reason to refuse free repair.
Finally, we remind those who do not like to look under the hood that it is the owner's responsibility to monitor the level of operating fluids (and bring it to normal), tire pressure, the health of the indicators on the dashboard and the degree of battery charge. And if the engine was without oil due to its fault (and its consumption, according to the standards of most manufacturers, can reach 1 l / 1000 km), then the repair will be paid for.
Forgetfulness or inattentive reading of warranties is a common cause of contingencies for owners
CORROSION IN THE NECESSARY DIRECTION
A guarantee against corrosion for a Russian motorist is like a balm for the soul. It’s not a pity to pay for it. Only corrosion can be different. Firstly, reservations often make reservations about harsh operating conditions, acid rain, bird droppings, and more. Secondly, this warranty applies only to “inside out” corrosion - when undamaged enamel swells or spiders and stripes appear on the chrome. If the chip on the hood rusts, this is an external impact, the owner's concern.
Some manufacturers do even easier: giving a guarantee against rust-through, they oblige the owner to regularly (at his expense) eliminate all damage to the paintwork. The prices of the dealership service stations do not contribute to the rush demand for this service, and you will not later explain to each customer that the car has been repainted for good reason.
Unfortunately, even a careful study of the warranty does not always save from fatal accidents. The majority of problems are caused by accidents and low-quality fuel.
In a serious accident with a violation of the structural integrity of the body (spars are crushed, the main units are torn off the supports), there is no talk of any extension of the guarantee. However, after a minor accident, if the repair is carried out by an authorized dealer, it usually continues to operate. But there is a loophole for failure - “the consequences of hidden damage”, so be sure to ask for details at the representative office and the engineer under warranty.
“Bodyguard” fuel is an invisible, insidious, sophisticated and special mention enemy in the “Warranty Does Not Cover” section. The consequences of the “left” refueling, as well as the expenses of the owner, are difficult to predict. The most favorable scenario is when only spark plugs are prematurely out of order. This is almost the planned spending of the Russians, a kind of road tax. “Broken” candles can pull a long chain of malfunctions, therefore, at the first signs of deterioration of their work (lethargic acceleration, twitching under load), immediately contact the diagnostics. But what about the long journey, away from civilization? You’ll go broke on a tow truck, it’s unpleasant to drive on your own, and it’s harmful for the car, so often the owners themselves (or in a roadside service) change candles, since it’s easy for many cars. But if you installed "unoriginal", God forbid, come with him to the dealer! This is fraught with the removal of the engine from the warranty.
More serious consequences - burnout of the pistons due to detonation, jamming of the valves with a broken timing belt, failure of the converter - require an expert opinion. Samples from the tank are taken to the service station in the presence of the owner, and he has the right to demand an independent examination. It’s easier to bring refuelers to court if you use the services of the same gas station and keep receipts between TOs. The vehicle’s mileage is recorded in the service book, fuel consumption is known, therefore, it is not difficult to prove a causal chain. However, it is difficult to comply with these conditions, and in order to avoid suspicious gas stations, you have to rely on the “sixth sense” - and our recommendations (see ЗР, 2005, No. 11, p. 198).
The guarantee does not relieve the owner of the need to monitor the condition of the car, in particular the wear of consumables
WHO IS NOT WITH US, THAT AGAINST US
However, flaws in the car itself are sometimes attributed to violations of the operating rules. The line here is very unsteady, and, as a rule, it does not make sense to start a dispute: if no dealer of this brand guarantees you the conditions of the guarantee, it is easier to choose another. An example is the notorious Ford Focus I gasoline pump. The cause of the failures is known - filter clogging, the culprit is bad gasoline. But for some reason, in "Japanese" such cases are extremely rare!
Children's diseases are inherent in almost all machines, and therefore, launching a new model on the market, the manufacturer lays a certain amount for its refinement during operation. Sometimes, if a defect does not affect safety, it is more profitable to eliminate it under warranty than to shake up the technological chain. Worse, when the owners are experimental rabbits, paying for the elimination of sores at their own expense, until they accumulate enough to recognize the case as a guarantee. This happens all the time, so buying a model that has just appeared has a certain risk, no matter what promises the manufacturer makes.
A separate article is the installation of additional equipment: alarms, radio, etc. The dealer respecting the client will not impose its services, but will warn that the installers will be held responsible for possible problems. It is not easy to find out relations with two organizations at once - it is easier to trust the dealer service station. The use of wheels not recommended by the manufacturer may lead to a partial loss of warranty. Just in case, coordinate the choice of winter shoes with an engineer under warranty.