Archive for the ‘Warranty’ Category
We have all had sales people try to sell us extended warranties, typically on electronics or appliances. Some of our Grand Rapids customers bought used vehicles and received the same sales pitch. The automotive ‘extended warranty’ is nothing more than an insurance policy. An average on how much the auto insurance industry pays back on every dollar they collect, is roughly $.98, or 98% payback. The used car extended warranty policies that people have purchased have, by my own experience of dealing with them for almost 40 years, much lower. Used car extended warranties are some of the worst ways to spend your money, in my opinion. With an insurance company, there is some recourse if a consumer feels that he or she has not been fairly compensated in the event of a loss. With the used car extended warranty, the consumer has nothing but a 1-800 number to call and state the loss. If the company agrees the consumer has a claim, THEY decide how much is covered, what kind of parts, how much they will pay in labor, etc. This isn’t different than a traditional insurance company EXCEPT they will deny virtually everything. The fine print is where the devil lives. Almost anything that realistically can break, wear out, or fail before its normal time is not covered, and if you don’t agree with what they have decided, tough luck. There is no regulatory agency like a traditional insurance company has; consumers are just left out in the cold. We currently have a 2007 Malibu, recently purchased in Grand Rapids, worth according to Kelly Blue Book, $7,600. The used car extended warranty contract we have from the customer states he paid $1,995 for the warranty. That’s 38% of the value of the car. Good grief! We all know the warranty can financed with the purchase price of the car, so realistically the warranty was substantially more at the end of the loan. Our customer will be lucky if the warranty company pays out $500 on the vehicle which has transmission problems-which are soon to be denied by the company. In closing, NEVER buy a used car extended warranty. Get a used vehicle inspection professionally done prior to purchase and save your money in an auto repair fund for the inevitable.
Keep your wheels on the road. Eric.
To find out more about Ervine’s vehicle inspections, click here
Today at Ervine’s Auto Repair we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You’ve probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Grand Rapids area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.
Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Ervine’s Auto Repair at 4311 Stafford SW in Wyoming, Michigan 49548 to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling (616) 532-6600.
E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local Grand Rapids community.
All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the Wyoming Michigan area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.
At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles in Wyoming Michigan. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.
You can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. Fire fighting experts caution consumers to only use E-85 if they know they vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.
So are people who don’t have a Flex Fuel vehicle but use E-85 to help the environment actually putting themselves at risk? Yes. In fact, service and repair centers in Wyoming Michigan are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting-up an ethanol damaged engine leads to a fire.
Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have in your Wyoming Michigan garage at home, either. If you have a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E-85 gasoline. If not – please do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. At Ervine’s Auto Repair we are concerned about your safety. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.
If you own a Michigan vehicle with a warranty, beware! Many dealers and manufacturers suggest that you need to get your maintenance services at a dealership in order to keep your warranty. That simply isn’t true! You can have your vehicle serviced at your trusted, local service center without affecting your warranty. A federal law, called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, prohibits a manufacturer from voiding your warranty just because you got parts or services from a non-dealer. In fact, a manufacturer can’t require you to use their brand of oil filters, lubricant, or any other part in order to maintain your warranty protection. This protection is true for aftermarket extended warranties purchased on new or used vehicles. This protection also applies to leased vehicles. There are similar laws in Canada as well.
If a manufacturer can prove that the replacement parts or service lead to a vehicle failure, they can void a portion of the warranty. Of course, Ervine’s Auto Repair uses quality parts and fluids that meet or exceed manufacturers’ specifications. (See http://www.ervines.com/location/.) A lot of people do not know that service centers subscribe to data services that tell them exactly which parts and fluids meet manufacturers’ specifications. These services are updated constantly so that your Grand Rapids automotive service center always knows what you need for your car. You can be assured that your vehicle will receive high quality replacement parts that’ll keep you safely on the road.
Proper maintenance is so important to safety. It can also prevent costly repairs and save you money over the long haul. Just because you don’t have to go to a dealer to get your maintenance service performed doesn’t mean that you don’t need to have it done at all. In fact, some protections from your warranty require that scheduled maintenance be performed. If you miss having important work done, you may lose some warranty coverage. Refer to your owners’ manual and vehicle warranty for more details. And keep good records of the work you’ve had done.
The protection you receive under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act can save you hundreds of dollars each year. The average hourly labor rate for service is nearly twenty percent lower at independent service centers such as Ervine’s Auto Repair. We are conveniently located at 4311 Stafford SW in Wyoming. So why go anywhere else?
Chelsea Vives: Awesome service!! They were extremely helpful and friendly! I loved how they were accommodating to the customers and being very organized with after hours drop-offs and pick-ups. They were also very quick with fixing my car which was great.
Andy Krafft: Ervine's has provided great service for me throughout my college years! They do their best to make time for customers and understand the importance and value in quality service. Would definitely recommend!
Erin O'Brien-Jenison: The staff is very friendly. The technicians take the time to explain repairs in detail. The loaner car service is very convenient for my family. Each of my experiences with Ervine's has been very positive.
Jamie Riehle: My car needed a lot of work and being relatively new to the area, I had to rely on online reviews. Ervine's got great feedback, so I made an appointment through their website. I was contacted almost immediately and scheduled very quickly. The repairs took a few days, but with the free loaner it was no big deal. They explained everything to me, helped me prioritize which repairs to do first, and Jamie even entertained my 5-year-old while I spent 10 minutes on the phone with my bank to get my payment to go through. I may have been able to find someplace a little cheaper, but you can't pay for the excellent customer service at Ervine's. The lobby is clean, has fresh coffee, and is very professional. As a woman I've been intimidated going into car shops but I never felt that way at Ervine's. I'll definitely be returning.
Kaitlin McDowell: I had a great experience at Ervine's. I know very little about my car beyond turning it on, so I was relieved when the staff were willing to spend extra time explaining to me exactly what is going on and helping me to be an informed consumer. I also appreciated that they are not trying to sell something-- I did not actually need the repair that the dealership had told me to IMMEDIATELY deal with, and the folks at Ervine's were willing to tell me that when they could have made a buck doing the repair. The visit was so painless I even got to run errands while I was waiting using one of their fabulous loaner cars. Thank you so much!