Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Ford Windstar, Voided Transmission Warranty
Q: I had the transmission rebuilt in our Ford Windstar last June. I've taken it back several times to the repair man because it wasn't shifting smoothly and sometimes when I put it in gear it wouldn't move. However, in the fall just before I was going to return it to the repairman the engine failed in it. I let it sit for a few months and decided to have another engine put in it. I used a different repairman this time. He was apprised of the trouble with the transmission and I told him I had a warranty on the work and would be returning it to the other shop to get it fixed. After the engine was replaced, in January, I took the van back to the transmission guy who then said he would not work on it under his warranty because I had had the engine replaced and that would void his warranty. He says the engine guy had to change a gasket between the engine and the transmission but, the engine guy says he never touched the transmission because he knew I'd had the transmission just rebuilt and the gasket should have been replaced then. My question to you is; If I take the transmission guy to court does his argument about the changed engine voiding his warranty hold water?
- Rebecca Tucker
With all the transmissions and engines Iíve installed, Iíve never seen in the warranty papers anything that would void a warranty on one when the other is replaced. There is a simple fact that the 2 components have to be unbolted from each other to replace one or the other. There is no intrusion to the transmission when replacing the engine and there is no intrusion to the engine when replacing the transmission. You state that you took the vehicle back to the transmission shop on several occasions prior to the engine failure. Do you have documentation or proof of these visits? Did the shop that replaced the engine document the transmission problem and you stating that you did not want the transmission repaired because it was under warranty? If not, will they provide that to you in writing. Now the big question, what does the warranty from the transmission shop state? Do you have a copy? If not, can you get one? If the transmission shop did not provide you with a written warranty, at any time did they explain to you the conditions of the warranty and what would cause the warranty to become void? After you pull a few of these pieces together, stop and put it on paper in an orderly fashion and contact the Better Business Bureau. The folks there can tell you your consumer rights as the laws apply in your state and you may be surprised at what warranties can be and not be voided. If what youíve stated is fact, that can be backed up. That water cup is looking more like a sieve to me.