Eight ways to get the most out of warranties

By Joseph Evangelist

Executive Vice President, Transervice
As originally appeared in FleetOwner Magazine’s IdeaXchange

You might think it’s easy to recover every warranty dollar you’re entitled to, but the reality is, warranties can be more complicated than they seem at first glance.

Building strong relationships with your suppliers is a good idea for a variety of reasons, but especially when it comes to the assistance they can provide when it comes to warranty coverage.

Here are some other actions you can take to ensure that you get all the warranty you are entitled to.

  1. Understand the coverage you are buying: Know what is and what isn’t covered under a warranty. What are the benefits of purchasing extended coverage? Do you need extended coverage?
  2. Understand warranty-filing requirements: Each Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and component supplier may have different procedures for warranty reimbursement. Make sure you file your claim per their instructions, which includes determining if you can file directly or if you need to do so through a dealer.
  3. Request in-house warranty at time of vehicle purchase: In some instances, if you are the equipment owner and have qualified technicians, you may be able to perform warranty work yourself. This will allow you to file claims through your own maintenance and/or warranty manager without having to go through a dealer.
  4. Make sure your establish preventive maintenance (PM) schedule is in accordance with that which is suggested by the OEM’s. Make sure you perform a detailed PM service just before the warranty expires: This gives you an opportunity to give the truck to document any defects before the vehicle or component(s) comes out of warranty.
  5. Set aside an area of your shop for warranty parts returns: Some vendors require you to return parts you suspect are faulty. Make sure you tag the part with the unit number, repair order number and date. Once a vendor gets comfortable with you, they may waive the parts return policy, but wait to hear from them before you throw out parts.
  6. Make sure repair order narrative is detailed: Technicians should be capturing complaint, cause, correction and position in their repair order (RO) write-ups. If there are specific fault codes that show up, make sure those are entered on the RO. There is no such thing as too much detail when it comes to an RO for a warrantable repair.
  7. Make sure technicians are properly trained: Attaching the proper diagnosis to a problem leads to better warranty reimbursement.
  8. Hold regular meetings with service personnel: Discuss issues on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to get problems resolved quickly and to help build better relationships.

Using these simple steps should help ensure you are not leaving warranty dollars on the table.

And don’t forget, even if something is out of warranty, you still may be able to get policy adjustments (refer to my previous blog, Beyond Warranty: Understanding Policy Adjustments for more details).

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