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Only dealers can work on your car according to PCNA

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Planning ahead, I called, and e-mailed local dealers for prices.

My dealer offers a discount to us PCA members, but the parts guy wants me to pay $87 per tire more than Tire Rack. 10K service is $180, and claims I will need a $300 alignment if I change into snows (or any other tire)- without even looking at the condition of my current tires and $200 extra for mount, balance and valve stems for the new snows.

Another local dealer will match the Tire Rack price, wants $249 for the alignment, $230 for the 10K service, and $250 extra for mount, balance and valve stems for the new snows.

Another local dealer said to buy the snows from Tire Rack, wants $299 for the alignment, $400 for the 10K service, and $175 extra for mount, balance and valve stems for the new snows.

Farnbacher-Loles will match the Tire Rack price, wants $175 for the 10K service and $120 extra for mount, balance and valve stems for the new snows. When asked about an alignment, they said they charge $250, but only if I really need it; they said that they only do an alignment if it is really needed, and asked if I was having alignment issues. When I said no, he said "we won't do one unless it's really necessary" and followed with "I haven't had to align my car in years" and "we don't want to waste your money if you don't need one."

I had a nice conversation with Spencer at Farnbacher-Loles and decided to call PCNA to find out their stand on going outside the dealer network. I heard such a tale of woe that I am very concerned. I heard how my warranty could be voided if they make an error, and how non-dealers do not have the knowledge to care for my car.

I like what Spencer at Farnbacher-Loles had to say, but am worried about my warranty.

Edited by BobbySpeed
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1.The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302©)

This federal law regulates warranties for the protection of consumers. The essence of the law concerning aftermarket auto parts is that a vehicle manufacturer may not condition a written or implied warranty on the consumers using parts or services which are identified by brand, trade, or corporate name (such as the vehicle maker's brand) unless the parts or service are provided free of charge. The law means that the use of an aftermarket part alone is not cause for denying the warranty. However, the law's protection does not extend to aftermarket parts in situations where such parts actually caused the damage being claimed under the warranty. Further, consumers are advised to be aware of any specific terms or conditions stated in the warranty which may result in its being voided. The law states in relevant part:

No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name... (15 U.S.C. 2302©).

2. Clean Air Act Warranty Provisions (42 U.S.C. S 7541 © (3) (B))

The federal Clean Air Act requires vehicle makers to provide two emissions-related warranties -- a production warranty and a performance warranty. Theproduction warrantyrequires the vehicle maker to warrant that the vehicle is designed, built and equipped so that it conforms with emissions requirements at the time of sale. Theperformance warranty requires the vehicle maker to warrant that the vehicle will comply with applicable emissions requirements as tested under state vehicle emissions inspection programs for the warranty periods specified in the law (for model year 1995 and later vehicles, the warranty is 2 years/24,000 miles for all emissions-related parts and 8 years/80,000 miles for the catalytic converter, electronic emissions control unit and on-board diagnostic device). The performance warranty is conditioned on the vehicle being properly maintained and operated.

Like the Magnuson-Moss Act, vehicle manufacturers may not refuse warranty repairs under the Clean Air Acts performance and defect warranties merely because aftermarket parts have been installed on the vehicle. The only circumstance under which the vehicle manufacturer can void the emissions warranties is if an aftermarket part is responsible for (causes) the warranty claim.

You can find more here.
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