Jump to content

The RennTech.org community is Member supported!  Please consider an ANNUAL donation to help keep this site operating.
Click here to Donate

Welcome to RennTech.org Community, Guest

There are many great features available to you once you register at RennTech.org
You are free to view posts here, but you must log in to reply to existing posts, or to start your own new topic. Like most online communities, there are costs involved to maintain a site like this - so we encourage our members to donate. All donations go to the costs operating and maintaining this site. We prefer that guests take part in our community and we offer a lot in return to those willing to join our corner of the Porsche world. This site is 99 percent member supported (less than 1 percent comes from advertising) - so please consider an annual donation to keep this site running.

Here are some of the features available - once you register at RennTech.org

  • View Classified Ads
  • DIY Tutorials
  • Porsche TSB Listings (limited)
  • VIN Decoder
  • Special Offers
  • OBD II P-Codes
  • Paint Codes
  • Registry
  • Videos System
  • View Reviews
  • and get rid of this welcome message

It takes just a few minutes to register, and it's FREE

Contributing Members also get these additional benefits:
(you become a Contributing Member by donating money to the operation of this site)

  • No ads - advertisements are removed
  • Access the Contributors Only Forum
  • Contributing Members Only Downloads
  • Send attachments with PMs
  • All image/file storage limits are substantially increased for all Contributing Members
  • Option Codes Lookup
  • VIN Option Lookups (limited)

Denied warranty claim on clutch bleeder


Recommended Posts

I previously posted about my difficulties with my clutch bleeder leaking. To rehash the whole deal, I bought the car in December (as a certified preowned with factory extended warranty) and began catching up on various 30K maintenace items (filters, oil, plugs)........and flushing the brakes & clutch.

I haven't owned a manual tranny in 12 years, but I felt and several others I let drive my new toy commented the pedal felt odd in the first part of its travel. Rather than making this a dealer problem, I simply went ahead with the brake & clutch bleeding I wanted to perform anyways.

There was a tremendous improvement.........I had no idea what I was missing. All was well for about 10-14 days when the pedal hung at the floor twice during a drive. I rebled, saw minor air purge out. On a subsequent drive the pedal hung again & returned home missing the nipple cover. I rebled and pressure tested the clutch, it leaked. I have an above average mechanical aptitude, I know overtightening will damage the seat; each time I tightened it as tight as I felt appropriate, but to no avail. I removed the bleeder entirely, checked for damaged tip or trash, q-tipped the seat recess, reassembled & tested. Twice it failed. Off to the dealer.......I've done all the troubleshooting and service I feel is within my rights without adversely affecting my ability to claim warranty coverage.

In good faith, I explained everything to the service writer, who cringed at the concept of a customer performing any of his own maintenance. The technician diagnosed the problem as a distorted slave cylinder seat due to overtightening and denied warrany eligibilty for the repairs.

I took it to the service manager.......along with more face cringing, I get a lecture about how they have no way of knowing who besides myself may have ever serviced that bleeder, so I must be at fault. Furthermore, he says even if he did the repair as warranty work, Porsche would look at those parts and automaticly deny coverage based on the overtightening diagnosis "because Porsche techs are such professionals and would never do that", so "as much as he would like to" he can't help.

However, I called the purchasing dealer who claims to have records that as part of the certification, they performed a 30K service (absurd if you saw the plugs and filters I pulled out 1000 miles later) including a hydraulic fluid flush. So somebody besides me is on record as touching the bleeder. I asked the selling dealer to have his service manager contact the local service manager to confirm that they had indeed serviced the bleeder prior to me. I have yet to hear back from the local service manager whether this holds enough weight to change his position.

Porsche Customer Satisfaction was little help.......they basicly said they stand behind their service managers. If the service manager can't help me, ask him to call his regional rep. And who will he call, Porsche?

What a circle jerk.........

As it stands now, I said I won't pay and put the car back as I dropped it off. I'd rather try finding an aftermarket Viton tipped bleeder (if one exists), an o-ring, rubber washer, teflon tape, insert a plug in its place, weld shut the nipple passage........any of these options before coughing up nearly $400 for a problem that may have been lingering in the vehicle all along.

What angers me more, is when I posed the question "What if I had just walked in claiming to know nothing more than where to put the gas in, and said there was a mysterious blue leak on my garage floor and the clutch felt funny?", this may have passed as a warranty claim.

Man I'm angry...........but am I off base? I feel victimized because rather than scramble to the dealer when I suspected a problem, but addressed it myself as part of routine DIY maintenance, I'm suddenly to bear all fault for what very well may have been more underlying & pre-existing damage to the car.

What's gonna happen if an ignition coil fails? Am I to be blamed based on changing my own plugs? What if the throttle body fails, did I hurt it during a air filter change? Where does it end?

Link to post
Share on other sites
    You can remove these ads by becoming a Contributing Member.

This kind of crap really gets me. Rather than take care of a small problem these idiots act like they're going to punish you for daring to do anything but put gas in your car. Post the name of the dealership so others can avoid them. Over on 6speedonline.com there is a thread you should read: 6speedonline It's a lesson on how to ruin your business very quickly.

I feel very fortunate to live near a dealership with a great service dept. Barrier Porsche in Bellevue. The dealerships do monitor these forums and need to learn about customer service. The next time you want to drop 100k+ on a new car will you be going to them???? Post your story on 6speedonline and see what response you get.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point, I'll light a fire under their butts:

Purchasing dealer: Hendrick Porsche, Charlotte, NC

Servicing dealer: Performance Porsche, Chapel Hill, NC

As stated before, both dealerships are in the same "family" owned by Rick Hendrick of NASCAR fame. Hendrick has multiple franchises throughout the state; there probably isnt a make of car he doesnt peddle somewhere.

While Hendrick Porsche is a "stand alone" dealership site, Performance's lot offers: Chevrolet, Subaru, Porsche, BMW and Acura. I think they also sell Saturn, but don't hold me to that.

I was just thinking about on previous visits they follow up several days later with a phone call survey during my busy work day to "make sure everything met my expectations". It annoys the crap out of me, but this time I would look forward to that call. Under the circumstances, I don't expect I'll be on the list for that call!

Link to post
Share on other sites

If your car in under warranty, and I don't care if it is the original factory warranty or the certified extended warranty, and something breaks, it should be covered. That should be the case as long as the item is not considered "normal wear & tear, i.e, brakes, tires, wipers, etc." I purchased a certified car from a dealer 2,500 miles away and brought it to my local dealer to fix a number of small items, including squeaks and rattles in the cab top and they fixed everything under warranty. They were a pleasure to deal with and followed up with me frequently to make sure that I was satisfied with the work performed.

If the clutch bleeder is not an item that wears out normally, then follow the escalation procedure in your owners manual until you get satisfaction from Porsche.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Needless to say, I was so upset, I didn't get much sleep last night. First thing this morning, just as I was about to drive over and speak to them in person, the local service manager called to explain he had taken the matter up with his regional rep. and had also recieved confirmation of the previous bleeding service from the purchasing dealer (which verified I'm not the only person to ever service this component), yet all parties still felt the claim should be denied.

I continued to express my disatisfaction, and he countered by stating that if not me, then the selling dealership should be held responsible, but he finally agreed to repair the car at his dealerships expense.

He felt that between repeated conversations with me, his technician, the selling dealer, Porsche & the regional rep., I had taken so much of his time he simply wanted it to end. I thanked him and that was the end of the call.

I'm pleased that someone was finally willing to address what I felt was a legitimate warranty claim, based on the progressing severity of the problem for me dating back to purchase, and the fact that I paid a premium for a certified car (hoping to avoid problems like this). I took considerable effort to troubleshoot and correct this problem on my own, and in good faith, admitted to such when I dropped the car off. I feel I shouldn't be penalized for my mechanical aptitude or preference to perform my own routine maintenance.

I look forward to getting the car back. My only remaining concern is whether or not my persistence on this matter is going to "blacklist" me from future repair concerns. I appreciate the fact they agreed to cover the repair (regardless of their reason), and I'm certainly willing to continue business with them provided the final outcome of the repair work is acceptable and they have a similar willingness to put this unpleasantness behind them.

I'll follow up when I get the car back, but I'd still appreciate hearing what other owners have to say about how they feel this whould have been handled at their dealership.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a tough call. I see both sides of the story. But, to me these are the key points:

"In good faith, I explained everything to the service writer, who cringed at the concept of a customer performing any of his own maintenance. The technician diagnosed the problem as a distorted slave cylinder seat due to overtightening and denied warrany eligibilty for the repairs."

"I took considerable effort to troubleshoot and correct this problem on my own, and in good faith, admitted to such when I dropped the car off. I feel I shouldn't be penalized for my mechanical aptitude or preference to perform my own routine maintenance."

You were honest and up front with them, even though you could have lied about the whole thing. I think PCNA and the dealer should treat you just as well as you treat them. They should at the very least just give you the benefit of the doubt. I definitely think you should not have to pay a single penny. I think think PCNA should absorb it. I'd also never go to that dealer again.

b-man

Link to post
Share on other sites
It's a tough call.  I see both sides of the story. 

You were honest and up front with them, even though you could have lied about the whole thing.  I think PCNA and the dealer should treat you just as well as you treat them.  They should at the very least just give you the benefit of the doubt.  I definitely think you should not have to pay a single penny.  I think think PCNA should absorb it.  I'd also never go to that dealer again.

b-man

As a business owner myself, I'm able to consider their perspective as well. I'm sure there have been plenty of examples before me when a DIYer butchered something only to expect it to be fixed under warranty. This is surely something they face and may or may not get reimbursed from Porsche for covering under warranty.

The key differences are I suspected there may be a problem dating back to delivery. Perhaps I should have taken the car in then, but what might I have gotten.....a big bill for routine fluid change and purging of air in the line? Fluid changes and adjustments are not coverered under warranty, and a ghastly overpriced service that I can do (and already planned to) just as well myself. And what would have likely occured 10-14 days later? That bleeder would have leaked again, just as it did for me. Just as I did, they may have made several attempts at simple bleeding before exploring further and discovering the seat damage they now state is the root cause of my continued problem.

I feel strongly that even with initial advice offered here in the forums and similar advice by a friend who runs and independant Porsche shop to simply tighten it more, I had already gone as tight as I knew was appropriate without risking damage. Rather than do that, I finally looked into the possibilty of trash or an obstruction in the screw & seat; neither helped. It was at that point I felt I had reached the threshold of what service I could perform without crossing the line into jeapordizing my warranty eligibility. In good faith, I made an honest admission of my efforts and explained in detail what I had performed and encountered along the way. I certainly didn't expect to be penalized for honesty. I would imagine that a DIYer who knowingly butchered something would have deceptively never admitted to perfoming any work himself. That's not the ethical standard I live by.

As for using the dealership again, it is solely up to them. If they honor their agreement to make the proper repairs and don't hold a grudge against me about it, I will be happy to continue bringing my business to them. I already can think of a few small parts and accessories on my wishlist, and beyond that I hope that I'm financially able to trade up from this current car within the next 2 years. This is all business I would be glad to offer them, should we both be able to put this behind us and work together "as a team" in the future.

If not, I can look elsewhere for my needs; I am aware of 2 other authorized dealerships outside of the Hendrick franchise that are within reasonable service distance from me. I also have a friend running an independant Porsche shop should I choose to pay for service; his rates are far below dealership rates. I certainly would think twice before returning to either Hendrick owned dealships if I'm going to be "blacklisted". Upon my return, I will be polite, thank them for agreeing to honor my claim, and I will let their actions determine where I go for my future needs.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm curious why this thread shows so many "views" yet so few people take the time to even offer a one-sentence response to my post. Please chime in!

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I'm curious why this thread shows so many "views" yet so few people take the time to even offer a one-sentence response to my post."

Don't take it personally. This forum is more of a technical place where people come to discuss more specific issues like sizes of bolts, how to fix something, etc.

b-man

Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a TSB on the clutch pedal sticking.

You care to share any of that info?

While my own troubleshooting would lead me to agree with the technicians diagnosis that the bleeder seat is damaged, it would be interesting to know if the TSB pertains to the slave cylinder componet or elsewhere in the system.

While I believe the dealership will now be resolve my problem, a TSB that affects the slave cylinder might help him cover it under warranty and lessen the possibility of hard feelings towards me for making such a big deal over my situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Admin
There is a TSB on the clutch pedal sticking.

You care to share any of that info?

While my own troubleshooting would lead me to agree with the technicians diagnosis that the bleeder seat is damaged, it would be interesting to know if the TSB pertains to the slave cylinder componet or elsewhere in the system.

While I believe the dealership will now be resolve my problem, a TSB that affects the slave cylinder might help him cover it under warranty and lessen the possibility of hard feelings towards me for making such a big deal over my situation.

Depending on the model year there are several "clutch squeaks". Most are pedal or pedal return spring related and vary with different versions of the pedals and springs used over the years. There is also one for a squeak in the transmission clutch bell housing that is throwout bearing release related. To my knowledge there are no TSBs for the clutch slave cylinder.

Link to post
Share on other sites

MY 2000 C2 cabriolet..........sorry for not specifying.

I'll certainly keep an eye on this I get the car back. If a further problem exists, I won't make the mistake of jeopardizing my eligibility to make a warranty claim by servicing this component again. I'm sure this repair will be well documented and throw an immediate red flag if it fails again. If it means I have to surrender my 11mm wrench and Motive bleeder, I'll never find myself in this position again.

Thanks for suggesting some other aspects to be on the lookout for.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I picked up my car car today and drove it straight home. I immediately noticed the clutch was far better that it had ever been..............even dating back to delivery in late December. The clutch begins to engage at 1/4 petal of actuation, not relying on a full 1/2 pedal of actuation like I thought was such a massive improvement just after performing my initial flush & bleed service I performed (repeatedly) on my own using the Moitve bleeder, fresh fluid and even old fashioned "pedal-pushing".

This is far better. To date, all "sponginess" is now history. Just to confirm my findings, I put the car up on ramps and indeed found a shiny new replacement slave cylinder sitting atop the gearbox and all the surrounding work was done neatly. Now If I can just get the nearly 4 years of accumulated grime off my engine........a project for another day now that the car is serviseable again, the engine can all look bright and I can keep a more watchful eye on any suspect fluid leakages!

Back the the clutch issue, this further lends credence to my theory that perhaps something was wrong with air entering or fluid previously existing the the system upon delivery, as it would take a full half pedal (or more) to activate the clutch (even after my own flush & bleed). Sometimes it would just stay flat to the floor! If it could be traced back to a previous failing bleeder screw seat, that would explain why after each of my attempted fixes, the problem returned exponentially quicker & quicker. Damaged seats don't fix themselves; they just grow worse with time.

Ultimately I owe a debt of thanks to the folks at Performance Porsche for stepping up to the plate and covering a problem they adamantly felt was not their responsibility due to the fact I had performed my own troubleshooting and corrective action on the component in question. They simply blamed me for over tightening the bleeder screw, when records research indicated that at least one other Porsche mechanhic claims to logged performing that exact same flush service immediately prior to my delivery. That being true, I am not the first person to ever place an 11mm wrench on that bleeder. Who is ultimately at fault for the alleded overtightening or it is simply a design weakness, will never be determined, but that since the repair has now been made, pointing fingers is a waste of time.

To date, the other work I had inspected involving the rattling softtop also appears to have been dealt with correctly. At was far quieter on the way home, and I can see evidence of new part installatons as well as an effort to correct some the old weatherstripping/ trim pieces that were coming unglued or become grossly mangled during regular use.

Finally, I had an brief conversatation with the service writer to sincerely express my hopes that there will be no hard feelings over my handling this issue and future service concerns that may arise during ownership of this car; since his service manager was out to lunch, I'll make the effort phone him tomorrow to express my similar sentiments. I wish to remain on good terms with these folks if at all possible.

Thank you for the handful of forumites who followed my saga and lent their support. That's what these forums are all about. I hope to be able to "give back" as my knowledge base expands.

Andrew

PS: I still have to re-mount my hardtop so they can diagnose & repair its share of squeaks and rattles. With any luck, all grudges are in the past and I will receive the quality of service that any Porsche owner (even a fussy one like me) is entitled to; not be "blacklisted; as my previous concerns led me to fear. I think based on my heart-to-heart conversation with the service writer upon picking up my car today, those issues are in the past. We agreed I will need to make the effort to do a better job letting them diagnose and troubleshoot future maintenance issues that I might otherwise attribute to be child's play and tackle on my own. These may be rooted in larger problems that based on my "tampering" excempt me from warranty coverage.

PPS: With respect to the hardtop, any TSBs I should arrive with knowledge about? I'd like to assist them by speaking intelligently and pointing them in the right direction, and also make certain it is properly fixed the first time. PDF files and my PC seem to be incompatable, so just a simple brief worded description will do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.