Buyer Beware!

Currently, there a number of ads running on television pitching how some insurance policies can save consumers large amounts of money in appliance and automobile repair costs. These ads give consumers the impression that air conditioner, refrigerator, or dishwasher repairs can run into the thousands of dollars. Similarly, engine, transmission, or coolant leaks can also result in very costly repairs. If you are considering the purchase of one of these policies, please be aware that maintenance is a key requirement. Regardless of the type of policy, your claim will most likely be denied if you can’t prove that you maintained your appliances or vehicle on a regular basis. For appliances, this means that you must keep your appliance clean. Use a vacuum cleaner to keep dust and lint out of motors and coils. Replace hoses when their use appears questionable. Replace wiring or have an electrician do the work before the wiring becomes worn and brittle. Similarly, you must change the oil in your vehicle at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. In addition, the transmission fluid and filter must be replaced, usually every 100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer’s recommended interval. Coolant must also be replaced, here again, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Don’t forget the oil, air and gasoline filters, they also must be replaced. Lastly, don’t forget to save the receipts regardless of whether you do the work yourself or have someone else do it for you. You must have some documentation to show that you made an honest effort to live up to the requirements of the policy. For those things where you won’t get a receipt, I would suggest keeping a chart of the activity – list the date, time, a description of the appliance or vehicle and what was done. Hopefully, your carrier will step up when you need them and the settlement of your claim will go smoothly.

Ford Recalls Vehicles for Safety Issues

Ford Motor Company has announced the recall of approximately 360,000 vehicles in North America for a problem that can be a fire hazard. The problem is that certain vehicles can overheat due to lack of coolant circulation.  Lack of coolant of coolant circulation can be caused by fluid leakage.  Overheating of the engine can cause the engine cylinder head to crack resulting in the release of oil.  Oil coming into contact with hot surfaces such as the exhaust manifold can cause an engine fire to erupt.  The recall applies to 2014 Escape SUVs, 2014-2015 Fiesta ST, 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, and 2013-2015 Transit Connect Vans.  Owners can take their vehicles to their dealers to have them checked.  At this time, Ford has not decided if the company will fix any coolant leaks but will install a coolant level senor to tell the driver when their vehicle needs additional coolant.  For additional information, owners can contact Ford directly by calling 1-800-392-3673 or visiting their website at www.ford.com.

In addition to the coolant issue, Ford has increased its recall of certain vehicles due an on going problem with faulty door latches. In the latest recall, a pawl located inside the door latch can break preventing the door from closing completely.  This means that the door can open while the vehicle is in motion.  To date, the recall covers the following vehicles: 2014 Fiesta, 2013-2014 Fusion, 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ, 2012-2015 Ford Focus, 2013-2015 Ford Escape and 2013-2015 C-Max.  Owners should take vehicles to their dealers to have them checked and repaired if necessary.  For additional information, owners can contact Ford by calling 1-800-392-3673 or visiting their website at www.ford.com.

 

 

 

What Happened Here?

Recently, we have been investigating an incident that took place almost one year prior to our involvement. A two vehicle accident occurred in which one of the vehicles involved was a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The vehicle was subsequently repaired at a local body shop and returned to the owner. Approximately three to four days later, the engine overheated. According to the owner, the vehicle was returned to the shop where it was determined that the shop’s mechanic had forgotten to add coolant to the radiator before returning the vehicle to the owner. Once the coolant issue had been resolved and the vehicle returned to the owner, the owner began hearing a rumbling noise that turned out to be a damaged catalytic converter. A large crack developed in the expansion joint just below the flange that connects the converter to the exhaust manifold. It was also discovered that the exhaust manifold had cracked in four places (see attached photographs).

DSC09580 what happened 1 what happened 2

Based upon the owner’s description of the vehicle’s performance after the vehicle was initially returned, the rumbling noise was not present and did not occur until after coolant was added and the vehicle was returned for the second time.  It appeard that the damage to the catalytic converter and the exhaust manifold was caused when the engine overheated.

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