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What is the average length of time that shops use for labor warranties? We for the most part say it's lifetime on labor because we stand behind our work and if we did it wrong, we'll fix it. But I think that some people (!) would take advantage of that fact and that with some types or repairs or work, past a certain point in time, you couldn't prove labor issue, part issue or wear and tear, so what's an acceptable time frame for both customer and shop? 12k/12 month? Interested in hearing how everyone handles this issue.

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This is something I've thought of a lot as well. Having a strong warranty and using top quality parts is definitely a great selling feature for you.

 

I'm guessing most "rat hole" type shops would run a 3 or 6 month warranty.

From what I've seen, the most common would be a 12/12 warranty.

A premium shop using top quality parts could easily offer 24/24 or even more if using dealer parts.

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I am 30days on used parts with no labor warranty unless purchased seperately from part supplier (engine, transmissions, rear ends etc).

 

1 Year unlimited miles on brake pads, rotors, starters, alternators, pretty much everything else.

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My cliental can be kind of rough with the working class area I am in. Customers always come back trying to warranty stuff that is unrelated to the repair you did. Example I installed a LKQ motor in a Ford Fusion with a 12 month, 12k warranty purchased from LKQ, covers internal lubricated part. Within a year the Alternator went out, customer wanted it warrantied, and one of the accessories pullies started making noise and they wanted that warrantied. Big fuss over everything, but they act like a warranty is bumper to bumper for the next year.

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Mario - share your pain. Same situation here. You look under the hood and you own it for life. Trying to avoid those arguments with customers. They want the cheap fix with cheap parts and labor, don't maintain the vehicle and then everything that goes wrong is supposed to be on us. Extremely frustrating and discouraging.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A warranty is a positioning statement. It is part of your marketing and risk management. It doesn't matter how long your warranty is, simply factor the cost to cover into cost of operations. Customer perceived coverage is unconditional. If it fails for what ever reason it's on you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ive wondered about this in my area. Im 12/12 currently. Thinking of changing it to fit the warranty im given from my suppliers. They have recently changed labor claim warranty to only 90 days. So was considering 90 day labor and 12 parts. But also have considered lifetime warranty options parts and labor. Feedback would be helpful.

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My shop is a NAPA AutoCare Center and NAPA provides a 24 month or 24,000 mile nationwide warranty on most parts. So do I. If the part has a lifetime warranty I extend that to the customer as well and tell them the limited poriton is the part is warranted for the life of their ownership of the vehicle but the labor is covered for months. in the event i lose my sanity and install a used part, 30 day part only, NO LABOR. In the event I go insane and install a customer supplied part, NO WARRANTY WHATOSEVER beyond I did the job right. Starter falls out, I didn't do the job right, starter solenoid stops engaging or the solenoid to starter motor wire corrodes but the starter is mounted tight and the cables are clean and secure, I did the job right no warranty. As an example of course.

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Ive wondered about this in my area. Im 12/12 currently. Thinking of changing it to fit the warranty im given from my suppliers. They have recently changed labor claim warranty to only 90 days. So was considering 90 day labor and 12 parts. But also have considered lifetime warranty options parts and labor. Feedback would be helpful.

If your supplier screws you on labor reimbursement you can do one of three things, eat it in the event of a parts failure, hopefully not very often, build your own warranty costs into your rates or find a better supplier who will stand behind you better. NAPA stands behind their AutoCare Centers for the full term of the warranty. It is reimbursed at a reduced rate, I think it's 75% but that's better than 0%.

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we offer a 12/12 warranty but nobody reads it. If they have a repeat failure within a year they come back anyway and we fix it. If they have a repeat failure anytime we do our best to make it right for them regardless of time/miles. If it's caused by neglect or brother in law tinkering too bad the customer pays, If it's a parts defect we take care of it and try to get a labor claim. Technician workmanship problems usually show up quickly, like immediately :). Bigger jobs like transmissions come with a 3 year manufacturers parts and labor warranty (at a reduced rate of course), we build it into the estimate. Usually if a part has a recurring failure something else is wrong and we learn from it. Some customers expect too much, like they never check tire pressure and never rotate their tires never fix the loose tie rod and broken springs and cry when they don't get the 60k miles they were promised. We don't give charity. Customer supplied parts come with zero warranty - we try our hardest to talk them out of it but if all else fails we accept their diagnosis, install their parts, and take their money, that's it. Funny story we installed a starter for a guy on a F150, he supplied it. Didn't start before or after, just a loud click. We offered to check into it but He knows it all so he had us put in another one. Same result. He really is an expert so he had us install a 3rd one. Before pulling the 3rd junkyard starter I gave some free diagnostic labor and it turns out the AC compressor was locked up solid.Removed the belt and the starter was good again (I can assume the 1st one was good too along with the new battery he installed and a host of new easy to replace parts under the hood someone put in). He was mad we charged him to R&R 3 starters I'm soft so we made a deal but I shouldn't have.

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We do the 30/30, 30 feet or thrity seconds which ever comes first.....lol. Seriously though we also do the 12/12. No warranty on labor or parts if used even if we supply it. I offer that option to my customer but make sure they understand. After reading some of the situations posted above I see a common situation which can usually be avoided if your service writer/counter person does a good job explaining what is and isn't covered when an job is performed. We all have THOSE customers who expect something for free, but once again my service writer handles those situations easily due to the fact that upon the initial job everything we see is documented on the customer invoice. As for what Alfred just typed, we won't let customers tell us to replace parts without US diagnosing. If they wont pay my diag fee then I don't want them as a customer. I have seen first hand who loses when a customer self diagnoses his vehicle and supplies a part. If it doesn't work then the shop who did the work doesn't feel good about the repair and neither does the customer. Those customer usually leave and give negative publicity. Although it wasn't the shops fault, who pays the price when slandered. My .02c

Edited by Chuck
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