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5000 miles ago we installed a used engine with 65k in a vehicle. We also installed a new timing belt and tensioner at that time. The vehicle was towed in with a no start condition. Long story short, the timing belt had jumped and bent the valves. The engine supplier is off the hook because they require installer to replace the belt. Our insurance carrier said its not covered either. My argument is that it's a loss. I have to buy a new engine, pay our tech to replace it and loss of ability to do paying work for about 18hours. I've never had an insurance claim and now that I'm asking for one I'm told it is not covered. How can insurance companies get away with this. Anyone else had an experience like this?

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5000 miles ago we installed a used engine with 65k in a vehicle. We also installed a new timing belt and tensioner at that time. The vehicle was towed in with a no start condition. Long story short, the timing belt had jumped and bent the valves. The engine supplier is off the hook because they require installer to replace the belt. Our insurance carrier said its not covered either. My argument is that it's a loss. I have to buy a new engine, pay our tech to replace it and loss of ability to do paying work for about 18hours. I've never had an insurance claim and now that I'm asking for one I'm told it is not covered. How can insurance companies get away with this. Anyone else had an experience like this?

I've been through similar situations but I'm very cautious in regards to used engines.

Sounds like the supplier knows how to avoid issues on their end for sure! Unfortunately it sounds like this is a genuine comeback. Be it technician mistake or new part failure, unless there's something internal that caused it. I get very nervous in regards to large ticket used items.

I've asked my insurance agent about similar situations and get the "deer in headlight look" and "no that's not covered". I'm curious if any of the other folks have any knowledge of insurance plans that covers loss type situations.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

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My insurance doesn't pay for comebacks or technician mistakes that cause me money and work. Example: if my guy doesn't tighten a wheel and it damages the car - too bad I pay. If in the same situation the loose wheel flys off and hurts someone waiting in line for the bus then they will pay for the medical bills.

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On a side note you probably won't lose too much cash, take some of the profit from the original job and put some valves in the broken engine. Have a different tech do the work. Its possible the tensioner was defective in which case the vendor might help you with a labor claim. I doubt the belt was defective. What is the vehicle?

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We also installed a new timing belt and tensioner at that time.

The engine supplier is off the hook because they require installer to replace the belt.

What am I not understanding? You replaced the belt, why are they off the hook?

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Wow. I have never had to warranty a used engine (I know that sounds strange, keeping my fingers crossed still) but I would hope they would stand behind an engine with less then 5k on it.

 

Have you found out why the belt jumped? Once you find out then you can go to either the salvage yard or timing belt manufacture for help. I know my friends shop once had to deal with Gates over a defective waterpump that fried a timing belt.

 

I am not sure how your salvage yards are in your location, but here we always buy the "extended warranty" with used engines. They normally are 1 year warranties that supply you with a new engine and up to so many hours of labor covered up to the cost of the engine. They replace the engines/transmission for any reason, cause is not a concern. You won't make money on a reinstall, but hopefully you can atleast break even and keep a happy customer.

 

I am going to run this by my insurance agent soon to see if we would be covered under this. Like yourself, I have never had an insurance claim and it would irritate me if we had little to no coverage on something like this.

Edited by Mario
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For used stuff I almost always start by contacting LQK. www.LKQonline.com They are one of the biggest suppliers of used parts in the country. They will deliver and pick up for free and if you have less than 100k on the engine it normally comes with a 12/12 warranty and of course the option of paying a little extra for the extended if you want it. They aren't always the cheapest but I have bought a bunch of stuff from them and the only time I have ever had a problem was with a VW transmission and they promptly replaced it with another one.

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Yes lkq is a good company, we buy from them and always purchase the labor warranty. Usually 100-150 extra but great peace of mind for us and customer.

 

Most big yards post their inventory at car-part.com. I check there for most used parts.

Edited by Mario
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So the vehicle is a 2006 Kia Sorrento suv with a 3.5 V6. After removing the timing covers to confirm the belt had jumped. The tech showed me that there is a small eccentric cam on the face of the tensioner pulley that requires a a special tool that you attach to a torque wrench and preload the tensioner pulley and then tighten fastener before releasing the holding pin from the tensioner. So it appears that the pretensioning step was not performed correctly because we didnt have the factory tool. I've never seen such a device built into a tensioner pulley. Very frustrated. Honestly it makes me not want to stick my head out by doing this kind of work.

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Main street america. They are more than happy to receive our 800 dollars per month. It's a new experience for me. I've been in business for almost 6 years and have had no problems of this kind. Call me naive but i really thought all these years that insurance would protect me from situations like this. Lesson learned and will move on but will be more cautious with this kind of work.

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I told them that we installed a replacement engine and that we installed a new timing belt per the sellers warranty requirements and that the belt had jumped timing but didnt mention the pretensioning step that wasn't performed. It really doesn't matter to them as they don't cover our work as i found out. They only cover Property and medical damages that result from the work. The insurance company knows how to cover themselves best.

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It all depends on what your policy is. I know we are covered for this type of situation. you should sit down with your agent and talk out scenarios and review your coverage. We at one time had a policy that would pay for subsequent damage but not the original "mistake". IE if a tech left a whell loose they would not pay for lugs or the wheel however they would pay for any damage caused by the wheel falling off. It cost an extra 40 bucks a year to cover the original mistake as well. a drop in the bucket and well worth the coverage imo.

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This post made me review my insurance coverage, I thank you guys. I discovered I wasn't covered for any physical damage to my dealer cars. I'm not on a floor plan meaning i own (or owe someone personally) for my inventory. One big hail storm and I stand to lose half of my net worth. I added some coverage. On a side note I am reluctant to file a claim for anything so I have a high deductible which lowers the rates.

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It's always best to learn from other's mistakes. What is your deductible? Mine is 500. If a covered event happens. I think I'd rather have a higher deductible and a lower rate too.

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#1 don't warranty used parts. have customer sign paperwork stating no warranty.

#2 I hate to say it but one must go over all contracts you sign with your attorney or expect a surprise.

#3 been there done that- I'm always happy if no one gets hurt/killed. if I can solve the problem with money then I am happy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the vehicle is a 2006 Kia Sorrento suv with a 3.5 V6. After removing the timing covers to confirm the belt had jumped. The tech showed me that there is a small eccentric cam on the face of the tensioner pulley that requires a a special tool that you attach to a torque wrench and preload the tensioner pulley and then tighten fastener before releasing the holding pin from the tensioner. So it appears that the pretensioning step was not performed correctly because we didnt have the factory tool. I've never seen such a device built into a tensioner pulley. Very frustrated. Honestly it makes me not want to stick my head out by doing this kind of work.

The rewards of doing the work is far greater than the penalties.
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I must say it did feel very good to stand behind our work and happily hand the keys over to the female owner with a great running replacement engine. She was thankful that we handled it without any run around. What really felt great was being more professional than the insurance company. At least honest people with character and values can sleep at night.

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Is the question about the insurance company? We had an incidence where a local shop built a driveshaft for a '66 Chevy Nova Wagon with a LS3 motor, etc. We spec'ed it out with the driveshaft company that the car will put approx. 600 hp to the wheels.

Well, they built it incorrectly with a smaller wall tube than they should have. We placed the car on the dyno for tuning.

On the first hard pull the engine twisted the driveshaft in half, taking out the motor, transmission and the entire floor pan. It was a rough day. I was sure I would pay for this out of pocket until I thought to call the insurance company.

 

The insurance company, Atain Insurance through SEMA, paid for the whole thing. The new engine, transmission, new driveshaft

(not from the old driveshaft company), floor pan and installation. They even paid us to put everything back together. Didn't quibble about anything.

 

How's that for service.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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