What Happens If Car Under Warranty Can't Be Fixed?

Updated on May 12, 2012
J.P. asks from Glendale Heights, IL
6 answers

2005 minivan, purchased used in 2007 with 18,000 miles. Now it has 70,000 and the engine light constantly comes on. It's been in for repairs several times over the past 6 months (still under warranty, so I've only paid deductible). They've kept it for 2 weeks TWICE now and did major work. Less than 2 days after I got it back, the light is back on. I can't pass an emissions test with the light on, so it needs to be fixed. Does anyone know what happens if they can't figure out the problem and the car is still under warranty? It has become a major hassle to keep bringing it in, but I really need a reliable vehicle for my family and cannot purchase a new one right now!

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answers from Phoenix on

Their diagnostics machine should be able to detect why/where the issue is coming from, that's causing the light to go on & give a cause code. It almost sounds like they're doing bogus repairs so they can collect payment for them.

I wouldn't buy a new car because of a check engine light going on. Lots of times the cause is minor. I would get a second opinion elsewhere - either at another dealership or pay out of pocket for your own. You can take it to a Checker (or similar) auto store & they can check codes. Even if you pay out of pocket at an independent auto repair facility, it's still better than the alternative.



answers from Las Vegas on

You don't mention if your technician is at the dealer or at the corner shop. Hopefully it is the dealer.

So if you problem started while you were under warranty and can be determined to be a continuing problem, the warranty should stand. If the dealer can't fix it, request a zone rep look into the problem. It may have to be escalated. I am assuming you have already spoken to the service director.

It is an older vehicle, so if they warrantied it, then it, they should cover it.

As for your emissions, I think you are stuck. You are at the mercy of the company. Hopefully they will cooperate and act fast to get you back on the road. They too have to diagnose and correct your problem. So just because you contact them doesn't mean you will get it fixed.

My biggest suggestion is that you play nice. I can imagine how frustrated you are, but you are at their mercy.


answers from New York on

Try a different dealership and see what happens. All your information is in the database so you do not have to take it where you bought it. If they can't figure it out then I would be on the phone and see if you can get under the lemon law. Good Luck!


answers from Dallas on

We had a similar issue. FINALLY, they figured out it was a bad gas cap. It was letting in air and for some reason, that makes the engine light come on. We bought a new gas cap and that took care of the problem.
Hope this helps,


answers from St. Louis on

If they can't figure it out it may beyond the warranty. The thing is you have a seven year old vehicle with a warranty worth X dollars. The most you can hope for is X dollars which is probably less than 500 dollars.

Not sure if that makes sense but you don't get a new car just because they can't figure out what is wrong.



answers from Madison on

Must be a dodge?!

05 was a tester year...lots of bugs with that year that were fixed in the years to follow. Make sure you are taking it into a dealership and not just a small shop. Dealers can go all the way up the chain and talk with the ones to created the car which can help out a ton...smaller shops don't have that opportunity.

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