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rob's garage


I have a 2005 Freestar Van with 60,000 kilometres on it. At a recent service, the adviser suggested I drop the 5,000-kilometre intervals to go 10,000 kilometres between services. Will this interfere with my warranty? I am getting confusing answers from Ford (P.S. the service adviser is no longer there).

Gord MacDonald

Warrantees - can't live with them - can't live without them.

This is the stuff that drives motorists crazy. Any time you get conflicting stories regarding your set of wheels, you need to do three things:

  1. Refer to your owner's manual
  2. Contact the service departments at two other dealers for an opinion
  3. Contact the manufacturers' head office for a ruling.

Each time you speak to someone, get a name and the position they hold within the organization.

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Step one is critical and I suggest you follow the recommendations to the letter. I know some of you will pooh-pooh this but if a vehicle problem occurs and the dealer or manufacturer can find any way to wiggle out from under the costs of a repair, it will dig as much as it has to. This includes checking your maintenance schedules. For example, I heard of an investigation into the appropriate grade of motor oil in the case of an engine failure.

Gord, to protect yourself, follow the recommendations in your owner's manual. In Canada, the teeth in our legislation for holding manufacturers and dealers good on major defects can be found in a glass beside the bed - we have no teeth. Do not believe that what you hear coming out of the United States applies in Canada. The U.S. has far more stringent laws concerning the legal rights of the motoring public.

I'm a strong believer in preventative measures. The manufacturer of your van wrote that manual for a reason; follow it and you have done everything in your power to adhere to your side of the warranty.