Advice would greatly be appreciated, warranty issue.

1827 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  CajunDodge
2010 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.7 liter hemi in it. The other day my girlfriend and I were hauling trailer behind it, load was less than 2500 pounds and the motor just seized up. It made a metallic crunching noise as the motor quit. No major engine vibrations noted, engine was running smooth until it just quit. A strong electrical smell and smoke came from under the hood. When I noticed the engine quit and rpms were zero, I was able to make note of an oil warning light that switched to the lightning bolt light. My girlfriend was doing 35 to 40 mph when it happened. Upon trying to start it would click and more electrical smell/smoke would of it. Oil level was at the half mark between fill and full.

After a day of calls, its found out the motor seized up! I had an inclination that it threw a rod, but unlikely being it only has 20k miles on it. Upon further research, other 5.7 liter hemis did the same thing. I noticed the truck would have the intermittant hemi tick, but didnt know what it was until researching! Other hemis had this issue in the cylinder number 7. Do it yourself oil changes were done at the right intervals, but having trouble locating old receipts.

Our warranty is being denied without those receipts!! Has anyone experienced or know someone with similar issues? I can imagine trying to get itemized receipts from old credit card statements, but is there anything at the dealer or car manufacturer level that can resolve this? Silent warranty or recal perhaps? Otherwise, many thousands of dollars are at stake. Thank you for any advice.
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First off - just my opinion, but a motor that has been neglected in terms of oil changes will show signs - sludge, dirty oil pan pickup, etc - seems to me that some basic inspection would indicate that this is not the case, and that the dealer is going out of their way to find a loophole here in order to void the warranty. Honestly, how many casual drivers out there keep receipts from ALL of their oil changes. I certainly don't (but will now, as I also do mine myself).

I know I'm Captain Obvious right now by stating this - just having a hard time understanding why they're claiming it's an issue of neglect here. Plus, your oil level was ok - what, maybe 1/2 a quart low?

p.s. Yes, you can pull receipts from your credit card company. I'd start working on that now as they tend to be slow in retrieving the original receipt data.
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Thank you for the reply! Im in shock because one would expect a newer vehicle to perform its intended tasks with regular maintenance. I have kept the receipts, trouble locating them all. Obviously they assume the oil changes werent done. With research, as stated in my post above, select 5.7 hemis apparently had the same issue. Throwing a rod for no reason. Aside from being a select unlucky few, theres no hidden warrany or recall issues with this issue? Its frustrating when oil changes are done yourself at regular intervals, only for the dealer to demand every single oil change receipt. Ive also heard this is an issue with many dealerships, to try and deny valid warranty claims that result from an engine defect and not abuse or neglect.
I've got to agree with everything Turbo said. Personally I would think the dealer would have to prove neglect in order to get out of the warranty, I would have to guess that most everyone does not take their trucks or cars back to the dealers to get the oil changed or serviced and no one is going to keep all the receipts from where you purchased oil and come to think of it if you did it yourself then how is the dealer going to know that that the oil and filters you purchased really went in and on your truck? That's not making a lot of sense to me.

Something you can do is pick up the phone and call the corporate office, also send an email to them as well. Explain the whole thing to them, most of the time this will solve the issue but just be nice to them till it's time not to be. I had a similar issue with Toyota years ago, a simple email resulted in a call from Corporate Relations and a call from the dealer and my problem solved. Car dealers (Brand owners that is) what customers these days and they want them to stay loyal and happy.
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Ask to speak to the regional rep IMMEDIATELY. Call Chrysler USA NOW. Don't screw around.
Has anyone heard of any other Hemi engines seizing up? I havn't. I would like to know as I have a Hemi and hope it doesen't happen to mine. Also even if the oil had not been changed for 20,000 miles, that is not enough to destroy an engine.
how many miles were on it?> I mean there is a break in period where your suppose to take it easy but I mean 2500 pounds isnt a lot........
I also agree that you should file a case with Chrysler corporate. I have to say that, while I have not filed any complaints with corporate, I have had to reach out to customer service on some relatively mundane inquiries (for example, is there an update for uconnect, my build sheet, etc) and I've gotten timely responses.
That's sobering news....I'm sure there are more sitting up reading this right now! I don't think I could produce half of my receipts, although I do record my own oil changes in my maintenance booklet, including dates, type of oil and filter and mileage. So is this particular dealer recieving kickbacks for all the denied warranty claims from Chrysler? That's brutal.
Dude that's straight bullshit. But I was gonna say your CC or bank could show the transactions where you bought oil. Maybe the auto parts store can print out the old receipts.

My first advice. Another dealer.

If it threw a rod there would be oil everywhere
Ask the dealership to send a sample of the oil out for analysis. Next get on the phone with corporate Chrysler. Seems like a lot of these dealers are trying to duck out on warranty work.
wow reading this post made me sick. I have no advice but GOOD LUCK and happy holidays. That is not cool!! Best of luck and please keep up updated
So they found parts in the oil pan. What was determined, a roller rocker broke, causing the valve spring to collapse, push rod bent, causing piston to go haywire. Cause is NOT oil related but a mechanical problem. Word of advice, if you hear the dreaded hemi tick, I'd be weary. Still waiting to see if warranty will cover it, or if they still want receipts for all the oil changes before warranty service. If your driving around in a seemingly new car or truck and all of a sudden bam! Its not violent, happens in 2 seconds and no vibrations, you only hear the sickening noise of metal on metal one or two in the morning, beware. Even new cars are prone to random failures.
on my last truck (i hated the damn thing) i wanted the engine to seize or blow up :LOL:. i hadnt changed the oil in well over a year, only added oil if the engine light would come on, sometimes ive had to add up to 4 quarts of oil to top it up and its was still running strong, so i wouldnt think a truck with only 20k miles with 1/2 quart low would cause the engine to sieze, did i mention that i hated my last truck :LOL:
A good dealer that is looking to keep you as a customer should be doing anything it takes to keep your business in my opinion.
On a claim of this magnitude, the dealer can't make the decision....Chrysler does. The dealer knows that Chrysler will require proof of maintenance; that is why they asked for the receipts. The fact that they tore it down and are talking about the issue being mechanical rather then a maintenance issue tells me that they are on your side and trying their best to fast track this to ensure you are a satisfied customer.

Give them the opportunity to do their job inside the guidelines that Chrysler has set out for them to follow, and do your best to get them the receipts they asked for so they can shove them in Chrysler's face to eliminate that possible reason for a denied claim.

I buy my trucks brand new, and I get them serviced at the dealer so the maintenance records are on file. After spending 10's of thousands of dollars on a new truck, I am not going to screw up the warranty over something as inexpensive as basic maintenance at the dealer. Also, by having them do the maintenance, they get to see me as a regular customer, so when I do have a warranty claim, they know me, know that I am a regular, and will overlook little things (like questionable mods) that might otherwise cause an issue.

The dealership is a business. All businesses benefit from repeat customers. I never see them as a 'stealership' or 'liarship', but rather as my front line warriors that will fight for me when something goes wrong....and believe me, they have. This has been the case with my current dealer(s), and the ones I dealt with in the past. I will never say that I haven't had to be 'firm' with my position a few times, but I have never been denied what has been owed to me.

If you plan to do your own maintenance, at the very least, keep your receipts 'AND' enter everything into a 'hand written' log book. You spent big bucks to buy an expensive vehicle.......

BTW - This is only the 2nd seized Hemi I have heard about since 2003. The other one was run with no oil (Opps, did someone forget the drain plug ??), and it apparently squealed very bad for about 10 miles before it quit all together. I have heard of the odd one breaking a valve spring (earlier versions), but other than a bent valve, they usually faired pretty good. :4-dontknow:
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Geez, reading this post even made me sick. I don't know that I could keep up with every receipt from every oil change but like Brad, it's not that I'm not capable of doing my maintenance myself, but by going to the dealer for service, not only is it documented when I had those things done but mileage, date etc but also, if something does go wrong they have to be made to stand behind their work. I sure hope this gets resolved and your truck fixed but I agree, let them do what they can and need to do and go from there but good luck man and definitely keep us posted!

- Cajun
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