Piston Slap: Goodwill Repair, Goodwill Replace Again? (PART II)

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap goodwill repair goodwill replace again part ii

Caroline Writes:

Good day Sajeev:

I was blessed to find your information on line. I am experiencing the exact issues mentioned on your site regarding my 2013 Volvo S60. Do you have any advice regarding the best way to handle this matter? Here are the details:

November 2015, I purchased a used 2013 Volvo S60 with 33,000 miles from a Volvo dealer. The car worked fine, within the last year (2018) the synthetic oil started burning out within 60-90 days. Synthetic oil changes are supposed to last for 7k miles. (my oil changes didn’t last for 1,000 mi). I have taken my car for servicing at the Volvo dealer. I searched the web and found my issue is a common issue with Volvo: Piston, Oil leaking, engine problems. There has not been a recall.

Dealer states they will cover parts, but I must pay $2900 for service hours. Why should I suffer penalty of $2900 for an international issue with the make and model of Volvo?

Sajeev answers:

The short answer: you’re paying for labor on the engine rebuild because Volvo isn’t convinced (so to speak) to issue a recall. But hopefully the dealer is also discounting their labor rate, so ask before committing.

The long answer?

Looking from the outside, goodwill repairs are far from a black and white set of rules for dealers and/or manufacturers. And perhaps your resolution also differs from Ed’s more pleasant experience (Part I) because he bought a new Volvo? All we can do is read between the lines: add this to the recent pressure Volvo’s feeling (making electric cars ain’t cheap, trade wars are no fun, etc) and the reality is not everyone prioritizes goodwill repairs equally.

Here’s a fun quote from an article about dealership audits:

“As we all know, manufacturers have tightened their financial belts and one of their favorite ways to address cash losses is warranty issues.”

More to the point, the threat of an audit must terrify any dealership. Not everyone’s gonna win in this game, so pay for the repair or trade it in: trade-ins become auction fodder for the experienced types aware of a vehicle’s pitfalls, and bid accordingly. That’s how the game is played.

Used cars (at the retail level) are always a risk, so should we consider the depth/breadth of manufacturer goodwill in our purchases?

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Join the conversation
2 of 53 comments
  • Ryanwm80 Ryanwm80 on Jul 21, 2019

    A couple of thoughts. Why the Volvo specifically? Is it just "a car" or is there something about it that makes it superior? Did you ever test drive or consider a Chrysler 200 or 300, a Ford Taurus or Buick LaCrosse? I have a Ford Taurus and I'm extremely happy with it. My mom has a Chrysler Town & Country and is also extremely happy with that. Those are great vehicles that have held up well. Is it worth the time, money, and effort to fix the Volvo, or should you get something better, like a Chrysler 300 with a 3.6 / 8 speed auto, or a Taurus with a 3.5 or twin turbo 3.5, or a Lincoln MKZ hybrid?

  • Incautious Incautious on Jul 22, 2019

    Burning that much oil in that short period of time will affect one's emissions( and eventually poison the catalytic converter). I would get a tailpipe emissions test and if the car is under the 8/80,000 warranty they are obligated to fix the issue. If your vehicle is out of warranty, try switching to a conventional heavier weight oil such as Shell rotella 15w40. this may slow down oil consumption. Finally class action action lawsuit.

  • Chris P Bacon It would be really nice if car sites like TTAC helped people find way to avoid these prices. It seems like stories like these just say "suck it up and pay the markup". No. In many cases, you don't have to. I just ordered a Wrangler 4xe and got Chrysler Affiliates price. That 1% under invoice. I know this is the price I got because I sat at the computer in the dealer's showroom and build the Jeep. i got Chrysler Affiliate pricing through my employer. Your employer doesn't offer it? Join treadlightly.org. For $100 membership, guess what? You get Chrysler Affiliate pricing! Want a Ford, but think you can't get X-Plan? Think again! Join EAA.org. X-Plan is included with their membership. A dealer in my area is offering Costco members a $1500 incentive. I'm guessing that has something to do with Costco's car buying service, so there must be some value to be found in that program.Will all dealers honor these discount plans? No. Then that's not the dealer you want to work with anyway. Find another place to shop. It would be nice if TTAC (or any car site) did a little leg work to show readers how to actually save on a car purchase.
  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.