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posted: 7/15/2012 5:14 AM

Fuel pump barely outlasts warranty

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Q. Thirteen months ago our local Ford dealer installed a new fuel pump in our 2003 Ford Windstar van. Last week that pump failed. The same dealer installed a second fuel pump for a grand total of $1,268. Safe to say I was not too happy.

Is this the norm? And if not, should I contact Ford Motor Co. to file a complaint.

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A. It's really unfortunate the dealer did not stand behind you on this repair. Most dealership warranties are for 12 months or 12,000 miles, so by the "letter of the law" they are technically right, but I believe it is terrible business practice not to replace the pump at no charge, or at a minimum contribute something to the repair.

I would definitely contact Ford and see if they can help; I don't know if they can or will, but it is worth a try.

When searching for a repair shop, a good question to ask is, how long is the warranty? Again, most dealers are 12 months/12,000 miles; independents can be all over the board but most are at least 12/12,000.

At Douglas Automotive we have a 36 month/36,000 mile warranty. We would have covered a failure like that 100 percent. It's all about providing outstanding customer service.

I am sure there is a shop that will provide a high level of service in your area. Ask your neighbors and friends where they go and try out a couple with some smaller repairs, and find out what the warranty policy is!

• Douglas Automotive is at 312 S. Hager Ave., Barrington, (847) 381-0454, and 123 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0440. For information, visit douglasautomotive.com. Send questions to underthehood@dailyherald.com.

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