2006 Suzuki Forenza Warrany Issues

My wife and I purchased a used "06 Forenza last summer with about 20k miles. We needed a reliable car with a good warranty, she was pregnant and do in March '08. The other day she was on her way home after picking up the baby and the car just died, no warning…no nothing. She called me and I immediately called a tow truck and rushed to the seen. Come to find out it was the timing belt. We towed the car and the next morning, got the car towed to the dealership. After their inspection of the car, they realized the whole engine needs to be replaced. In order for them to fix it they want us to come up with all the oil changing receipts to send to corporate to get some kinda approval to honor the warranty. Well we did get the oil changed every 3k miles but cant find every receipt. What do I do, and who can I talk to to get this resolved.

If the service facilities that you used are computerized, they should be able to produce documentation of your oil changes and other maintenance. You may have to prod them a bit, but most mechanics have gone over to some kind of computerized system for recordkeeping and billing, and as a result, it should be possible to get what you need from these facilities.

However, then a question will remain about the maintenance performed by the previous owner. My guess is that Suzuki will require proof that the first owner had the car maintained on schedule, and unless the car came with all of its maintenance records, I don’t know how you would obtain this information–unless you knew where it had been serviced by the previous owner.

This is a perfect example of why I always counsel that a used car should not be purchased unless it comes with the receipts for its maintenance. I wish you sincere good luck in your quest for all of the maintenance records for this car.

Call Suzuki corporate. A timing belt failure before its time has absolutely nothing to do with timely oil changes.

Are you sure this is not timing chain in this vehicle? If it is a chain then having your receipts is typically critical. It is lubricated by engine oil and typical early failures are due to lack of lubrication.

Of course it doesn’t have anything to do with the timing belt failure, but some car companies will do everything possible to weasel out of legitimate warranty claims. This is a very short-sighted approach, but it does happen.

It has a belt. Recommended replacement is at 60,000 miles.

I agree… oil changes have nothing to do with timing belt failure. They could be trying to get out of replacing the engine.

How many miles does the car have now?

I don’t agree with the absolute statements that the oil condition or fill level has nothing to do with a timing belt failure. Look at the information you have to go on- you don’t even know how far they disassembled the engine to arrive at their diagnosis. The cam bearings could be damaged and cause enough load to snap a marginal belt. Heck, the cam could be seized in the head for all anyone knows at this point. I’d have to guess but a year after buying, it might have 35k miles on it and you have no idea of the prior maintenance history.

They’re not going to invest the time to completely disassemble the engine to find the root cause until they know they will be compensated for that work. Doing right by their customer, they want to first see if the manufacturer warranty will cover the work. For that, they know the first question will be; has the proper maintenance been done on the vehicle.

That’s a good point. Something could have seized (due to low or no oil) causing the belt failure.

There could be more to this story.

Well, if so, this wouldn’t be the first time that the full details were revealed only after a very long delay, thus changing many of the original responses. It should be interesting to see how this one plays out in terms of more information.

Well the details to what happened does not change, only the fact that the dealership added that after the timing belt broke the engine locked up thus needing to be replaced. Over the last few days, I’ve been busy losing my religion with corporate and was contacted today and was told they will replace it with a new engine free of charge. The point to all this simple. You buy a car, car has warranty, car breaks, they don’t want to fix it without you calling in national guard. That’s bull!

They are well within their right to make sure you maintained the vehicle. If the failure was caused by lack of maintenence or owner abuse they can deny the warranty repair.

I asked the question before and I will repeat it… how many miles were on the vehicle when the belt failed?