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Mercury Mariner

I purchased my 2008 Mercury Mariner Sept 27, 2012, less than 2 years ago as a used vehicle from Kia Auto Mall in Swansea Massachusetts, with 48,000 miles on it. (My previous car, a used but loved 1998 Volvo needed more work than I could afford so I went searching for another affordable used vehicle) My Mariner has been an ‘ok’ car from the beginning, spacious but nothing special in terms of performance. I have been noticing for probably close to a year now, that the gears/transmission, have been skipping a little when I’m taking off from a stop.) Now (August 23, 2014) when I start my car and drive I am hearing what sounds to me, like the transmission in 1st or second gear instead of ‘drive’…like it’s revving too high…ANYONE driving this car would notice this, seriously, ANYONE. This is an automatic 2008 Mercury Mariner currently with 62,000 miles on it. When I first noticed this a month ago, it was mild. Now it’s much more obvious that the transmission IS NOT operating normally. The little orange ‘wrench’ light came on about 2 weeks ago. HELP. I decide to take my car to The ‘Auto Mall’ dealer where I bought it. (2 days after the light appeared) Their mechanic said there was nothing wrong. Their mechanic ‘hooked up’ the device that shows diagnostic codes’ and then took it for a ride. His conclusion: It’s fine, It just needs maintenance. He suggested an oil change. Since I knew something was wrong in spite of his lame diagnosis, I took my car to a local highly recommended and highly trusted mechanic. He drove it for 5 minutes and noticed what I noticed. He hooked up his device and saw the codes indicating ‘transmission’ problems ( I forgot the actual numbers, they were in the 700 range) How could the first technician at The Auto Mall Dealership get it wrong?? Was he inept?? Are they just messing with me? Are they lying? Are they trying to weazle out of fixing my vehicle? Seriously.
I did purchase an 'extended warranty the same day that I purchased this car, “Portfolio Protection”, in the dealership’s finance office - so I expect this repair will be covered. I just want expert opinion/advice please. Thank you. Dawn

Yes, they are lying to you. When a wrench comes on it, means problems. You need the codes and take it back to them. Insist they honor their warranty. Do not let them take advantage of you. If they don’t take you seriously, threaten to get your lawyer on them. Try nice first, but they have already lied to you.

weasles… go in there informed to the teeth, with your lawyers card pinned to the outside of the manila envelope that contains the correct diagnosis, and request repayment of that charge as well

I commend you for recognizing that the Auto Mall guy was at best inept and at worst dishonest. You were smart to go elsewhere.

Read your extended warranty carefully. It may be that you can submit the claim directly, without any input from the Auto Mall guy. These extended warrantees are insurance policies sold by private companies unrelated to the sales organizations, unlike new car manufacturer’s warrantees.

If it turns out that you do have to submit the claim through the dealership, play hardball right up front. Point out that if they don’t honor the warranty, you’ll file a formal complaint with your state’s Consumer Protection Office of the State Attorney General’s Office, and if they balk, immediately follow through with the complaint. No shady dealer wants the AG’s office investigating them.

I hate to say this but, if you told the dealer this:

I have been noticing for probably close to a year now, that the gears/transmission, have been skipping a little when I'm taking off from a stop.) Now (August 23, 2014) when I start my car and drive I am hearing what sounds to me, like the transmission in 1st or second gear instead of 'drive' it's revving too high...ANYONE driving this car would notice this, seriously, ANYONE.

They may say that you’ve been remiss by driving the vehicle for a year knowing there was a problem, which could be construed as abuse, thus voiding any warranty. I just really hope you didn’t tell them this issue may have started nearly a year ago.

+1 to PvtPublic’s comment.
In addition to possibly having shot herself in the foot by revealing that this mechanical issue is of long-term duration, another statement in the original post has me wondering if she has shot herself in the foot in an additional way.

Specifically, I am referring to, “It just needs maintenance”.
As unscrupulous as this dealership may be, the possibility remains that the mechanic was correct about the vehicle being overdue for maintenance. Even if the problem was not directly related to a lack of maintenance, an aftermarket warranty–with their legendary weasel clauses–might be totally voided by ignoring the maintenance schedule.

So, the OP should tell us (in detail) about the maintenance history of this vehicle since the time that she bought it, and should also tell us how much she revealed to the mechanic regarding when the transmission problem began.

Like @Pvtpublic;, I too wondered about you noticing this a year ago. Then in a later sentence you say that "When I first noticed this a month ago, it was mild.

Yuo need to read that warranty real good. Not all warranties are the same, you may be covered…you may not.

You have had the car for two years. Have you ever had the transmission serviced.
THough you have only put on 14K on the odometer, a new transmission filter and fluid change may have fixed this problem from the start.

When buying a used car always presume that no maintence has been done, unless they can show you detailed reciepts of the repairs.
I would never buy a used car and not change the oil in the first few days and a tranny filter and fluid change within a month.
Plus you need to find an independent mechanic to trust. Not everything is going to be covered by any warranty.


Assuming the vehicle is a 4 cylinder front wheel drive, the transmission service is not overdue

At least, not according to Ford normal driving conditions

That said, if you specify severe service, it’s due every 30K

To me, it’s a judgment call. I don’t know how OP drives. Technically, it may or may not be overdue. But most of us gearheads would probably do it every 30K

I feel the warranty company could choose to interpret this situation any way they feel is beneficial to them