The warranty period begins at the date of the sale, and is in effect for the time period stated on the product owner’s manual. The bill of sale or receipt that is supplied by the retailer at the time of purchase should be kept for warranty determination purposes.
Warranty length: Manufacturer’s warranties have time limits. Most warranties have specifications that exclude or have a very short limit on “wear items” like belts, sparkplugs, tires, pull ropes, cables etc.. These items are expected to wear and will fail in a very short time when used in a manner that the unit was not designed for. An example would be a belt driven self propelled mower being used commercially 5 days a week, 6 hours a day will have 120 hours use in a month. Compare this to a unit used for home use of 1 hour a week, 4 hours use in a month. The unit being used commercially has over two years (under normal use) worth of wear in a very short period of time.
Non-Warranty issues are:
- Problems caused by improper maintenance
- Problems caused by parts other than original equipment
- Bent or broken parts
- Damage due to abuse or neglect
- Use of improper lubricants
- Insufficient lubrication
- Normal wear
When a Technician looks at a unit, the question to be determined is “what could the user have done to cause this”, if there is nothing obvious such as listed above, the failure most likely is warrantable. Things like a leaking gasket, failed ignition system, casting flaws, premature failure and design flaws are all warrantable.
Warranty identification is important to Altaquip; as the customer is always happier when a repaired unit is returned at no charge. We have on-going training programs dedicated to educate our technicians in proper repair and warranty identification. A great deal of our “off season” time is spent in training. We also have a dedicated department of employees at our support center pursuing and processing warranty claims.
- Manufacturer expectations are clearly defined when it comes to warranty identification. Parts that are determined to be a warrantable repair are often requested for return to be inspected by the Manufacturer. This is why we must strictly abide by the Manufacturer’s warranty expectations.
a) Bad/Contaminated Fuel:
Today’s modern gas (oxygenated and with alcohol), does not store very well. Gas should be used up within 30 days of purchase or stored with a fuel stabilizer. Otherwise, it:
- Loses the volatility needed to start a small engine.
- Absorbs moisture from air damaging a carburetor by corroding components and plugging orifices.
- Given time turns to a varnish like substance gumming up moving parts and plugging orifices.
- Fouls sparkplug.
- Causes valves to stick and/or break.
- Will damage two stroke motors to the point of being a too costly to repair.
Modern gas, designed for cars and not for small gas engines, does not store very well compared to gasoline sold in the past. Again, gas should really be used up within 30 days of purchase or stored with a fuel stabilizer. After modern gas has been stored for more than 30 days, oxygenated fuel (gasohol and other blends) become stale and lose the volatility needed to start a small engine. The alcohol absorbs water from the air creating deposits in the many small openings inside a carburetor. b) Carburetor gum-up:
If gas is left in the engine for an extended time, the chances are good that the carburetor has become clogged with gummy varnish like residue resulting from the evaporation of that old gas. The result of this could be catastrophic to the engine; valves that should be moving can be stuck, breaking when attempting to start the engine. This requires a skilled technician to remove and clean the fuel system and/or replace damaged parts. c) Overfilled with oil or unit tipped allowing oil into cylinder:
More is not always better, especially when it comes to engine oil. It can:
- Causes motor to smoke.
- Forces oil into muffler and/or carburetor.
- Saturate an air filter starving the engine of air.
- Foul sparkplugs.
- Hydro seize a engine (cylinder filled with oil preventing the motor from turning over)
- Bend valves, damage seals or cause other major internal damage.
Overfilling the motor with oil is a common problem. When the motor is running it increases crank case pressure (where the oil sits). This additional pressure pushes the oil out of any area that it can find. This often forces oil into the muffler and/or the carburetor damaging air cleaners, fouling plugs and makes the motor smoke badly. In some cases the cylinder fills with oil stopping the motor from being able to move and/or allows pressure to bend or break valves.
Tipping the unit can result in the same symptoms as too much oil. This often occurs when a unit is tipped too far on its side for cleaning or transporting; just lifting the unit into a car trunk at a steep angle can place oil into area where it does not belong. d) Lack of lubrication:
Low oil, no oil and old dirty oil can:
- Shorten the life of a motor.
- Damage internal parts of engine.
- Cause immediate seizing of engine.
- Often make the unit too costly to repair.
When a unit is run without having oil in it, this quickly destroys an engine. Old dirty oil will shorten the life of a motor the same as no oil. On a two-stroke engine gas is mixed with oil, gas that sits for even a short period of time will separate resulting in raw gas (no oil) being introduced into the motor and quickly causing damage. A two strokes engine runs at 7000+ rpm (revolution per minute) that works out to the metal piston rings rubbing up and down against the metal cylinder wall more than 116 times per second with out lubrication. It may only takes a few seconds to fail!
An item with a gasoline engine (such as a tiller) should not be tipped on its front while the motor is running to clean the tines. The oil system is designed to work at a reasonably level position, does not work when tipped. Pressure washer and oil-lubricated compressors often are damaged when the user pulls the hose to move the unit closer or to reach a little further and the unit is tipped. e) Lack of maintenance:
A unit that has little or no maintenance can:
- Shorten the life of a unit.
- Causes motor to smoke.
- Causes motor to not run and/or start.
- Allow minor problems to turn into major repairs.
- Clogged pressure washer and paint sprayer components.
- Rust and corrode unit.
- Result in engine failure
Maintenance is very important; most problems that we see could have been prevented with a little simple maintenance. Dirty oil, fouled plugs and motors that have the engine covered in dirt and debris (causing the motor to run to hot) all contribute to premature engine failure. An example would be something as simple as an air filter that is dirty. It first starves the engine of air. This will result into carbon build-up (incorrect fuel/air mixture), resulting in a fouled plug, dirty oil, stuck valves and most importantly a blown engine. How does the engine damage occur from a dirty air filter? Once an air filter starts to be plugged the engine will find a path of least resistance to get air into the engine. This is often a result of a hole being sucked into the air filter, air being drawn around the air filter, drawn through the seals in the carburetor and any other areas that it can find. The dirt ingested will quickly destroy an engine. f) Other common damage:
- Misassembled or damage when assembling.
- Cables pinched or stretched.
- Left out in weather, water damage and/or sun damage.
- Unit works as it should—user may have misread owner’s manual.
- Allowing dirt/debris to be introduced into the fuel system.