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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
planedog
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Beware: Advance Auto Parts/ATK Spartan

I just want to relay my recent experiences with Advance Auto Parts warranty department:

About a year ago I purchased an ATK/Spartan 4.0 overhauled engine for my Jeep from Advance Auto Parts. About 6 months after installing that engine the #6 connecting rod broke destroying the engine and the transmission.

The local Advance store said there was nothing they could do and gave me the number for Advance Engine and Transmission Warranty Dept. When I called them they said there was nothing they could do and gave me the number for ATK/Spartan warranty dept. See a pattern here yet?

It turns out that ATK has only one, yes one, person authorized to take care of all engines sold by Advance Auto Parts. One person to help with install issues, engine malfunctions, warranty claims, everything! Can you imagine how long it took me to talk to that one person? Their customer service person took my message and promised that Ritchie would call me back very soon, ha. I waited seven hours and finally called them back very irritated and they somehow were able to drag Ritchie away from whatever he was doing. Believe it or not, it only took about 30 seconds to diagnose my problem! I think the part about the entire corner of the engine missing clued him in.

Finally they shipped the replacement engine right out and I had it within a week. They also told me that they would evaluate the returned engine and authorize my warranty claim within three days. Yahoo, I was happy, but not for long. They failed to mention how long it would take to get the engine back to them from Advance...

When installing this engine I found out that the transmission had also been destroyed. Then I found out that it is nearly impossible to find a Jeep 32RH and what is out there runs about $800 used but that is another story. When I called ATK about the transmission I had to leave another message for Ritchie and he called me back while I was at work and could not take the call, he said that he would try again but that was a lie because he ever did. A couple of days later I called again and they would not let me talk to Ritchie again and he called me back while I was at work again and promised to try again, again and he never called again, again. When I finally did get to talk to him, he said there is nothing they can do and gave me the number for Advance Warranty, Ha!

This engine that I bought from Advance Auto Parts came with a warranty that entitles me to a labor reimbursement of $300 after the engine is received by ATK and they determine that the purchaser is worthy of the reimbursement so I returned the broken engine to the local Advance store on 12-04-10.

On 12-15-10 I called ATK and they told me that they had not yet received the engine so guess who I called next? Well, when I called Advance Warranty back up Lori told me that it would take 6-8 weeks for ATK to get the engine!! What? Anyway, she promised to track the engine and call me back the next day. That was a lie because she has still not called me back as of this writing.

I waited until 1-14-11 to call Advance Warranty back and no one would answer the phone and their message said to leave a message and they would call me back so I did. That call has still not been returned. Is the pattern becoming clear?

By now I'm becoming pretty irritated so on 1-19-11 I call Advance Warranty back up one more time. I actually get to talk to a person this time so I very politely explain to Chad what has happened so far and he cheerfully agrees to check on the engine and call me back the very next day. I tell him (very nicely) that I really hope that he will actually call me back because Lori has already made that promise to no avail and he assures me that he will. Guess what? He still hasn't called two day later.

So, just a few minutes ago I call Advance Warranty back up and no one will answer the phone. I call right back and still no one will answer the phone so I leave another message.

Then I call ATK/Spartan once again and confirm that they have still not received the engine. I then try to tell the customer service person what is going on and ask for help but she is talking so much about the engine return process, which I have come to know only too well, that she can not hear anything that I am saying. When I finally get her attention she tells me that there is absolutely nothing that they will do to help me.

I tell her about the problems with Advance and ask if she could just call them up and see if she could get any answers and she flatly refuses! I then proceed to tell her that when I get of the phone I am going to post this experience on one of the world’s largest "self-installer" websites and that the review will not reflect well on her company even though I am fairly well satisfied with ATK's service so far. She says that is fine and there is still nothing she will do for me. I then ask if she is absolutely certain that her supervisor would tell me that same thing and she assures me that they would.

So here I am seven weeks later and no one can tell me anything. I must confess that I am rather pissed off! I don't even know if the engine has been lost, what am I to do now? I should have just kept the darn broken engine and parted it out on the Jeep Forum!!

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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
Joe Dillard
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Bummer about the service you are getting, although I'm not surprised.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
SQUARElights4me
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Holy SH*T. Have you tried digging for contact information for the president/CEO/COO of Advance or ATK on google? This has nothing to do with a motor, but I had the same type of experience with Home Depot with a fence installation. I had issues with my local store, the contractor installing, and Home Depot Headquarters. I wont go into the specifics, but I wound up calling the president and CEO of Home Depot personally, and I received PROMPT answers, service, and 400$ gift card to HD for my troubles. I had the nearly the identical problems you are having. I made sure to get names, and employee numbers, as I gave the President of Home depot all of that information. I still to this day receive letters in the mail thanking me for being a "valued customer" Not sure how hard or easy finding out the info for advanced, but you can go into ANY store and they will have numbers to their Headquarters! good luck man, and keep us posted!

below is a link to the names/numbers to the big wigs at advance. The president of advance is Jimmie Wade. (540) 362-4911

http://people.forbes.com/profile/jimmie-l-wade/1464
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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:32 AM   #4
Que89YJ
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What a bunch of crap. Sorry to hear it. So, do you have the engine installed and did you get the tranny taken care of?
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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
SQUARElights4me
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Unread 01-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #6
bft89yj
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dude that sucks im actually in the middle of putting one of these spartan/atk motors in my yj so far everything looks good the motor looks real nice and i went back and checked all the bolts for the right torque rating and everything and it all checks out so i hope this doesnt happen to me i will be so pissed
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Unread 01-21-2011, 11:29 AM   #7
frhrwa
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pay with a credit card so you can stop payment if there is a problem.. that gets their attention real quick..
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Unread 01-21-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
Louie4
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That sucks righteously. I usually avoid Advance and go to Autozone or O'Reilly's. The guy up there is a d-bag. This has nothing to do with your situation. It just reinforces me not to go up there. Hopefully it will work out, though it's beyond the point of having a happy ending.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #9
planedog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Que89YJ View Post
What a bunch of crap. Sorry to hear it. So, do you have the engine installed and did you get the tranny taken care of?
Yes, everything is running great so far with this second engine and the tranny is great. Thanks for asking.

BTW, I'm three messages in today wih no return call yet. I'm going to wait until the full 8 week delivery window is up and then I will probably start calling some presidents... I really think they ought to at least reimburse me part of my transmission repair.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
Que89YJ
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I think your best option is take all the documentation and file a small claim. In Michigan its $25 and exactly what its meant for.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 01:20 PM   #11
planedog
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Update:
Advance finally called back! Of course they called my home phone while I was outside even though I have given every person and left on every message my cell number. But anyway, when I called them back I was able to talk to Robert who looked me up and reviewed my history. Then I told him about how no one else had returned a single call. He almost immediately said that since the 8 week window Lori told me had been exceeded and since I had so much trouble he would go ahead and release the $300 self-installer labor reimbursement which I could pick up at the store next Friday (maybe they mail a check?).

I then told him about the transmission issue and told him about the dated pictures I have of all that and he said that he would personally call ATK and have them personally pick the engine up from the warehouse and have it analyzed immediately. He also said that he would talk to (somebody I can’t recall, his boss I think) and call me back no later than 9:30 Monday morning to tell me more about the transmission issue. I told him that I would be satisfied if they would simple release the full $600 that the warranty would pay to a shop that had a tax ID number (no kidding, that’s what the warranty says).

Then we talked about the fact that I would trust him to actually call me back as he had promised because he sounded like a man of his word (he really did) even though neither Lori nor Chad had done so. I think he appreciated that because he guaranteed that he would be calling.

I guess this means there is more to come…
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Unread 01-21-2011, 01:24 PM   #12
Louie4
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The drama keeps me coming back for more.

It's like Days of our Lives except this should end in a timely manner.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 04:17 PM   #13
4LarXedo4
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Similar experience with Advance auto engine's. Had a dealer install a replacement 4 cylinder. 3 weeks later it can't hold an idle, bring it back in and there's low compression on two cylinders. Further diagnosis shows the head is warped. Advance refuses to warranty the part, after a huge battle i buy a new head. 1 week later there is little to no oil pressure at idle, further diagnosis and it looks like the replacement engine had old used bearing in it...fast forward 1-2 months later they never warrantied anything and the Better Business Bureau was involved. Hope you have better luck then i did. I will never buy major items from them again.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
VooDuuChild
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Wow, I feel your pain. You think you're doin yourself a favor by dealing with a big company with good warrantees, etc and it seems like you've only found one helpful person. Grrrrr, what a pain man! I've been researching who to buy my stroker from and I've decided on going with Titan Engines. On eBay they have PERFECT feedback of hundreds of motors sold, on everything from a ford escort to jeeps, to big stroked chevy 383's. They build them all and seem to doing a great job with zero bad feedback (oh, I just checked, they have one negative for their years on eBay, and it was just a wrong part, not an engine build) which says a lot when it comes to building engines....everything from mild stock, to wild stroked. We're probably goin regular 4.7 stroker. It's gonna be sweet. Good luck on your warrantee issues!!

Check out http://www.titanengines.com if you wanna see different strokers they build, or if you're lookin into any motor really. It looks like they really take care of their customers (and no, I don't work for them or have any association, I've just been itchin for a stroker for a few years now but my 4.0 won't die, hahaha)
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Unread 01-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #15
Jeff88
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This sucks that they are doing this to you.

I hope it gets resolved fast!

I was so pissed at the cable company once, I took all of their equipment out of my house and called them and told them their "sh-t is on the porch, come and get it, or I am going to charge you rent."

It sat out there for a month or so, and I called them to tell them again to come and get it.

Then they charged me $185 for not returning the stuff.

I failed. They won.

BUT, I have a sattelite dish now, so I really won.

I am not going to shop at Advance now, because of your issue. Screw them.
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