Total Loss or risk it with an Extended Warranty?
August 27, 2011 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Total Loss or risk it with an Extended Warranty?

Looking for a bit of advice here..

So I was in an accident at the end of July during a bad storm..basically, due to some bad tires and alot of water on the road, I hydroplaned and slammed into the left guard rail on the highway. While I was waiting for the cops, my battery died so I had to get towed. The car was towed to a geico xpress shop. I called the place at least once a week to check up on the status of the repairs, they kept mentioning the engine--my engine had been having a rough start up for a bit which I was aware of so I everytime it was mentioned I said "yea, it starts up rough--I may have to take it to the dealer"...I asked them if they could change my plugs and wires ---they said no problem. I went to pick it up today, got in the car, turned it on and a bunch of white smoke started coming out of the exhaust. Not only that but it barely drives--there seems to be no power. When it cranks, it never seemed to fire up. Basically, it pretty much couldnt be driven.

Now--here's my situation..does anyone know what the cause of that could be given the symptoms? And given the circumstances...should I call my insurance and have them make sure that problem is fixed as the car was clearly operational prior to the accident or should I have them tow it to the dealer hoping they'll fix the engine under the extended warranty..(the rx is an 04 with 70k miles on it...mazda is aware of the problems plaguing their rotary engines so they issued an extended warranty a few years back--as of now I have until october)?..I would definitely go with the insurance as--that's the reason why you get insurance in the first place but I'd hate to see this car declared a total loss.

What do you guys think?
posted by Jokesta to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think you need to know what's wrong with your car before you can make a reasonable decision. It sounds like the Geico shop doesn't know, so they can't help you. Have the car towed to either a dealer or, preferably, an independent shop that specializes in Mazdas. Get a diagnosis and work from there.
posted by jon1270 at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2011

My partner has one of these.

Winter before last it was snowed in for two weeks at friend's house, and when she went to retrieve it, it wouldn't turn over, so she had it towed to her mechanic.

Something had leaked into the combustion chambers-- he could never be prevailed upon to say exactly what-- but when it was finally cleared out, it has run fine for another 35,000 miles, or so.

But it was apparently a hard fix, and whenever she takes it in, he complains about that and threatens to refuse to work on it any more. So far she's been able to sweet talk him into it.
posted by jamjam at 1:39 PM on August 27, 2011

I'd call your auto insurance company up and tell them the car isn't operational and see what they say.

The likelihood that a dealer's going to do a warranty repair for damage that was caused by an accident is low. And I'd say there's a pretty good chance they'll try to pin it on the accident.

Good luck!
posted by herrtodd at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

If your car has been starting hard for a while - and was at a repair place for a while - where it also wouldn't start well... and has a weak battery. Pull the dip stick and smell the oil. If it smells like gas (from all those difficult starts) have the oil changed. If there is enough gas in the oil it can wash the cylinder walls down and cause the smoke. If it the oil sump is really full of gas and oil it may not even turn over. Good Luck.
posted by alfanut at 8:02 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

scary. My opinion here: your mistake, I think, was not getting it to the Dealer first. When your car has a warranty you basically risk voiding that if you have other places work on it. I'd at least call a Dealer up and ask their opinion. I know my Mazda Dealership has treated me very well in the last three years I've owned one.
posted by zombieApoc at 6:03 AM on September 7, 2011

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