My car pulls to the right and ESP light comes on

Tiny
ROBINSDENNIS
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 MERCEDES BENZ C320
  • 113,654 MILES
While driving in dry weather, my car pulls to the right as if something has grab the tire. The ESP light comes on with 1 malfunction. Could this be a brake issue or a default. I have wait for about 30 minutes before the light goes out. I have an extended warranty for my car that I purchased after I brought from a used dealer and I wanted to know if this repair would be covered under my warranty.
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Friday, September 6th, 2013 AT 2:18 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
We have no way of knowing what your insurance contract covers. We should be asking YOU that since you have the paperwork. Some policies cover "internally-lubricated parts" in the engine and transmission, and nothing else. I used to overhear all the time, "what you need isn't covered". In general you paid more for the contract than what you will save in repair costs. About 80 percent of what you paid goes for commissions to the people who sold it to you, and 20 percent pays the premium. When they tell you the contract doesn't cover what your car needs you can request a refund for the time remaining on it and use that money for the repairs.
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Friday, September 6th, 2013 AT 8:02 PM
Tiny
ROBINSDENNIS
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Did you miss the first part of my question. Answering that may help me to determine if problem with the car is covered. Also I have always had extended coverage contracts that have saved me thousand of dollars, but I have never had this problem with a car. Spending $2200 for a contract that gives 60 months or 100,000.00. Sound like a good deal from what reading for repair work on this site. I had one car that had a transmission replacement 3 times and it cost me $50.00. The contract I have now pretty much as the same language as the others. I was just playing on the Internet to see if anyone as ever had the problem I'm having what was the result. I have used car and the warranty kicks in a few days from. So since you don't know the answer I will wait until I can talk to a qualified mechanic and someone who won't pick apart my questions.
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Saturday, September 7th, 2013 AT 4:02 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Interesting interpretation of my response, but as we say in school, " what you heard is not what I said".

First of all, you didn't bother to elaborate on when this happens other than in dry weather. Does the car pull all the time? Just after braking for another half mile or so? Does the pull stop when you brake? Why make us guess? Does that mean the pull goes away when it's raining? That implies there's an alignment problem and the two front tires are steering in two slightly different directions. That alignment angle is called "toe". Alignments are considered maintenance repairs and are rarely covered under any warranty. The only alignments that are covered are those that are needed after covered parts have been replaced and they affect the alignment. Misadjusted toe will result in a feather edge pattern on both tires. Has anyone "read" the tire wear to see if that could be part of the problem?

Second, I told you my experience with service contracts with tvs and with cars, both my professions. In general they are very bad values for most car owners and tv owners. The fact that they saved you a lot of money is wonderful, and should hardly be interpreted as "picking your question apart? I've owned mostly Chrysler products since the '70s and the last three have cost less in repairs over the last 25 years than the cost of one service contract. I don't know what kind of cars you've owned in the past but it sounds like you've had expensive cars built with expensive parts and that are expensive to repair. For the average driver service contracts aren't a good deal. All professionals know that. You aren't the average owner. Hardly a reason to get in a snit.

Third, you said a warning light came on. I have to guess that's for the electronic stability control but you didn't say. You said there's a fault by which I'm guessing you mean a diagnostic fault code. Is that code top secret? Why didn't you say what that code is. You want me to tell you if it's related to the braking problem. How do you expect anyone to know that? Be aware too that fault codes never say to replace parts or that they're defective. They only indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. Your mechanic may need to drive the car with a scanner connected so he can view live data to see what is happening. It's possible there's a little corrosion in a connector, and that resistance is causing a wheel speed sensor's signal to drop out. The computer may interpret that as a slipping tire and the system may be trying to correct for that. The fault code might point to that.

Fourth, and this is the biggy, ... There is no way in the world we can know what's in your service contract, yet you want us to tell you if some unknown problem is covered. Most of those contracts have so many loopholes they look like Swiss cheese. The common ones cover "internally-lubricated parts". The better ones cover computers and other electronics. A few are provided through the manufacturer. Most contracts sold come through independent companies, even when you buy a new car and the dealer sells it to you. They love to sell those because 80 percent of what you pay goes to pay sales commissions. You said your contracts saved you a lot of money, and that's wonderful, ... For YOU, but in general they are not that good a value for most car owners. Luckily I worked for a very nice dealership, and they always mentioned that aftermarket service contracts were available, but they never pushed hard to sell them. The warranties through the manufacturer were pretty generous already. The contract may be in effect, but if your car is still under the manufacturer's warranty, that takes precedence. Until the manufacturer's warranty expires, you're paying for a contract that you can't collect on. That too may not apply to you since you bought a used car, but we have one well-known crooked new-car dealer who loves to push the contracts on young new-car buyers who don't think of that. Those contracts expire about the same time as the manufacturer's warranty, so they paid for a product they can't use.

Also be aware that most contracts have a small deductible, and that is usually for each repair, even when many are done at the same time. Some people come in with three unrelated problems, then are surprised when they're charged three deductibles. Another problem is getting those companies to pay the bills. You will have had fewer problems if you are a regular customer at your favorite shop, but the majority of new car dealers are fed up with waiting and fighting for payments that they now make the customer pay the bill, then let THEM collect from the insurance company. Those companies are a lot more responsive to the customers.

Finally, maintenance items are not covered with these contracts. You are guaranteed to spend $2200.00 in five years, and that seems to make you happy. I'd sell any car that cost me that much. I recently had to replace the $19.00 ignition coil on my '88 Grand Caravan daily driver, with 246,000 miles. Other than that I've replaced one fuel pump, one timing belt, lots of air filters and tires, and two headlight bulbs. Even if I paid someone else to do my repairs I wouldn't have spent half as much as you did.

One thing to remember though is my van has one Engine Computer and that's it. I have most of the toys and gimmicks newer cars have, like power windows and seats, but none of that stuff required an expensive and unreliable computer. Service contracts start to look better and better when you see what the manufacturers charge for replacement computers and programming them to your car. You're right that reading people's stories on this site can be depressing, but remember that for every car with an elusive problem, there's a hundred just like it on the road that are working properly. People don't post here to tell us their car is performing normally. I see the potential for expensive repair bills, and that's why I will always drive older stuff. There hasn't been a car produced by any manufacturer that I'd want to own in the last 20 years. It's also true that you see very few cars broken down on the side of the road compared to years ago, but a lot of those cars have the Check Engine light on or have some other issue that is being ignored.

As for my comment about cashing in the remaining amount of your contract to pay a repair bill, again, that probably doesn't apply to you. I'm just really frustrated with hearing, "what you need isn't covered". The mechanic is the car owner's advocate, not adversary, and we don't like high repair bills any more than you do. When the insurance company weasels out of paying a bill through some loophole, I'd encourage the owner to dump that product that failed to provide the expected benefit. If these contracts are a good value for you, wonderful, ... But they aren't for most of us.

As far as being "qualified", I was a suspension and alignment specialist for 16 years, then I taught it in a community college for 9 years. Brakes was also one of the areas I taught. With all my knowledge and experience I still can't answer your main question, and I doubt anyone could without experiencing a test drive. I understand you want to know if the repair will be covered, but first your mechanic will need to determine what is needed, then your service adviser is going to have to read your contract or call the company. Some of those companies can be pretty nice to work with; most are not. Some require the mechanic to do all kinds of tests first and to write, in detail, exactly what he found. Some will provide a list of additional information they require, and many want all the old parts back. I've known some mechanics too who will "fudge" their findings to fit what the insurance company will cover, because, again, they feel your pain of expensive repair bills.

Be aware too that very often the mechanic will be forced to do WAY more than is needed. A perfect example is broken wires between the door hinges. That's a common repair on any car brand that involves replacing those wires in the area where they flex. That is typically a two-hour job that you would pay for, and the mechanic would be paid for two hours labor. With the service contracts my dealer sold, we were required to replace the entire wiring harness with a brand new one. That involved removing the steering column and entire dash board, and disassembling all the doors. The job took more than six hours but the service contract paid for only four hours. Can you imagine the potential for cutting corners and frustration for the mechanic who has to work more than two hours for free? Back in the '90s when our contracts cost a little over $700.00, you would have paid much less than that for the common repair, and the mechanic would have been paid for all of his time. In this story, when you have the contract, only the insurance company comes out ahead. You and the mechanic lose.

I realize I'm rambling on about something that isn't related to your problem, but it IS related to why most mechanics are not a fan of service contracts.

I'm sorry I can't provide a better answer as to what is covered on your car. First the mechanic is going to have to diagnose the cause of the problem, then he will have to see if that repair involves parts that are covered. For $2200.00 I would assume you have a pretty decent contract. I'd like you to post the final outcome, and I hope you have good news that it's solved and it was covered.
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Saturday, September 7th, 2013 AT 9:12 PM
Tiny
ROBINSDENNIS
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Yes, your rambling and missed the point, but let me set the record straight. The cars that I had to activate the warranties on were a dodge colt and a dodge Omni. Anything over $4000 for me is expensive. I believe I used each warranty to a tune of over $3500 in repairs or more. The funny thing is that after the warranties expired the cars ran great until I traded them in. So your expert knowledge of what I was driving means the colt and Omni were expensive. Then I guess it's safe to say, you may know what your talking about and how to interpret and diagnosis something correctly (not). If you ramble the way you did on this question and response, I would hate to have seen you in the classroom. I have talk with real experts with the same response and have gotten a better response then what you gave.
A warranty is like a life insurance policy or a homeowners policy. Not many people play Russian Rowlet with their life, home or car.

No need to respond back, because you have nothing to say, that's worth reading anymore. Wow, people need to really question your judgement.
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Sunday, September 8th, 2013 AT 7:39 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Apparently no one ever explained to you that if you don't provide information, some of us won't know what you know. Anyone would assume you owned expensive cars based on the cost of repairs you saved with your contracts. When you don't provide those details you get to cut people down who make the wrong assumptions. I also didn't provide information about my classroom, because it wasn't relative, and you too made incorrect assumptions. It was filled with lots of humor and sarcasm, we had a really good time as learning should be fun, and many of my former students are now great personal friends.

I tried to explain that in your case service contracts are a good deal but you also chose to turn that around so you could snivel some more. I don't have time for people who turn things around to make them fit what they want to hear. If you want to have your car questions answered, ask something that someone can answer, and provide the information needed. No one here knows what's wrong with your car. No one knows what the fault code is. There are hundreds of potential codes. Some are very informative. Some are rather general. Evaluating those codes is the starting point of this entire issue but you want to get to the answer first. We don't know what your contract covers but you want us to tell you if what your car needs is covered. And when you don't get an answer you like, you cut down the person who is spending his free time trying to help. Most people are polite enough to say "thank you" and move on, or they go into more detail and continue the conversation. As with teaching, we often don't know the answer to a question, but we're smart enough to know where to look for the answer for you. With your car problem that is likely the dealer. They will tell you if the repair is covered AFTER they diagnose the cause of the problem, then you'll HAVE your answer, ... And if you're considerate of the next guy doing some research, you might post it here so we can all learn from it.
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Sunday, September 8th, 2013 AT 9:27 PM
Tiny
ROBINSDENNIS
  • MEMBER
You are really not to bright and in my last response. I did say no need to respond, so now you are boarder line harassing. Button it up and move on or this hard for the so called professional you claim to be.

In the future, the correct response would be:

I need more information about your car issue(list what you need) and base on the information given after that, you can determine if the response(to the problem) falls in line with your warranty, as I am unable to answer warranty questions.

Short and to the point. REAL professional don't ramble on.

This is from a 101 class act. (Teaching the professional the way to behave online)

I am always appreciative of people who give common sense responses. Anyone can teach a class these days, that does not necessarily mean your smart, intelligent or really bright or really experience. It just means you no how to get over. Your last two response have proves how, unprofessional and inexperience you are.

Now I am blocking any future emails from your company. So don't waste your time in responding. Your really not worth the READING.
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Monday, September 9th, 2013 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There is nothing I can do to appease you or make nice with you because you are actively CHOOSING to read things into my comments that aren't there. As with the miserable online classes you mentioned, you can not see my hand gestures or facial expressions, and you can not hear the inflection in my voice, so you can not receive even half of what I'm trying to say. That is the problem with computers. The mere fact you want to walk away from the conversation shows you don't really want to share information or ideas. You just want to feel you're right and everyone else is wrong. I can tailor my end of the conversation to match that. I've done it for years, and almost always come out of it with a new friend. Nothing I've said is so offensive that you have to run away, but since you choose to do that, allow me to leave you with a few parting words from someone who is obviously not intelligent:

"Your" should be "You're".

"no" should be "know".

"to" should be "too".

I was way at the top of the bottom third of my high school graduating class but at least I take the time to use correct grammar and I proofread my replies three times because I feel what I'm typing to you warrants that kind of attention.

I'm sure you'll be angry that I posted another response but that's your choice. You can take the olive branch and stomp on it if you choose.

Anyone here will tell you I write novels and supply a real lot of information that might help someone solve their car's problem. A search of my thousands of previous conversations will prove that, and I have thousands of appreciative new friends. Why YOU choose to be different saddens me, and it makes me waste a lot of my day thinking about what I did to tick you off and what I should have done differently, but I always come back to the same conclusion. Some people just want to be ticked off and are looking for someone to be ticked off at, ... And I got sucked in.
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Monday, September 9th, 2013 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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I forgot to mention that once I replied to this thread, it went "off the list", so to speak, and no one else can see it unless someone is doing a search for your car model. No other experts have had the chance to weigh in and offer advice. Only you and I get automated e-mails directing us back here when there's a new reply. For that reason you should repost your question so everyone can read it and have a chance to reply.

Harassment is when one person posts numerous replies after the conversation has ended. If you DO repost your question, I promise to not reply, but I still would like to learn what was found with your car, for future reference.
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Monday, September 9th, 2013 AT 12:22 PM

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