• Hey Grinderguy, are these engine extended warranties worth the cost?

    After you have spent a half million to a million dollars, do you really want to throw another $10,000 or $15,000 on top of it? This one is easy, absolutely.

    Typically when manufacturers offer extended warranties on grinders, the engine is not included. The engine manufacturer covers these.

    I really haven’t seen a case where the extended warranty was worth the cost on the grinder only — the engine is a totally other story.

    When we start a grinder, we use 100 percent of the engine from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or longer. When you get into your car in the morning do you put the accelerator to the floor and never take your foot off the pedal until you are at work? Totally different engine usage isn’t it?

    When we start grinding we:

    • Throttle to max rpm on the engine.
    • Use every bit of Horsepower we can get out of the engine all day.
    • Operate the engine in dirt and dust contaminated air.
    • Get the engine coolant almost hot enough to blow the top off the radiator.

    The next day we do it all over again How long would our car engine last?

    Engine computers today log:

    • Fuel Usage — Total number of gallons run through the engine. This equates to total engine wear and can be used for warranty or no-warranty purposes.
    • Engine Load — Calculates how long the engine has been run at maximum horsepower. On a grinder, this ends up being MOST of the time, which can also be used for warranty decisions.
    • Overheating — Keeps a log of the total number of times the engine has overheated which can be used to void warranties if it is too many. Heat destroys engines

    If you have a warranty, these types of tracking calculations will be used in warranty decisions and without a warranty these will be used to explain any engine failures.

    Rebuilding an engine can cost $50,000-$100,000. Having a warranty will alleviate the burden of this cost and protect your operations for up to 5 years. A warranty is available on new engines within the first year of operation but they are also available if you have had a rebuild performed at a dealer. They will offer an extended warranty on the work they have done.

    Radiators and coolers will last the life of the engine provided you keep them clean and fresh coolant in them.

    Clutches, which are mostly hydraulic these days, are only good for 5000 hours before they need rebuilding. Most clutches are not rebuildable by the customer, only the manufacturer. At $5000-$7500 per rebuild, this ends up at an operational cost of over $1 per hour. This doesn’t include the downtime while changing it or the maintenance personnel doing the work.

    So, in conclusion:

    • Purchase as long of an engine warranty as possible. They are available by hours or months.
    • Keep accurate maintenance records like oil changes, coolant changes, filters etc. Then you can show you have kept your side of the Warranty up to the specifications.
    • Pull oil samples and send them to the engine manufacturer on every oil change. This can be a lifesaver if they find some contamination before a failure.

    Plan your clutch rebuild/replacement at a slow time of the year so you do not have a failure when you are in most need of your grinder.

    • Have the engine manufacturer service department service and check your engine once a year to make sure you are doing what the warranty specifies and they give the engine a clean bill of health for another year just in case a failure does occur.

    Spending a little up front will save ten times the amount later.

    Questions?       Dave Whitelaw The GrinderGuy                      grinderguy@askthegrinderguy.com

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