BUYER BEWARE ON PURCHASING ON-LINE
I felt compelled to write down my experience I have gone though this past year; with the hope that someone else can avoid the same expense and frustration that I have had to endure.
I thought I could save money by purchasing a long block engine off the internet. I found a great deal on a long block engine online at RockAuto.com. The long block was coming from Marshall Engines located in Kearny, NE with a 3 year / 100,000 mile warranty. But this great deal turned into a nightmare for me.
The first long block started knocking at about 10,000 miles. RockAuto.com was notified and a claim was filed. Marshall Engines called and required tests to be run. The tests found that the oil filter had metal fragments in it. Marshalls required the long block to be removed and sent back for inspection. I notified RockAuto.com of the test results and of the long block was to be returned. Before the engine could be removed and sent back, I threw the balance shaft through the bottom of the block. Marshalls was notified of this event and they still required the long block to be returned.
After Marshalls inspection; the long block was warranted and I was sent another engine. I did receive a check from Marshall Engines for labor but, this check only covered approximately a third of my cost for the required testing, removal of the first engine, and re-installation of their second engine.
This second engine only had about 2,000 miles on it when it began knocking. RockAuto.com was called and I was given another claim. Marshall Engines called and wanted some tests ran on the engine. The tests results found the oil pressure was over twice as high as the specification for that engine. Marshalls required the long block to be removed and be sent back for inspection. I notified RockAuto.com of the test results and that the long block was to be returned.
On March 31st, my engine went in for inspection and I was told in 5 to 7 business days I would receive a call from Marshalls with the results. I never received a call from them as I was promised, so after several days of calling them I finally received a call back on June 14th. Ken from Marshalls said their findings of the inspection were that the engine had been dry started and accused my mechanic of doing it. My certified mechanic tried explaining how he pre-lubed both engines but, was cut short by Ken. Ken stated that my mechanic did not use the Pre-Lubed Engine Oiler per their Warning tag instructed so; the engine would not be warranted. My mechanic assured me that he indeed had pre-lubed the engine as per documented instructions directly from Nissan. Nissan had assured my mechanic that taking the fuel pump fuse out and cranking over the engine until the oil lamp goes off would be sufficient pre-lubing for a Nissan re-built engine, but my mechanic had pre-lubed the engine first by turning it over by hand until oil was present at the top of the motor. Ken stated that pre-lubing of the engine this way had voided my warranty. I find it odd that the first engine was warranted but the second was not when they were both pre-lubed the same way. I updated RockAuto.com on Marshalls findings and that they stated they would not warranty the long block. I was told by RockAuto that they were going to stand behind what Marshall Engines was telling them.
I called Marshalls and ask for the written post rebuilding test that were done to my engine after the rebuilt was completed to insure it was done according to specifications and that I wanted the current inspection results with pictures. I called and emailed Marshall Engines almost everyday starting June 6th but, nothing was emailed to me. I finally got so fed up with them not responding to my request. I notified them on June 22nd that I was coming after the long block. Amazingly after my telephone call a couple days later I received the current written test results with pictures of the damage that was done to the inside of my engine but, I did not receive the post rebuild testing that were done prior to the engine being sent to me originally. I continued to call them every few days then finally on July 12th, I received an email that stated the test results of the post re-build but, I did not receive the actual documentation of these tests. Ken claimed that Marshalls does not allow release of actual documentation to leave the plant.
I studied the pictures of the tests that I received from Marshalls on my engines inspection with a service manager at Nissan. You could see that the engine was being deprived of oil. There was smearing and streaking that were done to the main bearings and to the rod bearings. There was smearing on the main and the rod journals as well. During the review of the bearing journals you could see one of the journals showed that it was not letting oil flow though it, that is what was causing my engine to knock because this rod was being deprived of oil. This journal not working was not addressed in Marshalls report. Also, I did not receive inspection information, or any pictures of the top of the engine. As I read though this report imagine my surprise to find the following on the last page: The subject parts will be held for thirty days at which time they will be discarded or reprocessed. If requested within the thirty day holding period, the parts can be returned freight collect. Not one person told me this important information with all the telephone calls and emails that I made to Marshalls. I just happened to called on the last day before the engine would have been discarded or reprocessed by Marshalls.
I contacted Ken at Marshalls to question what had caused the high oil pressure, which was one of the reasons the engine was sent to them in the first place. Ken did not know what had caused it, and stated no debris or blockage was found in the engine or in the oil pressure relief value. I questioned him why the inspection report did not address the bearing journal not working? His reply to me was that whoever told me that did not know what they were talking about. My reply to him was I had received this information from a service manager at Nissan. His remark was the same; the person I had spoken with did not know what he was talking about.
It has been a long year with only being able to drive my car for about three months of this year, minus a lot of money and I still do not have a long block for my car. But I have learned a valuable lesson in all that has happened to me. Always follow the re-manufacturers installation instructions even if they do not follow the original manufacturers instructions. I will no longer look for the cheapest price with the best warranty on anything anymore because, indeed you get what you pay for, and any warranty is only as good as the company that will stand behind it. I would rather do business with well known reputable companies that are known for standing behind their products and services.