(WSVN) - It was a young man’s dream car. Then the engine blew up, but he had an extended warranty, so he thought everything would be OK. The warranty company wouldn’t pay for the repairs, so he did the smart thing in South Florida: let Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser get cranking.

For many people, their car is just four wheels, an engine and a way to get to work.

Not Ray’s car.

Ray Murga: “When I have nobody to talk to and nobody understands me, I hop into the car and I just drive.”

Ray started working at 18 to save the money to buy his four-speed, turbo charged dream car.

Ray Murga: “It’s a trophy, it’s an achievement, it’s like, ‘Wow, I just bought a car from a dealership.'”

Then, after leaving work one day, it happened.

Ray Murga: “Two minutes away from the house and ‘boom,’ just blows up.”

When Ray opened the hood, he saw a piece of the engine that had blasted out.

But good news: he had paid $2,000 for an extended warranty when he bought the car.

Ray Murga: “I did have 4,000 miles left on the warranty.”

Ray took it to the dealer, where he was told the warranty company wanted proof he maintained the vehicle before they would let him know if they would fix it.

Ray Murga: “They didn’t want to work on my car because they felt as if I wasn’t taking care of the car.”

After Ray gave them the maintenance records, he says, the warranty company then wanted him to pay $1,000 to take the engine apart.

Ray Murga: “It makes no sense, because tear down would be included in the warranty.”

For three months, Ray has battled with the warranty company to get them to pay to repair his car. For three months, Ray has gotten nowhere.

Ray Murga: “We reach out to them about like three or four times a week.”

A car with no engine is no good. Do you mind reading the fine print on the warranty, Howard, and see if the company has to replace that engine?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “There is a lot of fine print in the contract, but the warranty requires them to replace or repair the engine. One problem: there is no specific deadline written to have the engine taken care of, but the law will require a reasonable amount of time, meaning days and not three months like Ray has waited.”

We called and emailed the warranty company several times. We got nowhere.

Then, we had an idea. We spoke to the dealer who sold the car and the extended warranty. We asked them if they were still selling this company’s warranty. They said yes, and they would talk to the warranty company.

That did it. A couple of days later, the warranty company called to let us know they were replacing the engine.

Ray Murga: “That is a brand-new Ford motor with three years unlimited-mile warranty.”

Ray is back on the road. His futile fight with a warranty company ended when he called Help Me Howard.

Ray Murga: “Extremely happy. You guys did your thing, took care of the situation.”

Glad we could help, and a suggestion: if a warranty company is refusing to repair your vehicle, your refrigerator, your air conditioner, contact the people that sold you the warranty to get them to help, because the warranty company doesn’t want to aggravate the person selling their product. If they make ’em mad, they might start selling another company’s warranty.

Not hitting on all cylinders trying to solve a problem? Starting to feel gassed? Rev things up and motor our way to see if we can come through in the clutch.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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