My family currently own 3 Arctic Cat ATV's. We purchased the first one, a 2006 500 Automatic in AC Green, in November of 2005. This was the first ATV we had ever purchased and we chose Arctic Cat because we had done some extensive research and had spoken with other Arctic Cat owners who were happy with their ATV. We were also impressed with many of the features it had, such as a large footprint, plenty of ground clearance, fuel capacity, a fully independent suspension system supported by double A-Arms with heavy duty shocks, and probably most of all, the heavy duty and the versatile SpeedRack system. We absolutely love the racks and have purchased several accessories for them including several mounting kits and tool holders. Another MAJOR reason why we chose Arctic Cat was the 3 year extended warranty that came with the purchase of the 500 Auto. A year later we purchased our second ATV, a 2006 AC Green 650 V-Twin which came with a two year extended warranty. Our third ATV was purchased in November of 2007. A used 2006 400 Auto, in what else, AC Green. It was around this time that we discovered just how useless the Cat Care Warranty program is, and the defects found in the 650 V-Twin drive clutch assembly.
An engine seal malfunction on the 500 caused oil to leak into the belt housing resulting in a catastrophic failure of the clutch, causing the V-belt to slip off the driven clutch, and consequently was torn apart. The ATV had to be towed over 20 miles to safety and prematurely ended a day of riding for three people. I immediately took the ATV in for repair, confident that the Warranty would cover the majority of the repairs and parts. To my shock and dismay, I learned that the most expensive part, the V-Belt, was not covered! The Cornerstone Cat Care Program adjusters determined that the V-Belt is not a serviceable component and therefore not covered. WHY!!! The catastrophic belt failure occurred because of the oil leak. If the seal had not failed, the belt would not have been destroyed. Therefore the belt should have been covered under warranty. In fact, in the operator's manual under Warranty Procedure/Owner Responsibility it states: "If a warrantable condition appears to exist, the dealer will repair or replace, at Arctic Cat's option, free of charge, including any related labor costs, all parts that are found to be warrantable and any other parts which the warrantable part caused to be damaged." Furthermore, the Cat Care Warranty program states that "Coverage includes labor and replacement of fluids when required as part of a covered repair." Well, the warranty claim for the repair of the 500 DID NOT COVER the replacement of the oil and oil filter even though all the oil had to be drained to change the engine seal. This resulted in an additional $35 that was added to my out-of-pocket expense.
Early in February of 2008 the V-Belt on the 2006 650 V-Twin suddenly failed leaving me stranded on a muddy road miles from my destination. At the time I only had 1300 miles on this machine which had been maintained according to the guidelines outlined in the owners manual. The belt failure broke several of the cooling fins off of the Stationary Sheave (Part# 3201-248). When I was informed of the damage I learned that the Warranty will not cover the cost of replacing this part and would cost me over $600! This would have resulted in a repair bill of over $1000. Only six weeks and less than 300 miles prior to the belt failure, I had taken the 650 in to my dealer to have the belt checked and adjusted. The belt did show signs of some wear but I was told that the belt had plenty of life and that I did not need to replace it at that time. Since the belt did pass the inspection, it is therefore assumed that the belt should last until the next inspection timeframe. Right? I am not an aggressive rider, I don't race, regularly climb steep hills, or try rock crawling. I have kept the transmission in Low for the majority of the time and I am always in Low when riding trails.
For the amount of money we have spent in purchasing this these ATVs I would expect the components to last longer and to be able to withstand a belt failure without requiring costly repairs.
If I am unable to get the V-Belt, Stationary Sheave, and other items covered under warranty, my attitude towards Arctic Cat will have soured considerably. I frequently go riding with a group of dozens of ATV enthusiasts and my family owns the only Arctic Cats in the bunch. On a recent outing we experienced extreme conditions which required towing everyone across a semi frozen river and up the opposite bank. Guess who didn't need to be towed across and ended up pulling everyone else out of the river? Yup, the Arctic Cat. Several people were impressed as I extolled the virtues of Arctic Cat; an American Company, power to spare, ground clearance galore, unbeatable fuel capacity, the versatile SpeedRack System, exceptional customer service, decent warranty terms etc. etc. It would be a shame if I have something negative to say the next time we go riding.
You need to remember that the extended warrenty has nothing to do with Arctic Cat. After working for a Cat dealer as well as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris I would never recommend extended warrenty. As a mechanic your dealer is only allowed to do exactly what Cat Care or who ever is suppling the coverage tells them to do. It is very frustrating as a dealer trying to take good care of a customer. When we first pushed the extended warrenties we also thought they were through Arctic Cat, but after our first experiance we never recommended it again. I would not give up on Cats, they are excellant machines. If you can I would call customer service at Arctic Cat and calmly explain your case and see if they will help. Probably won't take care of all of it but might help out for a relations standpoint. Good luck, TORK.
Intresting. A story from my dealer: A guy around here had the front differential go out while aggresive riding. And by go out, i mean it shattered into pieces. This guy has 28'+ tires on his machine(I have 28" tires on mine and the dealer said they looked to be bigger than mine) and took it in to the cat dealer knowing it was his fault and ready to start paying. The dealer called cat care and explained to him the guys situation(over size tires and mud riding,ect...). Cat care took care of it all, no questions asked. the dealer himself was surprised. The guy just had a $50.00 deductable. I seriously think it just matters who your dealing with. some will help(the dealer may or may not have a say in this) and others can not. I know my dealer is awsome. They have replaced axles knowing i run 28" tires in the past. Im not that aggressive anymore and haven't broke anything for 5 years now,but im sure they would take care of it if i did. thats why i only deal with them.
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