Moog Parts Warranty
In the time since it’s inception, Moog has changed ownership a few times and expanded it’s market to include an enormous number of parts covering a vast amount of makes and models. With these changes, some of Moog’s manufacturing has been outsourced to factories overseas which has raised some questions about the quality of the brand, like the state of the limited lifetime warranty that Moog has historically offered on its parts. In this article, we will try to shed some light on the facts regarding Moog’s warranty.
TL;DR – Moog works with dealers on a case by case basis regarding warranty issues, so when you buy a Moog part the individual dealer warranty is what you have… or don’t have.
What is Moog’s Warranty?
Moog offers a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects in their Premium Steering and Suspension parts like Ball Joints, Tie Rod Ends, and U-Joints for as long as the buyer owns the vehicle. This includes all the normal provisions: non-commerical use, part is still on the original vehicle, vehicle is less than 8k pounds, etc.
R Series Control Arms, Hub and Strut Assemblies are instead covered by a 3 year warranty (more on R Series later).
…the warranty you get depends on where you buy your parts.
Not a bad deal, right? Pretty standard for suspension and chassis parts. If the part has a flaw from manufacturing or materials then you get a replacement. The hitch comes from the fact that the individual dealers of Moog parts are responsible to the customer for supporting the warranty, which is another way of saying the warranty you get depends on where you buy your parts.
Where You Buy Matters
Moog still offers the same warranty against defect with one important provision; it is up to the dealer you bought the part from to honor the warranty. The rub is that since Moog does not sell directly to the public the customer must work with the dealer they purchased the part from. Which means that if the dealer directs you to Moog to fulfill your warranty, you don’t actually have a warranty.
…if the dealer directs you to Moog to fulfill your warranty, you don’t actually have a warranty.
Some dealers of aftermarket or replacement suspension parts will direct you to the manufacturer for warranty claims. This is fine in some cases, but comparing the information you get from some parts dealers and Moog’s current position on the matter… well, your warranty can become stuck in customer service limbo.
Suspension.com – Unlike “other retailers”
We believe in the customer getting what they paid for. We provide customer service because we believe that when you purchase a product you should be able to talk to a knowledgable representative if there is a problem. Suspension.com provides a limited lifetime warranty on Moog parts that we sell (3 years on R Series, Hubs, and Struts) because we believe that they are the best aftermarket replacements you can get, and on the rare occasion that there is a problem our customers are better off with Moog parts than another cheaper option.
“The BEST Warranty…
…Is the warranty you never have to use.” That’s the old saying and the attitude that a lot of folks take when it comes to their suspension parts. If you take a look at Moog from this angle they do a better job than a lot of other aftermarket replacement parts. Recent independent durability tests have shown that Moog ball joints last five times longer than their competitors.
Some of the cheaper aftermarket dealers you can find are cheaper simply because they are just a website.
All that said, if you get a lemon out of the box then you’ll need a warranty to replace it as painlessly as possible and that means you’re at the mercy of the dealer you bought the part from. Some of the cheaper aftermarket dealers you can find are cheaper simply because they are just a website. No real customer service, sketchy return policy, they likely never even see the part that is being sent to you. If you’ve had the unpleasant experience of needing to replace a part that should be under warranty and getting nowhere then you know what we’re talking about.
What About the R Series Warranty?
Moog’s R Series parts are an interesting phenomenon but the reason they exist is troubling: Moog needs a cheaper option than their premium parts to compete with knock-off brands. Basically, Moog created a product that replaced the higher quality/more expensive problem solver ball joint with an OE style ball joint, usually made in a non-US factory. These are guaranteed “Moog Validated Construction” which means that for the 1st factory run of every RK series part, engineers run tests on the first and last part to ensure they are being made to spec. This allows Moog to have an option for the folks who aren’t really looking for a long-lasting, high-quality part but just an OE style replacement that they can slap on their vehicle to get it on the road again as cheaply as possible.
These two examples of RK and CK Moog control arms for a ’06-’10 Jeep Grand Cherokee show the difference between the Made in the USA premium part and the Taiwan made replacement. In short, Moog still offers the high quality parts they have been known for, but they also offer a more affordable version and the difference between the warranties reflect the quality.
Why The Difference?
The majority of people when faced with two options will choose the cheaper of the two. When a company like Moog sells a high quality part for a profit their price is going to be higher than a part made with inferior engineering behind it or lower quality materials. But when most consumers look at two control arms, they pay the most attention to the numbers behind the dollar sign.
For Moog to be able to compete with the knockoff brands, which can gobble up a lot of business, its necessary to provide a lower cost option. Thus, Moog began outsourcing some of the manufacturing responsibilities to factories outside of the US. This drives the price down but also makes quality control a little problematic since a particular country’s manufacturing standards may not be the best and Moog engineers are simply not able to check every part that rolls out of some of these factories.
…it pays to know the dealer’s warranty before you buy a Moog product.
The Good News
First of all, there are dealers (like Suspension.com) that do offer limited lifetime warranties on the Moog parts they sell, you just have to check them out before you buy.
Also, Federal-Mogul (the company that owns Moog) is in the process of being purchased by Tenneco and this means changes will be coming. We won’t know anything for a while, but one such change could be how the manufacturer warranty is handled.
Finally, Moog is in the process of expanding its plant in Boaz, Alabama. We’ve also heard that production of around 100 new CK series control arms which feature the premium, problem solver ball joints will begin with this expansion. Whether or not these new control arms will have a lower cost like the RK series we will have to wait and see, but these parts will be made in the USA in Moog’s own factory. This shows a shift by Moog back to its roots of quality made products where the warranty is just the icing on the cake.
These changes look promising but until they are concrete it pays to know the dealer’s warranty before you buy a Moog product. If you don’t you might end up on the frustrating side of a customer service call.