Nissan: Overcoming PFP Errors

One important thing I learned early-on in my Nissan warranty-administration career was that you don't often see things only once.

What do I mean by this? Well, when you see a part get replaced on a Nissan vehicle, you probably won't see that repair completed just one time. You'll likely see it again, on more Nissans, in the future.

And thanks to the way that Nissan handles its warranty claims, this is actually a pretty good thing. Because you can make your claim-payment process much easier if you do one simple thing:

Write down the primary failed part (PFP), and its operation code, every time a claim pays.

I saw the potential for such a database pretty early, thankfully. It didn't take a genius to figure out that Nissan's warranty system revolves around the PFP / operation-code relationship. If the two things don't match perfectly, the claim doesn't pay. Period.

And flailing around, dredging Nissan manuals for the specific op-code that magically unlocks payment for a specific part, is no fun.

So to alleviate the problem, I grabbed a binder, filled it with notebook paper, and labelled the top of each page with a letter corresponding to a Nissan op-code group. Every time a Primary Part (PP) claim paid, I wrote down its operation code, description, and the PFP I'd used.

Right now you're thinking, Uhh ... that's a lot of work!

To which I'd respond, And searching for part numbers and op-codes isn't?

When a Primary Part claim pays, you simply write it down: operation code, description, PFP. No big deal. A few seconds per claim, tops.

Click to enlarge in new window.
The pic to the right gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. After more than eight years of doing this, I now have a notebook full of PFPs and their corresponding operation codes.

(Actually, I recently converted the notebook into an Excel spreadsheet. Like my notebook, each spreadsheet page is titled with a letter of the alphabet. On each page are all my op-code / PFP combinations for the op-codes that start with that letter. My pages for section "R", "U", and "V" are pretty extensive, so I added macros to sort those pages by op-code or by PNC / PFP. For a guy who loves to see his claims pay on the first submission, such a resource is just dreamy, I tell you.)

An easily imaginable payoff for all this, of course, is the obvious assistance such a list would provide in battling the dreaded

PP001   PFP mismatch w/op code(s)

error, as well as all its annoying variances. The larger your PFP list, the more likely you'll be almost certain which parts go with which op codes. And the easier it'll be to avoid PFP mistakes entirely. (We can wish, right?)

Think about how much time you've spent playing "trial and error" claim submission with trim items (seat covers, dash ventilators, interior trim, exterior moldings, and on and on into eternity). Ditto for any of the 578 different solenoids / valves / sensors in the fuel and emissions systems. Once these claims pay and their PFP info makes it into your notebook, you've just made the next instance of those repairs an absolute breeze to get paid. And remember what I said earlier: You will see those repairs again. Count on it.

A few other times when this notebook will be your Holy Grail:

Example #1

Technician Larry comes to me with repair order in hand. The fuel tank door won't open on an '03 Murano. He says the necessary operation to make the repair is UF16AA, and he wants to know if UF16AA would be covered under the customer's Security Plus Gold Preferred contract. I look up the PNC for UF16AA. When I check that PNC against the Security Plus coverage index, I find that that operation would not be covered.

However, at this point, I've learned to go a step further: I ask the technician to get me the part number which the repair requires. After a quick trip to the parts department, Larry comes back with part number #78850-CA000. It's a fuel-lid actuator.

A quick check of my PFP notebook/spreadsheet tells me that the part Larry is replacing actually corresponds with op-code UN30AA, rather than UF16AA, his initial choice! I get the PNC for the new (correct!) operation, and check it against the Security Plus coverage index. The actuator, and operation UN30AA, are indeed covered under the customer's service contract. Customer's car gets fixed, technician gets paid for his time, and my service department gets paid for the extended-warranty repairs. Disaster is averted. It's all good.

The point? It's much easier to avoid Security Plus coverage snafus when you have a PFP notebook that tells you exactly which op-code to use for any given failed part in question.

Example #2

Any semi-experienced Nissan warranty administrator will tell you that trim items — both interior and exterior — are maddeningly ambiguous when it comes to matching their PNC numbers with operation codes. The same goes for many engine sensors and valves. But if you're keeping a database of PFP / op-code matches, you'll drastically cut down on the time you spend lobbing claims to Nissan to "see if maybe this is the right op-code."

Once a claim pays, you'll have its data written down for future reference, and you'll know what op-code goes with what part.

Example #3

Let's suppose you have a line on a repair order wherein your technician has replaced some retaining pins (#68551-7S000) in order to repair a loose glovebox door. He's flagged op-code VC24AA ("Replace glove box") because that's the closest he could likely get to describing the repair he made. Now, if you were to submit the claim with the pins' part number as the PFP, it would almost certainly suspend for a PFP error.

However, if we submit the claim with a PFP of 68500-0L702 (the glove box itself), while billing only for the retaining pins and adjusting your requested labor down a few tenths ... well, that claim will pay like a champ on the first try.

Honestly, I used to spend hours tracking down part numbers in this manner. It's common for technicians to replace not an entire assembly but merely a few retainers or pins or clamps or bolts or ... whatever. If that makes for a good repair, fine. The key, though, is that I spent time searching for part numbers only once per operation code. Once I've tracked down a PFP that I know works with a particular operation code, and recorded it for my use in the future, then I've pretty much won the battle.

While Nissan is very strict with its PFP / op-code matches, it is nowhere near as strict with the parts it allows for payment beneath any given op-code. You have much more leeway with the parts you can actually bill out when performing that operation code.

Remember:   With Nissan warranty, designating a part as your claim's PFP
does not mean it has to be one of the parts replaced on that claim!

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