Don’t Void Your Warranty by Doing These Things

void-warrantyYou’ve bought your new car and have a great warranty in place.  How do you avoid doing something to void it?  This is a concern many new car owners have.  Knowing ahead of time what your warranty covers and what you need to do in the way of maintenance can prevent a lot of mistakes and warranty voiding.

While it’s not something that you need to be walking on eggshells about, it IS important not to do anything to get that warranty voided.  Below we’ve covered some of the most common mistakes people make that get their warranties voided.

  1. Using Improper Fluids/Filters – Your new car warranty will specify the types of fluids that must be used in the engine to keep the warranty intact. They have come to these specific types of fluids through testing and the manufacturing process.  If you choose to use anything other than what the company specifies you should, and the engine fails because of it, your engine warranty will become void.
  2. Not Getting the Car Maintained – If you do not keep up with the recommended maintenance schedule, your warranty will become void. There is a reason they suggest what they do. Following those guidelines will help keep your vehicle running well and lasting a good, long time.
  3. Not Keeping all Your Receipts on Work that is Done – Very few people that buy a new car take it to the dealer it came from to get it serviced. For this reason it is crucial that you keep all receipts for any work done at any other service station.  It’s okay for you to go to those stations providing they use the appropriate fluids and OEM. (Original equipment manufacturer) filters.  If you don’t keep the service receipts and something goes wrong on the car, you will not get coverage because the warranty company can’t verify that the appropriate maintenance work was done. Not sure if you should keep a certain receipt? Err on the side of caution and keep them ALL in a safe place you can find them if they are needed.
  4. Towing with a Vehicle not made for Towing – If your vehicle is not made to tow a trailer and you tow it anyway, your warranty can possibly be voided because of the added strain you’ve put on the vehicle. Vehicles that are designed for towing have increased cooling systems and bigger suspension to handle the extra weight a trailer adds. They also have heavier duty brakes and special wiring to power the trailer.  If you tow a trailer with a vehicle not designed for it, it can cause overheating, frame damage, suspension damage, extensive brake wear and many other problems.  Problems that will not be covered once they find out the vehicle was towed, and they will find out.
  5. Making Modifications – Making modifications on the vehicle doesn’t automatically void the warranty but there are certain mods that CAN and you don’t want to do those if your vehicle has a warranty. Any kind of extreme suspension modification can void the warranty if the warranty company finds that it was the modifications that caused the problem. The car will be inspected before approval is given so it’s not something that will be able to be snuck by them.

The best rule to follow is not to make any modifications without checking with the dealer first on whether it will void the existing warranty. If they don’t know (they should) then call the warranty company themselves and ask.  The same rule applies to using anything other than OEM filters and recommended fluids.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.

References:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance