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What Voids A Car Warranty? 10 Harmful Acts You Must Know


One of the most common ways that people void their car warranties is by failing to keep up with the regular manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Your car’s warranty should have a section that outlines what is required to keep the warranty valid.

So, what voids a car warranty? People tend to use an independent repair shop instead of the dealership to save money, but this could actually end up voiding your warranty. The problem is that if something goes wrong and needs to be repaired or replaced, the independent shop may not use OEM parts.

You may be required to get routine oil changes and inspections at specific intervals. If you don’t stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, your car warranty could be voided.

Most warranties are pretty straightforward. However, there are a few things that can void a warranty. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most main causes of warranty-voiding.

10 Acts That Can Void Your Car Warranty

Your manufacturer’s warranty is designed to protect your vehicle against any defects that may occur during the vehicle’s warranty period. However, there are a number of things you can do that will void your warranty.

#1 Improper maintenance

Regular maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car in good shape and prevent expensive repairs down the road. However, if you don’t stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, your car warranty could be voided.

Your owner’s manual is your ultimate guide to maintaining the health and safety of your car. The owner’s manual details all the routine maintenance, which usually includes jobs such as tire rotation, oil changes, and air filter replacement.

Use it as a reference for keeping your vehicle service records in order and avoiding future problems with your vehicle’s warranty.

#2 Improper repairs

If you get into a severe accident and your car needs to be repaired, make sure you take it to an authorized repair facility. If you have your car repaired at an independent shop, the repair work may not be up to the manufacturer’s standards and could void your entire warranty.

The last thing you want is to invalidate your protection and end up paying twice inadvertently. So always make sure that any repairs are made entirely by the manufacturer or extended warranty specifications.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, If you attempt to repair your own vehicle and this leads to a fault, the insurance company may deny coverage. However, the warranty provider would need to demonstrate that the damage was caused by your improper repairs before they could void the warranty.

#3 Salvage title

If you’ve been in an severe accident and your state requires a salvage title or the insurance company deems it a total loss, then that could void any warranties offered by the vehicle manufacturers.

#4 Off-Roading

Off-roading is a type of driving that takes place on a road that isn’t typical or over rough terrain. It might be in the countryside or the city. Vehicle owners who frequently take their cars off-road are at a higher risk of breaking down and needing repairs.

To avoid warranty issues, it’s best to check with your vehicle’s owner’s manual before taking your vehicle off-roading. Many manufacturers will void the warranty if they find out that your new car has been driven on an unpaved surface.

#5 Racing or Reckless Driving

Your driving habits can also void your warranty. If you use your car for racing, your warranty will likely be voided. Additionally, if you’re involved in a reckless driving incident, such as street racing or drag racing, your vehicle warranty could also be affected.

Many car manufacturers keep records of license plates from racing events, and they may use them to void warranties or to deny a warranty service in the future. Vehicle misuse is one of the most common ways that people void their warranties.

#6 Environmental damage

Whenever your vehicle is damaged by an environmental disaster, such as a flood, fire, hurricane, or tornado, the warranty claim will likely be void. Most car warranties don’t cover environmental damage because it’s considered to be out of the manufacturer’s control.

#7 Odometer alterations

Tampering your car’s odometer is illegal in most states and is a definite warranty void. Additionally, federal law has a penalty for odometer tampering. By doing so, the dealer would not know the exact mileage of the vehicle, and the entire warranty could be voided.

#8 The Use Of Improper fluids

When in doubt, always consult a service advisor to know what kind and how much fluid your car needs. Using the wrong fluids in your car can cause severe damage and void your warranty.

You can easily find out the lubricant that your vehicle uses on your first service appointment or on the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Once you know the type of oil your car uses, make sure to use it every time you get an oil change. Also, adding diesel to a gas tank when the vehicle is a gasoline engine will ruin the motor.

#9 Aftermarket modifications or parts

If you authorize any non-manufacturer-approved modifications without telling your warranty company, this will definitely invalidate your warranty. Depending on the warranty provider, even simple modifications, like adding a sunroof, could result in a voided warranty.

Adding a performance part such as a turbocharger or a cold air intake might annul the powertrain warranty. Powertrain warranties are important because they include the motor, transmission, and drivetrain. Ask a service advisor, and don’t just do your own analysis on whether the modification will invalidate the warranty or not.

#10 Neglect of the car owner

As the vehicle owner, you have certain maintenance responsibilities that you must uphold to keep your warranty valid. If you fail to keep up with these maintenance requirements, it’s likely that your warranty will be voided.

For example, if you don’t get your car’s oil changed on time, it could lead to engine damage down the road. Additionally, if you don’t keep up with other maintenance requirements, such as tire rotations and brake pad replacements, it could also void your warranty.

Will doing my own maintenance void a car warranty?

Getting your car serviced by a professional or your dealership is always the best way to go. But if you’re experienced and want to do your own repair or car maintenance, this likely won’t annul your auto warranty.

Your vehicle is your own investment, and if you decide to repair it yourself, you can do it at your own risk. No matter what your own personal circumstances are, make sure you understand the terms of your car warranty before making any changes to your vehicle.

Warranty companies are in business to make money, and they will try to avoid being financially responsible if your vehicle is not repaired or maintained to their standards. It’s important to be proactive and understand the terms of your warranty to avoid being taken advantage of.

Do aftermarket parts void my warranty coverage?

Using an aftermarket part on your vehicle cannot void your warranty. However, if the aftermarket part was improperly installed and it led to a fault, the manufacturer’s warranty may exclude repairs.

What causes a warranty claim to be denied?

Your manufacturer may deny warranty coverage if they determine that a part failed due to abuse, neglect, improper installation, or modification.

Warranty claims are also commonly denied if the vehicle isn’t properly maintained or if routine maintenance, such as tire rotation and tune-ups, isn’t performed in a timely manner.

The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act is the legislation that specifies what voids a warranty on your car–wholly or partially. Extended warranties are considered vehicle service contracts, and they are protected by this Act.

Should you get an extended auto warranty?

The warranty you have for your car can make a big difference in what it costs to repair problems. You can get the best-extended warranty coverage to cover more than just repairs, like roadside assistance.

A powertrain warranty covers defects in transmission, engine, and other parts. It usually lasts around 5 years and up to 75,000 miles. Getting an extended auto warranty after this expires could save you a lot of money down the line.

An extended warranty is like an insurance policy for your vehicle. You pay a premium, and if something goes wrong, the warranty company will pay for repairs. Read the fine print carefully before you buy an extended warranty, as they often have a lot of exclusions.

Last Updated on: February 20, 2024

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