You take your car in for repairs and the service advisor comes out and tells you nothing is covered and your factory warranty is voided. What? This can’t be true. Why?
It is true and you may have caused it yourself. Most people don’t take the time to fully read their warranty coverage and learn what is required to keep it in force.
A warranty is actually a contract between you and the vehicle manufacturer, or warranty company, that says if you maintain your vehicle properly they will pay for the repairs.
Car manufacturers have spent a lot of time and money analyzing the maintenance required to keep a vehicle in top running condition and lessen the chances for a failure. All cars wear and all cars will have breakdowns. By not performing the recommended maintenance you are actually causing excessive damage to your car and you will have more repair problems. To maintain any warranty and avoid denied claims you must perform the recommended maintenance.
If the manufacture says the oil should be changed every 6,000 miles and you haven’t done it for 15,000 miles, the cost of that engine repair will be out our your pocket.
Besides performing the standard maintenance you are also required to document that you did. Most people don’t realize they can void their original factory, extended warranty or vehicle service contract by not documenting they performed the standard maintenance.
You will not be asked for documentation for every repair. However, if a failure looks like it was caused by lack of maintenance you will be asked to produce your service history.
You can also void your warranty by not taking precautions to avoid additional damage. If a part fails, it is covered. But, if you do additional damage by continuing to drive the car it is not covered.
For example, if your car’s overheat warning light goes on and you pull over the repairs are covered. You would be surprised how many people will continue to drive after it overheats and end up destroying the engine. They have voided their warranty by causing additional damage and the repairs will not be covered.
If you have a failure or notice a problem starting or see oil or fluid on the ground, don’t continue to drive the car. You will be responsible for the consequences.
That performance chip in the magazine which will add another 50 horsepower or the new intake to cool down your turbocharger may seem like a good idea but it may immediately void your warranty. The same goes for a nice new set of oversized tires, or a lift kit for your truck or maybe even adding a snow plow.
Any modifications to the original vehicle that were not factory installed may void your warranty. The performance chip will increase pressures and put more stress on engine and transmission components. The oversized tires will change the dynamics of the transmission and suspension and add additional stress they weren’t designed for. This means your vehicle is no longer in factory “spec” and any damage caused as a result will not be covered.
Read your warranty carefully and fully understand your obligations to keep the coverage in force.
Maintain, document and protect.
Additional Resources: New Gas Blends Can Void Your Warranty