What Voids a Car Warranty?

A car warranty is a legal agreement between you, the new car owner, and the auto manufacturer. However, like all legal agreements, certain expectations need to be met in order for the auto manufacturer to cover the cost of repairs and other benefits. The expectations for keeping your end of the car warranty may be difficult to find within all of the paperwork associated with your warranty. 

At Robison Lemon Law Group LLC, we can tell you all about what voids a car warranty. On top of that, we can help you take legal action against a car manufacturer that refuses to honor your warranty. For more information, please reach out to us. 

What You Need to Know About Car Warranties

If you buy a new car, it may come with a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts about 30,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first. The warranty covers any vehicle defects relating to the manufacturer’s design or installation. It does not cover the cost to upgrade your vehicle or repair or replace any parts due to wear and tear. 

Along with a manufacturer’s warranty, you may be able to purchase an extended warranty for your car. An extended warranty takes effect after your manufacturer’s warranty expires. The extended warranty works in a similar fashion to your original one and protects you against the costs of fixing vehicle design or installation defects. 

The team at Robison Lemon Law Group LLC knows all about manufacturers and extended warranties. If you have either of these warranties for your car and a manufacturer ignores your request for repairs under your warranty, please let us know. An attorney from our law firm can review your case and help you determine the best course of action. 

7 Things That Can Void Your Warranty

If you have concerns or questions about what voids a car warranty, you are not alone. Reading through a car warranty can be tricky, and it can be difficult to understand exactly what your warranty covers. Fortunately, we have taken some of the guesswork out of navigating your car warranty by providing seven things that can void your car warranty:

1. Not Maintaining Car Service Standards 

Maintaining a car is a huge part of car ownership, not only for your personal safety but also for your vehicle’s reliability. Ultimately, several car maintenance issues can void your vehicle’s warranty. These include:

Schedule of Maintenance 

Standards of what the car manufacturer expects for regular vehicle maintenance are outlined in your car warranty. Each warranty may have different standards. As such, it is important to find out what is expected of you when you buy a new car. 

You will be required by the auto manufacturer to adhere to their schedule of regular maintenance. Otherwise, the auto manufacturer may consider your lack of maintenance as neglect of the car. At this point, the manufacturer can void your warranty. 

When it comes to the schedule of maintenance, err on the side of caution. Keep track of any auto repairs you have done to your car. If you are uncertain about when to bring your vehicle for repairs, review your warranty or reach out to your car’s manufacturer for assistance. 

Personal Maintenance of the Car

Something that is not very well known is that you could void your car warranty by changing the oil yourself. Should you need to use your car warranty, you will need to provide documented proof that you have maintained the vehicle according to their standards and used certified local repair facilities. It is important to save your receipts for every fluid change and part replacement, as this documentation can help keep your warranty active. 

Inappropriate Fluids 

Not using the proper fluids in your car could entirely or partially void your warranty.  Low-quality fluids or new but dirty fluids would be considered inappropriate or improper. If these fluids are found, then your auto manufacturer may choose not to honor any guarantees offered on your car or to address engine problems or other vehicle issues.

2. Deliberate or Accidental Abuse of the Car 

Abuse or misuse of a car suggests anything that is outside normal operation of the car. It might be tempting to take that new 4×4 off-roading, but it could void your warranty. Off-roading, racing, overloading, or any type of activity that could excessively wear down your car’s parts can void your warranty.

3. Adding Performance Items or Aftermarket Parts 

While it might be tempting to add cold air intake systems, performance chips in the engine, or even extreme brakes, these items could void your warranty. According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, a dealer must provide evidence that the aftermarket part or component played a role in causing damages to the car. If a dealer can provide this evidence, then they can void a car’s warranty.

4. A Salvage Title Is Issued for the Car 

Often, an insurance provider will declare a vehicle totaled when the cost of repair exceeds the value of the car or vehicle. If an insurance provider declares your car as totaled, then a salvage title is issued for the car. If that happens, then the auto manufacturer’s warranty is automatically voided. 

While having a salvage title is a non-issue for those who are buying a new car, it is something to consider for those people who are purchasing a used vehicle. Ask to see a car’s title before you purchase the vehicle. If there are issues with a car’s title, you may want to look elsewhere for a vehicle to buy.  

5. Damage from Storms 

Unfortunately, many people believe that their auto manufacturer’s warranty will cover damage done by hailstorms, floods, and many other types of natural disasters. However, that is not the case. Auto manufacturer warranties are often voided if a car suffers excessive damage in a storm. 

6. Rolling Back or Altering an Odometer

While most people will not go out of their way to roll back an odometer, you may find yourself in this situation if you purchase a vehicle from a local used car lot or private party. Most car warranties are based on the mileage of a vehicle. Any time a situation occurs where tracking the mileage of the car becomes impossible, such as having the odometer removed, disconnected, or tampered with in any way, a car warranty will be voided. 

7. Changes to the Car’s Lift or Tires

Making changes to the car’s lift or tires can change how the vehicle preserves the miles that it travels. An extra inch in the size of the tires can throw off the rotation speed and change how the vehicle’s computer tracks speed on the speedometer, and distance traveled on the odometer. 

Altering how the odometer measures a mile will void a car’s warranty. It is important if you are considering changing the lift or the tires of the vehicle to seek out professional assistance with a certified specialist to program the car’s computer with the appropriate measurements, all within the auto manufacturer’s warranty. If you choose not to do so, your vehicle’s warranty can be considered null and void. 

Things You Can Do to Avoid Voiding Your Car’s Warranty

You may be worried that the installation of an aftermarket part or other things you have done to your car will void your warranty. Instead of doing things that can compromise your warranty, you need to plan ahead. That way, you can avoid mistakes and make sure that the warranty on your car stays intact for its entirety. 

There are many things that you can do to protect against voiding your car’s warranty, such as:

  • Read your warranty carefully. It is in your best interests to go through the fine print of your warranty to find out what it covers. 
  • Get regular service checks. Bring your car to an authorized mechanic for repairs regularly. 
  • Keep your receipts. Organize your receipts for any car repairs, as these receipts can serve as evidence that helps you prove to a manufacturer that you complied with a warranty.
  • Dispute any claims that your warranty is not valid. If an auto manufacturer says your warranty is not active, take advantage of your right to contest any claims against you. 

If you need extra help with a car warranty dispute, it pays to have an experienced attorney at your side. You can partner with a lawyer that has a great track record in auto warranty cases. This attorney will learn about your car warranty dispute and do everything they can to make sure an auto manufacturer covers your warranty as expected. 

Robinson Lemon Law Group LLC Offers Insights into What Voids a Car Warranty

Robison Lemon Law Group LLC can help with understanding your warranties as well as dealing with an auto manufacturer when you have had your car warranty voided. To find out more or to request a free consultation, please contact us today.

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