Do Independent Auto Repairs Void Your Warranty?

By Naylor's Auto Repair on Tue, 12/18/2018 - 14:52

There is a common assumption that to preserve the warranty on your purchased or leased car, you must take it into the dealership for any necessary work, whether it's repairs or routine maintenance. Perhaps you were even told this by the dealer that sold you a car.

Well, that is not true.

Now, to have repairs done free of charge under a warranty, you will have to use a repair shop that honors that warranty. In the case of a new vehicle's warranty, that would likely be the dealership. In almost every case, that is what we recommend you do. Why pay for something that should be covered?

The myth we are referring to is the one that is debunked by this law passed in 1975, which states that it is illegal for a dealership to deny your warranty coverage because of repairs or maintenance done at an independent auto repair shop.

Another, related myth is that using aftermarket parts will void your warranty. Not so! Manufacturers cannot force you to use their brand name parts—unless the part is provided free as part of the warranty. In which case, again, why pay for a covered part?

To be safe, you should read through your warranty to understand the different terms and dates that it is subject to. After you have done this and are aware of the parameters of your warranty, continue to service your car as necessary. Below are several more tips that will help you ensure that your warranty remains valid. Read on!

Maintain Your Vehicle

Regarding your vehicle’s maintenance, you want to find the highest quality mechanic to ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Having quality work done to your car is a top priority and having the freedom to choose from the mechanic you think is best is possible without voiding your warranty.

However, you’ll also want to play it safe - best not to risk your dealership claiming you had no maintenance performed due to lack of records! The simple fix is to save all receipts related to any car maintenance you receive. Even if it's as simple as a quick tire rotation or oil change, keep those receipts in a dedicated folder. That way, you remain one step ahead of any questions regarding the validity of your warranty.

Research Your Options

With the help of a Google search, you can successfully find reviews from customers who have had experience with different repair shops in your town. Customer reviews reveal a lot about the processes of working with the shop and can help you weed out the bad options.

Why do we call this out? Because trust is critical when it comes to extending the lifetime of your vehicle. Trust is also necessary to ensure that the independent repair shop you go with performs your regular maintenance needs with the utmost integrity. You want to go with the experts - and avoid any errors that could potentially lead to voiding your car warranty.

What Can Cause a Car Warranty Void?

There are a few instances where it's possible to void a car warranty. A little knowledge can help you to avoid that situation. First off, remember that aftermarket parts do not automatically void car warranties. However, if an aftermarket part is installed and is proven to cause damage to your vehicle, then in that case the manufacturer can deny you warranty coverage.

What else can void a warranty? If an independent shop performs regular maintenance incorrectly and causes damage to your vehicle’s components, then that can legally result in a voided warranty.

There are other things that you can do that may risk your warranty. These include being a reckless driver, racing, overloading, or going off road with your vehicle. Some natural disasters, such as a flood or a fire, can also cause damage to your vehicle which would extend beyond the limits of the warranty and in such cases, again result in a voided warranty.

If you perform your own improper maintenance, such as using the wrong fluids or certain modifications to parts on your vehicle, that also puts you at risk of voiding your car warranty.

Keep Your Warranty Valid

We already went over several general points that will help you to keep your car warranty valid. These include carefully reading through your warranty, sticking with a trustworthy independent car repair shop, keeping all receipts and records of maintenance work done, and avoiding certain unnecessarily risky behaviors with your vehicle.

What else can you do? We recommend reading your car’s manual thoroughly and sticking with the guidelines provided. Be sure to get your routine maintenance needs covered at the intervals recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

Finally, if you have any questions at all, just reach out and ask! We can advise on the specific of your make and model and help you stay on top of your car’s warranty and maintenance needs.

Compare Dealership Costs

If you are not sure if taking your car to an independent repair shop is a smart choice, take into consideration that dealerships can get expensive. A local independent repair shop, like Naylor’s Auto Repair, might not have the fancy showroom to tempt you into buying a new car or some of the fancy amenities of the dealership, but in the end, skimping on those frills can mean more affordable vehicle maintenance.

To learn more about Naylor’s Auto Repair and what we can do for your vehicle, contact us today!