If your car still has a warranty, you might wonder if it requires dealership-only service to stay in-tact. Although many drivers assume their choices are limited when under warranty, the truth is coverage can’t be voided with a consumer’s right to choose affordable, convenient vehicle service. In short, automakers can’t require that certain shops perform the work. So, if a dealership tries to convince you otherwise, beware.
Tips to Keep A Warranty Active
Although a warranty can’t be voided simply because you choose a local shop over the dealership, other missteps can affect warranty validity. Therefore, taking a few simple precautions will help ensure you stay covered.
- Understand the Terms – First and foremost, you should always read and fully comprehend the timeline, exclusions, and maintenance schedule set forth in the warranty. Also, beware of any modifications you want to makes, as companies can refuse to honor a service that results from the failure of such changes, including those to the engine, body, and tires. More importantly, ask for clarification if you don’t understand any item on the warranty.
- Follow the Service Schedule – Having your car serviced at regular intervals not only keeps you safe, it maintains your warranty. These services usually include but are not limited to fluid and filter changes, tire rotations and part replacement. Note: Though a warranty company can’t deny a claim on the basis of the part’s brand (factory or aftermarket), faulty installation that damages other components can void the warranty. For this reason, make sure to use reputable technicians with solid training and certification.
- Document Everything – Since regular maintenance keeps a warranty active, don’t give the warranty company any reason to suspect neglect. When you have the oil changed and the brakes serviced, keep all receipts. Many choose to have a folder for such documents that can be kept in the glove box or console for easy accessibility. In some cases, the dealership will provide a logbook for straightforward service organization. In either instance, the idea remains the same–for the service to be recognized, it must be in writing.
Extended Warranties – The Exception
Since extended warranties come through the dealership and not the carmaker, they can require that all repairs go through their shop. Make sure you understand all timing issues associated with extended warranties, since this rule contradicts that of a standard warranty.
Remember, for all your vehicle’s needs, call 610AutoHaus in Pottstown at 610-427-4505!