When you buy a new car, a warranty is one of many options you are likely to add on. The peace of mind an auto warranty (especially an extended car warranty) – can provide is substantial. Read car warranty reviews online.
But it’s important to understand what a car warranty is and what it covers before signing on the dotted line. And just as important as knowing what it does cover is knowing what actions you might take that would void your new auto warranty. Taking the time to learn this information now can be the difference between a covered repair and a large, unexpected out-of-pocket expense down the road.
What is An Auto Warranty?
A vehicle warranty is a contract. You agree to pay for the warranty; the company that provides the auto warranty agrees to pay for specific repairs during the time the warranty is in effect, assuming you’ve followed proper maintenance guidelines.
Because it is a contract, each party is required to uphold their side of the bargain in order for the contract to remain in effect. This is why it’s so important to know ahead of time which actions you might take that would inadvertently void the warranty.
What Might Void a Warranty
As previously mentioned, one of the things required to keep a warranty in effect is maintaining your car according to manufacturer recommended intervals. There may or may not be a grace period, so you’ll want to read the details of your particular warranty contract right off the bat.
If a car has been in an accident that rendered it totaled, this can void a warranty as well. Obviously you’ll know if you’ve been in an accident, but it’s something you’ll want to check when purchasing a car from a private party. There are various services that allow you to obtain a vehicle history report which would allow you to see if the title is a salvage title or not. This way you can be sure of the status of your auto warranty from the get-go.
Most warranties also require that the car is being used under normal operating conditions. This means if you take your car to the local racetrack, it’s likely that any repairs that results won’t be covered by your car warranty.
Damage caused by weather or other environmental factors such as flood, fire, earthquake, etc., Isn’t traditionally covered by a standard auto warranty.
This should go without saying, but if you have tampered with your vehicle’s odometer, that will automatically void your vehicle’s warranty.
Also, if damage is caused your car by aftermarket products or non-dealer recommended fluids, it’s likely that a claim for repair under warranty will be denied. This isn’t absolute, according to the Magnusson–Moss Act of 1975. The dealer has to prove that an aftermarket product caused whatever malfunction led to the warranty claim. However, this is usually a hassle for the consumer in terms of time and money required to make that diagnosis.
The Best Way to Avoid Voiding Your Car Warranty
Take the time to read your warranty contract thoroughly. The terms and conditions specific to your warranty are spelled out there. With a little time up front, you can save yourself a lot of headache and money later.