Will Vehicle Service and Maintenance Void My Vehicle’s Warranty?

What Is a Vehicle Warranty?

A car warranty is an important component of your vehicle purchase. It offsets the cost of repairing or replacing parts of your vehicle. However, not all car warranties are the same, so it’s important to understand what type of warranty you have and what terms it requires. 

Factory Warranty

If you purchased your vehicle from a dealership, you probably have a factory or manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty is available for new, used, and certified pre-owned cars to cover any defective parts caused by poor craftsmanship or factory error. 

These types of warranties are available for a certain number of miles or years, such as “up to 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.” Some automakers are more generous than others. For example, in 2020 Kia offered a 5-year or 60,000 mile basic warranty, while Ford only offered a 3-year or 36,000 mile basic warranty. These warranties are typically transferable from owner to owner as long as they haven’t expired.

Unfortunately, car manufacturers can void this type of warranty if you fail to follow factory guidelines and perform routine maintenance like oil changes, fluid flushes, and more. Racing, off-road driving, and using aftermarket parts or modifications can also void a factory warranty. 

Does Service at Places Other Than the Dealership Void a Factory Warranty?

The good news is, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage if you seek routine maintenance or repairs from someone other than the dealer. 

It’s acceptable to use an independent mechanic, retail chain shop, or even your own skills to perform routine maintenance and repairs on your car. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to void your warranty or deny coverage based on those grounds. 

However, keep in mind that the manufacturer is permitted to require you to use select repair facilities if your repair services are provided for free under your warranty. 

To make the most of your factory warranty and pay the least money out of pocket for vehicle repairs, be sure to read your warranty and service your car at regular intervals at JB Import. Call (727) 823-5951 to schedule your first appointment at JB Import, and help your vehicle receive the service and care it needs to perform at its best.