Most car and truck manufacturer warranties
require routine maintenance at predefined intervals. Not performing those procedures can void the warranty. At
Holmberg Automotive, we will keep track of your required maintainence and notify you when it is needed. Of course,
our courtesy pickup and delivery will take the inconvienence out of your required service.
If you own
a car, you know how important it is to keep up with routine maintenance and repairs. But can a dealer refuse to
honor the warranty that came with your new car if someone else does the routine maintenance or repairs?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, says no. In fact, it's illegal for
a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone
else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes,
new brake pads, and inspections. Maintenance schedules vary by vehicle make, model and year; the best source of
information about routine scheduled maintenance is your owner's manual.
Do I have to use the dealer for repairs and
maintenance to keep my warranty in effect?
No. An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on
your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers
or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other
than the dealer did the work. That said, there may be certain situations where a repair may not be covered. For
example, if you or your mechanic replaced a belt improperly and your engine is damaged as a result, your manufacturer
or dealer may deny responsibility for fixing the engine under the warranty. However, according to the FTC, the
manufacturer or dealer must be able to demonstrate that it was the improper belt replacement — rather than some
other defect — that caused the damage to your engine. The warranty would still be in effect for other parts of
Will using 'aftermarket'
or recycled parts void my warranty?
No. An 'aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment
manufacturer. A 'recycled' part is a part that was made for and installed in a new vehicle by the manufacturer
or the original equipment manufacturer, and later removed from the vehicle and made available for resale or reuse.
Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes
it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket
or recycled part. Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket or recycled part was itself defective or wasn't installed
correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the manufacturer or dealer
has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer
must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.
Tips To Avoid Warranty
Here's how to get the
most out of your vehicle's warranty:
- Read your
warranty. Often bundled with your owner's manual, the warranty gives a general description and specific details
about your coverage. If you have misplaced your owner's manual, look for it online. Check the "Owners"
section of your manufacturer's website.
- Be aware
of your warranty period. If problems arise that are covered under the warranty, get them checked out before the
your car at regular intervals. This is a good idea in any case. But for the sake of keeping your warranty intact,
follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedule. Details are in your owner's manual.
- Keep all
service records and receipts, regardless of who performs the service. This includes oil changes, tire rotations,
belt replacement, new brake pads, and inspections. Create a file to keep track of repairs; it will come in handy
if you have to use your warranty. If you ever have a warranty claim and it appears that you did not maintain your
vehicle, your claim could be denied.
If you think a dealer's service advisor denied your warranty claim unfairly, ask to speak with a supervisor. If
you still aren't satisfied, contact the manufacturer or go to another dealer. You also may wish to file a complaint
with your state Attorney General, local consumer protection office, or the FTC.