How Can Your Car Warranty be Voided

factory protection plan disclosure; read carefully

Did you know that your factory auto protection plan can be voided if you don’t perform regular maintenance?

When you buy a new car that comes with a warranty, you are entering into a separate contract with the car manufacturer that can be voided if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain. Before discussing what could potentially void one’s auto protection policy, it’s important to understand what a car coverage is and what it is not. The coverage itself outlines what you must do to keep your policy intact and it’s possible for the warranty to be voided in part or whole. An example of this would be how often you get your oil changed. If you go too long without getting your car’s oil changed or use a kind of product that is harmful to your engine, the manufacturer has the right to partially void the policy. In this instance, the part of your warranty that applies to your engine would be voided, but the rest of the contract would be intact.

Another important factor in whether or not your auto protection can be voided is making modifications to your vehicle. If any modifications that were made to a vehicle by installing any aftermarket products causes a failure, the auto manufacturer cannot arbitrarily void one’s protection plan. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states that the manufacturer must, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the failure was caused by the installation or the use of the aftermarket product. The aftermarket installation can be something as simple as a filter that you replaced, so it’s important to know and understand your rights and what could potentially void your automobile protection policy.

So, what are some common ways people void their car warranty and what can you do to avoid this?

Fluids: For the best performance and to ensure the longevity of your vehicle, you should be using the fluids that are recommended and outlined in your owner’s manual. We discussed getting a timely oil change in the beginning of the article. It’s also important that you are using the correct oil for your engine. Your best bet is to take your car to your dealer for your scheduled oil change. If you prefer to change the oil yourself, make sure that you are using the correct product, or the damage to your engine could void your warranty. This applies to any other fluids that go in your vehicle.

wheels and tire repair not covered by vehicle service contract

Don’t make any major modifications to the wheels, tires and suspension of your automobile.

Tires and Wheels: Any modifications that you make to the suspension of your vehicle, as well as any non-conventional tire and wheel combinations, could lead to steering and suspension problems. In addition to potentially getting factory automobile coverage voided, this creates a safety concern, so make sure that you are not making dramatic modifications to the tires, wheels and suspension of your vehicle.

Keep your receipts: It’s likely that you won’t be going to your dealer for every oil change. If you are using a local repair facility or any business that is not officially affiliated with your car dealership, keep your receipts! This is your burden of proof to show that you had your car serviced at the proper mileage intervals. This will also show that you are using the proper fluids and filters for your vehicle, keeping your car safely under the policy requirements.

Misuse of the vehicle: Anything out of normal operation of your vehicle can be considered misuse and lead to the manufacturer voiding your coverage. For example, if your vehicle is not designed to tow a trailer, then you shouldn’t attach a hitch receiver to the back of your vehicle. This can lead to overheating of your engine, suspension issues, and compromised wiring. If your vehicle is not designed for towing and you experience damage due to misuse of your vehicle, the manufacturer can void your entire warranty.

Outside of extreme circumstances such as environmental damage caused by fire, flood, earthquake or any other environmental disaster, keeping your vehicle under warranty just requires common sense and understanding the needs of your car.

Most of the factors listed above apply to vehicle service contracts as well, also known as extended auto warranties. If you are planning to purchase an extended service contract for your car make sure to do your research and find the best company.

View more extended warranty articles


To find vehicle service contract providers in the US and their Better Business Bureau ratings please go to our Company List.