An extended car warranty provider can help protect your car over time. An auto warranty is a contract between a car owner and an auto warranty provider. The contract requires that the warranty provider pays for any applicable repair costs. However, vehicle owners need to hold up their end of the bargain. Therefore, car owners need to know what circumstances can or cannot void their warranty plans.
What voids an auto warranty?
When a warranty-protected car needs repairs, the car owner simply needs to submit a claim to their warranty provider to get the problem fixed. This is one of the reasons why car owners need to work with reputable extended car warranty companies. Depending on certain circumstances, the warranty provider may approve or deny the claim or void the warranty.
Car manufacturers or auto warranty providers can void a warranty if a car owner is unable to stick to certain contract terms. Several situations can void your car warranty. These include aftermarket alterations, misuse of your vehicle, severe environmental damage, total loss, and improper maintenance. However, not all car upgrades will void your warranty.
Car Upgrades or Aftermarket Alterations that Will Not Void Your Extended Warranty
There is nothing wrong with modifying your vehicle to your preferences. However, you do not want to run into any warranty issues. This is why it’s best to learn if the modifications you want will void your auto warranty policy or not.
For example, you may choose to install auto technology like coil-overs for better handling and a lower ride height. In this case, your dealership or warranty provider cannot claim that the alteration caused your car’s engine to blow. However, do not expect your warranty to cover a blown shock absorber if you install an upgrade to the coil-overs.
Other car modifications that should not void your car warranty policy include:
1. Cat-Back Exhaust
This is one of the most popular types of auto modifications. A cat-back exhaust is easy to install in any car and should not cause any problem when making a warranty claim.
When it comes to worry-free suspension upgrades, coil-overs, shocks, and springs are a safe bet. Suspension upgrades can provide several benefits, such as high-speed stability and cornering. Furthermore, most spring and strut upgrades come with a manufacturer warranty.
There are numerous car light upgrade options available on the market. Lighting modifications can help you personalize your vehicle without voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. Most of these upgrades involve changing certain aspects of the headlights and/or tail lights. Additionally, these upgrades can give you better light output as well.
Brakes are an independent car system. You can replace your car’s braking system with a simple rotor and/or pad upgrade or with a BBK upgrade without affecting the warranty for any other parts. Furthermore, these are popular performance upgrades, especially for autocross and road race enthusiasts. The ability to brake harder and for longer will give you the freedom and ability to go faster.
When it comes to protecting your car warranty, wheels are a safe bet as well. Therefore, you can upgrade your car with an awesome set of wheels that provide both aesthetic and performance benefits. For example, significantly lighter wheels will help reduce rotational mass weight, while wider wheels will provide better grip in the corners.
6. Short Shifter
Generally, almost everything involving the shifter is warranty-acceptable. However, this type of upgrade could become problematic in the event of any problems with your car’s transmission. If you are considering modifying your car’s shifter, go for solid shifter bushings rather than a short-throw shifter.
7. Sway Bars
Another suspension component that should not have any powertrain or drivetrain warranty issues is the sway bar. As stated earlier, almost any component of a car’s suspension system is fair game. Upgrading your car’s suspension results in better handling and no issues with the warranty. You can do several other chassis bracing modifications as well.
8. Exterior Modifications
Anything you can affix to the inside or outside of your car for aesthetic purposes will not present a problem with your extended warranty. Some functional exterior modifications such as diffusers or a wing should also clear your warranty provider’s checklist. Therefore, if you are considering doing some exterior upgrades, consider using carbon fiber bits.
How to Avoid Warranty Problems
Reading the fine print of your warranty contract is the best way to determine whether the car upgrades you are considering are acceptable. You need to understand all the terms and conditions of your warranty policy. In case you have any questions, reach out to your warranty provider.
Factors to Consider Before Making Warranty-Acceptable Car Modifications
If you still want to make aftermarket modifications to your car, you need to consider several factors. The first thing you need to consider is the future cost of your upgrades. Some engine modifications, for example, may require the use of premium gas only. This will cost more over the long run.
Consider the disadvantages of certain types of modifications. For instance, perhaps you are looking for thinner tires with bigger wheels to give your car a specific look. If so, you need to know that those modifications will affect the quality of your ride. Essentially, you will feel more traction and bumps, which means that your ride will not be as smooth or comfortable as it could be.
Also, it is vital to consider why you want to spend money on an upgrade. Will the modification have a positive impact on your car’s performance? Where and how do you use your car? For instance, if you usually drive for long distances, a wheel modification may not be the best idea.
The Bottom Line
Pretty much every type of car upgrade outlined here involves aesthetic and handling modifications. Typically, warranty issues start to crop up when you give your car power modifications. That said, to void your policy, your auto warranty provider needs to prove that the upgrades you made caused a problem.
It’s also best to keep in mind that car upgrades are a significant investment. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are spending your hard-earned money on changes that are worth it. While certain upgrades will not necessarily void your warranty, there is still the risk that you will fail to get the level of coverage you need. This is the reason you need to make every decision with extreme caution.