When you buy a vehicle, whether it is new or used, it is vital to consider a vehicle warranty. There are different car warranties with varying coverage terms, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something fit for your vehicle and your budget. However, no matter the warranty you buy, some simple mistakes could void your protection. To avoid this, start by learning about what voids a car warranty.
What Voids a Car Warranty?
A car warranty is a contract between a car owner and the manufacturer. It states that the manufacturer will cover repairs if the owner takes care of regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotation, fluid flushes, and brake pad and rotor checks.
Like any agreement, this warranty lists the specific duties of each party. If the vehicle owner does not uphold their part of the contract, the warranty may be rendered unusable. Certain actions may void the entire agreement, while others only void a particular claim filed under the warranty.
What Voids a Car Warranty Claim?
Sometimes the manufacturer will deny a claim for a repair filed through your warranty for actions that could lead to the specific damage. Some examples of reasons to deny a claim include the following:
- The damage stemmed from a modification made to the vehicle or the use of aftermarket parts.
- The owner failed to perform routine maintenance, neglecting their duties according to the warranty terms.
- The owner used dirty fluids or the wrong fluids during maintenance, causing damage.
Most mistakes will only void a claim rather than the entire contract. However, some dealerships may tell you otherwise to entice you to come to them for all maintenance and repairs.
What Voids the Whole Contract?
The factors that could void your warranty entirely are often more extreme than those than void a claim. For example, if you have a car accident resulting in severe damage, you may receive a salvage title. That would immediately void your warranty.
The warranty holder may deny your coverage if you use the vehicle for illegal or reckless activities, such as street racing or off-roading. Additionally, these contracts are not heavily regulated, leaving the vehicle owner at the mercy of the administrator’s discretion.
You may also lose warranty coverage if your vehicle sustained damage from an environmental element, such as fire, hail, or flood. You can find these exceptions in the warranty’s language.
What Does a Car Warranty Cover?
Now that you know what voids a car warranty, consider what it covers. If you keep up with maintenance requirements laid out in the terms of your contract, your warranty will likely cover repairs to the following systems:
- Braking and steering systems
- Heating and cooling system
- Fuel and electrical systems
Again, to know exactly what your warranty covers, check the specific language of your contract. If you bought the car used and are still under the manufacturer’s warranty, contact the original dealer or the automaker to get a copy of the policy in case the seller did not provide one.
Different Types of Coverage Plans
Coverage can come from different sources. Examples include:
- Manufacturers’ warranties come with new vehicles and typically have a lifespan of around four years or until you reach a certain mileage. Some last longer, which is often a feature used to promote the car.
- Extended car warranties cover your vehicle after the manufacturer’s warranty expires and are available by purchase. However, pay close attention to the terms because what voids a car warranty is typically more extensive in this case.
- Vehicle protection plans can also provide extra coverage after a manufacturer’s warranty expires. However, these are not the same as extended warranties. Autopom! provides vehicle protection plans which may include Vehicle Service Contracts or Mechanical Breakdown insurance depending on your state of residence.
If you buy your car used, it could still be under the manufacturer’s warranty, and you would be able to use it if necessary. If you decide to continue coverage with an extended warranty or vehicle protection plan, you can typically purchase either through the dealership or a third-party independent provider.
How Does a Vehicle Protection Plan Differ from an Extended Warranty?
The primary differences between a vehicle protection plan and an extended warranty from the manufacturer are in the terms. Your vehicle protection plan can mimic the manufacturers’ warranty or offer coverage your warranty does not such as roadside assistance. You can purchase a vehicle protection plan while your warranty is still active, which is a good idea if you want additional coverage.
Learn more about vehicle protection plans and check out the coverage available through autopom!.
What Can You Do to Avoid Warranty Issues?
Once you know what voids a car warranty, you can avoid those actions. Consider these four precautions that could ultimately save you a significant amount of money.
Have Your Car Serviced Regularly
The most apparent way to keep your warranty active is to uphold your end of the agreement. Ensure you take the vehicle in for all regular maintenance. You can make your next appointment after each one and receive reminders so you never miss any. Your vehicle manual will have a suggested schedule.
Read the Warranty Carefully
Read the warranty cover to cover so you know all the requirements for keeping it active. You may find that certain repairs do not fall under warranty and decide to purchase a vehicle protection plan to supplement.
Reach out to the dealer, manufacturer, or warranty administrator if you have questions about the policy language. Additionally, do not be afraid to address any claim denials you believe are unfair.
Keep written documentation of all repairs and upkeep. This can include appointment confirmations and receipts for the completed work. If you need to file a claim under your warranty, you will need that information. Additionally, if you decide to sell, that information could increase the vehicle’s value.
Where Can You Learn More About What Voids a Car Warranty?
All warranties are unique in some way. Reading the fine print is the best way to ensure you have all the information you need to protect yourself from what voids a car warranty. For more information regarding car warranty alternatives and to better protect yourself when unplanned repair bills arrive, contact autopom! today for a fast quote and coverage that gives you peace of mind.