Do I have to use the dealer to keep my warranty? If I don’t use the Dealer will it void my warranty? The answer is no! This one gets me a little due to personal experience with a car under warranty.This will not be a name calling finger pointing blog. That is not the reason I do this. I like teaching and helping people. I think the more you know, the better decisions you can make. So on to the question. According to the FTC you cannot be required to use the dealership to maintain your warranty. You also cannot be denied warranty coverage due to work done elsewhere. You can even do the work yourself as long as everything is documented.
That is not what the dealer told me? I can here you already. You are correct you may have had a salesman or service advisor tell you something different. There are ways they tip toe along a grey line. Have you heard 5 years free oil changes? 3 years free maintenance! This is a growing trend, so if a service advisor wants to say “to keep your warranty…” The truth is the Magnuson Moss Act this is a lie. They must provide the parts for free to make that claim. You see that grey line now? Do you really think you will get out of there for free??
Told you I had an experience with this one. 11K miles on a car and there was a major engine failure. I get a call my warranty was void because you put the “wrong” oil filter on my car. Think that was a tense phone call? When I got there the wrong filter was the correct filter, but a Napa brand. To keep this short new engine was covered. I am not knocking dealers here. Good and bad people work in all sectors. My goal is to educate you so here are my 4 points.
- Know what is covered and for how long. Dig into your owners manual and read!
- Set up and keep a maintenance schedule. Not sure how? ASK!! Again check your manual get with the dealer or an independent and educate yourself!
- Biggie here!! KEEP ALL RECORDS! Document document document! Does not matter who does the work you do have to prove it!
- Never take the first no. It is a policy at some places to deny everything the first time. Why?? because many people will just say ok and go on and pay. Crazy right? Ask for a service manager or general manager if you feel it is a legitimate claim. You can even call corporate customer service and complain.