So far, we’ve covered what a car warranty is, how to check if your vehicle still has its warranty, whether a given repair should come out of pocket or be paid by your warranty, and how long a warranty lasts. This time, let’s talk about the actions and inactions that can void your car’s warranty, whether the warranty is the original from the factory or an extended warranty from the manufacturer or a third party.
If your vehicle is of the high-performance variety (and even if it isn’t), one action that could void a warranty is misuse. Activities like track days and racing events, hitting the trail at an off-road park or overloading the vehicle with too much cargo can void part or all of the warranty. In fact, any activity not considered normal use can wipe out your coverage in a flash. This includes putting the wrong fluid in any part of your vehicle, whether it’s diesel in a gasoline fuel system or the wrong type of oil in the engine.
Another event that will void a warranty is if your vehicle gets in an accident and is given a salvage title as a result. Unless you live in an area where repairing the car can qualify it for a new, clean title to remove the salvage status, it may also be hard, if not impossible, to obtain a new warranty.
Finally, an odometer that has been replaced, disconnected or tampered with will null and void a warranty.
The one inaction that will void a vehicle warranty is neglect. Your warranty is good only so long as you care for your vehicle according to the warranty requirements. You can have your vehicle serviced anywhere — not just your vehicle’s dealership — but if you forget to service your vehicle, the warranty will be voided.