Tips on how not to void your car warranty

Every new car comes with a warranty. Why even now, some used cars come with a warranty, provided you buy them from a reputed outlet or a used car facility. I have had some of friends who have new cars however due to some or the other reason lost out on their warranty thing. Taking a cue from their examples, I have conjured up a list of things that one can do to avoid voiding of their warranty. Before going ahead with the tips, I would like to elaborate on the benefits of warranty. Its not that, people wouldn’t know about it but its just that some of the new buyers may not be too knowledgeable about it. To start off with, it is an agreement or a bond between the consumer and the car manufacturer. The car manufacturer would take care of any hassles with the car provided those are listed in the agreement or bond. There are a certain list of dos and donts given in the user manual guideline as well. Warranty stands good for the various parts of the car and not on the car as a whole entity. In this case, if suppose due to your negligence, the car’s battery died, then the warranty for the battery would be void and not on the car as a whole. Listed below are some of the common errors that customers make and which can void the warranty.

Modifications for performance-

This was one of the reasons why many of the Maruti Suzuki Swifts of late and the first generation Honda City were denied warranty. Many of the customers wanted to make their cars racing machines and hence installed power chips or cold air intakes. This lead to some of the mechanical failure as was reported in the statistics. Even if you want to modify the vehicle, it is recommended that you do it after the warranty of your car ends. The other way round, if you cannot wait till then is to remove those extra mods before you check in the vehicle for service. Many of the modern tuning boxes like the Pete’s tuning box would hardly take 5 minutes to remove or attach and can be done at home. Though it is yet to be proven with proofs that these modifications do have a major contribution to the failure of the parts, the manufacturers do think otherwise. Out here in India, we don’t have much option but to follow their rules however in some markets like the US, you can invoke the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. This rule challenges the manufacturer to prove that the car or part of it was damaged due to the warranty. In India, you have the best option of going to a consumer court but that would still take eons.

Fluids-

All the necessary fluids should be replaced or topped up according to the manufacturer’s schedule listed in the owner’s manual. This is another thing which many of the customers conveniently fail to do. A friend of my friend brought a Maruti 800 way back in 2005 and didn’t even bother to check in for the first service. He was of the opinion that since he doesn’t use the car too often, it doesn’t need servicing. He had a bit of mechanical knowledge and he changed the engine oil himself however he filled in the same used engine oil again. This went on till 6000 kms and when he finally turned in his car for service at a authorized service station, they said that his car’s piston block has suffered damage and he had to fork out a hefty bill for repairing it. I suppose that the readers of this article wouldn’t be so negligent towards their vehicles. Also use the recommended grading oil or the one suggested by the manufacturers. This would be another reason to void the warranty if they find that the oil or fluid you have used isn’t to their specifications. Timely change is another required thing.

Unnecessary installations-

To give a sporty look to their cars, many of the owners go in for installing spoilers or to protect their vehicle from damage, bull guards. These are also abhored by the manufacturers since many consider the bull guards to be more damaging to the structure of the vehicle rather than induce safety. Some claim that installing bull guards cause the structural integrity to be damaged and doesn’t help in the crumple zones to absorb the energy rather than transmit it to the occupants or passengers. Installing a spoiler doesn’t amount to voiding of warranties. Earlier manufacturers used to cry hoarse about fitting in after market music systems if there are no electrical installation provisions given in the vehicle. However as of now, the modern vehicles coming in our way already have all these provisions. Moreover, even after market systems don’t require one to splice the electricals. Installing HID kits would also void the warranty in some cases if the bulbs used have a more wattage than what can be supported by the battery. Also thawing of the glass may occur which may cause it to become milky and hence come in the way of providing clear vision at night time.

Wheels and tyre size-

When manufacturers launch a car, they give it the best shot. They test a car for its correct tyre size, suspension set up and choice of wheels. It is best not to tamper with this configuration. If you have steel wheels on your car and want to go for alloy ones, its acceptable  but then upgrading the tyre size to something bigger would cause undue stress on the suspension components or sometimes on the steering wheel as well. There are many who put gum ball sized tyres just for the sake of looking good and make their car one of a kind. All these show offs can be done once the car is out of warranty. Before doing so necessary suspension modifications have to be done, only at a reputed shop. Improper suspension, tyre combination raises questions about the vehicle’s movements and stability. This may lead to accidents and one cannot blame the manufacturer for all this things. They would straight away deny the warranty on the entire vehicle. There have been many instances when the car’s steering wheel has got problems due to the fact that suspension was too cumbersome for it to handle.

These are just some of the tips and I hope that these do prove to be of use to you or any of your friends.

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