Manufacturer Warranties and You.
No little amount of confusion arises nowadays as to which maintenance and repairs to your vehicle can be performed without voiding the warranty on your cherished ride.
More and more Customers come to us claiming that the Dealership they purchased their vehicle from insisted that only "they" (the dealership) or other "authorized" dealers can perform routine service, inspections and repairs to their vehicle without voiding the warranty. In the U.S., not only is this untrue, but the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act passed in 1975 makes such claims illegal and consumers are encouraged to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in these cases.
Q: Do I have to use the dealer for repairs and maintenance to keep my warranty in effect?
An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work. The manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select repair facilities if the repair services are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty.
That said, there may be certain situations where a repair may not be covered. For example, on a car under warranty, if you or your mechanic replaced a belt improperly and your engine is damaged as a result, your manufacturer or dealer may deny responsibility for fixing the engine under the warranty. However, according to the FTC, the manufacturer or dealer must be able to demonstrate that it was the improper belt replacement — rather than some other defect — that caused the damage to your engine. The warranty would still be in effect for other parts of your vehicle.
Q: Do I need to still adhere to the service and inspection guidelines in the Owner's Manual for my vehicle?
If you decline to have the Dealership perform your regular inspections and services, it is imperative that you or your preferred mechanic record the dates and services performed as well as saving any receipts for parts or services by yourself or others.
Q: Am I required to use only manufacturer parts or can I use after marketparts?
A: Both Yes and No, depending on the circumstances.
If your vehicle is being serviced as a warranty repair at no cost to you, the manufacturer and or dealer can insist that OEM parts be used. Since its a repair or replacement made under warranty by the dealership or another authorized agent at no cost to you, it doesn't matter if OEM parts are required.
If however you are merely performing scheduled or periodic maintenance or minor "wear and tear" parts replacements, OEM is not a requirement to maintain your warranty. Just make sure that whatever materials are used, meet or exceed the OEM specifications. Things in this category include; batteries, oil, spark plugs, brake pads, tires and most other things required to keep your vehicle in good order and maintain its warranty, but whose replacement is not normally covered by the manufacturer or dealership at no cost to you.