When your warranty-protected vehicle needs a repair, you’ll submit a claim to get the component fixed. Depending on the circumstance, your claim may be denied, or your warranty may be void, so it is necessary to understand what voids a car warranty.

In this article, we’ll discuss what voids an auto warranty in detail, including what can cause your claim to be denied and how to avoid problems with your warranty altogether. It's important to understand what can cause car warranty voids so you don’t find yourself financially responsible for unexpected repairs.

If your manufacturer has voided your warranty, you may want to consider independent coverage. We’ve ranked and reviewed the best extended car warranty providers on the market. Click below for free quotes from our top picks.

 

In this article:

What Is A Car Warranty?

A car warranty, also referred to as a manufacturer’s warranty, comes with your new or certified pre-owned vehicle from the dealership. The warranty protects you against costly repairs caused by factory defects or faulty components.

An extended auto warranty, also called a vehicle service contract, extends protection after your factory warranty expires. You can either purchase an extended warranty from the dealership or a third-party provider. Manufacturer and extended warranty contracts have similar situations that can void your warranty or cause your claim to be denied.

 


 

What Voids A Car Warranty?

A manufacturer or provider is allowed to void your warranty if you don't abide by your contract terms. Some situations will void your entire warranty, meaning you will no longer be able to file claims for repairs.

Here are some circumstances that can void a car warranty:

  • Misuse of vehicle: If you use your vehicle for anything other than day-to-day driving, such as off-roading or racing, your warranty will be voided. This also includes using improper fluids.
  • Total loss: If your vehicle was given a salvage title after a severe accident, your warranty is void.
  • Severe environmental damage: Your warranty will no longer be honored if it was damaged by a natural disaster, such as a fire or flood.
  • Altered odometer: If the odometer has been tampered with, the dealer won’t know the exact mileage of the vehicle, which can void your warranty.
  • Aftermarket alterations: Most manufacturers will void the warranty if you modify your vehicle in any way or install aftermarket components.
  • Improper maintenance: To keep your warranty valid, you’ll be expected to follow and document your factory-recommended maintenance schedule.

 


 

What Causes A Warranty Claim To Be Denied?

Other instances won’t cause your entire warranty to be void, but they might cause a repair claim to be denied. Many situations can cause this, but these are the most common: 

  • Damage from use of aftermarket repair parts: The use of aftermarket parts may void your warranty or cause your claim to be denied. If these parts or repairs cause damage to components of your vehicle, the claims for repairs of those parts will be denied.
  • Damage caused by modifications: If your vehicle has modifications not installed by the dealership, and these modifications cause damage to parts of your vehicle, the damaged components may not be covered.
  • Damage from unnecessary repairs: If you took your vehicle to a non-approved repair facility that caused damage to your vehicle, your claim may be denied.
  • Damage from neglect or lack of maintenance: If you skip out on routine maintenance, you can cause serious damage to your vehicle, and your claim to repair this damage could be denied. 

Every car manufacturer and independent provider has different terms and conditions. Read the fine print of your warranty contract carefully to understand what can void your warranty and how best to hold up your end of the agreement. 

 


 

What To Do If Your Warranty Claim Is Denied

If you believe your warranty claim was wrongfully denied, you may be able to find a resolution by appealing the denial. However, you will still have to pay for the repairs yourself while the case is getting resolved.

If your claim was denied and you are unsure why, you can contact the provider to receive further explanation. If the situation is serious, you can also seek legal action. In some cases, it might also be beneficial to seek coverage elsewhere, especially if you can cancel your contract.

 


 

How To Avoid Problems With Your Car’s Warranty

The best way to avoid problems with your warranty is to read the fine print of your contract and make sure you understand the terms. If you have any questions about your warranty, we recommend reaching out to your car dealership or provider to ask them any questions.

If you operate your vehicle as intended and follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule carefully, you will be less likely to sustain damage and have your warranty voided. It’s also a good idea to keep track of all service and repairs performed on your vehicle so you can avoid missing out on a claim for lack of documentation. 

 


 

Should I Get An Extended Warranty?

If your manufacturer voids your warranty, you should consider third-party extended warranty coverage. This type of warranty can be purchased any time for any new or used vehicle and is unaffiliated with your manufacturer’s warranty. If you decide to buy coverage, make sure you read your contract thoroughly, as a third-party contract can also be voided.

When you start shopping for coverage, make sure you look at reputable providers with good reviews, like Toco. Toco has three levels of coverage and allows you to service your vehicle at any repair shop. Toco reviews are very positive, and the provider also offers perks like roadside assistance and rental car benefits. To see how much you would pay for coverage, visit TocoWarranty.com.

It’s always best to get multiple quotes when shopping for coverage. Compare other top-rated providers by clicking below.

 

 


 

FAQ: What Voids A Car Warranty

Will an exhaust void my warranty?

Depending on the contract, installing an exhaust system may not void your vehicle’s warranty so long as it does not cause damage. If the exhaust causes damage or other mechanical issues to parts of your vehicle, then your warranty might be voided. However, some providers have strict policies around aftermarket products. In this case, it’s best to read over your contract.

Will doing my own maintenance void a warranty?

No, doing your own maintenance on your vehicle will not void your warranty. However, if the maintenance causes damage to a vehicle component that requires repairs, your warranty is not likely to cover it.

Do I have to service my car at the dealer to keep the warranty valid?

You’ll need to check with your dealer to see if services have to be performed at the dealership. Some automakers are flexible with what repair facilities drivers use, but some require all maintenance and repair work to occur at specific service centers or facilities.

What happens if the dealership can't fix my car under warranty?

If the dealership can’t fix your car, your claim has likely been denied. You then have several options on how to proceed. You can appeal the denial, seek warranty coverage elsewhere, or pay for the repairs yourself.