If your vehicle is covered by a warranty, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected if something should go wrong. But what unintentional factors could leave you footing the repair bill?
We've highlighted the 7 ways you may be compromising your car warranty policy - and how to avoid them.
1. Aggressive driving or misuse
The definition of misuse can be down to individual manufacturers, but using your vehicle for anything other than standard day-to-day driving can put your warranty at risk. Off-roading or competitive racing to excessive speeds can not only be unsafe but also compromise the functionality of your vehicle and cause unexpected damage. You may also even be risking the policy by even hitting curbs in repeated instances, so be mindful when parking or mounting curbs regularly.
Many motorists choose to modify their vehicle, with popular modifications including tinted windows and number plate changes, but be aware that some alterations may result in facing a full or partial void on your warranty policy. Always use an approved garage or engineer to fit manufacturer-approved parts when modifying your car to stay within the law and your warranty guidelines.
Those who tow caravans or trailers with their vehicles will need to be mindful of exceeding the maximum towing capacity for their car. This means taking into account extra luggage and the weight of other items including passengers, as overloading can cause the vehicle to be unsafe to drive. You can find the towing capacity guidelines for your vehicle listed in the manufacturer's handbook.
4. Lack of maintenance
Failure to keep your vehicle in good condition can cover factors such as neglecting to change the oil, adjusting wheel alignment and filter changes, so undertaking regular maintenance is important. Keep on top of annual services and attend to any issues that arise whilst driving before they get worse to avoid compromising your warranty cover.
5. Putting in the wrong fuel
It’s easily done, especially if you have switched from a petrol to diesel fuel type, but putting in the wrong fuel can cause major havoc to the internal workings of your car and can void your warranty. Similarly, unapproved or low-quality fluids in the oil tank can be problematic, so never compromise on brake fluid or engine oil quality by opting for branded, garage approved types.
6. Previous accident damage
Any manufacturer's warranty will be rendered void if the vehicle has a salvage title - meaning that if the car has previously been in a serious collision and has been written off before you purchase it. If you’re buying a vehicle privately, it is strongly advised that you conduct a salvage title check yourself or ensure that your dealer has done it for you.
7. Altering the odometer
Tampering with, disconnecting or replacing the car’s odometer (which tracks mileage) is classed as being fraudulent and will therefore void your warranty policy. The vehicle mileage is key in any valuation, making it extremely important to have it working correctly and accurately at all times. In the unlikely event of accidental damage to the odometer, it should be repaired by a specialist as soon as possible.
Duncan McClure-Fisher, CEO at MotorEasy says:
"It is important for motorists to be aware of the unexpected ways that they can unintentionally void their car warranty policy as it can land them with extra costs. Not only is it wise to be mindful of the above factors, but we would also always advise drivers to go through their new or existing protection policies thoroughly to know what is covered and what is not to avoid being caught out. Follow a recommended annual car service schedule at an approved garage, and keep servicing records up to date with any receipts of extra work completed on the vehicle which can be referred back to.”