What Voids a Car Warranty?

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Written by: Riley Clark | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

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Protection means protection no matter what, right?

Wrong.

When purchasing an extended car warranty, you must be aware of the caveats of your coverage. Certain factors can lead to your extended car warranty being voided. Although every car warranty company is different, luckily, many of the car warranty companes have similar parameters for what voids an extended car warranty. Read below to find out the top five.

If you are unsure of what a car warranty or extended warranty is in general, check out our complete guide to car warranties for a simple run-down.

1. Keep up with your vehicle’s recommended maintenance

Every vehicle has a recommended maintenance schedule. Most car warranty companies, will void your car warranty if you do not keep up with the recommended maintenance. This often includes rotating your tires, getting the oil changed, and receiving specified inspections.To find out what your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule is simply put your vehicle’s make and model into this car maintenance guide.

2. Avoid modifications 

For most car warranty companies, your vehicle’s extended car warranty will be voided if you make any vehicle modifications other than modifications recommended by the manufacturer. 

Laura Gonzalez from AudiPeoria, with years of experience in the automotive industry, states that, “most aftermarket modifications (e.g. parts that are not approved by the manufacturer) will void your warranty. For example, if you lift your vehicle and then it has problems with the drivetrain, you will have a difficult time getting the dealership to cover the repairs under warranty, because they can simply state that the vehicle was not built to accommodate the modification.”

3. Drive carefully 

Deliberate and obvious abuse of your vehicle, such as off-roading, hitting curbs, racing or anything else that the vehicle was not manufactured to do will void the warranty. Look through your contract carefully to see what the car warranty company defines as misuse.

Jake McKenzie from Auto Accessories Garage adds that "Overloading your vehicle by competing in races or track days, off-roading, or even plowing snow can be considered misuse, or otherwise outside of normal operation. A claims investigator may look for signs of racing or off-roading in your vehicle and they can deny a claim at their own discretion.  They will not necessarily need proof of racing or off-roading, but can choose to deny coverage based solely on the presence of signs that may indicate racing or off-roading."

4. Be mindful of your mileage

Lauren Fix from the Car Coach says "car warranties are based in mileage and time, which ever comes first. After that point, the coverage protection dissappears." Be mindful of the mileage on your car and be aware of when you are going to hit that mileage limit. When this happens, your car warranty is voided.

5. Let the extended car warranty company know that a repair needs to be done

Before getting any car repairs on your car, make sure to let the car warranty company know. Without prior authorization from the administrator, the car warranty may not be held responsible to pay for the repair. Typically, the only exception for this is when the repair is classified under emergency repairs stated in the agreement.

The bottom line

Although this list covers the most common factors that car warranty companies include in voiding a car warranty, this is not a comprehensive list. When you are exploring your options, go through your contract carefully before agreeing to anything. Pay special attention to everything included in the contract that will void your car warranty. Being informed beforehand ensures you know exactly what you are purchasing with an extended car warranty.

The Top Car Warranties Companies

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#1 Omega Auto Care chevron_right
9.0 Overall Score
4.3
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(229)
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#2 autopom! chevron_right
8.3 Overall Score
4.7
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(140)
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#3 Endurance chevron_right
8.3 Overall Score
3.8
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(299)

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