When it comes to vehicle warranties, know your rights

Did you recently purchase a new vehicle? Are you leasing one? It’s not uncommon for car dealerships to tell their customers they must have their vehicle serviced and repaired there or the manufacturer’s warranty will become void. This is simply not true. In actuality, there is something called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, that protects you. The key is to know your rights under this act.

According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, it is illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim your warranty becomes void when someone other than the dealer does the work. What does that mean? Hopefully we will be able to answer that by providing the answers to some frequently-asked questions about vehicle warranties.

Q. Must I take my vehicle to the dealership where I purchased it for routine maintenance like oil and filter changes?

A. No. The act says you can take your vehicle anywhere you would like, whether it is for oil changes, cooling system service, and any other routine maintenance and repairs. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you may also do the work yourself. Selecting any of these choices for auto maintenance or repair will not void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Q. What types of auto repair or maintenance services are covered under vehicle warranties?

A. As you can imagine, every car manufacturer has its own warranty coverage. The ones that are most common are bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties. As the name implies, a bumper-to-bumper warranty typically covers most items from the front to the back bumper of your vehicle. These warranties last for a specific amount of time, like 3 years or 36,000 miles. To apply that to real-life, if you have an engine failure or the oil begins leaking because of material or workmanship defects, the dealer will make the repairs at no cost to you. Normal wear and tear items like tires, oil/filter changes, brakes, cooling system service are not covered under the vehicle warranty.

Q. What types of things would void the manufacturer’s warranty?

A. While you can bring your vehicle to be serviced anywhere, you must follow the minimum maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual. You are also required to use the proper brand(s) of fluids and parts for your vehicle. If you fail to do any of these things, you void the warranty. That means if the engine has a problem needing repair, you will have to pay for it.

The easiest way to make sure the manufacturer’s warranty will cover your vehicle is to have it maintained and repaired at one place, like Campus Repair in Ft. Collins, Colorado. We keep detailed records of all the services we perform on your vehicle, and if there are parts that need to be replaced, we will let you know. We will also tell you when a needed repair is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty so you can have it done at your dealer at no cost to you. Call or stop by the shop for your next vehicle service.

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