Your car's warranty provides tremendous peace of mind - the knowledge that if anything goes wrong, it will be fixed without cost to you.
However, not everything is covered, and it's possible to inadvertently void your car warranty if you're not careful.
What can void a car warranty - quick tips:
- Read the warranty terms and conditions so you understand what's covered - and what's not.
- Keep to the manufacturer's recommended service schedule - using an approved garage.
- Stay up-to-date with records of any work completed and keep the documents safe.
- Ask your warranty provider if you have any questions - before you take out cover.
More information on how to ensure your warranty stays active:
Your car must be operated within the reasonable limits of the warranty. For most of us, this is straightforward.
For example, few of us would enter our vehicle into an off-road event - but it’s the kind of decision that would invalidate most regular warranties.
Providers can check licence plates entered into such events, so it's near impossible to get away with.
Equally, while 'kerbing' your tyre once may not invalidate your warranty, doing so several times could.
Always read the small print of your warranty to ensure you understand the limitations.
Altering the odometer
Your car's value is largely dependent on the mileage, so modifying, replacing or otherwise tampering with it is a big no-no - and is very likely to invalidate your warranty.
While manufactured to be extremely robust, if your odometer does get damaged it should be repaired promptly by an experienced technician.
Is my car warranty void if not serviced?
Failure to keep to the manufacturer's advised maintenance schedule could also invalidate your car's warranty.
Oil changes, filter changes and wheel alignment should be kept on top of.
In reality, only very poor levels of maintenance are likely to impact the warranty. However, it's important to keep records of any work done, so you can show the warranty provider if necessary.
Misfuelling and using unapproved fluids
Filling a diesel car with petrol, or vice versa, is likely to invalidate your warranty because it can cause extensive engine damage (particularly when petrol enters a diesel unit).
It's also important not to use unapproved oil and brake fluid, as this too could invalidate your cover.
Avoiding cheap or poor-quality fluids could save you a lot in the long term.
Your vehicle is designed to be able to tow trailers or caravans of a certain weight. Exceeding this could trigger a fault, which would not be covered by your warranty and may invalidate it.
The maximum load weight would include any luggage and other items inside.
Quite apart from concerns over your warranty, overloading should be avoided since it jeopardises the safety of you, your passengers and other road users.
Being given a salvage title
If your vehicle is involved in a collision that renders it 'totalled' or 'written off', it will be handed a 'salvage title'.
Warranty providers conduct searches for vehicles that have undergone this process - one that invalidates any live warranty.
And if you're considering buying a used car, it's wise to carry out such a search for yourself. This can be done at checkcardetails.co.uk and vcheck.uk, among others.
More common questions about warranties:
Does chipping your car void warranty?
‘Chipping’ or remapping your car’s engine will almost certainly invalidate your warranty.
Remapping is when the car's Engine Control Unit (ECU) is reprogrammed to maximise performance. However, if not done properly this could be dangerous.
The bottom line is, if you don't want to invalidate your warranty, don't chip your engine.
What modifications void a car’s warranty?
Your provider will have a list of approved modifications that won’t invalidate your warranty. But any ‘mod’ not on the list will void the cover.
Using an unapproved garage or provider for a mod, whether approved or not, could also invalidate your warranty.
Is my car warranty void after an accident?
Damage caused by being involved in an accident would be covered by your regular car insurance - not your warranty.
As mentioned above, if your vehicle receives a ‘salvage title’ your warranty will be voided.
Is my car still under warranty?
Not sure if your car is still under warranty? Gather your VIN number, note down your mileage, and contact your dealership to find out if you’re still covered.