What Isn’t Covered in the Manufacturer’s Warranty?
Buying a new vehicle is only one part of the process. You also need to take care of that vehicle for years to come. Your manufacturer’s warranty will help you do that, but reading through them can make you more confused than you were before you started.
Manufacturer warranties cover a lot of stuff, but there’s also a lot they won’t cover, and it’s crucial to understand what typically gets left out of your warranty and why.
What the Manufacturer’s Warranty Doesn’t Cover
Your manufacturer’s warranty could differ from the norm, so it’s always a good idea to read through it and ask your salesperson for help if you don’t understand something. In general, these points aren’t covered by a manufacturer’s warranty:
The maintenance of your vehicle is your responsibility, so it’s not something the manufacturer will pay for. You’ll need to get on a regular schedule of oil changes, tire rotations, fluid fill-ups, tire replacements, battery checks, etc., to keep your vehicle in its best shape possible. Don’t forget to complete important winter car maintenance, too. But your warranty won’t pay for anything that’s considered to be a part of regular vehicle maintenance.
Damage from a Lack of Maintenance
If you do fail to maintain your vehicle, then your warranty may not cover the damage it causes. For example, frequently letting your car go 10,000 miles without an oil change and expecting your warranty to replace engine components that have failed as a result won’t go over well.
When you do anything maintenance-wise to your car, be sure to keep documentation for it. Doing so can help you prove to the manufacturer that you have, in fact, kept up with your end of the contract.
Normal Wear and Tear on Components
Lots of things break down in a car over time. Unfortunately, the warranty usually won’t cover them. Usual uncovered items include:
- Brakes and brake pads
- Exterior and interior lights
- Carpeting or mats
- Windshield wipers
- Spark plugs
- Turn signals
- Wheel covers
- Missing or broken accessories (spare tire, tire pump, etc.)
- Exhaust system
Tires fall into both the categories of routine maintenance and normal wear and tear, so it’s not likely that your warranty will cover them. Fortunately, most tires do come with a manufacturer warranty of their own that typically covers them for a few years or a specific number of miles.
Interior or Exterior Damage
Interior and exterior damage to vehicles are among the most common damages you’ll find, yet most warranties won’t cover it. Why? The manufacturer sees these issues as your responsibility as the driver and owner because they weren’t caused by fault of the manufacturer.
Some manufacturers will, however, cover instances that seem like they’re caused by a manufacturing defect, like interior upholstery stitching coming undone within a few months of ownership.
Accident damage should be something your auto insurance covers rather than your warranty. Your vehicle, however, will only have coverage that covers the costs for repairing or replacing your car if you have collision coverage, which is an optional coverage but one you should consider purchasing.
Environmental damage can encompass many hazards, like:
- A tree branch falling off a tree in a windstorm and hitting your hood
- Salt from roads causing your paint to rust
- Tree sap making its way into your engine
- A family of mice taking up home under your hood and damaging hoses
Anything caused by weather or nature is, again, not covered by the warranty. However, comprehensive coverage in your insurance policy may cover some environmental-related hazards.
Damage Caused by Theft or Mischief
Damage from theft or mischief – like a car thief getting into an accident with your car or someone breaking a window overnight – won’t be covered by your warranty. Your auto insurance will pick up most of these claims, though, if you elected to pay for comprehensive coverage.
If you decide to repair something yourself and that part either fails again or causes another problem, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the new repair covered by your warranty. Your warranty is there to protect you against unforeseen issues that arise with manufacturer-placed parts. If you get these repaired properly the first time through a partnered dealership, then you won’t risk voiding your warranty.
Adding aftermarket parts, accessories, or upgrades to your car may void its warranty altogether. At the very least, your car’s manufacturer won’t cover them.
A trusted auto dealership that helps you get into a new or used vehicle can also help you navigate your manufacturer’s warranty. Here at Paul Sherry Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, we’re happy to go over all the fine print with you.