30 July 2013

Authorized to Perform Scheduled Maintenance on All New Cars

YES, we are authorized to perform scheduled maintenance on your new (under warranty) vehicle with absolutely no risk to your warranty.  Plus, service records of all work performed are always available to you with a simple push of a button.

A common misunderstanding is that you need to get all work done at the dealer when it is under warranty. Not sure how this totally false urban legend has perpetuated, but we can assure you there is a Federal law, called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, that makes it illegal to "tie-in" any ongoing sales or paid-for service to maintain a valid warranty.  This includes all maintenance and any repair that is not covered under warranty. The only work that must be performed by the dealer are repairs covered by the new car warranty and thus "free" to the vehicle owner, including recalls.

The only maintenance concerns you should have is to make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations and keep (or have access to) all records of completed work. We offer maintenance schedule reminders, by email, based on your specific year, make, and model, and maintain complete records of all work done. Hopping around to a bunch of different shops makes record keeping difficult and can result in redundant or overlooked services.

Here are some common mistakes that can legitimately void your new car warranty...

1. Not following manufacturer's maintenance recommendations: Going with the cheapest oil or extending the time between changes, can get you in trouble. Manufacturers specify the frequency, weight or viscosity, and the type of oil, such as petroleum, synthetic-blend, or full synthetic. Same goes for octane in gas. If the manufacturer recommends 91 octane premium fuel, using regular 87 octane fuel could nullify your warranty.

2. Changing Rims and/or Suspension: There is no problem in changing rims as long as you stay within the tire and wheel sizes recommended by the manufacturer. However, over-sized rims and lifting or lowering the suspension can negatively impact high-cost drive-train components, as well as steering and suspension, and thus negate the warranty.

3. Performance Modifications: Any modification to the vehicle that changes its performance beyond what was intended by the manufacturer can be used against you. Performance "chips" is a common example. While it is wise to call the manufacturer before making such changes, a verbal approval is probably insufficient if future damage can be tied to the modification.

4. Misuse of the Vehicle: Uses such as racing, towing, and off-roading when the vehicle was not designed for such use, can void part or all of the warranty. 

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