Does Being In A Car Accident Void Your Warranty

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19 Mar

If you’ve been in an accident resulting in damage to your car, then you might be worried that the accident will void your warranty. Losing warranty protection can be very expensive in the medium term, and it’s an obvious worry.

The good news is: Simply being in an accident will not void your car’s warranty. However, you should make sure that you’re aware of your warranty and its restrictions when you get your car repaired.

Can Having Somebody But the Dealer Work on your Car Void the Warranty?

The answer is no. If you need collision repair, it’s illegal to void your warranty just because major repairs are done to the vehicle. Upgrades are another matter; resist the temptation to sneak them in. However, your warranty will not cover repairs that can be traced to the accident, and a manufacturer or dealer may try to use this as an excuse. Check and repair everything after the accident so that you have a document proving that it was fixed at the time.

Does Using Aftermarket Parts Void Your Warranty?

Again, no. However, the warranty will not cover the aftermarket part; if it’s early in the warranty period it may be worth paying extra for an OEM part that will be covered. Even if you do use an aftermarket part, it won’t void the warranty for other systems that were not affected by the repair. If your warranty is close to being over and it is unlikely that the part will fail, then it is likely better to go ahead and use the cheaper part. Talk to your mechanic about the best course of action.

What if your Car is Totaled?

If your car is totaled, you might choose to repair it anyway. In this case, the entire warranty on the car will be voided. (This can also happen if you buy a car with a salvage title). This is something to consider if you are attached to the totaled car and don’t want to scrap it. In most cases you are better off getting a new car.

Misuse of the Vehicle

Misuse of the vehicle can be grounds for voiding your warranty. This includes racing a vehicle, overloading it, or off-roading in a vehicle not designed for it. Unfortunately, some accidents might be used as evidence that you were misusing the vehicle. This is particularly the case if you have an accident on an unpaved road or a grass parking lot. This is the kind of thing that often ends up with you needing a lawyer, unfortunately. Reckless driving is another thing you might be accused of after an accident.

Other Things which can Void your Warranty

There are a few other things which can affect your warranty. They include:

  • Tampering with the odometer
  • Not doing all of your car’s necessary maintenance. Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and schedule for routine maintenance. You don’t have to have it done at the dealer, but you do need to have it done.
  • Using unapproved fluids. Your warranty may specify what kind of oil, etc you should use. Generally this is not to annoy you, but because manufacturers know what extends the life of your engine.
  • Incorrect installation of custom mods. The law doesn’t allow a dealer or manufacturer to void your warranty because you have modified your car. However, if the installer does damage putting in the mod, the warranty won’t cover that damage. Always use an experienced installer.

If you have a leased vehicle, some of these things can also get you in trouble when you turn the car in.

If you need collision repair in North Miami, then you should call your go-to auto body shop. Contact us at (305) 908-5548 or go to our website to schedule an appointment.