Will After Market Parts, Like Cold Air Intakes, Void My Warranty
By: Leaman Griffin
One of the best things about buying a brand new vehicle is the Manufacturer’s Warranty. The peace of mind that you have knowing you won’t be forking out potentially thousands of dollars in repairs if your brand spanking new car or truck breaks down. It’s a luxury for sure, but does it mean that you aren’t allowed to customize your vehicle in fear of losing your safety net? Not necessarily.
Manufacturer’s (OEM) warranties have long been a sort of “black box” to most consumers. You know that you have a warranty, but you really don’t know the ins and outs of what is and what isn’t covered– especially as it relates to aftermarket parts.
Picture this, you just bought your first brand new truck! You have driven it for 500 miles already and the new is starting to become the norm. You get the inevitable itch to start searching the internet for upgrades and you stumble upon a sweet intake system. Just like any gear head, you want it. It’s not long before you are posting in your favorite forum asking for opinions and searching google for reviews and videos. Then you happen upon the one comment that ruins your mood. “You realize, if you install that, your warranty will be void”. Immediately you begin second-guessing if you should even touch your truck while it is under the OEM warranty. Rest assured, all hope is not lost for your aftermarket desires!
In comes the Magnuson-Moss Act. Enacted by Congress and signed by President Ford in 1975, this Federal statute governs warranties on consumer products. This does not require products to have warranties, but if they do, the warranties must comply with this law. There are a few main provisions to the act, but one, in particular, stands out. Commonly known as the “Tie-in Sales” provision, this portion of the Magnuson-Moss Act, prevents dealers from being able to force consumers to use OEM parts in order to maintain their vehicle’s warranty. The Manufacturer can, however, require consumers to use select parts if those parts are provided to the consumer free of charge under the warranty. This allows the consumer (you) to shop around for a competitive price for your repair and replacement parts without fear of voiding your warranty by installing them or having them installed. The act also prevents Manufacturers from voiding your warranty because you did not use their Service Department for normal scheduled maintenance and repairs.
Does this mean that you have the green light to buy that sweet sweet intake system you have been eyeing? Of course it does, but there are a few key points to remember. While the manufacturer
cannot void your warranty simply for having aftermarket parts on your car or truck, they can deny your claim if they find and prove that the aftermarket part you installed, or non-OEM service you had performed, was linked to the warranty claim. For example, if you went to a dealer for a warranty claim related to your suspension making noise, the only way they could deny your claim is if they proved that your aftermarket parts (in this case, an intake system) caused the noise in your suspension.
So rest assured, installing aftermarket parts on your car or truck, does not automatically mean that your warranty is void. The best way to ensure that you retain your warranty is to do your research! Only buy quality aftermarket parts with proven research behind them. Find an installer that has positive feedback and reviews. For DIYer’s, read the instructions carefully, take your time and don’t cut corners. All of these things will help ensure that your aftermarket parts are not at the center of your Warranty woes. So congratulations new car owners, and mod on!!