What you mustn’t do to void your warrantyPOSTED BY Tony Yew ON 15 February 2016
Time and again, we hear car owners griping about their car warranty, and how some service centres would delay and keep them waiting for parts. In worst case scenarios, warranties have been voided when dealers find out about parts that have been added or removed without manufacturer’s consent.
Question is, are the manufacturers living up to their part, and have you, the car buyer been keeping to yours?
The Big Sins that car owners commit which void their warranties
Tyres, Sizes and Rims
One very interesting thing that car owners do is to pimp their rides. It’s perfectly fine if you have a second hand car that has already seen its warranty period expire, but to do so with a brand new car is practically looking for trouble.
Using a Volvo warranty booklet as an example, it is clearly stated that ‘Unauthorised modifications of the vehicle or parts (modifications outside of Volvo’s specifications)’ will render the warranty void.
Perhaps too general in term, but a close look at it will indicate the severity if the car owner intends to change the specifications of the car which comes recommended.
The major sin? Changing the car tyre size. Or even that ‘simple’ rim change.
Oh yes. Again, using the Volvo XC90 Warranty booklet as an example, there is clearly a warning sign that indicates rim changes are only recommended if they are Volvo Genuine accessories.
Tyre sizes and recommendations from the manufacturer are very clearly indicated in the user manual, and even highlights the permitted sizes and even has a disclaimer note to remind users to consult authorised Volvo dealers for advice. Isn’t it clear enough that the manufacturers have given fair warning to car owners on modifications?
ECU Management Unit
Like all other ‘code breakers’ it appears that there isn’t a shortage of Electronic Management Unit which can be ‘added’ into the car to alter engine performances. Naturally, most would want to ‘improve’ their engine output, and it is highly unlikely that owners would want to add an extra ECU Management Unit to limit down the engine.
So, here is where the trouble begins. Optimising engine outputs may be the wish, but with anything electronic and mechanical, it has its limits. Hence, by adding in a performance enhancer, it may also effect the mechanics of the engine. Needless to say, manufacturers will certainly void their warranty WHEN they find out, not IF.
Changes to Infotainment system
Vehicles these days, in certain segments, have an Infotainment system that covers engine management, oil level indicators, tyre pressure, etc. Naturally, with the engine management information and entertainment system built it, it will be suicidal to do any thing to it. Which includes your lights. Yes, this too. It was brought to our attention that there was an owner who added in daytime running lights to his Japanese make which tapped its power source from the obvious choice, the battery. Apparently, the fuse he added gave some problems which resulted in some elctrical problems. This became an issue.
There are many more cases and instances where modifications became an issue, and the most obvious that we have come across would be tyre sizes and rims.
In any case, we do highly recommend that car owners consult their dealers and understand why it is of utmost importance to keep to your part when it comes to warranties. Happy Motoring! – Tony Yew, CBT