Part Warranty After Market

By DavidPage

You might have been advised that any modifications to your vehicle could affect your warranty coverage. Some people believe that adding simple performance parts (such as a custom exhaust system or after-market air intake) will somehow compromise your warranty. Despite my many years of experience in the automotive industry, this belief is very rare. Federal law forbids auto manufacturers to deny warranty claims in almost all cases. Your warranty should not be affected by adding after-market parts to your car.

When it comes to determining the effect of an after-market component on your warranty, there are some basic guidelines.

Is the part affecting the vehicle’s function?

Second, the vehicle can be returned to its original state if the part has been removed.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the part you are considering could affect your warranty. You should also be aware that after-market parts that are not made for your vehicle, or that have been improperly installed, could affect your warranty. If you are unsure how to install a part or if you are trying to rig it together, you might want to seek professional assistance.

Here is a list with after-market parts that will not void your warranty.

Exterior “dress-up” items: Bug shields and chrome grille guards, spoilers or any other part that affects the exterior appearance of your vehicle should not impact your warranty. This applies to tool boxes, roof racks and tonneau covers as well as bed liners, toolboxes, roof racks and roof racks.

  • Aftermarket wheels: As long as they are correctly sized, balanced, and mounted, your warranty will not be affected. You can avoid problems by seeking professional assistance when choosing wheels.
  • Custom exhaust systems: As long as the custom exhaust is cat-back (behind a catalytic converter), there’s nothing to be concerned.
  • Aftermarket air intakes: If the intake is properly installed and designed for your vehicle, it will not affect your warranty. Name brands such as K&N, aFe and AirRaid are best. You’re good to go.
  • Consumer electronics: If the aftermarket stereo, satellite radio or DVD player is professionally installed and designed for vehicle use, it will not affect your warranty.
  • Work equipment: If the equipment is professionally installed and designed for your vehicle, it will not affect your warranty.

Here is a list of parts after-market that can affect your warranty.

Suspension modifications. Changing the geometry of a suspension system by installing new springs or spacers is not likely to cause a material change in its geometry. In most cases, the warranty will still be valid. The warranty could be affected by drastic changes to the suspension system, such as raising or lowering the vehicle more than two inches. It is important to ensure that any suspension changes you make are reversible.

You can use your performance computer chips or programmers as long as the new chip/program is completely removable. Some older vehicles may require that you open up the ECU to insert a new chip. Your warranty will be voided if you open something that should be sealed, such as a computer.

Here is a list of parts after-market that could void your warranty.

  • Turbocharger and Supercharger: A turbocharger/supercharger can be a great way for your car to go fast. However, it will void your factory warranty. Good news is that many manufacturers, such as Ford Racing, TRD and Mopar, offer after-market units. Manufacturers like Ford Racing, TRD, Mopar, etc. offer after-market units with their own warranties.
  • Nitrous Oxide: Although nitrous oxide looks cool in “Fast and Furious,” it can actually cause engine damage if not used correctly. If you are serious about drag racing, it is best to avoid this system. Most manufacturers won’t accept warranty claims on vehicles that contain nitrous.
  • Modifications for racing: A roll cage, safety belt harness or special racing seat, as well as something as simple as a fire extinguisher, are all signs that the vehicle is being used in a way other than normal. If a manufacturer suspects that a vehicle has been raced, they will usually invalidate the warranty.