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Under Cover: What Does a Factory Car Warranty Include?

Each car owner receives a factory warranty when purchasing a new vehicle from an authorized dealer. During the warranty period, a manufacturer is obliged to fix listed in the warranty term problems with the car and its parts for free. Unfortunately, modern dealers try their best to avoid warranty repairs. They require strict adherence to operating rules and sometimes refuse a guarantee due to the use of poor-quality fuel or repairs carried out at an unofficial dealer. Used car servicemen from Indy Auto Man explain what to expect from a factory car warranty. Read also about certified pre-owned vehicles on

Car Warranty Nuances

Warranty is the obligation of the manufacturer, represented by official dealerships or services, to repair or replace parts with a factory defect within the warranty period. The terms for some parts can still be valid for the next owner. This fact will be an indisputable advantage when reselling a car.

However, a warranty does not mean that with any slightest malfunction, the manufacturer will immediately apologize and rush to fix everything. In this case, given the incredible complexity of various mechanisms and the frequency of their breakdowns, manufacturers would have gone bankrupt long ago. That is why they introduce restrictions and conditions for which every car owner should be prepared. 

Factory Warranty Period 

There are two types of warranty periods: European and Asian. The first, the European standard, includes an exclusively temporary indicator – 2 years without a mileage limit. The second is Asian – 3 years or 36,000 miles. All other promises are nothing more than a publicity stunt or a temporary promotion of a separate dealer, which lures customers in this way. The Asian warranty standard turned out to be more convenient and justified, so many representative offices of European brands also switched to the 3-year or 36,000 miles format.

Car companies must provide the buyer with information about all the warranty terms. Firms that respect themselves and the client, as a rule, do not hide this information and often make it publicly available  ( Hyundai, Mercedes, Ford) and write it in sales contracts and car service books.

Therefore, to avoid unpleasant situations, frustrations, misunderstandings, and resentment against the manufacturer, service, or the car itself, the future car owner should read all the nuances of the warranty before buying. 

For example, a separate line specifies the guarantee for the paintwork and, most importantly, the warranty period against penetrating corrosion on the body (in most cases, it exceeds the general warranty period for the car by 2-6 times, depending on the body preparation).

Does the manufacturer have the right to void the warranty if the car has not undergone scheduled maintenance at an authorized dealer? 

Since the warranty repair provides for the elimination of breakdowns caused by factory defects, the manufacturer is not entitled to withdraw the vehicle from the warranty because it has not been serviced at an official station. Scheduled maintenance can be carried out by the car owner in any service and even independently. The main requirement is the correct performance of all the work regulated by the manufacturer. So it is vital to choose professional service stations. In case of any malfunction, the manufacturer may request an expert opinion to confirm that the breakdown was not caused precisely by the poor-quality work of a third-party service.

How to Avoid Warranty Conflicts

  • Independently study the warranty conditions, requirements, and obligations. The problem of warranty disputes very often lies in the fact that buyers ignore this information and do not always delve into its essence. Therefore, to avoid unpleasant situations, frustrations, misunderstandings, and resentment against the manufacturer, service, or the car itself, be sure to read all the nuances of the warranty before buying.
  • Operate the vehicle only following the relevant instructions. The rules of operation are the most subtle and surprising point, which is one of the most popular subjects of dispute in the warranty court. Dealers can easily prove that you did not follow the rules for operating a car.

Do not interfere with the operation of mechanisms, do not experiment with tuning, and do not install additional equipment. Many US motorists seek to add light to their cars, improve certain functions, or significantly increase the safety of movement. Such modifications will also void the warranty.