Whether it’s your fault, another driver’s fault, or mother nature’s fault, car accidents happen. We can try to be the safest drivers on the road, but accidents still occur, which raises the question: does a car accident void the warranty?
It depends. While some car warranties include towing and roadside assistance (among other features), not every warranty does. It’s best to check with your dealer about your extended powertrain warranty or bumper-to-bumper warranty as they differ in terms of coverage. But even still, there are a lot of exceptions, so read on for a more in-depth answer.
When a car accident voids the warranty
In many cases, when your car is damaged from an accident, it’s covered. However, here are several scenarios when your vehicle’s warranty could be voided.
- Salvage title: Your warranty is voided if your car is in a serious accident that results in a salvage title, or if it’s declared a total loss.
- Misuse/extreme use of the vehicle: This includes racing or competition of any kind. Anything outside of normal use for the vehicle, such as off-roading or overloading the vehicle, can void the warranty.
- Environmental damage: If your vehicle was involved in an environmental disaster, such as a flood, fire, or earthquake, the warranty could be voided.
- Altered odometer: Disconnecting, tampering with, or replacing your odometer will result in a voided warranty.
- Neglect: Skipping routine repairs, services, and maintenance, such as oil changes and checking fluids, can lead to a void in the warranty. If you have a warranty on your car, it’s essential to service your vehicle during scheduled maintenance. Not just to keep your warranty intact, but to get the most life out of your car and its parts.
- Improper fluids: Putting improper fluids in your car, whether it be gas, oil, or another fluid, will result in a void of the warranty for the damages done. It’s best to check your car owner’s manual to ensure this doesn’t happen.
- Modifications: If you modify your car in any way, the warranty could potentially be voided. However, modifications are a large gray area, so they have to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Be in the know when it comes to modifications you can safely add to your car, so you won’t have to get an auto accident lawyer in Mobile, AL or wherever you reside, because your warranty could be voided if your modifications are in the wrong.
Some of these cases aren’t cut and dry, such as with modifications. It’s important to ask your car dealer questions (and bring up concerns) before they arise and to always check your owner’s manual.
When a car accident doesn’t void the warranty
Whether you need an auto repair in Bend, OR or accident repair in Los Angeles, CA, if none of the above scenarios are present during a car accident, then you should be covered and your warranty will not be avoided.
The best thing you can do is talk with your car dealership and go over the warranty in great detail to ensure you are always in the right and not voiding the warranty. Even if you “didn’t know you couldn’t add that cool spoiler,” something as simple as that modification could prove disastrous to your coverage.
Luckily, your warranty should cover most car accident cases as long as you don’t break the following guidelines above. It’s important to check with your dealer since there are different types of car warranties. For example, a bumper-to-bumper warranty covers almost everything, while a powertrain warranty might only cover parts that power and move the vehicle, such as the transmission and engine.