Maybe you’re an auto enthusiast who’s heard that using aftermarket accessories or reconditioned parts (those made by a company other than the manufacturer) can void your warranty. You might even want to install specialty tires or a suspension lift and worry that those adjustments could also negatively-affect the warranty. Well, here’s the thing–the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers from being denied warranty coverage based on who performs the work and what parts are used.
You can take your vehicle to any mechanic you want or perform the work yourself; as long as the service is done properly and doesn’t cause other vehicle components to suffer, your warranty will stay intact.
The Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Parts
Many drivers prefer aftermarket parts because they tend to cost less. They can also be easier to access, so vehicle repair can happen quicker. And who wants to wait two or three days for a part to come in? In addition, whether you see this as a positive or negative, aftermarket parts usually come in a variety of choices, so you can take your time and pick the one that works for you.
On the other hand, some aftermarket parts don’t come with a warranty, so there’s more risk involved in using them. In short, there are pluses and minuses to choosing aftermarket parts, but your choice will not affect the validity of your vehicle’s warranty.
Note: If a part has been incorrectly installed or negatively-impacts another part of the vehicle, the dealership can deny coverage. However, the burden is on them to prove cause and effect. If you doubt any claims regarding an aftermarket part’s liability, consider filing a complaint with relevant authorities (dealership manager, car manufacturer, consumer protection office of the State Attorney General).
Tips for Navigating Your Vehicle’s Warranty and Aftermarket Parts
The easiest way to get peace of mind about your warranty is to read it fully and make sure you understand the terms. It usually outlines what you must do to keep it valid. Also, educate yourself about aftermarket parts, since not all are created equal. Some projects might work better with aftermarket parts while others would be simplified with factory parts.
When in doubt, talk to a professional. The skilled technicians at Marks Auto Service would welcome any questions you have about the quality and usability of aftermarket parts.