What To Do When Your Car Warranty Is Coming To a Close

Are you buy a new car? Warranty is near to end? What to do? Let’s read this :-

Regularly Maintain Your Vehicle
If you’re reading this long before your warranty is up, the single best thing you can do to get the most out of it is to follow a regular maintenance schedule.

A warranty is a contract between you and the manufacturer or dealer. Under that contract, you agree to take care of your car to reduce the likelihood of something going wrong with it. And the manufacturer, or dealer, agrees to fix your car if something does go wrong.

Failing to follow a maintenance schedule will void your warranty. Be sure to keep all of your service records and receipts.

Follow Your Manual’s Advice
Your manual’s service section, which was written by the people who designed and built your car, suggests mileage-based service intervals. It might recommend oil changes, for example, every 8,000 miles and a change of automatic transmission fluid every 80,000 miles.

On the other hand, your dealership’s service department might suggest you cut those intervals by more than half, say to 3,000 and 30,000 miles, respectively. The reason is pretty straightforward. The more frequently you get your car serviced, the more money they get. Always defer to the manufacturer recommendations laid out in your manual.

Be Careful With Modifications
It’s a common misconception that using aftermarket or recovered parts, or making modifications to your vehicle can void your warranty. In most cases, it can’t — unless the modification causes a need for repairs or alters your car’s performance. That could include a modified exhaust, suspension or the installation of unconventional tires or wheels.

Know Your Warranty
If your warranty is almost up, reviewing the contract can help you prioritize your repairs. If you don’t have a hard copy, sites like AutoConsumerInfo.com keep databases with warranty information for most makes and models.

Find Out Exactly When Your Warranty Expires
Even if you think you know the exact date your warranty expires, double-check it — and don’t rely on your owner’s manual. A car might be purchased up to a year before its actual model year.

Instead, find your vehicle identification number (VIN) — it’s on your insurance card, title and a metal plate by your windshield — and write down your mileage. Then call the dealership where you bought your car or any dealership under the same make. The service department can track your warranty using the VIN.

Know Which Warranty Is Expiring
Most new cars come with two different kinds of factory warranties. Bumper-to-bumper warranties are more comprehensive and shorter-lived. Also called comprehensive warranties, these warranties generally last for either three years or 36,000 miles and get their name because they cover virtually everything between the bumpers. Ironically, they don’t cover the bumpers themselves, which are considered body panels.

Powertrain warranties, on the other hand, usually last for five years or 60,000 miles, but they only cover the engine, transmission and other components that make your car run.

Get Your Documentation in Order
If your warranty is about to expire, you have several options, which you’ll read about in the following slides. But most of them require you to show service records and vehicle history documents.

Hopefully, you’ve been keeping your records filed away neatly — but many people don’t. Now is the time to track down or request copies of any misplaced maintenance records and receipts.

Research Your Manufacturer’s ‘Secret Warranty’ Policy
Most manufacturers have policies known as “goodwill service” or “policy adjustments.” Known informally as “secret warranties,” these policies allow manufacturers to pay for major repairs after a warranty has expired, requiring little more than the driver calling and asking. They’re most likely to extend this service to loyal/repeat customers, especially if other drivers have reported the same problem.

Ask Your Dealer for an Inspection
Give your dealer a call and let them know your warranty is about to expire and you want to be proactive about repairs. The dealer might offer an end-of-warranty checkup. Some brands do; others, like Toyota, do not. But it can’t hurt to call and ask.

Get an Independent Inspection
If your dealer doesn’t offer an end-of-warranty checkup, proceed to look for an inspection on your own dime — it could save you hundreds or thousands in the long run. Tell your service team why you’re getting the inspection so they’ll know what to prioritize.

So-called consumables like tires and brakes aren’t covered by warranties anyway. Instead, the inspection should focus on things like the electrical system, including the battery, alternator and charging components, as well as the cooling system and powertrain.

Fix Big-Ticket Items First
If your inspection reveals repairable problems, fix them in order of expense and priority. You might not be able to get everything done in one shot. And if you’ve cut it really close, your own schedule or the service department’s timeline might force you to string out repairs beyond your warranty’s expiration date. Fix the big stuff first.

Address Nagging Issues Right Away
If you don’t get an end-of-warranty inspection, take inventory of any recurring but currently manageable issues your vehicle has been having. That could be anything from strange noises, like knocking or squeaking, to an intermittent check engine light.

If you’ve been ignoring warning signs because they’re not interfering with your ability to drive, keep in mind that they’ll never get better on their own. Take your car into the shop and find out what’s wrong while you’re still under warranty.

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