What Will and Will Not Void Your Vehicle Warranty in Canada?

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  • auto-modification-mechanic

Many will be surprised to discover that there is no clear yes or no answer in respect to vehicle warranties.  Many assume that any alterations or services they have done to their vehicle outside of the dealership will automatically void their warranty. This is not true, and there are laws in Canada to protect against this. The Canadian law that encompasses this is the Consumer Protection Acts. In the US it is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. These consumer protections are very similar. But, as can be seen in the answers to some specific alterations there can be exceptions.

Will Non-Dealer Oil Changes Void the Vehicle Warranty?

Oil Changing

Most new vehicles come with an owner’s manual that contains a lot of information. Some of which may deal with aftermarket parts. There may be clauses in the manual pertaining to the warranty. Ones that state that the use of aftermarket parts that do not meet the OEM standards could void the warranty. However, the consensus is that the majority of garages are meeting OEM standards. They do this by using approved materials which includes oil brands and filters. But, it is up to the vehicle owner to confirm this.  The vehicle owner that is sure that OEM standards are being implemented complies with the clauses in the owner’s manual. Those that pertain to the warranty.

Does Changing the Exhaust System Void the Vehicle Warranty?

Exhaust system

Some experts indicate that in many cases changing the exhaust system of the vehicle will not void the warranty. But, there can be exceptions to this such as;

  • If the change was comprised of parts that were not meeting OEM standards. Then the warranty could be voided.
  • If the new exhaust system caused damage to other parts of the vehicle.

Will Changing the Spoiler Void My Vehicle Warranty?

Racing Porsche with spoiler

Changing the spoiler is not something that should affect your vehicle warranty. Unless by doing so it affected other parts of the vehicle. This is a question that is raised by a lot of people. Like those who want to add a spoiler to their vehicle. Some of the feedback that has been given suggests that the vehicle warranty would remain in place. But it would not cover the new spoiler that had been installed. Others are of the mind that the installation could adversely affect other components of the vehicle. Then those specific parts would be voided in the warranty.

Will Changing the Battery Void My Vehicle Warranty?

car battery

A vehicle owner that has a warranty in place on their vehicle has to be aware of what is covered under that warranty. Some warranties include the battery while others do not. This is what will dictate whether changing the battery would have any effect on the warranty. The circumstances will also determine the answer to this.

Battery Warranty Coverage:

An example of this is the Honda 2018 warranty. It may include a warranty on the battery for a specific period. But they indicate the warranty may be void. If the installation of accessories is ones that are not approved by Honda. If the warranty were voided because of this, it would only apply to the battery itself. Or, if the installation of a new battery outside of Honda caused any damage to other parts of the vehicle. Specifically, ones that were covered by the warranty, then the warranty on them could be voided.

No Battery Warranty Coverage:

There are car owners who do not have a warranty that covers the battery. In most cases, the battery being installed will come with its warranty.

Does Changing or Modifying the Suspension Void the Warranty?

low suspension car

Changing the suspension on a vehicle could be classed as a modification. This causes some concern for vehicle owners who may want to do this in regards to the effect it will have on the vehicle warranty. There are people who have a desire to use one of the suspension modification kits that provide lifts. It creates a grey area when it comes to the warranty.

To begin with, the vehicle owner is protected under the Consumer Protection Acts. But, there could be some issues that are created as a result of the suspension modification. It could be that the modification of the suspension creates undue wear and tear on the other vehicle components. If the warranty provider can prove that this has taken place, then it could void the warranty on the suspension, plus the parts that it has affected. At the same time, the warranty could not be voided on those parts that were not affected that are covered under warranty.

Does Modifying the Cold Air Intake Void the Warranty?

Vehicle Air Intake Cooling

Some vehicle owners believe that modifying the cold air intake will improve the engine performance. There may be some concern by the vehicle owners whether this will void the warranty. Again what it is going to come down to is making sure that that reliable parts are used and that the modifications are done properly. If the modification causes any damage to other parts of the vehicle, then those affected parts could be voided under warranty coverage.

Does Tuning Outside of the Dealership Void the Warranty?

modified cars

Tuning is the regular maintenance that is required for the vehicle. Many vehicle owners are under the impression that the tuning must be done at the dealership to keep the warranty intact. This is not true, but there can be some risks associated with having the tuning done outside of the dealership with respect to the warranty. Sometimes during a tuning, it is discovered that a repair is needed. Perhaps one that is covered under warranty. The independent mechanic doing the tuning has to be aware of the maintenance schedule that is part of the warranty conditions. The mechanic should be provided with the tuning checklist that is outlined under the warranty, so they can comply with this.

Summary:

What it comes down to is that in most cases only parts of a warranty may be voided if there is clear evidence that a modification or having work performed outside of a dealer has caused vehicle problems. Then only those parts that have been affected can be excluded by the warranty. Warranty providers have extensive ways of doing vehicle inspections to help determine if a modification has affected various parts of a vehicle. However, they must be able to provide the proof before they can void any part of the warranty.

Resources:

https://www.thestar.com/autos/2016/02/26/will-non-dealer-oil-changes-void-your-car-warranty.html
https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/does-changing-the-exhaust-system-void-a-manufacturer-warranty
https://blog.tdotperformance.ca/guides/warranty-battles-oem-vs-aftermarket/
https://autowarrantyresources.com/consumer-resources/what-car-modifications-wont-affect-your-warranty/
https://www.civinfo.com/forum/general-discussion-8g/50076-will-spoiler-void-my-warranty.html
https://www.honda.ca/Content/honda.ca/C1964D80-9DEE-4EAE-847A-11FBDA5A82A6/GenericContent_FFH/2018HondaWarranty_EN.pdf
https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/191870-do-lift-kits-void-warranties/
https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/28521/cold-air-intake-and-engine-wear

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