Do I Have to Use the Car Dealership for Servicing?
This question is often asked of me, “Do I have to return my new car to the dealer for regular servicing such as oil changes, tune-ups, or adjustments in order to maintain my new car warranty”? There is a widespread misconception that if work is done by someone other than the selling dealer that the warranty will be voided. This is incorrect. Let me use my column to answer this question and save you time and money.
- You do not have to return to your new car dealer for regular maintenance.
- A dealer cannot deny you repairs covered under the manufacturers warranty if you have not returned to the dealer for maintenance. A dealer can do so if no maintenance or lack of maintenance has caused the failure.
- Oil changes, tune-ups and maintenance can be performed by yourself or any repair facility competent to perform these services as outlined in your owners manual.
- You must keep records of these services (or receipts of items if you performed these services yourself) to provide if there is a question about whether or not the car has been maintained.
- Your owners manual may indicate two different service schedules; if so, you should follow the service schedule under “severe service” in New England due to temperature extremes, salt and snow.
- Any and all repairs covered by a manufacturers warranty must be performed by an authorized dealer unless you wish to pay for these services yourself. If you breakdown out of town and cannot find an open dealer close by, then you can have any repairs done on an emergency basis at your own expense and then submit the receipts to your selling dealer or zone office for reimbursement. In most cases, some or all of this expense will by reimbursed.