Select your car

Add your deal, information or promotional text


What Aftermarket Parts Void Warranty? Know the Risks

One of the biggest misconceptions in the car world is about what aftermarket parts void warranty. Many think that the moment you swap in something not from the dealership, your coverage is toast. But, thanks to something called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, figuring out what aftermarket parts void warranty is a bit more nuanced. In reality, it's less about using aftermarket parts and more about proving those parts are what caused a problem.

However, this area of warranties is often misunderstood by car owners and even misrepresented by some dealerships eager to keep repair business in-house. Certified pre-owned vehicles can also have special warranty considerations. It's essential to be aware of these factors when modifying a certified pre-owned vehicle to ensure continued warranty coverage.

What Is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

This Act basically says manufacturers can't just void your warranty because you used a part they didn't make. Think of it like this: you buying a toaster doesn't mean you're locked into only their brand of bread.

Now, there's a catch, which is where things get tricky: the burden of proof falls on the manufacturer. If they can clearly demonstrate that the aftermarket part directly led to the failure, then yes, they have grounds to deny a claim under warranty.

Common Misconceptions About What Aftermarket Parts Void Warranty

It's time to debunk some common misconceptions surrounding aftermarket parts and warranties:

Myth #1: All Aftermarket Parts Automatically Void Your Warranty

This is entirely false and a prime example of how the Act protects consumers. Just slapping on a new set of tires that the dealer doesn't sell, or upgrading your sound system with something more powerful doesn't inherently void anything.

Myth #2: Only Dealership-Installed Parts Maintain My Warranty

You have the right to get your car serviced or repaired by qualified independent mechanics. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) clearly states that forcing you to go exclusively to a dealer for work is a no-go (unless it's warranty-covered service done for free).

Myth #3: Modifications Always Lead to Warranty Issues

This one has a bit of truth to it, but with big caveats. Think about this situation: let's say you’re a car enthusiast and love to tinker, deciding to swap out parts for performance upgrades.

While those upgrades might seem great on the open road, they could cause undue stress on other components, and potentially lead to issues down the line. Imagine adding a supercharger to your engine—the increased power might strain your transmission.

If a warranty claim arises for your transmission and the dealer can demonstrate a clear link to your modification, it could void that part of the warranty.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Warranty

Knowing what aftermarket parts void warranty means being proactive. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

1. Keep Meticulous Records

Any time you have work done, no matter how minor, keep receipts. If there's ever a question about whether maintenance was done, or what parts were used, documentation is key.

Treat this paperwork like it's worth its weight in gold because when a claim does pop up, being able to slap down a stack of service records instantly shows you've been diligent.

2. Read Your Warranty Thoroughly

Yep, I know, those warranty booklets are about as much fun to read as the dictionary. But they’re filled with important details regarding what's covered, exclusions, and any gray areas regarding modifications.

3. Communicate with Your Mechanic

Whether you go to a dealer or an independent shop, open and clear communication about what aftermarket work has been done helps avoid surprises.

Be honest—trying to hide things rarely works out well when it comes to warranties. Mechanics rely on your input as much as you do. It can mean the difference between a quick fix and being told you'll need a whole new transmission.

Being open about performance mods or non-standard parts helps them give accurate advice tailored to your specific car’s history.

4. Stay Informed

Edmunds, a trusted resource for automotive advice, offers valuable insights into car maintenance, helping you stay informed.

What Parts Are Generally Safe to Replace

So you are probably wondering what parts are usually fine to replace with aftermarket options without causing major warranty headaches? Here’s a basic rundown:

Category Examples
Cosmetic Upgrades New grilles, spoilers, window tinting - generally anything that's purely for looks and doesn't impact the car's mechanics.
Interior Upgrades Replacing your old cloth seats with plush leather ones, upgrading speakers, or even adding things like heated steering wheels are often non-issues as they usually don’t affect the vehicle’s functionality from a warranty standpoint.
Routine Maintenance Items Think of things that you’d normally replace during a standard service—air filters, wiper blades, even brakes, as long as they’re quality parts that meet specifications. This ties back to Myth #2 and knowing your rights.

It's crucial to remember; these are general categories. This isn't a guarantee, and your car's warranty, paired with the specific part and the manufacturer's stance, ultimately dictate whether or not a claim will be honored.

When in Doubt: Ask.

Ultimately, being informed is key. Before making a big upgrade or repair decision, especially if it involves non-standard parts, reaching out directly to your warranty provider, whether the manufacturer or a third-party company, is wise. It's way better to be safe than sorry later when you’re stuck with a repair bill that could have been covered under different circumstances. Now you'll know all the answers regarding what aftermarket parts void warranty.

FAQs about what aftermarket parts void warranty

Does intake and exhaust void warranty?

Possibly, yes. While using aftermarket parts for things like intake or exhaust doesn’t automatically void a car’s warranty, a manufacturer could deny your warranty claim if they prove that the modifications directly contributed to the malfunction.

So while upgrading these might make your engine roar a bit nicer or squeeze out a bit more horsepower, they also alter how air flows into the engine (intake) or exhaust gases exit (exhaust).

What will void a new car warranty?

Plenty of things could lead to a voided warranty on your brand-new ride. Negligence, like never getting an oil change, will definitely get your warranty in hot water. Engaging in reckless activities with your car—think racing or off-roading when it’s not meant for that kind of abuse can also land you a voided warranty. Other, less obvious culprits include tampering with the odometer, environmental damage (blame Mother Nature for that one.), using the wrong fluids like improper fluids in your engine, and, in more extreme situations, your car getting slapped with a salvage title after an accident.

What voids a bumper to bumper warranty?

A bumper to bumper warranty, which typically covers most components outside of normal wear and tear items, can be voided by similar issues that void standard warranties. So basically, if your actions, modifications, or inactions as a car owner directly cause the problem, that handy bumper-to-bumper coverage might not come to the rescue as you’d expect. Always best to consult the fine print or have a chat with your dealership if something is unclear.


The biggest thing to take away is that when considering what aftermarket parts void warranty, the answer often isn't straightforward. The best approach? Arm yourself with knowledge. Read your warranty thoroughly. Keep detailed records, and if in doubt about whether an aftermarket part could jeopardize your coverage, don’t hesitate to ask your dealership or warranty provider directly. Being informed keeps you in the driver's seat.