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Do I Have to Pay for a Service if My Car is Under Warranty?

Do I Have to Pay for a Service if My Car is Under Warranty?

| by Michelle Yang, Esq.

Owning a car comes with the responsibility of maintaining it to keep it functioning optimally. Regular service is necessary to ensure the long term health and performance of your vehicle. In certain circumstances, car service can be covered under warranty.

The purpose of this article is to comprehensively answer the frequently ask question: do I have to pay for a service if my car is under warranty? The is not a simple yes or now, but depends on the type of service and the specific coverage of your vehicle warranty.

If you car continues to have issues after repairs or service under warranty, it my be a lemon. Our experienced California Lemon Law attorneys can help. Call now for a free consultation and find out what maximum compensation for your lemon looks like. ¿Hablas Español? Contáctenos ahora para recibir más información.

In this article, we will explore the different aspects of vehicle warranties, the potential car services covered by a warranty, and best practices for maintaining warranty coverage.

What Car Services are Covered Under Warranty?

What Car Services are Covered Under a Warranty?

The specific services covered under a car warranty depend on the type of warranty and the terms of the warranty contract. There are typically two main types of auto warranties: manufacturer’s warranty (or factory warranty) and extended warranty (or auto service contracts). Below we distinguish the services covered under each type.

Do I Have to Pay for a Service if My Car is Under Manufacturer’s Warranty?

A manufacturer or factory warranty usually covers issues caused by defective car components, faulty materials, poor workmanship, or manufacturing errors. Generally, factory warranties don’t cover regular services such as new tires or oil changes, wear-and-tear items and routine maintenance. An original manufacturer’s warranty may cover services involving major car parts such as:

  • The car engine
  • Transmission system
  • Suspension
  • Electrical systems
  • Drivetrain
  • Safety systems such as airbags and seat belts
  • Air conditioning and heating systems
  • Etc.

Do I Have to Pay for a Service if My Car is Under Extended Warranty?

Extended warranties are also known as auto service contracts. They are optional contracts offered by a warranty company, vehicle manufacturer, or car dealership. The services they cover may vary widely based on the specific plan purchased.

An extended warranty may either include comprehensive coverage similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty or factory warranty, or focus on specific components such as the powertrain, high-tech systems, or other specified parts. They may also include additional services like towing, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption benefits.

Note that routine maintenance tasks such as oil changes, tire replacements, and brake pad replacements are generally not covered under warranty.

There is also a clear distinction between car warranty repairs and regular maintenance. While warranty repairs address unexpected issues covered by the warranty, regular maintenance tasks are the responsibility of the car owner and may incur separate costs.

Common Situations Where You May Incur Service Costs For a Car Under Warranty

Common Situations Where You May Incur Service Costs For a Car Under Warranty

While car warranties aim to cover repair costs, there are certain situations where car owners may still incur expenses even if their vehicle is under warranty. Such conditions/factors include:

  • Deductibles – especially for third party extended warranties, the owner is responsible for paying a specified amount known as deductible for each covered repair before the warranty provider covers the remaining costs.
  • Cost for regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, brake pad replacements, and tire rotations
  • Wear-and-tear items such as brake pads, tires, and wiper blades
  • Neglected maintenance – if the owner neglects routine maintenance or fails to follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the car manufacturer, the vehicle’s warranty may be voided for certain repairs
  • Non-Covered Components
  • Repairs for issues that existed before the warranty coverage started
  • Out-of-Network Repairs – some warranties may require repairs to be performed at authorized or approved service centers. If the owner chooses to repair elsewhere, the warranty may not cover the expenses.

How to Claim a Service Under Warranty

To claim a service under warranty, it is important to follow the proper procedures outlined by your warranty provider. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the warranty claim process:

How to Claim a Service Under Warranty

1. Review Your Warranty Documentation 

Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your warranty coverage, including any specific requirements for filing a claim.

2. Contact Your Warranty Provider

Reach out to your warranty provider or the designated claims department to initiate the claim process. They will provide you with the necessary instructions and forms.

3. Provide Required Documentation

Gather any required documentation, such as service records, receipts, and proof of regular maintenance, to support your warranty claim.

4. Choose an Authorized Dealership or Service Center

Most warranties require you to have repairs performed at authorized dealerships or service centers. Ensure that you select a facility approved by your warranty provider.

5. Follow the Repair Process

Work closely with the authorized dealership or service center to complete the necessary repairs. Keep records of all communication and documentation related to the repair process.

6. Submit the Claim

After completing the repairs, submit the claim to your warranty provider along with any required documentation. Be sure to meet any specified deadlines for filing the claim.

Common Misconceptions About Car Warranties As They Relate To Service

Common Misconceptions About Car Warranties

There are several common misconceptions surrounding car warranties and the payment of services. Some of them include:

  • The warranty covers all repairs and services: While warranties provide coverage for certain repairs and replacements, they do not cover regular maintenance tasks or wear and tear items. If you have a new or used car, you have to understand the specific coverage of your warranty to avoid any surprises.
  • Any repair shop can perform warranty work: Most warranties require repairs at authorized dealerships or service centers. Using an unauthorized repair shop may void your warranty coverage.
  • Extended warranties are always worth it: Extended warranties can provide additional coverage beyond the original warranty period. However, they may not be necessary for all vehicles or owners. Carefully consider the cost, coverage, and your specific needs before purchasing an extended warranty.
  • The vehicle’s age determines the warranty coverage: Warranty coverage is typically based on a combination of factors, including the vehicle’s age, mileage, and the terms of the specific warranty. The activation date of the warranty is usually the purchase date, not the model year.
  • Repairs are always free under warranty: While warranty coverage can significantly reduce or eliminate repair costs, there may still be deductibles, non-covered parts, or other expenses that the car owner is responsible for.

Conclusion

Understanding your car’s warranty coverage can save you money and ensure that your vehicle receives the proper care.

By knowing what is and is not covered, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and make informed decisions about your car’s maintenance. If you suspect that your car is a lemon after a series of repairs, reach out to us at Cali Lemon Lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Consumer protection laws in California and nationwide actively protect buyers of vehicles and other consumer goods. They hold a particular importance when purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. The California Lemon Law grants legal rights to those who find themselves with a vehicle that continually fails to function properly, providing a pathway to seek resolution and potential compensation.

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