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Can an Accident Void My Vehicle’s Warranty?

When you have a new car, a warranty can give you some peace of mind. If there is a problem, many mechanical issues are covered by these warranties. However, if your car is involved in an accident, you might wonder if any repair work will void that vital warranty. When you need to fix your vehicle, here are a few things to know about voiding the vehicle’s warranty.


Warranty Limits

There are many ways to void the warranty of your vehicle. For the most part, a warranty does contain provisions for powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage. All these warranties are transferable and feature mileage or time limits.

The typical manufacturer powertrain warranty is valid for 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Some warranties have time limits, such as four to six years. However, many bumper-to-bumper plans will protect you up to 50,000 miles or five years. These warranties can help get your car back on the road. You might be concerned about scheduling repair work that could void those protections. When you are involved in a car accident, make sure to take a few steps to prevent a void warranty.


What Will Void a Warranty?

If you look at the fine print of your warranty, the manufacturer outlines several ways that can cause it to be invalid.


Title Salvage Distinction

When a vehicle is involved in a severe accident, your insurance company might give your car or truck a “salvage” title. With that title, the vehicle is a total loss, and any warranties are voided.


Abuse of Vehicle

Many warranties will have a clause defining “vehicle abuse.” What does that mean for you? If you use your vehicle for racing or subject it to excessive wear and tear, you could void your warranty. Any damage that is not considered “normal” by the manufacturer can be defined as abuse. In turn, your warranty will be canceled.


Odometer Tampering

Odometer tampering is known as “rolling back” your odometer. Some people roll back this component to make it appear that the vehicle has fewer miles. If you engage in this practice, you will have a voided warranty.

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Natural Disasters

An environmental disaster can happen in any region in the country. These disasters are also called “an act of God.” They include tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes. No matter how your vehicle is damaged, it will null your warranty.


Improper Fluids

If you use the wrong fuel type or oil, those fluids can cause damage to your car. According to your manufacturer, they will not cover these damages to your vehicle. You always want to make sure you are using the proper fuels and fluids for your car.

These are a few ways that you can void your warranty without getting involved in an accident. Once you are in a vehicle accident, here are a couple of things that you will want to avoid.


Non-Certified Mechanics

Everyone wants to save a few dollars. You might know someone who can work on your car. However, any work by a non-certified mechanic will void your warranty. Many manufacturers require you to use a trained and certified mechanic, especially for any auto body repairs. Some of these non-certified mechanics can make errors that will affect the performance of your vehicle. You always want to find an authorized mechanic for your specific make and model of vehicle.

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Non-Approved Parts

A vehicle’s warranty can be voided when you don’t use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for the repair. The manufacturer approves these parts, and they will ensure that your car operates according to the automaker’s standards. If aftermarket parts are used for the repair, it may cause other components to wear down. For that reason, many manufacturers will void a warranty if you use unauthorized parts on the car.

However, the aftermarket is still a gray area for many people. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, a warranty cannot be denied unless the manufacturer can prove the aftermarket parts caused damage to a vehicle. If you want to avoid any hassles with your warranty, talk to the shop manager to get certified OEM or manufacturer-approved aftermarket parts.



While your car is in the shop, you might want to add a few new features to your vehicle. Modifications can improve the look or boost the performance of your car, but they can also void your warranty. Some of these modifications include installing a custom bumper, changing the grill, or adding spoilers. However, those modifications can also cancel your vehicle’s warranty. If you want to change these features, make sure to read your warranty. Even a simple upgrade can null it.


After an Accident

For the most part, a repair to your vehicle will not affect the warranty. According to many experts, a salvage title is the only way a vehicle’s warranty is voided after an accident.

In most cases, when your vehicle is repairable, an accident has no bearing on the warranty. The insurance company will have to declare your vehicle a total loss if the collision repairs cost more than the assessed market value.

Many insurance companies will use the Kelly Blue Book to determine your vehicle’s value based on a few factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Condition
  • Make and model
  • Mileage
  • Non-standard and aftermarket features
  • Transmission type (manual vs. automatic)
  • Vehicle history, including past collision repairs and maintenance


Keep Your Vehicle Compliant After an Accident

When you are involved in an accident, it will not void the warranty. However, taking it to a non-certified shop or using unauthorized aftermarket parts will cause problems down the road. If you need repairs for your vehicle, make sure to find a certified auto body shop for your car or truck.


Trusted Auto Body Shop in New Jersey

Looking for an auto body shop near me? Reach out to the certified technicians at Elmer’s Auto Body. We have the experience to work on your vehicle. Our team will use the right parts to maintain the warranty for your ride. To schedule a consultation, please call (856) 218-0202.


Elmer's Auto Body Washington Township

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