The dealer may have told you that changing or upgrading anything from outside on the car will void the manufacturer’s warranty. However, that is not the case. Warranty can and cannot be void for several reasons. As long as the OEM parts remain intact and untouched, the warranty cannot be void.
We give you a complete guide on the modifications that do not void manufacturer’s warranty.
There is practically no harm in upgrading the seats of your car. You may choose to upgrade the seat covers from fabric to leather or get a different material altogether. This has no mechanical change on the car, thus there is no way there can be any part failing due to this change. However make sure that your new covers do not block the side airbags in any way. Usually found in high end cars, changed seat covers could block the side airbags from deploying which can void the warranty.
2. Music System
If you have bought a bare bones version, there are chances that it would have come sans the music system. You can get the Head Unit (HU) and the speakers installed on the car as long as there is no tampering with the original wiring of the car. The best way to add the music system is to run a new wiring harness completely independent from the car’s OEM wiring. You also get most speakers that will fit in the same gaps as the earlier ones, which will also not create any kind of hindrance. Also even if you end up cutting any wires, it will void your electrical warranty and should not have any connection with the engine warranty of your car. As long as you are not cutting any wires and getting the music system updated, your car is within warranty.
You can upgrade your lights by changing the bulb that has the same wattage as the stock bulbs. You get better illuminating bulbs at the same wattage compared to stock bulbs and do not void the warranty of your car. If you wish upgrade to higher watt bulbs or to HID lamps, you can opt to set up independent relays which run through a totally different set of wires and won’t need the OEM wires to be fiddled around with.
There is nothing that can go wrong with a basic tyre upgrade. If you feel that the stock tyres are under equipped, you can always choose to increase the tyre size by an inch. Contrary to what the dealers say, there won’t be any significant load on the suspension by adding a bigger set of rims or changing the stock tyres. The rims and tyres will have to be significantly larger to create any major issue for the suspension. If you plan to upgrade to alloys, there won’t be any void to the warranty either.
5. Air Filters
Upgrading to performance filters may not necessarily void the warranty. The car can definitely welcome better air flow and a better air filter will just be able to provide the same. Most cold air intake filters are bolt on and can be removed and replaced with standard air filter unit. You may choose to wait till the warranty period is over and then upgrade the air filter to avoid complications.
6. Tuning Boxes
Most turning boxes namely DieselTronics, Pete’s tuning box, Race Chip are designed to plug and play and do not need any significant changes in the engine setup. You need to take an independent wiring for connecting the tuning box to the car’s ECU. In fact most tuning boxes come with the option of setting the car to the factory standard ECU. You should remove the box completely before sending in the car for servicing. The tuning box will not show up on the ECU as well, unless there is a major mechanical issue and the ECU needs to be specifically checked. A tuning box won’t be an issue if you have sourced it from the manufacturer itself.
It is best to avoid any major upgrades on the car till the warranty period runs out. You should avoid the extended warranty scheme, if you have plans to make a major overhaul on the car that may take change the OEM components. However, do not see this as the only solution, but be aware of all the components covered in the warranty period. Your dealer may try to intimidate you by giving a flat no, but smooth talk him into complying with your terms and any slight upgrades should not be an issue during the warranty period.
Also remember tampering with a certain section of the vehicle will void only that part of the car. For example, if the electrical wires were cut, it will only hamper the warranty on electrical components and not the other parts like the engine, suspension, brakes and so on. The dealer is still entitled to carry out repairs if needed on these parts, since they are still part of the warranty period.