Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from someone with a car problem. Many people never do the proper inspections before buying the car and find it has problems soon after driving it off the lot. Others can’t get the title to their vehicle. Often drivers get into arguments with their mechanic over repairs. The last category of car complaints involve safety issues that consumers want the manufacturer to stand behind.
Most cars have a standard 3 year 36,000 mile warranty. That means your car is covered for three years or up to 36,000 miles whichever comes first. Some vehicle manufacturers now tout a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty. Make sure you read the owner’s manual to see what that really covers and what the exclusions are for the warranty. There may be some parts of the car like rust or corrosion that have a longer warranty.
Make sure you follow the maintenance guidelines in the owner’s manual, and keep receipts of the work you have done. Most cars manufacturers have extended oil change intervals to every 5,000 miles as opposed to 3,000 miles. Your oil change company may still put the sticker in your window that warns you to get another oil change in 3,000 miles but check your owner’s manual. It may be 5,000 miles for your car and that quick check will save you money.
Note that preventative maintenance is only one part of getting your warranty honored. You also have to take good care of your car. In cold weather states, it’s a lot easier to tell who takes care of their car and who doesn’t because of the corrosive chemicals used on the roads. Make sure you clean it often, and just because it doesn’t look dirty doesn’t mean it’s not. I explain in the story below:
If you don’t keep good maintenance records, your warranty may be void. Manufacturers are trying to keep their doors open, and I don’t see as many goodwill gestures for long-standing customers. Any proof you have to prove that you kept the car in good shape will help your case.