Modified Car Warranty

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Featured Extended Warranty Companies

We reviewed the industry’s top extended auto warranty providers, and here are our featured picks.

Best Overall Provider
Endurance

Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0

Most Affordable Provider
CarShield

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

Best Provider for Used Cars
Carchex

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

This article provides info on how aftermarket mods affect your car warranty, ways to get your car modified under warranty, and extended warranties for modified cars.

“Car Warranty Void If Modified”

If you have a car warranty or are seriously considering one, you’ve likely seen the common policy that aftermarket modifications will void your warranty. While this is true for the policies, there are many ways you can modify your car (within the rules and further into the gray area) that won’t lead to a voiding of your warranty. Also, there are several aftermarket warranty companies that are more modification friendly, which we’ll review (more below).

Does Modding Your Car Void Warranty?

Most extended car warranties don’t allow performance modifications because these modifications can often make it more likely for some mechanical breakdowns to occur. Examples of this include overdrive pulleys, some high-boost superchargers, lift kits, performance heads, etc. In some cases, you may have to get a car warranty inspection before being able to get a car warranty in the first place. After that, using aftermarket performance parts can be a red-flag to the technicians to work on your car. That said, while adding restricted modifications to your car go against your warranty’s restrictions policy, this doesn’t mean your warranty will be voided (more on this below)

What Car Mods Void Warranty?

While most providers list “aftermarket parts” and “vehicle modifications” as restrictions that could void your warranty or cause a claims denial, the particular parts or specific modifications that a void a car warranty varies depending on the provider. To know for sure what modifications could void your warranty, make sure to read a sample contract from the provider before getting a warranty. If you have a warranty already, make sure to read your existing contract. That said, the list below contains modifications that can are most often listed as modifications that will void the car warranty:

  • Lift Kits
  • Aftermarket Tires
  • Superchargers
  • Turbocharger
  • Performance Chips
  • Aftermarket Computers
  • Underdrive Pulleys
  • Custom Cams
  • Aftermarket Cylinder Heads

Getting A Warranty With Aftermarket Modifications

There is certainly a grey area when it comes to aftermarket modifications and your car warranty being voided with a claims denial. While most dealers and warranty providers make it seem like otherwise, having an aftermarket part on your car alone will not void your warranty. For example, according to the Magnunson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, a dealer must prove that the aftermarket part is what caused the repairs before they can deny coverage. Additionally, since most aftermarket service contracts don’t use OEM parts, the parts that they use for replacements in covered repairs are “aftermarket” replacement parts themselves.

One thing to keep in mind is if the reason for the mechanical breakdown is unclear, the dealer or warranty company may charge you for an engine diagnosis. If it is discovered that an aftermarket part wasn’t installed properly or a modification lead to a failure of a component, the dealer or warranty provider can void the warranty for that part, at which point you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If the aftermarket part had nothing to do with the breakdown, you will likely be reimbursed for the diagnostic fee.

How can I avoid warranty denial or claims rejection? 

When making vehicle modifications on your car, you should consider how it affects the warranty. It’s important to know that professionals are usually familiar with modifications for many cars. Auto manufacturers and ASC training programs also specify modifications that techs should look out for that could void the warranty.

While these facts are true, it doesn’t mean you cannot get a warranty if you modify your vehicle or should avoid making modifications on your vehicle. That said, it’s important to be careful how you make modifications. If you want to modify your vehicle, keep in mind what car companies and warranty providers look for during inspections in order to avoid issues. If you install aftermarket parts, make sure to be selective of what parts you choose to install because parts that are of lower quality are more likely to cause damage.

How To Get Away With Vehicle Modifications

Some things will immediately make it obvious to a technician that you have had performance modifications. One obvious example is putting a sticker on your car related to the modifications i.e. a Rough Country sticker for a lift kid or Edlebrock badge for your new set of heads. While such decals are good advertisements for the aftermarket parts company or modifications shop, they also advertise to dealership technicians and aftermarket warranty inspectors that you’ve had restricted vehicle modifications done to your car.

If you’ve already added a modification to you car, it may be tempting to switch back to the factory parts when taking your vehicle for a repair, and putting the aftermarket parts back on when the repairs are done. While this can work in some instances, it’s still very risky. One of the best ways to get away with aftermarket modifications are to use factory-sanctioned performance parts when you make an upgrade. Along with being subtle and taking advantage of the grey area with some discretion, using factory sanctioned aftermarket parts are an excellent way to make modifications in a way that makes the voiding of your warranty less likely.

Also, in general, wheel, paint, and other aesthetic modifications are less likely to interfere with your warranty coverage. Also, if you have had performance modifications to your car, you are more likely to receive claims for covered parts that have not been altered. For example, if you have a powertrain warranty, you are less likely to be covered for replacement rods and cranks if you have had an aftermarket stroker kid put on your car. On the other hand, if you’ve upgraded items like the cold air intake, headers, throttle body, etc. (within reason), there’s a better chance that your claims for a powertrain warranty won’t be denied because you didn’t directly modify the system covered.

Car Mods That Won’t Void Warranty

If you are deadset on making modifications to your vehicle, there are some changres you can make that are unlikely to void your warranty:

  • Lights: There are numerous lighting upgrades you can make that can help the looks and performance (bright LED lights) of most cars without voiding your warranty.
  • Exterior Modifications: Anything that bolts on the the exterior of your car that doesn’t affect the function of your car will not affect your warranty. Examples include paint, body kits, window tinging, and trim. Even functional exterior mods like diffusers, wings, and offroad accessories stand a good chance of passing inspection.
  • Wheels: Wheels are almost always a modifcation that won’t affect your warranty. You can get lighter wheels for better performance or wider ones that improve the grip going into turns. Of course, there are many popular wheels that help the looks of your car as well.
  • Brakes: Brakes are another safe bet for a performance modification that won’t void your warranty. You can change them out completely with a BBK or a simple pad or rotor upgrade. Brakes add excellent performance upgrades in terms of handling.
  • Exhaust: Exhausts, especially the X-pipe and Cat-Back variations, are popular performance upgrades that are also easy to install. Exhaust upgrades are almost always safe as long as they are not of the “off-road only” variety.
  • Suspension: Performance springs, shocks, and coil-overs are almost always a safe bet for performance mods. These upgrades add excellent performance upgrades when it comes to handling and make your car safer at the same time.
  • Short Shifter: Solid shifter bushings are a safer route than short throw shifters in case transmission issues pop up.
  • Sway Bar: Sway bars are a suspension component that improves handling without affecting your

Where To Get Your Car Modified

That said, there are still many warranty providers who are more performance car friendly than others and, as we’ve already discussed, simply getting performance modifications will not void your warranty if you do it discreetly and are smart about where you get your car serviced. One major benefit of aftermarket providers is that they don’t force you to get your vehicle serviced at a dealership, which are much more stringent than independent repair shops when it comes to modifications. When it comes to your choice of repair shops, most extended warranty providers allow you to get your vehicle serviced at any ASC certified shop in the country, many of which are friendly to performance modifications.

Extended Warranty For Modified Cars

While most providers will officially have “aftermarket modifications” listed as a reason to void your car warranty, if you’ve read the tips provided in this article and understand how to navigate the grey area, you should be able to get aftermarket protection for your modified or performance vehicle. When looking for a provider, just make sure to look out for signals that an extended warranty company may be more friendly to aftermarket modifications. In our research of the best extended car warranty companies, the providers below come to mind:

CarShield

While not the best provider overall, CarShield can be viewed as a modification-friendly provider because of specific coverage features like their “specialty” coverage plan, month to month coverage, and low cost comprehensive options. CarShield is our choice for the most affordable extended car warranty company and has served over one million claims in the industry.

 

Most Affordable

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(877) 265-5123

Well-known provider that offers great coverage with great pricing

Endurance

Endurance is our pick for the best extended car warranty company. As a direct provider, you won’t deal with a middleman when handling claims with endurance. This means you deal with the same representatives when you get a quote that you will later deal with when filing claims. Since Endurance has a wide network of ASC certified mechanics to choose from, choosing Endurance should allow you the flexibility for coverage on a modified vehicle.

Best Overall

Our Rating – 4.6 out of 5.0

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(866) 990-3410

Industry veteran that handles your plan directly, from quote to claim

Protect My Car

Protect My Car is a direct provider with some of the highest customer ratings in the industry. The company has an unparalleled A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. In particular, the Protect My Car Ambassador plan has the type of coverage that is helpful if you have a modified vehicle, as the plan will cover nearly any vehicle regardless of age and odometer reading.

 

Best Maintenance Benefits

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(888) 430-0227

Its Ambassador Maintenance Plan guarantees 25-50% off repairs plus covered oil changes

CARCHEX

CARCHEX is one of the longest standing extended car warranty companies in the industry. A 20 year industry leader, CARCHEX is backed by automotive leaders like Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, RepairPal, and CARFAX. The provider has also received many awards. Because CARCHEX works with several administrators who compete over you, their offerings are flexible, which means there’s a greater chance of receiving coverage for a modified vehicle.

Best for Used Cars

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5.0

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(866) 950-7122

Top-rated provider with unmatched customer service and affordable coverage

Performance Car Warranty

While getting a car warranty for a performance car is more tricky, it isn’t necessarily the same as dealing with a modified car warranty. For example, there are many sports cars, SUVs, and even trucks that are considered “performance-level” vehicles in their stock form. Additionally, as we’ve already mentioned, many manufacturers offer factory-approved performance parts, special performance packages that are available with upgrades, and more. For these reasons, if you are looking for warranty coverage on a performance car, you are more likely to receive coverage by purchasing a performance level vehicle or a vehicle with factory-approved performance upgrades. Other things to look our for are providers that offer “speciality” plans, advertise flexible coverage, and have parts like the turbocharger, cold air intake, or 4X4 transfer case included in their list of covered components.

Also, in general, wheel, paint, and other aesthetic modifications are less likely to interfere with your warranty coverage. Also, if you have had performance modifications to your car, you are more likely to receive claims for covered parts that have not been altered. For example, if you have a powertrain warranty, you are less likely to be covered for replacement rods and cranks if you have had an aftermarket stroker kid put on your car. On the other hand, if you’ve upgraded items like the cold air intake, headers, throttle body, etc. (within reason), there’s a better chance that your claims for a powertrain warranty won’t be denied because you didn’t directly modify the system covered.

Featured Extended Warranty Companies

We reviewed the industry’s top extended auto warranty providers, and here are our featured picks.

Best Overall Provider
Endurance

Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0

Most Affordable Provider
CarShield

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

Best Provider for Used Cars
Carchex

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

Conclusion

In this article, we reviewed every aspect of vehicle modifications as they relate to car warranties, including what modifications you can make, which ones you shouldn’t make, ways you can handle modifications discreetly and more safety in the grey area, and the best extended warranties for modified cars.

What car modifications won’t void a car warranty?

Some modifications are allowed by the warranty provider and are also legal. These modifications include having large discs brake, fuel upgrades, larger rims, spoilers, number plate changing, tinted windows, and permitted neon lights. However, be sure to use approved parts and approved engineers for the modifications. If the modifications are made using approved parts and approved engineers, then the warranty of the car will remain intact. However, to be sure if the modifications will void your warranty, you must contact your warranty provider before making the changes.

Can is it a good idea to make modifications on a car with an extended warranty?

An extended warranty is a very complex form of warranty, and it is advised that you consult your dealer or warranty provider before making any modifications. An extended warranty for modified cars is a little bit more complicated than a warranty that comes with a new car or warranty from the dealer. Extended warranty dealers look into the damage on the vehicle to determine if the warranty is void or not.The contract language in the warranty can be very confusing to the typical car owner, and they may spend thousands on repairs when their warranty is void.

What voids an extended warranty?

Extended warranty for modified cars can be affected by a lot of factors. For instance, if the insurance company declares your car a total loss, then the warranty is void. Extended warranties are a lot more sensitive to changes made to your car. If you alter your odometer, make manufacturer non-approved modifications, or change the engine’s compression, your warranty is certainly void. Modifications can get your extended car warranty denied or void. If poorly fitted modifications or illegal ones cause car damage, then the warranty is void. If internal functions cause damage, you can apply for an extended warranty, and your current warranty will still be void.

Does buying a used car with modifications void the warranty?

Buying a used car that has modifications can potentially have some risk to your warranty. You have to ensure that all modifications are listed and documented by the warranty provider and your dealer. As long as the modifications are documented, then your warranty cannot be voided.

What is an aftermarket modification?

Warranty specialists and manufacturers refer to these post-manufacture modifications as aftermarket add-ons. A good example of a modification that may lead to full or partial void of the warranty is a poorly fitted exhaust upgrade that causes engine problems in the future.

What are some important things to consider when making modifications to you car if it has a warranty?

If you’re thinking of making some modifications to your car, it is important to consider if it will make your warranty void. There is a myth that any modification made to your car will void the manufacturer’s warranty or the extended warranty of the dealer. The fact is that there may be a full or partial void if the need for repair can be linked to changes or modifications made after the car is bought.

Our Methodology

Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best extended auto warranty providers.

  • Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team performs ongoing secret shopper analyses for different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations to give this rating.
  • Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car warranty company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the number of plans offered by each provider, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
  • Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, availability, and years in business when giving this score.
  • Customer Service: Reputable extended car warranty companies operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We take into account customer reviews, BBB complaints, and the responsiveness of the customer service team.