Can I change my oil on a new vehicle and is it warranty-approved?

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Does a DIY Oil Change Void the Car Warranty?


Caring for your car and having regular maintenance can be expensive but it is necessary. Even if you take a car warranty out of the picture and just focus on your vehicle, maintenance is very important to keep your car running in top condition. 

Extended Car Warranty

An extended car warranty is a promise that is made by your warranty provider that if your car breaks down at any point within the warranty period, then you are entitled to file a claim. A car warranty will protect you against expenses from repairs or car part replacements in case of vehicle issues such as engine and powertrain problems.

A standard manufacturer warranty is a guarantee given by these providers to let you know that the vehicle you bought is reliable and is of top quality. 

Things to Keep in Mind On a DIY Oil Change

When planning on a DIY oil change, always bear in mind to buy the recommended oil and filter, save the receipts, keep tabs on the date and the number in your odometer, and of course the most important thing is to do the oil change properly.  

1. Buy The Required Oil and Filter

You might think that this is one of the ways for automakers to take more money from you – which probably is half true, but the other side to this is that certain car engines run better with specific fluids. So when thinking about changing your oil and filter, make sure to use the recommended parts.

2. Take Note of the Dates

Take note of these two figures, (1) the date of the oil change and (2) the miles on the odometer at the date of the oil change. This will give you solid proof that the regular oil change schedule is properly followed. 

3. Always Keep Copies of the Receipts

When buying your oil and air filter, always keep the receipt and make sure to make a copy of it in case you’ll lose the original receipt. 

4. When in Doubt, Ask A Professional

It’s not rocket science to change the oil in your car. Some people even associate it with putting petrol in your vehicle. But just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean that you should force yourself into doing it on your own. A DIY oil change can be satisfying especially if you’re going to save yourself about $100 instead of having your car serviced, but if an oil change is not properly done and causes failure then your warranty provider has a good argument against you in voiding the warranty. 

Myths About DIY Oil Change

Most manufacturer warranty providers will scare you into choosing only their service center instead of someone else or other qualified mechanics in doing the regular maintenance. Don’t be easily fooled! It’s illegal for them to deny a claim simply because you didn’t have your regular maintenance serviced by them. Routine maintenance does not stop at oil change but it also includes tire rotations, belt replacements, vehicle inspections, and brake pads.

If you think that your warranty claim was unfairly denied by the service advisor and the management, you may file a complaint with your state Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Key Take-Away

Following your regular maintenance schedule is very important to keep your car running in top condition. As to where you should have your car serviced, you have the option of choosing someone else instead of their ‘required’ service center by your factory warranty provider. 

Contrary to popular belief, changing your oil will not automatically void your car warranty. Make sure that you read the fine print in your warranty. Keep in mind that if you’ve done the regular service maintenance that your car manual recommends, and chose genuine parts for your car, then a warranty provider can’t just deny your claim and dismiss your case. It’s illegal for them to deny a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act enforced by FTC if you had your regular maintenance with someone else instead of their service center.

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