Common Things That Void Your Car’s Warranty

A warranty is one of the most significant benefits of buying a car brand new. They are usually provided by the manufacturer directly as an understanding between them and the car buyer that they will take responsibility for most manufacturing defects out of the control of the consumer. As an agreement, there are ways that each side can break away, and for automobile owners, there are plenty of ways to void your car’s warranty even without realizing it.


There are a million ways to modify your car. From cosmetic to practical to performance, customizing cars is one of the biggest aspects of the automotive market. As much fun as modifying a car can be, it can also void your car’s warranty. In fact, even something as basic as upgrading your vehicle’s air intake can nullify your warranty.

A modified 2005 Lexus LX470 in the wilderness with its rooftop tent open
Modified 2005 Lexus LX470 tent open | Bring a Trailer

Misuse of the vehicle

Believe it or not, as a vehicle owner, you are expected only to use your vehicle as intended. If you’re wondering what that means, vehicle misuse can range from drag racing to overlanding. While these things aren’t technically illegal if done in the proper venues. Car manufacturers take this so seriously for some vehicles that they will even track events and VIN to invalidate warranties even if you don’t realize it.

Man stands next to his modified 1995 Chevy S10
Man stands next to his modified 1995 Chevy S10 | Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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Stay informed on your warranty

Not all warranties are created equal, and that means it’s important to read your warranty thoroughly. I know, I know, actually reading the warranty information for a car is like reading the terms of service for just about anything — most of us just click ‘Accept’ and move on without a second thought. Your warranty, on the other hand, can be a bit more fickle, and when it comes to nullifying it you should be more attentive unless you like spending thousands of dollars for no reason.

Chevy Corvette at speed on a remote two lane highway
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray rear | Chevrolet

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Your car’s warranty is like a security blanket, and while it is limited to a certain number of years or miles, it can still save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. While it might be frustrating to have restrictions on what you can do to and with your car, the warranty is one of those things you don’t appreciate until you need it.