An interesting article today in AOL’s automotive section sparks a debate we have seen many times over the years: Will an oil change void your manufacturer’s warranty? A consumer starts to encounter problems with their engine. The car starts to sputter, the service engine soon light comes on, and then all of a sudden, the distressed driver finds himself stuck in the middle of a busy highway. He has his car towed to the dealer. After all, he is under manufacturers warranty and therefore there should be no issue with the car being fixed, right?
Wrong. The dealer blames the problem on engine sludge and asks to see the driver’s oil change receipts confirming that they have cared for the car as outlined in the owner’s manual. Fear starts to set in the driver’s face. He doesn’t remember if and when he got his oil changed. Perhaps, he went to a franchise, but when and how many miles were on the car? Did he take it to his mechanic? Did he change the oil himself? Before he knows it, the consumer is socked with a repair bill in the thousands and there is nothing anyone can do about it, including us. Why? because the consumer did not keep proof that he fulfilled his responsibilities.
Now more than ever, as manufacturers continue to look at the bottom line, it is imperative that you keep records of all maintenance. There is nothing wrong with going to Jiffy Lube or Grease Monkey but hold to those receipts; do not discard them with the egg mcmuffin wrapper from the sandwich you enjoyed in the waiting room. Those receipts outline the date and mileage of the service. If you choose to change the oil yourself, you want to keep the store receipt and the proof of purchase, as well as keep a written log.
If you have proof that you have covered all of your responsibilities and the manufacturer still is not covering the repair under warranty, that is where we step in. We have represented many organized drivers in these types of breach of warranty claims and manufacturers have no idea what hit them!