Myth: Only New Car Dealers Can Do Warranty Service.
It’s a common misconception that only car dealers can perform the maintenance services on a newer vehicle that is under warranty. By law, consumers can have maintenance services done by a local independent service shop without affecting the vehicle’s warranty, even though dealers and manufacturers often suggest otherwise.
According to the Car Care Council, consumers are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the general principles of the Federal Trade Commission, which prohibit a manufacturer from voiding the vehicle warranty because service was done by a non-dealer.
Specifically, the language states, “No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the commission if - (1) the warrantor satisfies the commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and (2) the commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.
When using a non-dealer to maintain your vehicle, the council strongly recommends keeping records and receipts for all maintenance that is done to the vehicle and adhering to scheduled maintenance requirements. If a warranty claim arises, these records will provide proof that maintenance has been done in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations and requirements.