Will Customizing My Off-Road Truck Void The Warranty?
So you’ve got a brand new truck and you’re dying to start modding it up with aftermarket bumpers, fancy wheels, and other off-road customizations.
What about your vehicle’s warranty?
Depending on what you change on the truck, you could void the dealer or manufacturer’s warranty just by adding custom bumpers.
As a result, many truck or Jeep owners incorrectly assume that any kind of aftermarket part you put on your truck will void the warranty, so they avoid any desired customization at all when in reality, many customizations won’t affect your warranty.
You just need to know the details about what your warranty prohibits and what’s considered allowable when it comes to modifying your truck with customized bumpers.
Read the Fine Print!
First and foremost, everything you need to know about what your warranty covers and what specifically will void it is written in the warranty.
Take some time to go over your warranty carefully to know right from the start whether there is anything you are prohibited from doing to your truck while it’s under warranty.
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act – Know Your Rights!
You should become familiar with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which states that a manufacturer may not use deceitful warranty practices.
Warranties must be easy to read and all-inclusive of what is and isn’t covered as well as any details that could affect the warranty.
A warranty may also not require that a vehicle owner have routine maintenance done by a certain shop or that only OEM parts be used on the vehicle.
In other words, the Act protects your right to use an independent shop to work on your truck as well as your ability to install non-factory parts like aftermarket bumpers on your truck or Jeep.
The only time a warrantor may require the use of certain name brand parts is if the repairs and the parts themselves are covered under the warranty.
Understand What Customization Means
Where warranties can get a little tricky and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act can apply is when you want to make performance or appearance modifications to your truck.
The Act protects your right to have improvements made to your vehicle by your shop of choice as well as to put on whatever aftermarket parts you want.
Whether you’re adding custom bumpers or a suspension lift, doing all of this will not void your warranty – to a point
Customization and Warranty Examples
Essentially, if you add some custom mods to make your truck look great and improve its 4WD performance, your truck is technically still under warranty for whatever might go wrong with it as long as the problem has nothing to do with what you changed from the factory installation.
For example, your clutch would still be under warranty even if you had a shop put on a suspension lift.
That could be reversed if it’s found that the change you made somehow caused the problem that you now have and need to be repaired.
In the same example, if the suspension lift did something that caused excess strain on your clutch or perhaps the installation was not done properly and the clutch goes bad prematurely, then your clutch warranty could be voided.
The same goes for any other special parts you may put on your vehicle for off-roading or even appearance purposes.
To Customize or Not to Customize?
Overall, you should be able to modify your truck with custom bumpers and just about anything else you want as long as the work is done by a reputable shop with good quality parts.
To protect yourself even further, make sure you do all required maintenance at required intervals and keep all records of such work.
As long as you don’t knowingly install something onto your truck that could damage it, it should be OK to start customizing for show or off-road with the basics at the very least like customized bumpers from an highly-recognized manufacturer such as Fab Fours.
Talk to experts at an auto body shop that routinely does the types of mods you want and be certain that custom mods are protected under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act!