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Does My New Car Have to Return to the Dealership for Routine Auto Maintenance?

We have talked to so many people lately that didn’t know they have a Dealership Alternative, we thought it would be worth reposting this information we shared last year:

You are NOT required to bring your new car back to the dealer for all maintenance and repairs in order to keep your manufacturer’s warranty valid. Many people have been told when they purchase their new vehicle that the warranty will be voided if they have maintenance or repairs performed by an independent shop, but this is not true!

It is actually prohibited by Federal Law for a new car dealer to either deny warranty service or even imply that warranty service will be voided if servicing or repairs are not performed at the dealership. The law is the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975, Title 15, Chapter 50, Section 2301-2312. Look it up for yourself! Look under “Tie-In Sales” Provisions. A Google Search on the Magnuson-Moss Act will also bring up many Web sites that explain this Federal Code in less “legal speak”; this is a good explanation:

Your own car manual even tells you that your vehicle’s maintenance may be performed by any automotive repair establishment or individual without invalidating the manufacturers’ warranty. Look under Vehicle Maintenance and Care, Maintenance Providers, Where to Go for Service and Replacement Parts, just to name a few areas in the manuals where you will find this confirmed.

For example: under Replacement Parts it says “Warranty coverage is not dependent upon the use of any particular brand of replacement parts.” Or, under Maintenance: “When maintenance and repairs are paid for by you, these services may be performed by you or by any automotive service provider you choose.”

Have you ever wondered how well a vehicle is being serviced at a facility whose primary purpose is to sell you a new car every 3 – 5 years? You may prefer a service provider that wants to develop a long-term relationship with you and help your vehicle stay healthy for 10 years or more.

The next time you are told that a new car has to be serviced at the dealer or the warranty will be void, mention the Magnuson-Moss Act (1975), and say “It just isn’t so!”


Auto Maintenance
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