Your Factory Warranty & Auto Maintenance

Cars are far more complicated today than ever before. Burbank Auto Doctor is dedicated to keeping on the cutting edge of an ever changing industry.

Many car dealerships would like you to believe your car must be serviced by a so-called authorized dealer to keep the factory warranty in effect. Plus they’d like you to believe that independent repair garages don’t have the equipment or knowledge to repair late model cars.


Exactly the opposite is true.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, says no. In fact, it’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads, and inspections. Maintenance schedules vary by vehicle make, model and year; the best source of information about routine scheduled maintenance is your owner’s manual.


Do I have to use the dealer for repairs and maintenance to keep my warranty in effect?

No. An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work. That said, there may be certain situations where a repair may not be covered. For example, if you or your mechanic replaced a belt improperly and your engine is damaged as a result, your manufacturer or dealer may deny responsibility for fixing the engine under the warranty. However, according to the FTC, the manufacturer or dealer must be able to demonstrate that it was the improper belt replacement — rather than some other defect — that caused the damage to your engine. The warranty would still be in effect for other parts of your car.


Will using ‘aftermarket’ or recycled parts void my warranty?

Answer: No

An ‘aftermarket’ part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer. A ‘recycled’ part is a part that was made for and installed in a new vehicle by the manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer, and later removed from the vehicle and made available for resale or reuse. Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket or recycled part was itself defective or wasn’t installed correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the manufacturer or dealer has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.


Burbank Auto Doctor has the experience and technology to keep your vehicle on the road and running smooth.

By having an independent car shop, such as Burbank Auto Doctor, perform your factory services your warranty will still be honored. We take pride in our expertise. We often catch items about to fail, before your warranty expires, so you won’t have the expense of paying for overlooked items.

There is an inherent difference between the way a dealership diagnoses a car and the way a highly qualified independent repair shop performs diagnostics. Dealerships are on a flat rate labor system, meaning the technicians are paid for part replacement, not for diagnostic time or ability.