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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why do dealerships give enthusiasts a hard time for warranty work if their car has mods on it? I mean seriously, they still get paid to do warranty work, and they get happy customers in the process that want to come back. It's ridiculous. My dealer tried to give me a hard time over some BS about having long tube headers on my GTO when I had to get a faulty thing fixed with my steering, that had nothing to do with the powertrain. And no, at the time,I NEVER raced my car on anything. Sometimes I drove a little spirited, but nothing that constitues as "abuse." The most extreme thing I've done with the car would be going 35 mph on what was a suggested 25 mph sweeper off-ramp.
 

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Sonoma is absolutely right.

For even more fun if the dealer gets caught doing warranty work that GM says shouldn't be warranty work, that is considered fraud.

GM doesn't like fraud. Just ask one of our ex-local dealers who spent 5 years in prison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
But then there's that law that protects modders that if the part isn't what caused the issue with the thing that got messed up, the warranty can't be voided. For instance, a cat-back exhaust doesn't cause electrical issues with the airbags. It's ridiculous that a dangerous think like a bolt in my steering system was falling out when I drive the car like a grandpa other than getting on it on the freeway (which is NOT abuse). Headers don't have anything to do with the steering rack. So it got fixed. I had to bitch about it, and pull up the law that if the modification can't cause the problem, it doesn't void the warranty. Of course, afterwards, I'll never go to that dealer again. "Burned bridge" as you say. And I told all the GTO guys here in NorCal in my area that they shouldn't go there. All set!

PS That GM warranty thing is retarded, because according to that, you can't even change your wheels.
 

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But then there's that law that protects modders that if the part isn't what caused the issue with the thing that got messed up, the warranty can't be voided. For instance, a cat-back exhaust doesn't cause electrical issues with the airbags. It's ridiculous that a dangerous think like a bolt in my steering system was falling out when I drive the car like a grandpa other than getting on it on the freeway (which is NOT abuse). Headers don't have anything to do with the steering rack. So it got fixed. I had to bitch about it, and pull up the law that if the modification can't cause the problem, it doesn't void the warranty. Of course, afterwards, I'll never go to that dealer again. "Burned bridge" as you say. And I told all the GTO guys here in NorCal in my area that they shouldn't go there. All set!

PS That GM warranty thing is retarded, because according to that, you can't even change your wheels.


most reputable dealerships like to avoid lawsuits. trying to go around the franchise laws set by manufacturers sets up problems down the road. why don't you just take the vehicle to a regular mechanic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Because I didn't want to pay for something defective that should be covered under warranty that I didn't do anything to have caused.
 

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Why do dealerships give enthusiasts a hard time for warranty work if their car has mods on it? I mean seriously, they still get paid to do warranty work, and they get happy customers in the process that want to come back. It's ridiculous. My dealer tried to give me a hard time over some BS about having long tube headers on my GTO when I had to get a faulty thing fixed with my steering, that had nothing to do with the powertrain. And no, at the time,I NEVER raced my car on anything. Sometimes I drove a little spirited, but nothing that constitues as "abuse." The most extreme thing I've done with the car would be going 35 mph on what was a suggested 25 mph sweeper off-ramp.
the thing is, alot of young kids mod their cars, do it wrong or do shotty work, it breaks the car, and then they expect (or try to scam) warranty work out of it. Now sure, there are mods that dont harm the warranty, like GMPP mods, and thats why GM makes them. there are alot more people who mod their cars and do a piss poor job at it then expect GM to fix the mistake. So i can totally understand a dealer giving people who mod their cars some grief, unless its GM parts they modded with
 

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You have some backwards hat wearing teenagers who mod their cars, and then the mod affects another part of the car, and then they expect someone else to pay for their mistake. My brother made the mistake of buying a Mustang that had the idiot blue lighting inside the car and now he has electrical problems up the ying yang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, I get that part. I knew it from the beginning, because it's common sense that the dealer wouldn't want to be scammed by some kids. But I am not a person who does those things, so when I'm lumped in with them... it's insulting and demeaning. I had some headers, which have nothing to do with the steering components. I never touched the steering components, and they weren't messed with when the headers were installed. So when I when it was discovered that some important bolt/pin/whatever (I'm not a mechanic) was coming loose, I would expect that my warranty covered it.

I PAID FOR the extended warranty (5yr./100k). I expect that I be treated as well as the damn brochure that came in the mail from GM makes it out to be being a "member" of the extended warranty club. If not, then I am going to ask if I can get a refund since I've only had the car for a year and two months, and am still under the 3yr./50k standard warranty.
 

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I went through this with our zone rep. I had a customer that wanted leather added to a truck. No problem $1000 to do it. My service area rep says the warranty is now voided on the whole seat, seat belts, power seats, seat air bag sensors. Now all that is done is the seat cover is removed and the new seat cover put on. Its crazy but its GM's rules. We try and help our customers most of the guys in our town like lift kits and big tires. If you have a transmission go out and GM requests to send a tech to examine the vehicle your warranty is as good as voided. Our rep likes to say its Gm's ball,field,rules if you dont like it you can go play elsewhere. Of course I have had other companies tell me if I dont have my service work done at the dealership my warranty would be voided.
 

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I always keep my cars stock. Makes life very easy. In fact, I always service my car at the dealers, rest they try to pull one on me. I usually say, Check your records, tell me where the car missed a service appointment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, but aren't the governmental laws requiring proof that the part changed caused the problem higher in power than GM's "I don't want to touch it if it isn't bone stock" garbage? Obviously, my dealer didn't want to fight it too much once I cited the law (I said, "If you can prove the headers somehow cause my steering assembly to get stupid, fine, void the warranty. But if you can't, expect to go to court."), but why they just don't use common sense is beyond me. HEADERS ARE NOT PART OF THE STEERING ASSEMBLY!

I went through this with our zone rep. I had a customer that wanted leather added to a truck. No problem $1000 to do it. My service area rep says the warranty is now voided on the whole seat, seat belts, power seats, seat air bag sensors. Now all that is done is the seat cover is removed and the new seat cover put on. Its crazy but its GM's rules. We try and help our customers most of the guys in our town like lift kits and big tires. If you have a transmission go out and GM requests to send a tech to examine the vehicle your warranty is as good as voided. Our rep likes to say its Gm's ball,field,rules if you dont like it you can go play elsewhere. Of course I have had other companies tell me if I dont have my service work done at the dealership my warranty would be voided.
 

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Sure they aren't...however it's up to the dealer to honor it or not...

Magnuson Moss act states broadly if you use an aftermarket oil filter or air filter (for example) which is "identical" as a replacement part, it wouldn't hamper warranty coverage...

However elective modifications that alter how the vehicle was built...it's a fine line to deal with and again it's up to the respective dealer to honor it. Truthfully nowadays with such a sue-happy public with a more than willing legal community reading willing & able to increase their commissions...a dealer from any OE is going to be gunshy to go beyond the of their noses for fear it'd be a trap from the OE (which Chrysler has done frequently) or the opposite where someone has a rebuilt wreck that is all modded & chopped...

I always tell those who wish to modify as such...wait until the warranty is moot...then you have a free reign!
This is across all industries. Drill a custom mount into a TV and try to get it fixed under warranty. Heck, some products have warranty seals - ie you can't even open it, let alone mod it.

Vehicles are very, very complex now. Adding an alarm improperly, or even done right, can alter or damage the operation of the vehicle. Altering the engine can cause all sorts of ECM problems. Wheels of the wrong size play havoc with all the sensors. The list goes on, and with the computer integrating all of the systems - I can completely understand why GM doesn't want to deal with it.

Also, most enthusiasts don't mod cars. Enthusiast are people who view a car as more than transportation and enjoy driving, learning about vehicles, maintaining their own vehicles, etc. People who mod engines are a very small group.
 

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But they don't sell products with long tube headers.

We had a late model TransAm towed in, GMPP policy in effect for a no start.

Inspection revealed headers, reprogrammed PCM, street slicks, trans mods, air filter mods that may or may not be sealed off properly, and a small nitrous tank.

The glove box has a receipt for the ring and pinion being swapped for a lower numeric ratio.

What's still covered under the GMPP policy? The window regulators?

You can buy a power programmer for your vehicle and reprogram your pcm. If you have to take it into the dealer you can restore the factory settings.

What you can't do is hide the evidence that it was modified at one time. GM says that as soon as you discover this evidence, document it with a snapshot that you send to them, and the vehicle warranty is null and void from then on.
 

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I forgot to add this our service department had us post in all offices the new statement from Gm. If you put on non factory/Gm Tires/Wheels/Lift Kit. Gm has told its service managers to automatically void the warranty on the power train. Gm is cutting costs anyway they can. We help our customers within reason. If you come in with 22 inch tires and mud all over then truck along with a competitors logo on it we are not going to jump through hoops for you take it where you bought it "meaning you bought it off the internet because you didn't like the fact we put tow package's on our 4x4 trucks actual customer excuse and still paid more for it". If you bought it from us we will try and get it fixed but if GM sends a rep down here to us to inspect your truck/car you will have the warranty voided not by us.
 

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What??? Like providing a warranty repair on something that's been altered or modded which could void a warranty???
I think we both know that dealerships try this crap to get out of doing warranty work. Unless the aftermarket parts caused the problem, its none of their business.

I had a 700R4 transmission go out on my old S10, I paid $2400 to have a new one from Chevy installed at an independent shop. About 6 weeks later the new transmission lost reverse, I had it towed to my hometown Chevy dealership to get it replaced under warranty but they said that a seal hadn't been replaced during the installation which voided the warranty.

I went to the shop that installed the transmission to complain, the owner who I know personally said that everything was done correctly. He told me that it was common practice for a dealership to pull that crap, he made a call and the Chevy dealership replaced the transmission under warranty the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What??? Like providing a warranty repair on something that's been altered or modded which could void a warranty???


Sure a header isn't related to the steering system...unless there was interference or alike???

I'd advise the O/P to tread lightly, as this dealer (or any other) could likely report the car to GM as modified/altered and get it tagged as inelligible for warranty!!! Now that's worse case scenario!!!

Try another dealership is all I can say at this point...
I will be going to another dealer from now on. I'm a loyal customer that doesn't try to pull BS. If I broke something, then I'll take the heat for it. Anyway, so much for them getting my maintenance and service dollars. I guess the potential risk (which there wasn't any, because I'm not a GM Mystery Shopper or "trap bait") for them was worth more than my thousands of dollars over the course of my ownership... and whatever they would have made when my mom gets her Enclave from another dealership. If they void my warranty, I'll sue them for it.
 

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I know FIRST HAND that my local Dodge dealer voided the warranty on a neon because the owner installed those ghetto looking SMALLER diameter wheels and tires. Claimed that it caused the engine to turn more RPMs at highway speed, so the powertrain warranty was denied. I actually took the time to argue with the zone rep about it and it was not my car. MY argument was, when you are towing, you are told in the owners manual to not use overdrive and that raises your rpms at highway speed. ALSO, what if he moved to a state that had a higher speed limit on the highway, that would cause the higher RPMs also. They would not budge, and I made a mental note to NEVER, EVER buy a Dodge or Chrysler product other than my Viper again.

Now, because of the magnuson-moss warranty act of 1975, it is AGAINST FEDERAL LAW to require that you buy tires, filters, etc from the manufacturer in order to keep your warranty in effect. Federal LAW states that if they require that, then they must supply them for FREE. This law is available for you to read online. The catch is, whatever you put on your car must *MEET OR EXCEDE THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER QUALITY*. That would be in effect for fluids, filters, brake pads, tires, etc. As for wheels, and lift kits, if they were able to argue like Dodge did that the extra RPMs at highway speed was putting extra stress on the powertrain, then you are screwed. Or, if they can show that the aftermarket wheels are heavier and caused suspention issues.....or bad offsets like in "the hood" caused wheel bearings to fail....But, even then, voiding the powertrain warranty if you still have a factory diameter tire height does not seem possible to me.

I sold my wifes Hyundai Sonata (2007) after we owned it for 1 1/2 years because I got sick and tired of them working their ass off trying to void her warranty for everything they could think of. We kept more detailed records on that car than any I have ever owned because I did not want to pay them insane prices for the non-stop required maintenance on that car, so I did it myself, and they threatened me every single time. I finally had enough and sold it. Will NEVER buy another.

I've been a GM man my whole life, but if they get militant about warranties, I won't put up with it from them either. I installed a head and cam package in my 1995 Z28 when it was 6 months old. The warranty file on that car shows I had them fix a power window switch and an ABS sensor. The broken rear ring and pinion, broken valve spring and everything else I broke from drag racing the car (at the track!), I paid for the parts and installed myself. I"m not out to screw anyone. BUT, if I install an aftermarket catback of better quality than the GMPP one and they try to void my warranty on my new Sky Redline, there will be pure hell to pay. The aftermarket catback will not put ANY more stress on the powertrain than the one GM sells, so that is BS.

GM protecting itself from abuse is one thing. Screwing CUSTOMERS who have bought your product is something else completely. This guy having installed exhaust headers had absolutely *nothing* to do with a lose steering bolt.
 

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Warranty work is very profitable if done correctly, timely, and billed correctly so you get your money in a couple of days.

GM is tightening the screws on the dealer. So I don't have to worry as much about making someone with a modded car angry as I do facing GM with a warranty fraud (by their definition).

You can spout all that "sue GM and the dealer" all day long. You'll be old and gray in a wheelchair before you get a verdict, even if you win.

Bottom line, don't mod your car under warranty unless you can roll like you don't have warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Or... like the other guy said, "Bottom line, if they try to screw you for wanting your ride to be your ride, they lose your business." Does GM really want to lose more customers over what I know you know is garbage?

Voiding my power windows because I changed my wheels is ridiculous. Oh, and the new wheels are way better than the factory garbage that causes strut rub.
 
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