Our sales and service staff are asked a great deal of questions about manufacturer vehicle warranties, what they cover, and how to deal with warranty concerns on a day-to-day basis. Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility, and we think it’s pretty fantastic that so many of our Don Wheaton customers are interested in finding out as much as they can about how to take care of their vehicles! Here’s a few things that we hear on a pretty regular basis:
“Warranty doesn’t really cover anything.” Totally false.
Your limited new vehicle warranty covers against any defects in the manufacturer’s materials or workmanship, whether they are little rattles and squeaks or larger mechanical issues (like power windows that aren’t responding), or certain vehicle parts that may fail within a short period after purchase. This also includes the tires that came with the vehicle when it was manufactured – the most popular one that we worry about here in Edmonton is Corvette or Camaro vehicles that are shipped in the winter with Perelli tires, which can shear if there’s enough pressure on them when the temperature is below -7C.
“Warranties can be voided by really simple mistakes.” True!
It’s a sad reality that there are common actions that owners take that can be detrimental to their warranty. Have you ever driven your truck up over the curb, or towed something that was heavier than the marked towing capacity? Do you have a vehicle that needs premium gas, but when prices are super high you switched it up to unleaded? Or the most popular one – have you ever seen a warning sign light up on your dashboard and then ignored it for a long period of time hoping it would go away (and then came in when something worse happened)? These are examples of things that could potentially jeopardize the ability to claim a warranty problem in your vehicle. Nothing is more important than making sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape, especially for your own safety. The specifications given for your vehicle were made to keep your vehicle operating in optimal condition – it’s not a recommendation, it’s a necessity.
What your warranty doesn’t cover is damage caused by impact, use or misuse, environment, or alteration.
- Wear and tear is totally normal with every vehicle, and road hazards are common (especially in Edmonton). Common examples of things that are requested to be covered under warranty are cracked or broken windshields/windows and paint chips from rocks and gravel on the road, or worn-out or punctured tires from driving on roads that are in poor condition or with construction materials on the ground. (If you want extra coverage for this, we can provide it for you!)
- It is extremely important to make sure that your vehicle is being maintained regularly by a GM-certified technician, and that you’re using approved fluids, oils and gasoline for the specific vehicle you are driving.
- We’re all for personalizing your vehicle, but any modifications that cause damage or issues with the operation of the vehicle cannot be covered under warranty (custom stereo systems are a popular issue, as are truck beds that are scratched up from bed-liners).
- While it might seem totally obvious – warranty doesn’t cover damage caused by collisions. (But we can recommend a fantastic body shop for you!)
What happens when I bring in my vehicle for work that I would like to be covered under warranty?
No matter what the concern is, all car dealers have to follow the specific procedures set out by their manufacturers. No manufacturer will honour vehicle warranty if the claim remains unsubstantiated by their own service departments. (They need proof!)
At the Don Wheaton service department, when you bring in a vehicle with any problems that should be claimed to warranty, we require you give permission to take the problematic area apart for investigation. If we take the problem area apart, and the issue is covered by warranty, then it would be repaired under the rules that govern the manufacturer’s warranty. If we find that the problem was caused by any of the above issues (impact, use or misuse, environment or alteration), then the owner would be responsible to pay the diagnostic fee and can determine from that point how to proceed with any necessary repairs. If a customer does not give authorization, we cannot move forward with the formal warranty process, and can only make recommendations based on the information provided.
Where can I find out more about warranty?
The best place to start learning about what your vehicle warranty covers is with the warranty booklet, which is found alongside your vehicle owner’s manual. The book this year looks like the picture below, and if you didn’t get one when you purchased your vehicle, you can contact our Parts department to have one ordered for you.