In this week's blog we thought we would take a stroll through the mythical land of Factory Warranty's on Modifications. It's a wonderful land, full of cars that look, sound and go exactly like everyone wants them to. In this wonderful land everyone is happy, because we all still have a factory warranty on our new vehicles even with all our dream modifications in place. The manufacturers in this wonderful place don't mind how you change what they have designed, tested, and spent millions of dollars on research and development. To create a product that meets the demands of not only the customer, but stringent emissions and safety laws.
If only we could live in this fantastic place. Reality, compared to that mythical land, is a tad disappointing. It doesn't take much of a change from what rolls off the factory line before the manufacturer says "no dice!"
Lets have a quick look at what a Factory Warranty is:
The Factory Warranty is put in place to protect the consumer from sub standard products. It's a guarantee from the manufacturer that their product will last for a certain amount of time or for a certain amount of uses. If the product doesn't meet this guarantee, then the manufacturer is obligated to rectify the issue as per the stated agreement. This is where our world starts to blur that line a little. A manufacturer is obligated to keep their end of the agreement IF it is still the same product that they sold you. If you have modified the product in any way and a failure has happened, it only makes sense that the manufacturer is going to claim that the agreement is void, due to the product not being the same product that they created and sold you.
Here's the tricky part
Is the problem related to the modifications that you have done to your car? Example; You have put a new set of wheels and tyres on your car and the in-car entertainment stops working well within the warranty period. Chances are (and I'm being very general here, every dealer and manufacturer is different and will tackle these problems in unique ways) that the dealer or manufacturer will over look this modification as it doesn't directly effect the issue with the in-car entertainment. This all seems pretty simple so far.
What happens when I upgrade my new car's power?
With today's complex engines and management systems, the most effective way to see an increase in power over what the manufacturer created, is to adjust the ECU. Whether it is just to recalibrate it to allow for better air intake or exhaust with a set of extractors, or a complete re-mapping of the management system, the ECU needs to be changed. The ECU is an integral part of the engine and drive train, so there is no doubt that if you change that, the factory is going to claim that your agreement with them is void. No matter who changes that ECU, if the factory can see it, they will not honour the agreement that you and they entered in to when you purchased the vehicle.
Dealership Vs Factory
They're the same thing right? Nope. A Dealership has one purpose, to sell cars. The Factory only supplies the Dealership with a finished product to sell. If the Dealership needs to sweeten the deal to get the sale, they will, but this is carried out by the Dealership, not the Factory. Here's the important part, and this is very important. Only genuine Factory options are covered in your warranty agreement with the Factory. Don't get confused with the Dealership offering non genuine extras to your new car. Most of the extras offered by a Dealership will be items that the Dealership has to cover themselves, or, the third party that is offering the extras will be expected to cover them. The Factory won't even cover non genuine Dealership options, that's how separate they are. Unfortunately, even your sales person may not fully understand this.
Am I up a certain creek with out a paddle?
Not necessarily. We understand that some people can't justify giving up the peace of mind of a factory warranty to have some more power. Having your cake and eating it too is something we like our customers to be able to experience, so we offer a 3 year drivetrain warranty to cover what the factory won't on most of our Power Packs. Even adding a Supercharger can still come with a warranty on the drivetrain. So yes, you can add something special to your next purchase and be happy with the knowledge that you are still covered. It just won't be by the factory. Always be sure to check who is covering your warranty if you decide to upgrade your power. Or, if you're covered at all.