Congratulations! You just bought your dream car. You’d saved years for the down payment and it’s finally sitting in your garage. You took out an extended warranty to protect your new baby. This was wise, and you already have a mechanic you trust. Do you have to take your car to the dealer for maintenance with an extended warranty? The answer isn’t as simple as it might seem.
You Can Use Another Mechanic
Even if you purchased an extended warranty through the dealership you can take your car elsewhere for maintenance. No dealer has the right to force you to bring your vehicle in for routine work such as mileage maintenance visits, oil changes or tire rotations. You are free to take your vehicle to another location for these things, which is good because you’ll likely save a ton of money getting your oil changed at just about any place other than the dealer. Many consumers also prefer shops closer to their homes.
As with everything, though, there is a catch. If you opt to have work performed on your vehicle elsewhere, it’s crucial you document absolutely everything about the work. Make certain you keep the receipts for all maintenance visits to your mechanic and make certain the receipts are detailed. The receipts should list a breakdown everything the mechanic did, the parts and fluids used (including quantities), the mileage of your vehicle at the time of the visit, and the name of the mechanic who performed the work.
If you take your car, truck or SUV to the dealership for repairs under the warranty and you cannot confirm you have faithfully executed the vehicle’s maintenance plan, the dealer can void your extended warranty and refuse to perform the repairs for free. They don’t have a record of any maintenance performed offsite, so you must be able to prove that you’ve followed the maintenance schedule to the tee and the free repairs are warranted because the breakdown isn’t your fault.
Reliability Is Key
If you do take your new baby to an independent service shop, make certain it’s a certified one like Heath’s Auto Service in Flagstaff. You could take it to any repair and service shop in Arizona, but if the maintenance is performed incorrectly, the dealer can void your extended warranty as well. As such, shoddy work is not worth the risk, even if it’s dirt cheap.