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Again, I apologize in advance if I'm asking a common or dumb question. Still trying to figure out how this forum works lol.

So, in the midst of daydreaming about modifying my brand new iTouring I got last month, it dawned on me that I might do something to my car that could void my coverage / warranty / etc. (I got a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty)

Specifically, all I wanted to do to my car so far is to change the wheels and tires. Other mods include body kit, lowering, sway bars, and minor stuff like a tow hook for funsies. I was actually already thinking of plastidipping the stock wheels black for fun too, until I'm all saved up for a new set of wheels and tires. I was also thinking of applying a tint / film on the fog lights and dipping the emblems black.

So what is "okay" to do to a new car with a warranty? Can I change the wheels and tires and not have any problems? Will I have any problems if I were to modify the suspension? Is it okay to do appearance mods and still be covered?

Thank you all for your time.
 

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So what is "okay" to do to a new car with a warranty? Can I change the wheels and tires and not have any problems? Will I have any problems if I were to modify the suspension? Is it okay to do appearance mods and still be covered?
There's a law that was passed about this, in 1975:
Magnusson Moss Warranty Act

Basically, if the dealer can prove that your modification caused the warranty claim, they can refuse to honor the warranty for that issue. Otherwise, they can't.
 

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The humble mechanic i believe it was did a show about this, or maybe ETCG, basically saying what @wolstentech said above. If your engine blows and they see you have added side skirts and a rear spoiler to the car, they will not, or can not, deny a claim based on that.
 

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The humble mechanic i believe it was did a show about this, or maybe ETCG, basically saying what @wolstentech said above. If your engine blows and they see you have added side skirts and a rear spoiler to the car, they will not, or can not, deny a claim based on that.
and even if you had an aftermarket intake, cat back exhaust, minor bolt ons like that, they still need to prove that modification caused the failure. If a cam chain snaps and the pistons slam into the valves, obviously that wasn't caused by basic bolt ons so you're free and clear.


My opinion, with suspension, is that it's probably a "safe" thing to do for the most part. You're going to wear the struts out sooner if you lower it significantly with stock struts, but you should know that going in. If you develop a suspension squeak, probably not going to be covered because you changed the entire suspension geometry. My point is you don't see many major suspension warranty issues in the first place I don't think you're risking much. And, if something did happen, stock it out and see if the issue goes away. If not, take it in. They can't prove it was modified unless they see it.
 

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There's a law that was passed about this, in 1975:
Magnusson Moss Warranty Act

Basically, if the dealer can prove that your modification caused the warranty claim, they can refuse to honor the warranty for that issue. Otherwise, they can't.
This makes sense.

The humble mechanic i believe it was did a show about this, or maybe ETCG, basically saying what @wolstentech said above. If your engine blows and they see you have added side skirts and a rear spoiler to the car, they will not, or can not, deny a claim based on that.
I sure hope they wouldn't deny it haha.

and even if you had an aftermarket intake, cat back exhaust, minor bolt ons like that, they still need to prove that modification caused the failure. If a cam chain snaps and the pistons slam into the valves, obviously that wasn't caused by basic bolt ons so you're free and clear.


My opinion, with suspension, is that it's probably a "safe" thing to do for the most part. You're going to wear the struts out sooner if you lower it significantly with stock struts, but you should know that going in. If you develop a suspension squeak, probably not going to be covered because you changed the entire suspension geometry. My point is you don't see many major suspension warranty issues in the first place I don't think you're risking much. And, if something did happen, stock it out and see if the issue goes away. If not, take it in. They can't prove it was modified unless they see it.
This all makes sense. So basically the safest modifications would be wheel and emblem painting since they do zero to the car really lol. Changing out the wheels and tires would be considered a safe thing to do as well right? I mean, you'd have to get an alignment and balancing, and make sure they fit and are installed correctly. But for the most part they can't do anything if the wheels don't cause any problems correct?
 

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It really depends. I've modified every single car I've ever owned, but the key is to build a relationship with your dealer. The best way to do this is to get to know the individual who makes decisions at the service level, as well as some of the technicians. They will look the other way unless the warranty claim is beyond their ability to approve (ie. new transmission, new engine, major repair).
 

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Changing out the wheels and tires would be considered a safe thing to do as well right? I mean, you'd have to get an alignment and balancing, and make sure they fit and are installed correctly.
Just a little nitpick here: if you change your wheels and tires, you do of course need to balance the new wheels (the tire shop always does this when mounting tires, it's part of the "mount and balance" fee), but you do not need a new alignment. New wheels do not affect your alignment. You only need an alignment if the car is not tracking straight, which is usually something that only happens after a car gets old and it's been bumped around, causing small changes in the suspension geometry.
 

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There's a law that was passed about this, in 1975:
Magnusson Moss Warranty Act

Basically, if the dealer can prove that your modification caused the warranty claim, they can refuse to honor the warranty for that issue. Otherwise, they can't.
Concur

It also depends on how much of an ass the dealer wants to be as well. Some are mod friendly and some are not. Your always taking a risk with mods under warranty. But they must prove in the end that the mod installed caused the issue.

Mazda under warranty fixed an oil leak and replaced the vvt, timing chain, and valve cover for my 08 speed 3.

It was modded previous to me. Mazda even gave me back the cobb tip after putting on a stock tip for the new style valve cover.

Make sure you have some record of oil changes though. They never questioned me about oil changes. But it is a way to void warranties and they most likely will ask. I had a couple done at that Mazda location so I think that is why they did not ask and another Mazda place in the area a couple times also. So I had record.

Just keep it simple till your warranty is finished like just intake and exhaust. No major engine stuff. Even if you get a tune your ok. Just go back to a stock tune before a shop visit. Throw your stock box back on as well. Some do some don't. Just remember there is always a risk of more complications with certain dealers having your ride modded.
 
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