Oil Change and Your Car’s Warranty: What You Need To Know

close-up of a Vancouver auto mechanic pouring motor oil

No matter what type of vehicle you drive in Vancouver, WA, there’s no denying the fact that oil changes can help keep your car in good shape. Auto engines need clean motor oil for lubrication, cleaning, heat management, and rust prevention. When this fluid starts to break down, an oil change is the only way to get your car back in working order.

That is reason enough to prioritize oil change service, but there’s something else you should know — skipping oil changes could spell trouble for your vehicle’s warranty. Check out this guide to discover the connection between auto warranties and preventive maintenance services such as oil changes.

How Neglecting Maintenance Can Affect Your Warranty

If you’ve just bought a new car from a Vancouver dealership, you might not be too worried about your vehicle’s current maintenance needs. One notable perk associated with buying a new vehicle is its warranty coverage, and if you aren’t careful, you could inadvertently void that warranty before you know it.

While your car is under a dealership warranty, its manufacturer will typically cover the cost of vehicle repair for a predetermined number of years or miles. Neglecting regular maintenance will almost always spell trouble for auto warranties.

To make things as easy as possible for drivers, manufacturers include a recommended maintenance schedule with all new vehicles. This schedule covers filter changes, alignments, and, perhaps most importantly, regular oil changes. When you visit a shop for auto maintenance work, be sure to hang on to your receipts; that way, you can prove you made an effort to follow this schedule.

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Do You Need Dealership Service?

Avoiding oil changes for too long could put your vehicle’s warranty at risk, but this isn’t the only way drivers accidentally violate their warranty agreements. Other potential warranty violations include unauthorized modifications to cars and misuse of vehicles (for example, towing loads that are heavier than your car’s intended hauling capacity).

While it's wise to make an effort to avoid situations such as those described above, some alleged “threats” to your vehicle’s warranty aren’t worth worrying about. One persistent (but inaccurate) rumor suggests that getting maintenance or repair service anywhere other than your dealership could violate your car’s warranty.

Dealerships in the United States are legally prohibited from revoking or altering warranties based on where their customers opt to get oil changes and other maintenance and repair services, so people in Vancouver can go anywhere they want for this work. Since warranty service is often overpriced, you’ll probably want to take care of oil changes at a local Vancouver auto shop.

All About Oil Change Scheduling

Vancouver drivers are often advised to get oil changes once every 3,000 miles or three months. While this isn’t bad advice, that timeline isn’t set in stone. Building an oil change schedule that can meet your vehicle’s unique needs is the best way to know when you’re due for an oil change.

Here are a few factors you should consider while creating your oil change schedule:

  • The age of your vehicle: Thanks to technological advances in auto design, modern engines are more efficient than older ones. Since engines use oil less effectively as they age, older vehicles need regular oil changes.
  • The oil type you use: If you use conventional oil, you’ll want to get oil changes on a relatively frequent basis. While full synthetic oil can’t eliminate your need for oil changes, you can wait longer between service appointments while using this oil type.
  • The local weather: Vancouver is no stranger to warm weather during the summer months and near-freezing lows in winter. These extremes can cause problems for your motor oil, potentially affecting your oil change schedule.
  • Your driving habits: Severe driving habits such as using a trailer, traveling on unpaved roads, and long-distance driving at speeds below 50 mph can put extra stress on your car and its oil.

Get an Oil Change Vancouver Residents Count On

The thought of violating your car’s warranty can be alarming, but if you play it safe, there’s nothing to worry about. By following the advice included in this article and making oil change service a high priority, you’ll be able to protect your warranty and your vehicle.

If you do opt to get service at an auto shop, recognize that some businesses in this niche are more qualified than others. Before you choose a shop to handle your next oil change, make sure it offers the following services:

  • ASE-certified mechanics: No shop can deliver excellent oil changes without qualified technicians. The easiest way to gauge a shop’s quality level is to see if its mechanics are ASE-certified.
  • Full-service oil changes: The best oil changes don’t just involve removing and replacing oil. The mechanics handling this service should also replace your oil filter and thoroughly inspect your vehicle.
  • Oil change coupons: When auto shops truly care about their customers, they’ll help them save on repair and maintenance work by offering online coupons.
  • Locations all around Vancouver: No matter where they are when they need an oil change, Vancouver residents should be close to an auto shop they can trust to handle this work.

If you’re looking for a Vancouver auto shop that offers each of these advantages, you’re in luck. Gaynor’s Automotive is the region’s most widely trusted destination for oil changes and other automotive services — schedule an appointment ASAP!

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