Don't be afraid to branch out from the dealer when it comes to repairs

January 25, 2011 12:00 AM

Thanks to a consumer alert recently handed out by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), drivers have been reminded that factory warranties needn't be fixed by the dealer's service.

According to the FTC's reminder, "It's illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads and inspections."

The executive director of Car Care Council, Rich White, explained that many drivers, especially newer buyers, believe they can only get warranty reimbursements if they take their vehicles to the dealer's repair shop.

The FTC has reportedly been very adamant about the situation because of the reason stated above by White. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the law which protects consumers from being denied coverage.

When car owners choose to use a non-dealer vehicle maintenance shop, they should remember to keep all receipts and records that document all the work done. This proves that the repairs made correlate with the non-dealer mechanic's policies.

Education is a priority at Car Care Council, which has a number of campaigns now in effect that reminds drivers to keep up excellent car maintenance.

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