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Protect Your Money & Car with Auto Warranty Tips
The Federal Trade Commission recently published tips to help Americans get the most out of their vehicle warranties. The guidelines are fairly simple, but could make a huge difference to your car (and your wallet) should your car need repairs.
And for anyone recovering from bankruptcy or otherwise trying to maintain healthy finances and eliminate debt, these tips should be welcome.
Know What the Warranty Protects
Here?s something that many consumers don?t know about auto warranties:
- Federal law protects consumers: In fact, it?s illegal for an auto dealer to deny service outlined in a warranty simply because a you had your car serviced by an independent mechanic.
- The dealer has to offer proof: In order to deny warranty-covered services, a dealer must be able to prove that specific work done on the car caused the damage that you want repaired. And then, only the part damaged by the independent mechanic can be denied warranty services ? the rest of the car is still protected.
Make the Most of Your Car?s Warranty
The FTC recommends taking the following steps to make sure your car can get the service and attention it needs and is legally granted by its warranty.
- Read your warranty or your car?s owner?s manual: In order to take advantage of the terms of service, you have to know what they are, right? So make sure to take the time to look over what is guaranteed in your vehicle ? you may even be pleasantly surprised.
- Keep a note of the end of the warranty period: It?s not ?cheating? to have any problems or issues looked at by your dealer right before the end of your warranty. In fact, that?s a smart move: why not get any updates or repairs done for free while you still can?
- Take regular care of your car: Make sure to follow the guidelines listed in the owner?s manual for maintaining your car. This means changing the oil and air filters, having tires rotated, and getting any strange noises checked out as they occur. This may cost more in the short term than ignoring your car or letting things slide, but better maintenance will mean better longevity (which means you won?t have to pay for a whole new car for longer).
- Keep your receipts: It?s a good idea to have a file (whether digital or hard) of all the maintenance and repair work you get done. That way, you can use the receipts as evidence that you maintained your car properly if and when you need to take it in to the dealer to have it repaired under warranty.
- Make some noise: If a dealer refuses warranty-guaranteed service on your car, speak to a manager or another dealership. Consider filing a complaint with your state?s attorney general. The federal government outlines certain rights for consumers regarding their cars and auto warranties, so why not take advantage of those?
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