Have you ever been in a situation when your leased car was up for service and you were confused as if to bring it to the dealer or an independent?

Imagine this- You buy or lease your new car from a dealership, and they tell you, “Make sure you bring it back here for regular maintenance so you do not void your warranty.” Of course, you start to wonder whether getting you vehicle services at an independent repair shop will actually void your factory warranty and cause further problems down the road. It’s a valid question to ask yourself, and unfortunately not many know how to answer.

Did you know that there is a law from 1975 that protected this exact confusion? The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits dealers from refusing to honor your warranty if someone else performs the repairs. It was created to stop manufacturers, such as dealerships, from confusing consumers with misleading disclaimers and information.

Our advice is to always be proactive and take the available steps to ensure your warranty is both protected and implemented correctly.

Make sure you read your warranty. Although dealerships are not allowed to prohibit you from servicing you car at an independent, they can tell you to use certain facilities if they offer services free of charge under the warranty. As long as you read the warranty standards, you should be confident on where you can take your car for service.

Know the dates of your warranty. Your warranty information will tell you what types of services and when the warranty will expire. Part of having a car is making sure it runs as smoothly as possible, so if something doesn’t feel right, you should make sure to get it checked while you’re still covered.

Get regular car maintenance. 

Take your car to a highly-recommended mechanic who performs top-quality work. Careless workmanship can cause even more damages that can wind up voiding your warranty. For instance, an engine can be damaged by having an improperly installed, which can in turn void the engine’s warranty. If this scenario were to happen, the factory would have to prove that the belt was installed improperly before voiding your warranty, and yes, this can sometimes be tricky. Nevertheless, it’s best not to put yourself in these types of situations by making sure your car is getting the best quality care and maintenance.

Research. Find a local shop with an already established customer base and solid online reviews. Sometimes, the best way to know what kind of work a mechanic will do is by simply asking their existing customers. Foreign Affairs Auto in West Palm Beach has been caring for European Automobiles since 1982. You can check out what customers are saying about them on their reviews page.

Know that third-party repairs carry warranties, too.

Some European-make service and repair shops will only warranty their work for three-six months. This, however, isn’t the case for all shops, including Foreign Affairs Auto. There, every part used and each problem corrected is guaranteed for 24 months, or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Foreign Affairs’ owner Jonathan Ortiz says, “This promise is among the best in the business, and it is a testament to our shop’s confidence in the work we provide.”

Know how expensive it can be to fix a problem at your dealership.

If you’re still unsure as to whether you should take your vehicle to the dealership or independent shop, just remember that dealerships can be very expensive. Foreign Affairs Auto’s technicians are factory-certified from every major European auto manufacturer, and they can do the same repairs and maintenance for up to 60 percent less than what you would be paying at a dealership.

Worried that taking your vehicle to a third-party shop will void your factory warranty? Fear not, because at Foreign Affairs Auto, every step is taken to make sure your car will be repaired using OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts and that your factory warranty will stay intact. You can reach them at (561) 475-4145 or get directions here.