Does Changing Exhaust Void The Warranty? Helpful Guide


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When your vehicle is covered by a warranty and needs to be repaired, you usually file a claim to fix the faulty part. Your claim may be refused, or your warranty may be canceled, depending on the circumstances. So, knowing what actions or conditions can void a car’s warranty is important.

Read on if you are interested in knowing if changing exhaust voids your vehicle’s warranty, what circumstances can lead to the cancellation of your warranty, and how to prevent these issues.

Does Changing Exhaust Void The Warranty?

You may have heard about your car’s warranty getting invalid if you touch the catalytic converter or install an aftermarket tune-up. Changing the exhaust cannot nullify your dealership or factory warranty, but exceptions exist. In the USA, your warranty becomes invalid if you install accessories on your vehicle that later on result in some issue. 

For example, you changed the exhaust provided by the dealership and instead installed a custom-made model that promises to enhance the performance of your car’s engine. After a few weeks or months, your engine starts overheating because of a decline in the function of the catalytic converter. When you take your car to the dealership for warranty repairs, they will inspect the car and try to find the reason for the failure of the catalytic converter. 

If all of these problems happened due to your new exhaust installation, your claim would not be granted, and you would have to pay for the repairs. The dealership has to prove a relationship between the newly installed exhaust and the failure of the catalytic converter.

On the other hand, your warranty will be granted if the catalytic converter failure is not linked to the newly installed exhaust. It would be best to ask your dealership about the guarantee policies and everything you need to know about your car’s warranty and repairs.

Reasons To Change Exhaust

Your car’s exhaust usually does not get much attention until it starts showing problems. Even if you notice problems, you are usually tempted to delay the repairs. However, if you put off repairs, it can be very dangerous and may even lead to costlier and bigger problems eventually. 

Some of the warning signs indicating that the exhaust needs repair are:

  • If you hear loud noises coming from under your car.
  • Smelly fumes in the car
  • A significant change in the fuel efficiency of your vehicle
  • If you suspect a popping or hissing sound

If you observe these warning signs, your car’s exhaust needs immediate attention. Here are some of the reasons to change the exhaust.

Muffler Damage

You must understand that your car’s exhaust is not just the muffler. Although the muffler is critical in keeping your vehicle quiet, it is part of the bigger picture. Your exhaust is designed to keep the fumes out of the passenger area and reduce emissions so the engine can run efficiently. 

When engine gasses combine with moisture, exhausts corrode from the inside and cause caustic corrosion. Breaks in the exhaust normally happen at the points where heat from welding reduces the corrosion-resistant carbon in the metal.

During winters, the chemicals and salt on the road accumulated undercarriage may lead to corrosion and rusting. Another dangerous thing for your exhaust is the potholes created as the roads freeze, thaw, and refreeze. Hitting even one pothole can lead to expensive damage to your car’s muffler, tires, and other parts.

Releasing Poisonous Gasses

When your exhaust system leaks into your car, it releases potentially deadly and dangerous fumes that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the symptoms of this poisoning include nausea, dizziness, and confusion. If the windows are rolled up, you are at a greater risk of trapping these deadly fumes inside, which may also cause unconsciousness.

Additionally, these deadly fumes are sent directly into the environment, which means that you would fail the emission testing and legally be unable to drive until you fix it.


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Negatively Affecting The Engine’s Efficiency

The exhaust system must work properly for your engine to keep running at its peak. When there is a leak in the system, pressure in the engine will be reduced, and it can cause cars to sputter. In some cases, it may even stall out.

Another problem is that your fuel efficiency also decreases when there is a problem with the exhaust. With a faulty exhaust, vehicles do not get good mileage, reducing the performance of your car and consuming more fuel.

Leading To More Repairs

If left unrepaired, a failing or damaged exhaust will only get worse and may lower the lifespan of other systems in your car. If you ignore the damage in the beginning, it can cause more wear and tear in your car and lead to something more expensive and extensive, like replacing the catalytic converter.

The sooner you notice the problem and repair it, the better chance your car has of working smoothly without costing you a fortune.

What Will Void The Warranty?

The warranty is a contract that covers any risks of mechanical damage due to faulty manufacturing of the vehicle. A provider or manufacturer can void your car’s warranty if you do not follow the contract terms. Some situations completely void your entire warranty, which means you cannot file claims for repairs.

Following are certain situations that can void the warranty of your vehicle:


The fault will be yours if you run your vehicle deliberately into a surface or object like a tree. Moreover, manufacturers will not entertain any problem caused by the owner’s negligence or ignorance of the vehicle’s maintenance, as they expect you to service your vehicle regularly. Missing out on scheduled maintenance and service will also cause problems; hence, the dealer will not take responsibility for the fault.


Using your vehicle for activities other than normal day-to-day driving, like racing or off-roading, will void your warranty. Some manufacturers cancel the full warranty for certain violations, and this decision relies on the warranty administrator’s judgment. Your warranty claim may be refused even if there are only signs of misuse.

Using improper fluids can also be a reason to void the warranty. So to be on the safe side, follow the manual provided by the manufacturer.

Total Loss

If your vehicle had a severe accident and was given a salvaged title, it will void your warranty. 

Damage From The Environment

The provider will not accept the warranty if the damage to your car is caused by a natural disaster such as a flood or fire.

Tampered Odometer

The vehicle’s exact mileage cannot be seen if the odometer is altered or tampered with. So when the dealer cannot find the exact mileage of the car, they can void your warranty.

Poor Maintenance

You are expected to follow the factory-recommended maintenance schedule. To keep the warranty valid, you need to document this schedule.

What Is Covered In The Warranty?

The car’s warranty will include any damage or defect during the regular running of the car other than the wear and tear. Car owners must know what parts of their vehicle are assured to claim free repair in case of a car malfunctioning. Sometimes, the parts added can be defective, which is the manufacturer’s fault, who will accept the claim and replace it. 

Manufacturers also offer aftermarket warranty of $1000 to $5000. This adds to the original warranty and covers more or already included parts for longer.

Other things covered are mentioned below:

Powertrain Warranty

Another warranty, the powertrain warranty, includes transmission, axle shafts, driveshafts, transaxle, and the engine of new vehicles, which can be repaired in case of malfunctioning or needing replacements.

The shortest powertrain warranty is 4 years or 50,000 miles. It is a standard guarantee offered by manufacturers for new automobiles.

Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty

The bumper-to-bumper warranty includes almost every part of the car except the components, which tend to wear out due to regular use. This includes an Audio system, electrical system, navigation system, and thousands of other parts fitted inside the car, which can be repaired or replaced until the warranty is valid. 


Corrosion or rust-through warranty can be claimed if outer body parts completely rust or the surface starts to corrode too soon. A corrosion warranty is valid for 5 to 12 years, depending on the state and terms of the car dealers. 


According to the federal government, factories have to offer replacement or repair of important emissions control components like the catalytic converter. This guarantee is free and valid for up to 8 years or 80,000 miles.

Hybrid Warranty

Hybrid or Electric vehicles have their batteries and electric motors on warranty. The companies guarantee for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles. Federal law ensures that any hybrid vehicle battery can be claimed for up to 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Exhaust System

Adding an aftermarket exhaust system will not void your car’s warranty. Exhaust is itself not guaranteed. This modification will help improve your vehicle’s performance or alter the sound it produces. However, the warranty will go void if the exhaust pipe is causing other parts under warranty to create an issue.

If the new exhaust pipe causes overheating, this can also be due to the failing catalytic converter. Upon taking the problem to the dealer, the mechanic will determine the reason. If it is due to the exhaust pipe, the warranty will go void.

How To Avoid Warranty Issues?

Warranty issues can be easily avoided by maintaining the car and not making unnecessary alterations that will void the warranty. Let’s discuss some of the ways of preventing warranty issues.

Study Your Warranty Thoroughly

At the time of purchase, you will easily know the main things that will be under guarantee. However, go through all the details under the section “What is Not Covered,” which will contain all the necessary information regarding the parts for which the company is not responsible.

Regular Service

Manufacturers will not accept your claims unless you have followed their guidelines of taking the car for regular service. Following their recommended schedule is extremely important as it will also help to find out anything that’s not functioning well and under warranty. 

Keep A Record Of All Receipts And Services

If, in the future, you want to prove how well you have maintained your vehicle, the records will come in handy as proof. This will help you file claims and make use of the warranty.  

Avoid Using Unconventional Tires And Suspension Modifications

Using aftermarket tires and wheels can compromise the vehicle’s performance. Do not alter the drivetrain parts like axle bearings. This can result in issues in the suspension, steering, and drivetrain. These modifications can damage the vehicle’s parts, and a warranty will not be accepted in such cases.


Do I Need To Service The Vehicle At The Dealer To Keep My Warranty Valid?

You can ask the dealership if the dealership must perform repairs and fixes. Some manufacturers are okay if you get your repairs done by anyone. On the other hand, others require all repairs and services to be done by special facilities.

Can Doing Your Own Maintenance Void Your Warranty?

Doing your own basic repairs will not cancel your warranty. But if the maintenance damages the car component that needs servicing, your warranty will not cover it. So it would be best to follow the guide given by the dealer for the maintenance.

What To Do If The Dealer Declines Your Warranty?

If the dealer is unable to repair your vehicle, your warranty has most likely been declined. In this case, you have other alternatives, such as:

  • Appealing the refusal 
  • Getting warranty elsewhere 
  • Pay by yourself


Any new automobile will most likely run without problems for a good period. They are manufactured in bulk and go through various checks before reaching customers.

The guarantee can be ruled out unfairly and if you think so, try contacting another service adviser or someone higher in the management chain. Contacting the automaker can also be helpful to make sure the assessment is honest. 

Unexpected ways to void the car warranty will land you with extra expenditures. You should be mindful of such factors and thoroughly review the protection policies. During purchase, it’s highly recommended that you look at the warranty in detail. 

The smooth running of a vehicle depends on how it has been handled and maintained by the keeper. Regular service, oil changes, and preserving the vehicle will keep it in good condition for longer without any major issues.


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