The California lemon law is a law that allows a consumer to get compensation for defective motor vehicles when a manufacturer fails to repair the problem within a certain period of time. The Lemon Law provides specific remedies for consumers, including replacement of the defective vehicle, repair of the defective vehicle, or refund of the purchase price.  Our California lemon lawyer helps you avoid things that void your warranty.

A manufacturer has certain rules that they must follow when it comes to the warranty, so is the consumer. If you do something that is a breach of warranty, you may not be able to bring a lemon law claim if things go sideways. In these cases, you could end up spending a substantial amount of money on repairs. It’s important to be aware of what can void the warranty and what is actually covered so you can know what your legal rights are.


What Are Car Warranties?

When you purchase a new vehicle from a dealer, the car will come with a warranty that is either given by the manufacturer or offered by the dealership itself. These warranties are usually definable in years and/or miles and may differ depending on which one you choose to go with. These warranties usually come for 3 years or 36,000 miles, depending on what comes first. You can also purchase additional protection for your car in order to give yourself peace of mind against any unforeseen situations later down the line. You may also be able to purchase an extension with your used vehicle as well.

Warranties are guarantees from your provider. If something is covered, the warranty will cover most of the costs of repairs. Every company you purchase a product from should offer some form of warranty so it’s important to remember to do your due diligence and learn what makes your warranty special.

man holding car keys


What is Covered In A Car Warranty?

In many cases, car warranties are extended due to defects or problems while the vehicle is being driven. There are a few different ways that the warranty can be written up. Car warranties typically only cover the vehicle’s internal or mechanical parts and the tires, but do not include bodywork.

  • Bumper-to-bumper warranties tend to cover everything from the engine to the air conditioning system.
  • Another common car warranty is a “powertrain” warranty. Powertrain warranties tend to be limited in scope and often only cover engine and transmission issues.


What Is Not Covered By The Car Warranty?

When a manufacturer provides you with a warranty on their vehicle, it’s important to know that there are rules attached to how the warranty is to be used in the event of an accident. It is possible for the manufacturer to exclude certain repairs from your warranty or even void the warranty entirely. These are some things which are covered under warranty:

  • Damage incurred due to performing unlawful activities such as car racing, off road driving, driving recklessly.
  • Not keeping your car maintained and not servicing your vehicle on time will result in your warranty being void.
  • Natural disasters that affect the vehicle such as: flood, fire, earthquakes are usually not covered under warranty.
  • Tampering with the odometer to rollback is illegal and will result in a voided warranty.
  • Adding aftermarket parts on your car will void your car’s warranty.

It’s always best to read your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty agreement exactly to ascertain what their policies are regarding product defects. While these terms and conditions are usually hidden in a small font at the back of your owner’s manual, they should clearly state specifically what is not guaranteed.


What Happens If My Warranty Is Void?

First of all, if your car warranty expires, at that point you won’t be able to enjoy its protections. This is especially important when it comes to lemon law cases. If your warranty has already expired, you may not be eligible to file a lemon law claim, even if you otherwise would have qualified. Another advantage in having an active car warranty is a reduction in the burden of having to cover the costs from repairing vehicle breakdowns or malfunctions without help from car manufacturers or mechanics.


How to Protect Your Car Warranty?

The best way to get the most out of your car warranty is to properly maintain it by sticking to your service schedule and visiting your dealership at least twice a year. You should also keep evidence of all the work done and repairs on your vehicle including small jobs like those of an oil change, so that you can handle Lemon law cases more easily.



A car warranty is a legally binding contract that covers defects in your vehicle, so it can be an important tool if something goes wrong. It’s important to keep the bill of sale and any records of maintenance you’ve performed on your car. If something happens, you can try to return your car to the dealership and get it fixed, or you can work with a lemon law lawyer San Diego to see if you can get a replacement or a refund. The McMillan Law Group has the experience and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve.