Generally, installing an aftermarket stereo will not void your warranty as it only covers major parts. Depending on your exact policy and agreement, this may vary. The best way to find out is to read the policy or contact the company the agreement is with.
When fitting aftermarket items, like a stereo, it can leave you feeling unsure about where you stand with the warranty.
This post covers how general warranties work and whether implementing an aftermarket stereo could void your warranty.
How Warranties Work
Warranties are a guarantee in written form between you and the manufacturer of your vehicle. These agreements state that you’re able to have the car repaired or returned if you find problems within a certain period.
In principle, this sounds pretty simple for keeping yourself protected. However, there are often specific conditions that must be met for the manufacturer to take the vehicle for a repair or return.
Usually, problems that have been caused by yourself will make you void of the warranty agreements. If issues occur at the fault of the manufacturer, they’ll accept the return or repair request.
This is what can make installing aftermarket stereos a gray area for some.
Vauxhall Warranty Example
Vauxhall, also known as Opal outside of the United Kingdom, offers a “Lifetime Warranty” on all new vehicles with limited stipulations.
Some of the specifics in the warranty require you to:
- Serviced in line with Vauxhalls schedules and using genuine parts and oils.
- Warranty reactivated every year with an Authorised Vauxhall Repairer.
Vauxhall does tend to have guarantees with most onboard electronics, including your OEM stereo, but it will not be valid on aftermarket equipment.
Aftermarket Stereos: Warranties
When installing a car stereo, the warranty would usually not be entirely void. However, there’s a chance that part of the contract would become void.
Most warranties will state how they cover the stereo system so that you can feel more assured about your situation. It’sessentialt to install your stereo correctly and carefully to prevent any accidental damages to other parts of your vehicle that could impact the warranty.
Some warranties mention that using an aftermarket stereo is considered to be damage to the vehicle.
Since this is something that you would have done, it’s not the manufacturer’s fault, and the stereo would be void from the warranty.
It’s essential to get a stereo professionally installed to prevent damages to any other part of your vehicle that would affect the warranty.
If your thinking about installing the radio yourself, you may want to see our guide about how long it takes to install a car radio
The Motor Ombudsman advises that making modifications to the vehicle or fitting non-standard or non-manufacturer-approved parts during repairs could invalidate your policy. Still, you should always check the specifics of your policy.
Most policies only cover core components like:
- engine and fuel systems
- clutch and gearbox
You may need to pay extra to include certain electronics, but if your planning on installing an aftermarket stereo, this is probably not worthwhile.
Checking Your Warranty Agreement
Checking your warranty is crucial to giving yourself peace of mind about installing an aftermarket stereo. Some contracts may state that they don’t include the stereo as part of your warranty.
In this case, the rest of the car would still be covered under warranty. If your standard stereo is included in the warranty and there’s a fault, you may be provided with a repair or upgrade by the manufacturer.
One other vital factor to consider is that certain parts of the vehicle can sometimes have shorter or more extended warranties than other parts.
So, I’d recommend reading through your warranty carefully to make sure you understand how long your vehicle is under warranty and whether certain parts have shorter warranty times.
Other Things That Void Warranties
- Damage due to natural disaster
- Poor maintenance
- Dangerous driving
- Misusing the vehicle
- Using fluids that aren’t approved for the vehicle
- Altering odometer readings
- Salvage titles
If installing an aftermarket stereo is a must, it could be worth looking around for different warranties. This can help you find the kind of agreement that won’t affect the warranty on other car parts.
In most cases, installing an aftermarket stereo won’t void your warranty as a whole. However, it’s always best to check your warranty as there are many different warranties between manufacturers and customers.