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A car warranty is a big part of the appeal of buying new or certified used. After all, knowing you’re off the hook for any major mechanical repairs during that initial period of ownership provides peace of mind.

Still, there’s a lot of disinformation floating around about what is and isn’t covered by a standard warranty, as well as what might cause that warranty to become void. Let’s clear the air with this look at three myths associated with vehicle warranties.

Warranty Myth #1 — You Can’t Perform Your Own Maintenance

You’re never required to return to the dealer for simple maintenance like oil changes. You’re free to choose any shop you like or perform it yourself, thanks to the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.

There are two major caveats here, however. The first is that you must follow the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions regarding maintenance to the letter, or you risk having future warranty claims denied. This means using the exact same type of oil specified in the manual at exactly the stated intervals, for example. It also means you must be able to prove that the work was both done and done properly. Your car’s maintenance history must be backed up by a receipt for the oil purchase, a logbook that you’ve kept yourself, or receipts from the shop that did the work.

Warranty Myth #2 — Everything is Covered

A car warranty, even one promoted as “bumper to bumper” — isn’t going to cover every potential issue that could crop up with your vehicle.

Common wear items such as light bulbs, air filters, brake pads, and wiper blades are typically left out, as they’re considered consumables, which will require regular replacement over the life of your vehicle. Some dealerships may offer a free maintenance package that will take care of these types of items for a specific period of time, but that’s usually separate from the warranty.

Warranty Myth #3 — Your Car Has a Single Warranty

It’s also important to realize that your car comes with different warranties that cover specific areas of the vehicle and last for different lengths of time. Your vehicle’s bumper-to-bumper warranty might last 36,000 miles, but the drivetrain warranty — which exclusively covers the engine and transmission — may extend all the way to 100,000 miles.

Then there’s the anti-corrosion, or perforation, warranty, which may cover serious rust but most likely won’t handle blemishes or surface rust, especially if it occurs on the upper portions of your vehicle. If you’re buying used, you may even be looking at a combination of the remaining original new-car warranty and the used warranty that overlaps or follows it. Make sure you stay on top of how long each warranty is in effect before considering making a claim.

If you know your warranty rights and fulfill your warranty obligations, you’ll get the most out of these consumer protections that come with your brand-new or certified-used vehicle.

Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 16,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on your new car warranty, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

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