The FTC offers these tips to help consumers make smart decisions and get the most out of their auto warranties:
- Read the warranty that came with the car, or check the "owners" section of the manufacturer's Web site.
- Be aware of when the warranty period ends, and get any problems that arise checked out beforehand.
- Service the car at regular intervals, following the manufacturer's recommended service schedule.
- Keep all service records and receipts, regardless of who performs the service. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, new brake pads and inspections. These receipts can be used to prove that the vehicle was properly maintained.
- Complain if you believe your warranty claim has been denied unfairly. Speak to a supervisor at the dealership, and then go to the manufacturer or another dealer. Consider filing a complaint with the state Attorney General, local consumer protection office, local Better Business Bureau or the FTC.
To see the full FTC consumer alert, visit http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/01/autowarranties.shtm