Does Off-Roading Void Jeep Warranties? 

Jeeps are masters of off-roading. Jeeps, from the beginning, have been designed to take people off-road and to go places no other vehicle has gone before. They have lived up to this design and have conquered some of the most intense off-roading trails in the world. Like most other vehicles, Jeeps come with warranties when you first buy them. Some car warranties can be voided if the dealership finds out you’ve done activities like off-roading. But what about Jeeps? Jeeps are designed explicitly for off-roading so surely it has to be different. 

Does off-roading void Jeep warranties? Off-roading in a Jeep does not void the warranty. Jeeps were designed from the factory for light to moderate offroading, so manufacturer defects detected by offroading testing are covered. All damage incurred on the trail will not be covered by the warranty.  Scratches, dents, and excessive damage can be denied by your dealership if they see fit.

What is the point of having a Jeep if you don’t even get to go off-roading in it? Jeeps are often advertised as vehicles that can scale rock walls and zoom through mud and dirt. We will discuss in this article how off-roading may affect your Jeep’s warranty and help you to understand what might be the consequences of something breaking when you go off-roading. 

How Offroading Affects A Jeep’s Warranty

All warranties will not be the same and they are going to change depending on what year your Jeep is. For the most part, off-roading will not void a Jeep’s warranty. Though all damages are done to the Jeep while off-roading may not be covered. Off-roading on challenging or extreme trails will be an activity that isn’t normal wear and tear, so dealerships can decide what is covered and what isn’t.

FCA does understand that Jeeps are designed for off-roading and have made it so that the warranty isn’t voided when you take a Jeep off-roading. But if something breaks while you’re on a trail and the dealership can prove that you were negligent or using the vehicle beyond its capabilities, they can deny your claim.  Remember, there’s a difference between them denying your claim and getting your warranty voided. Getting your warranty nullified is pretty rare.

Warranties on Jeeps are usually more lenient with off-roading than warranties with other vehicles. With many vehicles, if you go on any unmaintained or unpaved road and incur any damage, your claim could be denied, but it won’t void your factory warranty. All I have to say is be smart with off-roading your Jeep. Jeeps can be fun and tempting to keep pushing the limit of what you can take your Jeep up. It will make it more difficult to argue that you shouldn’t get your warranty voided when you do things like that. 

Staying on trails that are well maintained and don’t have any insane type of terrain will help you keep your warranty. It isn’t hard to see or know when someone is hard on their vehicle. In the same way, it isn’t hard for manufacturers to see when someone is hard on their Jeep. Taking good care of your Jeep and not pushing it to its limit will give you a much better chance of keeping your warranty. I would avoid doing any intense off-roading until after your warranty has expired and you feel more comfortable beating up your Jeep.

A Voided Warranty Vs. An Uncovered Claim: What’s The Difference?

When looking at the paperwork for buying your car, you may have heard terms like voided warranty or an uncovered claim. There is a major difference between the two. Having a voided warranty means that you can no longer make any type of claim for damages or defects. Once a warranty has been voided, it is like it is completely gone; it is now entirely your responsibility to pay for anything wrong with the vehicle. You want to avoid voiding warranties because it takes away any protection that you have against factory defects. 

Even if it has been a year or so since you bought your car, you still want to be able to use the warranty. Factory or manufacturer defects can show up anytime during the first few years of a vehicle’s life. For this reason, you want to make sure that you have the warranty last as long as possible. Problems with electrical systems and even with more important components like transmissions or engines can show up even after a year or two of driving a car. 

An uncovered claim isn’t as serious as a voided warranty. Uncovered claims consist of damages or broken parts that the warranty doesn’t cover. Therefore the manufacturer isn’t going to pay for it. A significant difference between an uncovered claim and voided warranty is that you still have the possibility of having claims covered in the future with an uncovered claim. You don’t lose the warranty if you have an uncovered claim. If you void a warranty, then you can’t get the warranty back. 

How To Avoid Getting Factory Warranty Voided While Offroading

Warranties have specific guidelines to follow if you don’t want them to be voided. While off-roading can void a warranty, depending on the car you have, there are certain things you can do to help avoid it. First of all, drive carefully.  If your car doesn’t get damaged at all, then you have no reason to worry about your warranty getting voided. Staying off of particularly dangerous or difficult trails is also going to help. Make sure you clean up your vehicle and perform routine maintenance after you are done off-roading. 

Showing the manufacturer that you perform routine maintenance on your vehicle is a great way of staying out of trouble. If you are doing your part to take care of your vehicle, then most damage should be prevented. It isn’t a fail-safe way of not getting your warranty voided, but it will certainly help. Routine maintenance is going to include things like oil changes, brake checks, and diagnostics tests. 

One surefire way of voiding your warranty is highly modifying your vehicle, and doing it incorrectly. But rarely is your entire warranty voided. If you have an aftermarket lift installed, claims may be denied to replace your ball joints, but that doesn’t mean your whole warranty is voided. Manufacturers will not cover a claim on a car that has had certain modifications installed because they have no way of knowing the quality of the part or if they were installed correctly. As soon as aftermarket parts have been installed, the dealership has more room to try and deny claims. 

For more information on lifting your Jeep and whether that voids your factory warranty, check out our in-depth article about warranties and aftermarket lift kits by clicking here.

What To Do If Offroading Has Voided Your Warranty

There are a few things you can try if your warranty has been voided. Once your warranty has been voided, all damages done to your vehicle are going to have to be covered by you. There is a good chance something might fail in your vehicle due to a defect but you are not going to be able to get it covered by the warranty. It can get expensive quickly and end up hurting you if you don’t have some way of helping cover costs and repairs. 

In the case that you think your warranty was voided for a reason that isn’t valid, you can always get a lawyer. The problem is that lawyers are expensive and usually end up costing you more time and money than it is worth. If a manufacturer has voided your warranty, then they probably have substantial evidence to do so. This doesn’t mean that you can’t win and get your warranty reinstated. Some people have done it, so it is possible if you have a good enough argument. 

Your other option is to get insured. Some insurances cover off-road vehicles and will even cover certain damages from off-roading. It is also going to be more expensive than regular insurance and maybe even more costly if they see your car’s warranty was voided. Insurance might be cheaper in the long run if your vehicle gets heavily damaged.

It can be very expensive to repair off-roading damages, especially if your warranty has been voided. Having insurance can be worth it because accidents happen while off-roading. A backup plan is always needed for adventures, and insurance is a great way to prevent the worst. 

Related Question

Can you off-road a leased Jeep? It is strongly advised that you do not off-road a leased Jeep. Leased Jeeps often have warranties, insurance, and contracts that outline what violates the lease contract and one of these activities is commonly off-roading. If you are offroading in a leased Jeep, refer to your lease agreement before doing so. Click here to view the full article.

Will a lift void my Jeep warranty? Installing an aftermarket lift on a Jeep will not void the factory warranty. For a claim or warranty to be denied on a Jeep, a dealership must be able to prove that the lift itself caused damage or was in some way responsible for damage caused to the vehicle. Many times it is up to the dealer’s discretion. Click here to view the full article.

Amanda Cannon

Amanda has an ever growing knowledge of cars with her education beginning when she was a little girl. She was frequently seen working on cars with her dad and today can be seen working on a 1966 Bronco, 1968 Firebird, and modifying her 2022 Bronco.

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