Reader Reaction: To Honor Thy Warranty?

A heavily modified Hennessey HPE700 C7 Vette. ConceptCarz

One of the benefits about owning a new or certified pre-owned vehicle is that they have a warranty. The warranties included with the purchase of a new vehicle will normally cover the basic components like drivetrain, bumper to bumper, corrosion resistance, and general manufacture defects. The different line items covered by the warranty are for varying amounts of time and mileage, whether it be 3 years/36,000 miles or 5 years/100,000 miles. 

You can drive this 2015 Z06 for 100,000 fully covered miles… but where is the fun in not doing at least something to make it even faster?!?

Regardless of the length of time the warranty stays in effect, they are undoubtedly a huge selling point for manufacturers and can offer peace of mind for owners who may be worried about the possibility of things going wrong. While the warranties cover defects or issues the driver did not directly cause, they do not cover normal wear and tear, nor do they cover driver inflicted abuse (like if you were to fry the clutch after repeated 5,000 rpm clutch-drop burnout for your friends on YouTube). Similarly, if a driver modifies the vehicle’s original components, it can (not always) void the warranty if in fact it is proven that the problem was caused by the modification. 

With this in mind, we wanted to know what our readers think about new car warranties– especially in relation to a Corvette. With the C7 Vette being purchased by a relatively affluent demographic (who else has $55,000+ sitting around?), we wanted to know how important the warranty was to buyers and whether or not the owners were willing to knowingly alter vehicle components that could (again not guaranteed) void sections of the warranty if something were to happen. 

The question we asked via Facebook to our readers generated some surprising answers. “When it comes to modding a new Car/Corvette with a warranty, do you stick to simple mods that do not hurt the warranty or do you turn a blind eye to the warranty and change whatever you want (computer tunes, headers, forced induction, etc)?”

This type of behavior may hurt your ability to claim the stock suspension started having problems all of a sudden (if GM found out).

We had all kinds of different responses ranging from “I buy a new car for the warranty” to “Void it and have fun!” The majority of readers did seem to be fairly conservative– wanting to only do mods that don’t void the warranty while under warranty and then once the warranty expires, do whatever they want.

One reader did bring up a great point in regards to GM’s 5 year/100,000 mile warranty– when was the last time you actually saw someone with a Corvette who exceeded the 100,000 miles before the 5 years ran out? Vettes are usually seldom driven and to this readers point, it probably is very uncommon for someone to actually get the full benefit (100,000 miles of coverage) out of the factory warranty on their Vette. Because of these circumstances, this particular reader suggested that owners should turn a blind eye to the warranty because they aren’t even going to get the full life out of it anyways.

These types of “mods” require insurance to fix– not your neighborhood GM dealership.

“Keep it stock, performance vehicles are designed the right way from the factory” and, “I stick with the warranty, I can wait a few years to insure there are no major factory defects” are some of the comments our more conservative and warranty-minded readers expressed. Another reader even warned against excessive mods citing a failed cam bearing in his Z06 that was only covered under warranty because he had not done any warranty-jepordizing mods. 

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a mod-friendly reader responded by saying, “Go for broke, I have a C7 with 584 miles on it with a ProCharger, headers, and new rear end.” Needless to say, this guy has got to have one unique (and fast) C7! Can we be friends?

As we found, both sides have their own opinions and seem to be passionate about what side they represent. Neither side is right or wrong but we can definitely understand both viewpoints. Thanks again for your contributions and keep an eye out on the Corvette Online Facebook for future reader polls! 

Let us know your opinion below!

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