Warranty issues if you change it yourself?

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Jun 3, 2002
I found bits and pieces of my question doing a search here.

I hate to wait 7yrs./70,000 miles to do my own changes.

What would REALLY happen if there was an engine warranty issue and you did all the oil changes yourself (kept receipts,records). Would you need an expensive lawyer to win?

Is there anything, anywhere, that says it is o.k. for the owner to do the oil change under warranty?

Anyone have any real life experience or advice?
I let the dealer do the first and second oil change and then do it myself. I keep a book specially for this and include date/milage and what changed and checked AND receipts for the oil/filer and any other stuff like gasket sealing washers etc. I also alternate in a few receipts for the oil filters I purchase at my dealer. I try to keep the dealer in the loop so he knows I do some busniess with them evern though 90 percent of the oil changes etc are performed by me. Ed Hayes
I've been lucky enough not to have engine warranty problems yet
. But just because you change your oil and filter yourself they cannot deny you warranty work. This is assuming you keep meticulous records of oil and filter purchases proving that you changed your oil as required and used the manufactures stated grade and specification of oil and filter. Of course they would like you to believe that it's in your "best interest" to have them do the services to "avoid" any "unpleasantries". But that's BS. Of course having said that I seem to remember reading on some site of p**sed off Durango owner's that got the shaft for having incomplete oil change records when their engines failed. Which seemed to happen with way too much frequency. Of course I believe there were Durango owner's who also got the shaft even with having the dealer records. Maybe it was because they didn't have ALL the dealer records

Eddie covered it pretty well. The requirement is that the oil be changed when they say it should be changed and oil and filter meeting their specification be used. I usually let the dealer do the first change. There is usually some nit pick warranty problem by then if it's an American car anyway.

Be sure to keep receipts for the filter and oil and a log of when you changed it.

My Corvette owners manual even addresses the topic.

"Doing your own service work
You should keep a record with all parts receiots and list the mileage and the date of any service work you perform. See "Maintenance Record" in the index"

The maintenance record is just a few pages in the owners manual where you enter maintenace work done.

This would not be a good time to experiment with un-recommended viscosities or oil that isn't API certified.
The answer sould be in your owner's or warranty manual. Mine have always stated something along the lines of use the correct oil, filter, parts, etc, keep receipts and good records and perform service within correct intervals. That's what I do.
Well I can't see a problem if you use Mopar filters and keep records of mileage and dates. One little thing most miss is disposing of the oil. When you dispose of the oil get a receipt from where and when you dropped it off at. This way you have date for purchase, OCI and disposal of the used oil. How many people would think about a receipt for the used oil? If there happened to be a problem Dodge would have a real tough time in court saying you were not changing the oil. Even if their Attorney said you made up or cooked your records why would you have a receipt for disposal of the used oil if you didn't change it?
One of the things I've always done, in addition to keeping receipts and a maintenance date/mileage log, is to cut off small flaps from boxes of oil and air filters, spark plugs, etc. So my Purolator receipt, for example, will be stapled to the small box flap for a "Purolator PL25548" oil filter. Simply provides more evidence that a particular maintenance part was acquired, backing up the receipt.
I save my receipts and make sure the date is easy to see on them. For items that are large-packaged-single-use, like a gallon jug of M1, I keep the jug itself since the receipt shows 1 item (albeit for $20) as opposed to 5 items (as in, 5 qts. M1 sold individually). For the 6-packs of M1 bottles sold at Costco, I keep the cardboard box (the 6-pack container) since, again, the receipt shows 1 item at $24, not 6 items at $5 or whatever.

I buy everything just before using it.

For the oil filters, I use a sharpee marker and write on the filter the date and mileage it was installed, and the date and mileage it was removed, and I keep the removed filter in the box that came with the installed filter. I also keep the crush washers for the drain plug (I use a new one every time).

I do the same for air filters - I label them with date/mileage on/off and save them in the containers from the replacement parts.

So, at 30K miles, I have about 4 used, labelled oil filters, a gallon jug of M1, a cardboard M1 container box, and two air filters (the rest of the parts were either removed by the dealer -- and thus already documented -- or bought individually and the receipts show the correct oil "unit" quantity of 5 pts per oil change.

No motor problems so far, and when I did have a warranty issue in the driveline recently, my dealer had not seen me in 20K miles. Still, he never asked for any records (good for him, as I would have shown up with a basket full of parts with oil smears writing all over them, and copies of receipts etc.). So far, so good. I suspect my system will be adequate.

I've considered taking photos of the current day's newspaper with the parts installed, then saving the paper itself too, but I then remembered that over my shoulder, there's a world out there...

Originally posted by Ron:
Hi,what about UOA by Blackstone as records(although not complete coverage)?

When negotiating, never tell the other side more than they need to know, it only raises more questions.

And don't speak to them in foreign languages (UOA in this case) that they don't understand, it irritates them.
All you really need to cover the "Warranty" is a copy of all reciepts and a log detailing the mileage and date of work. The manufacturers normally include a log book with the warranty papers, manual, etc..

If they hassle you and you have good records then something is wrong with them.
If you are really worried it's probably best to let a garage do your oil changes but I would still choose an independent so I don't have to listen to the dealer sales pitch for injector cleaning, engine cleaning and wallet cleaning.
My warranty states: "You must service and maintain your vehicle as recommended by the Manufacturer within 30 days or 1000 miles of the schedule required by the Manufacturer. Verifiable receipts and work orders showing dates, mileage and the service performedmust be kept and maybe required to validate the maintenance conditions necessary for coverage. You may perform required servicing yourself provided you maintain a CONTEMPORANEOUS maintenance log and keep all receipts for parts."

Contemporaneous - they must only put that term in the California owner's manuals! I had to check Mr. Webster on that one to see how that term applied.

Interesting answers - thanks for all the input.

I suppose if you had a Toyota sludge engine then dealer/garage records would help. With longer drivetrain warranties, records are a bit more of a concern. I wish they had something like the Magneson-Moss (sp?) law for do-it yourselfers.

Thanks everyone.
I do my own but I keep my receipts anyway since I'm self-employed, never know when the IRS or my ex-wife's lawyer will come knocking.
I bet running an oversize filter would void the warranty. I have been running the 51515 and FL1-A's since my Jeep was new.

Prolly be impossible to get them to believe you that these filters are exactly like the OEM one just has more paper in them.
Do you guys REALLY think keeping receipts is necesary? That seems a little over the top. I keep exact records (i.e. date, mileage, oil and filter used), but I don't save every receipt. Heck, I usually pick up the oil at Wal-Mart along with my groceries for 2 weeks. I keep plenty of oil on hand so the dates are never close. Combine that with the fact that I ordered 5 Toyota filters online and the receipts are basically worthless IMHO.

I was actually under the impression that the dealer had to prove that maintenane caused the failure in order to deny warranty claims. I didn't think people had to PROVE that they changes their oil when they said they did unless maintenance really came into question (i.e. sludging or a UOA issue).
I changed the oil in my 98 Ford CV myself at 300 miles to a high quality 5W-30 full synthetic oil with a top line oil filter, along with a Amsoil Airfilter. Since then, I have always changed it at about 4000 miles with new oil and filter as stated previously and never had any problems with the engine. SCREW THE DEALERS.
Guess I'm getting old it is just not worth the possible hassle. While it is under warranty I have the dealer do the service. If they are real good and reasonable they can do it for as long as I own the vehicle. I also like the fact that my dealers quick lube check list covers all of the items that my truck maintance records say need to be checked at each 5K mile interval for the life of my warranty. So if I have the oil and filter changed every 4K miles, at $28 a change, I am covered for the warranty.
Well, I have been through one lemon law buy back (Dodge Neon)and we had to have meticulous records to win (arbitrator said leaking trunk on $400 textbooks was not a serious issue).

I just wonder how the company is going to accept a pile of receipts as evidence that the maintenance work was actually performed.

Maybe have a witness sign a verification form???

The cost of a lawyer would negate any savings doing your own changes.

And, I believe the law says you can use any brand filter, not only Mopar.
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