Stock exhaust systems are designed to provide good operation in the widest possible range of driving conditions. That means there are a lot of compromises made. An aftermarket exhaust system can offer better fuel economy, a better sound from the engine, more power from the engine and other benefits. However, if your vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, you might be a bit leery about installing an aftermarket exhaust for fear that it will void your warranty. Will it?
The truth about voided warranties and aftermarket parts
The truth of the matter is that adding an aftermarket exhaust system to your vehicle will not void your warranty in most cases. Note that phrase, “most cases.” If your new system does not cause any damage to other components on the vehicle, then your warranty will be fine and remain intact.
However, if a problem arises that a mechanic can trace back to the aftermarket system you installed, then your warranty (or a portion of it) will be voided. For instance, let’s say you installed a full header-back aftermarket exhaust system, and the catalytic converter failed afterward because of something to do with the design of the aftermarket system. The warranty would be voided, and you’d be paying for a new cat out of your own pocket.
On the flip side, if the mechanic could not trace the failure to something to do with the aftermarket system, then your warranty would remain in place. Dealerships and automakers don’t really want to void your warranty, but they also don’t want to be on the hook for repair or replacement costs caused by something that you did, and that was not their fault.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Does Changing the Exhaust System Void a Manufacturer Warranty? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.