Guest Post by Alice Stevens of BestCompany.com

Many people enjoy off-roading for the thrill of driving where no roads go or where a road has yet to be created.

Serious off-roaders sometimes buy Jeeps, then make modifications and install additional features to get their Jeep ready for off-roading. These include new tires, airbag adjustments, and adding tow points.

People considering their Jeep’s warranty coverage — the factory warranty or purchasing an extended warranty — should be aware of how these changes might affect the validity of their warranty.

Here are two things off-roaders need to know about off-roading and warranty coverage.

  • A warranty doesn’t cover aftermarket installations
  • A warranty doesn’t cover damage due to abnormal driving

Doesn’t Cover Aftermarket Installations

Aftermarket installations are handy because they can make your car nicer or better for off-roading. It’s often cheaper to install aftermarket parts than to buy them fresh from the dealership.

However, when you’re thinking about your car’s warranty, it’s important to understand that these installed parts are generally not covered.

Not all aftermarket parts will be compatible with your vehicle. Many different companies produce these products, so the quality and fit is not standardized like parts from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Some aftermarket installations can also cause issues or reduce the lifespan of other parts of your car.

If an aftermarket installation causes a covered part to malfunction or become damaged, your car’s warranty will not cover those repairs. While this stipulation may not make much of a difference if you’re putting in a new stereo, it can make a difference if you’re making adjustments to the engine.

Be sure to understand the terms of your car’s manufacturer’s warranty if that still applies to your car’s warranty. If your car is no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty, you can buy an extended warranty. Sometimes these are called aftermarket warranties, but they will typically not cover aftermarket installations. So, if you bought your used car for off-roading, think twice before buying an extended warranty.

Doesn’t Cover Damage Due to Abnormal Driving

Car warranties only cover malfunctions and damage as long as the car has been driven normally. Even if off-road driving is normal for you, it is not classified as normal driving.

It’s worthwhile to note that most warranties do not offer coverage for normal wear and tear. A car’s parts get worn down over time as car owners drive. Warranties only offer coverage for when parts malfunction. If a part needs to be replaced because it’s reached its lifespan, you’ll be responsible for those expenses.

How you drive your car will also affect its resale value in addition to the validity of your warranty.

If you bought a new Jeep, you may want to wait until the original warranty expires before taking your Jeep off-roading. If you wait, you’ll have warranty coverage if a covered part needs to be replaced or repaired.

It’s also worth considering your new Jeep’s resale value before you start off-roading. Because a car’s value depreciates over time, your car’s resale value will be lower in a few years. At that point, you may not be as worried about your car’s resale value as you were when it was new.

If you bought a used car, it can also be beneficial to delay off-roading in it depending on your preferences and how old the car is. The older the car, the less valuable it is.

If you’ve already bought an extended warranty, know that it may be voided if you go off-roading in your car. If you don’t want to wait for the warranty to expire, you can see if you can cancel it.

Why You Bought Your Car

If you bought your car for the purpose of off-roading or planned to have some aftermarket installations, an extended warranty is probably not worth it. But, if you want your car to last, it may make more sense to look at ATV rental options when you go off-roading. Some resorts near popular off-roading areas have these available.

If your car is for commuting, running errands, and roadtripping, then an extended warranty may be worth purchasing. Keep in mind that you need to ensure that your car gets regular maintenance to keep your warranty valid.

Alice Stevens is a language enthusiast, loves history, and enjoys traveling. She manages content for BestCompany.com specializing in finance, insurance, and car warranty.