Thinking about a lift kit for your new truck and concerned it may void your warranty? Let’s look at what can go wrong, and how to avoid your warranty getting voided when you install a level kit on your vehicle.
Does a Lift Kit Void Warranty?
No, the lift kit or level kit itself installed on your vehicle does not void a manufacturer warranty. However, if the dealer believes the lift or level kit contributed to the vehicle’s issues, they may see that as a reason to not uphold the warranty agreement.
Why Does It Even Matter?
Lift and level kits give trucks and SUV’s a better look, increased ground clearance, and the ability to run larger tires. Many vehicle manufacturers sell and install level kits and lifts on their trucks and SUVs. On the surface, the level kit will not void the warranty, but it’s important to remember that the level kit cal strains the existing components on the vehicle.
Between the strain on your vehicle components and the type of use your vehicle gets, it could lead to a situation where the warranty is not honored as a result of the level kit. Think about it this way: The manufacturers spend years and millions of dollars paying engineers to design a series of suspension and powertrain components to run in harmony together (ideally, doesn’t always happen). Then, the consumer adds a component that “works” with the existing components.
Well, if that customer added components that push the vehicle components into dangerous or stressed positions, they might fail. If they fail and the dealer attributes this to the components added by the consumer and NOT the manufacturer parts, well my friends, they may not honor the warranty. Now look, I’m not defending dealers and I personally have a level kit on my 2019 Ram. I truck camp and travel in my Ram all the time. I can’t even comprehend a dealer not honoring a warranty as these trucks these days run from $40K-$80K.
I would lose it if they told me it was my fault and didn’t honor the warranty. Believe me, I think there is an effort to save the dealer and manufacturer money, and these service managers don’t care about my checking account. Definitely check out the Ultimate Guide to Truck Camping
Ok, What Do I Do To Protect My Warranty?
First, many manufacturers have “approved” lift and level kits that will not void the warranty. The “manufacturer-approved” lift and level kits have been approved by the engineers and attorneys to not be so extreme that they damage existing parts.
Now, these lift and level kits will come at the dealer’s premium price, but hey, paying an extra few hundred bucks is like paying a bit extra for some more warranty coverage. The only headache you will have is at the cash register, other than that, yore good to go. Buy once, cry once.
Save Money, But Do it Smart.
Maybe your not fond of the idea of paying more just to appease the dealer’s service manager? I get it, I’m that guy too. There is a cheaper way to do this but it comes in a riskier format. Start by “mirroring” the manufacturer-approved lift kit. The idea behind this is that if you are using parts and tolerances that are approved by the dealer, they will have a hard time justifying voiding your warranty.
Let’s say the dealer approves a ” Mopar 2-inch Steel Spacer Lift with BFG 285/70/18 All-Terrains” that cost a total of $2800. Then you go out and find a “Brand X 2-inch Steel Spacer Lift with BFG 285/70/18 All-Terrains” for a total of $1400. Wondering How Much Lift You. Need to Go Overlanding? Check out our Guide to Overlanding and Lift.
If your kit that mirrors the dealers kit is installed, the service manager is going to have a tough time explaining why yours is not approved and theirs is. This route is riskier but it does increase your odds of having a good argument. Conversely, if you went and put on a 3.5-inch rubber spacer lift with 40-inch Mud Terrains, and things start breaking? You’re gonna be out of luck, and a warranty.
Lift and level kits can be installed and ran for the entire life of the truck without any issues. However, pushing your factory suspension and powertrain parts beyond what they were engineered to do can really put your investment at risk. So, can you install the lift kit yourself and still get by? Yep. Is it riskier? Also yep.
With that said, you can spend a little more and save yourself a huge headache if you buy and have the dealer-installed the manufacturer-approved parts. There is no way I’m reading a full warranty, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t have the patience, however, maybe you are, here are the links to each manufacturer’s warranty page:
- Ram Mopar Warranty Info
- Ford Warranty Info
- Chevrolet Warranty Info
- GMC Warranty Info
- Toyota Warranty Info
Or maybe don’t do the lift at all, grab a set of good All-Terrain tires, and beef up your equipment list of self-recovery gear. Between a shovel and AT’s, you can do most of what you want. Most. Check out our helpful guide to vehicle self-recovery gear that you can actually afford, click here. It’s your choice, the are pros and cons to each, what matters is you get in that vehicle and go GET OUTSIDE.