Car manufacturing has evolved over the years and the adoption of modern processes has ensured that the end product is well-engineered and built to last. If not for all the cars out there, the aforementioned is true for most at least. The result of these improvements is that the standard car warranty these days is applicable for a really long duration in terms of kilometres and years both. On top of this, almost all the manufacturers out there allow extension of warranty for an extra amount, extending their customers’ peace of mind.
However, during this duration, if you make any alteration to the car which is against warranty terms, you’re on your own in a situation where a major component goes kaput. During your ownership though, even after all the advancements in manufacturing and your well-researched purchase decision, there will be areas where you will feel the need to make improvements. In such a situation, the only choices you will have are – taking the aftermarket route and risk losing warranty, pick from alternatives offered by the manufacturer in the form of genuine accessories which are priced at a premium and offer limited choice, or choose to live with the problem.
There could be plenty of things you might wish to change about your car for genuine reasons, given the fact that manufacturers do cut corners in some areas to keep keep input costs down. In some cases, you might be someone who shares a good relationship with the authorised service centre, which allows you to have your cake and eat it too. Or you could be someone who is feisty and is ready to slug it out if the a problem which arises in the future isn’t related to the changes you have made. But for those who keep things simple, the risk of losing the manufacturer-backed warranty just isn’t worth it.
It could be the stock audio system which sounds feeble inside most budget cars or the speakers which begin to show their low-cost side once you crank up the volume. One of our personal cars is less than a year old and one of its front brake rotors has warped, calling for a replacement. There’s a great Brembo solution available but then taking that route would mean losing out on the 5-year warranty. The only solution then is to live with average braking power and keep replacing the rotor, every time the steering begins to judder. The same car also suffers from a not-so-great suspension system which was great until things got localised and poor headlight illumination, for which, the only solution is a bulb upgrade at the service centre which does nothing else other than changing the colour of the illumination.
In our opinion, manufacturers have to offer new cars at a competitive price in a cut-throat market like India. In such a situation, cost-cutting measures in some areas are the only way they can do that. However, for those who appreciate good things, they must at least offer high-quality, approved alternatives, the fitment of which does no void what they stick their neck out for. An individual trusts the product in its base form and only wishes to improve it in areas which matter to him or her. Such individuals must have a choice as long as it isn’t adversely affecting the performance, longevity or reliability of the vehicle.