If you are itching to lift your pickup and install bigger wheels, we don’t blame you – it looks super cool! But does a leveling kit void warranty on your pickup? Let’s find out.
Lifted pickups look really cool. It helps you get bigger wheels and make your truck look much more powerful than the OEM design.
But does getting a leveling kit on the pickup void its warranty? If a component failure occurs after getting a level up, will your dealership bear the costs?
We found this question raised in several forums and our comments sections – and we decided to examine it up close and personal.
In this article, we will help you understand the difference between using a leveling kit and a lift kit, when your dealership can void the warranty, and when it should not.
So let’s get right to it!
What Is the Difference Between Leveling and Lift Kits?
Typically a leveling kit is a little puck that is put at the top of the suspension to raise it. Most trucks naturally tilt downwards from the rear to the front end.
The leveling kit introduces a puck above the suspension so that the front end and the rear end are even.
Usually, most trucks will have anywhere from a 1-inch to a 2-inch puck above the suspension. It will raise the front end by just that much (about a couple of inches).
Sometimes, people can go up to two and a half inches on leveling kits as well, but usually, that’s not recommended.
This is because it puts extra wear and tear on the truck that’s just a little bit more than what you’d want.
A lift kit is different because, with a lift kit, you’re actually changing the suspensions. It would have added shocks, springs, and nearly everything else about the suspension.
This ends up raising the suspension completely. A lift kit is applied at both the front and rear ends, whereas the leveling kit is just a puck in the front; nothing is done to the rear of the truck.
Finally, on lift kits, you can get a lift of anywhere between two inches all the way up to 12 inches and even higher.
A four or six-inch lift is the most common one that most people opt for. As mentioned earlier, the leveling kit is basically meant for a maximum of two-inch lift.
Impact on Warranty of Leveling & Lift Kits
A leveling kit does not change anything with the warranty. The suspension is not being modified, so on a leveling kit, the warranty is completely intact. You cannot void anything on the warranty.
The lift kit changes things with the warranties. In most cases, the lift kit actually does void the warranty but not fully.
The warranty on the powertrain and the other components stays intact. But there’s a part of the warranty on most vehicles that covers the suspension components, which gets voided because you’re modifying the suspension.
That being said, most aftermarket companies will have a separate warranty for their lift kit components so usually, you’re still covered.
Can a Dealership Void a Warranty Due to Levelling Kits?
In most cases, as mentioned above, a simple leveling kit will not cause a warranty void.
However, in some cases, the leveling kit might cause additional stress on the original parts of the suspension.
If this is the case, the warranty might be voided. The good thing is that the onus of proving this lies on the dealership, not you (because of the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, which we will explain in a bit).
However, it is important to study the dealership’s warranty beforehand to know if such a clause exists.
A leveling kit is not really a modification to the original design, but a lift kit certainly is. However, if you installed the kit yourself or had an aftermarket dealer put it in, that is certainly a breach of the terms of the warranty contract, which can be a clause of the agreement.
Can a Leveling Kit Cause a Component Failure?
It is best not to do more than a 2.5-inch leveling for IFS trucks.
Any more than this will cause a major alteration to the suspension’s geometry, which can lead to component failure.
At such a high angle, there could be tremendous stress on the CV angles and ball joints of the suspension.
Components such as ball joints, upper control arms, and CV angles are all compromised.
The ride becomes very rough on the vehicle because the dampers will find it difficult to travel downwards.
You can apply an upper control arm to fix it, but it is still a risk.
As far as lift kits are concerned, anything more than six inches is definitely a big risk for component failure.
In fact, your aftermarket dealer should ideally inform you of the risks. If not, they are being dishonest.
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
When applying aftermarket components to your vehicle, an understanding of the Magnus-Moss warranty act can help save you from warranty issues.
The act specifies that the onus of proving that an aftermarket part was the reason behind damage to the vehicle lies with the dealership if it wants to void the warranty.
However, there are some caveats to this, which are important to understand:
- If the part was installed incorrectly, the dealership is within its rights to void the warranty.
- The dealership can charge you for the inspection and diagnosis required to prove their case. If there is no proof found, the money would ideally be refunded.
In all practicality, some dealerships are more modification friendly than others, so it is best to do your research when dealing with an issue.
It is possible that some might choose to not honor the warranty, while others might be comfortable doing it even without an inspection.
How To Avoid Warranty Voids in Such Cases
While one can always use the Magnuson-Moss warranty act to fight a case against the dealership, it is better to do a bit of research and avoid the problem entirely before getting the mod done.
Make Sure You Go Through The Warranty Terms
When getting a warranty, ensure you take the original paperwork from the dealership and read it end to end.
Having a written record and understanding the terms and conditions can sometimes help you point your dealership toward the relevant clauses.
Ensure that your warranty terms include a statement on items like leveling kits. Sometimes, warranties simply don’t cover lifting damages.
Do You Really Need The Lift?
While we understand that lifts look really nice, don’t get them unless you really need them.
All said and done, even a two-inch lift adds some extra work to the suspension, so in the end, it is not good for your pickup truck.
Moreover, if you get an extremely high lift, such as six or more inches, whatever terms were there in the warranty, no dealership will offer you coverage.
Get in Touch With Your Manufacturer
If your dealership refuses to honor the warranty, get in touch with the manufacturer immediately.
Sometimes, the longer you wait, the more the damage increases. It could end up voiding the warranty entirely, even though it was supposed to be honored in the first place.
Most companies will have a policy against excessive wear and tear and will not honor the warranty in such cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an aftermarket leveling kit void the warranty?
Generally speaking, installing an aftermarket leveling kit will void the warranty on certain parts of your vehicle.
For example, if you install a leveling kit and it disrupts the steering or suspension components of your car, this could void the warranty on those specific components.
On the other hand, a minor alteration that doesn’t directly affect performance or safety may be allowed under some circumstances.
If you are unsure whether or not a particular kit is allowed under warranty, contact an authorized service center to get more information before installation.
Is a leveling kit considered a modification?
A leveling kit on a car is typically considered to be a modification.
Leveling kits usually involve adding spacers between the vehicle’s suspension and body in order to level out the stance of the car or truck.
Not only does this give the appearance of lifting or lowering the vehicle, but it can also be used to improve performance, allow for larger tires, and even provide greater ground clearance for off-road adventures.
While a leveling kit may not be as obtrusive as other modifications, such as aftermarket bumpers and fender flares, it still changes part of your car’s design, making it officially classified as a modification.
Does a 2-inch leveling kit void warranty?
Many dealerships and manufacturers do not recommend leveling kits, as they can void warranty coverage or invalidate insurance policies.
Leveling kits usually come with a disclaimer that states that the modification may cause damage to the vehicle.
That being said, a 2-inch leveling kit is generally considered safe, as long as you are careful not to over-tighten the shocks and make sure your wheels/tires remain within specifications as set by the manufacturer.
It is always best to speak with your dealer prior to installing any modifications, just in case there are particular parts on your car that could be affected.
What upgrades void car warranty?
Warranty coverage can vary greatly between car manufacturers, but the most common upgrades that may void a manufacturer’s warranty are modifications to the engine, exhaust system, and suspension components.
Other commonly modified areas that could potentially void your warranty include adding aftermarket parts like audio systems, custom paint jobs, and alloy wheels.
Additionally, not adhering to the recommended service schedule or using non-approved parts may also void a warranty.
Leveling kits usually do not cause a warranty void, especially if they are two inches or less.
A leveling kit is nothing but a small spacer added between the OEM suspension and the car body, it is not a modification to the suspension per se.
A lift kit, on the other hand, is a complete modification to the suspension system of the car and can put a lot of stress on the car.
Lift kits, especially those higher than four inches, can spell trouble for your warranty.
It is always best to consult with your dealership first before getting a mod put in. But in case you have already got one, there are laws such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that protect you.
The dealership will need to prove that any damage caused was because of the aftermarket leveling kit put in before voiding your warranty.
In the end, just be sure that you really need the leveling up – unnecessary modifications to a car are never a good idea.