Handling SMART Car Maintenance After the Warranty Ends
There are many benefits to owning a SMART car. However, SMART car maintenance can seem like a confusing beast to tackle.
What happens when your car’s factory warranty expires?
Are there special things SMART car owners should know about the care and keeping of their vehicles?
Not to worry — we’ve put together the ultimate guide for how to handle SMART car maintenance once the factory warranty is up.
General Overview of SMART Car Maintenance
SMART car maintenance depends mainly on the mileage of the car. There are different steps you should take at different milestones in your car’s lifespan.
For example, at 50,000 miles, SMART recommends that you make some replacements. This includes both the activated charcoal filter for A/C and the engine oil and filter body. They also recommend checking on the underside of the vehicle and paint for damage, among other things.
At 120,000 miles, however, SMART recommends replacing many more things. These include the air cleaner element, brake fluid, engine coolant, flat belt, spark plugs, and more.
Clearly, the kind of maintenance your car needs depends heavily on its age and mileage. But, be advised that all new cars do come with some sort of warranty.
The bumper-to-bumper factory warranty is upheld by the carmaker itself, and it typically lasts for at least three years or up to a certain mileage amount. Ask your dealership for specifics. Factory warranties cover repairs on essentially everything except for routine maintenance (oil changes, tire rotation, etc.) and parts that are known to wear out (windshield wipers, tires, etc.).
What Happens After My Factory Warranty Expires?
Having something break on your car just after your warranty expires can be extremely frustrating. If you had only known! If only it had broken a few miles sooner!
You may have a lot of questions at this point. Will you be facing thousands of dollars’ worth of car repair bills? Is there anything that can be done?
The Good News: Goodwill Gestures
The good news is that some car retailers have the ability to offer service and repairs as a goodwill gesture, even if you’re just outside your warranty. These are also called policy adjustments.
In fact, this situation happens so often that automakers have a written procedure on how to handle these kinds of things. The automaker grants their retailers the chance to make goodwill decisions (up to a limit) without getting approval from the head office. In order to speed up the process, some dealerships even pass this power down to their service counter consultants.
Of course, you should keep in mind that this goodwill gesture is just that — a gesture of goodwill. It’s not a right, and you shouldn’t demand it. Instead, it’s meant to entice future business and loyalty from you as a customer.
Warranty Types and Options
If your car’s warranty has recently expired, you do have some other options to consider. Handling SMART car maintenance post-warranty doesn’t have to be a hassle — just do your research and know your options.
You may elect to purchase another warranty, or you can take your chances and risk paying for repairs or SMART car maintenance out-of-pocket.
If you’re considering the warranty route, you should know that it’s possible to purchase an extended warranty from the car’s manufacturer. Of course, you should do your research before making any purchasing decisions. Extended warranties come in packages available for purchase after the factory warranty is up.
If you purchase an extended warranty, your car is covered when it comes to repairs. However, exactly what is covered (and for how much) depends on the details of the warranty package you purchase. It’s important to review the fine print before making a decision.
There are also other types of warranty options — besides just the typical extended warranty — to consider. These options are less common but could be a good fit for your needs.
A few examples include roadside assistance, rust or corrosion, and federal emissions. From towing costs to repairs, each of these covers different things under the warranty. Just make sure you review all of the options at hand and make an informed decision.
Also, make sure you ask about the powertrain warranty. In some cases, this is separate from the factory warranty and may last longer than the factory warranty. Powertrain warranties cover repairs to all the parts that keep the car driving, like the engine, transmission, and suspension.
What Does SMART Recommend?
Of course, SMART cars come with an owner’s manual that contains instructions for what to do when you have questions regarding your warranty. Even if your warranty has just expired, SMART professionals should be available to answer your questions. If you have questions regarding your car’s warranty, you should reference the manual for suggestions.
SMART recommends that first, you discuss the issue with the management of your authorized SMART center. If you still have questions after speaking with the service manager, you should escalate the discussion. At this point, you can ask for the owner of the authorized SMART center.
If you still have questions after speaking with the owner, you should contact Mercedes-Benz USA. When you do this, make sure to have the vehicle’s model and vehicle identification number (VIN) on hand. This will help to ensure that your inquiry is handled quickly and efficiently.
Visit Europa Auto
At Europa Auto, we have answers to your SMART car maintenance questions. Not to mention, we’re proud to have some of the best car maintenance technicians in the area on our team. Both European factory-trained and ASE certified mechanics are employed in our shop.
We firmly believe that auto repairs don’t need to be stressful. That’s why we prioritize your comfort anytime you come in for SMART car maintenance. Relax in our comfy waiting area while we take care of your auto repair and maintenance needs!