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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. I know there are an awful lot of posts about "hey does this void my warranty, does this?" So I recently got certified to work on these Indians, which is maybe the only reason Polaris disclosed what I'm about to say. I know dealerships won't like this, but here it is.

You CAN wrench on your own bike. Add parts, swap the exhaust, handlebars, replace parts, whatever. As long as you aren't having an issue that you need resolved through warranty, say the engine breaks, then you can do it yourself. Again. If you aren't having a warranty related issue, you can do it yourself.

Keep in mind the following:

If you don't know what you're doing, and cannot follow the service manual, don't do it. You must document what you have done, following what procedures, etc etc like the shop would. If you damage something, it is not covered. If the dealer damages something, they also are not covered. They'd have to pay to replace it same as you.

Edit: Also, DO NOT ALTER YOUR BIKES PROGRAMMING. If your bikes programming is found to be altered in any way that was not performed using OEM specification by an authorized dealer, it can and probably will void the warranty on your entire bike. You have been warned. (Thanks Goatlocker95 for pointing out this omission).

Polaris told me as long as you document what you've done, when, and how, it won't be a problem and the dealer can't hassle you. So in essence, for example you can add the exhaust slip ons of your choice and air box, then have the dealer flash the ecu. No problem. Its all warranty safe. This shouldn't actually surprise anyone, as the govt has already made clear auto manufacturers cannot really void warranties without proving you damaged it with shoddy maintenance work or replacement parts.

Hope this helps anyone considering wrenching themselves, worried about aftermarket parts, or oem upgrades!

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This has always been the case. As you say, there are laws that they cannot void your warranty just because you did the work yourself. Polaris isn't telling you any great secret.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This has always been the case. As you say, there are laws that they cannot void your warranty just because you did the work yourself. Polaris isn't telling you any great secret.

Rob
I think you missed the point. Many people are worried about voiding their warranties, and many dealers will tell customers they can't do their own work on anything. I'm just providing proof from the horses mouth to ease fears. You're welcome😄
 

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Harley made it look as if you were required to have the Dealer do your work. When they came out with the M8 motor, they put this in the Service Manual and our Shop didn't see any M8's until the Factory warranty was up.
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The biggest thing about your post is that the maintenance has to be done, done right, and documented.

The thing that you’re not emphasizing enough IMO is that if the maintenance or added part causes damage then that damage isn’t covered. For example, if you installed a stage 1 intake and exhaust or an aftermarket tuner improperly you can cause engine damage. The dealer still has to prove that your maintenance caused the damage, but your warranty claim could be denied. Or if you put on aftermarket speakers that draws more current from the amp and burns it up then that warranty claim would be denied as well.

You never actually “void your warrant”. Rather your warranty claims could be denied if your maintenance action caused damage. In the end the only thing the magnums moss warranty act does is give you an avenue to sue to readdress a warranty claim denial.
 

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Oil changes should be documented, at least recorded in your owners manual in the section for services performed. I do likewise for any kind of services including new tires or brake pads whatever.
 

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Harley made it look as if you were required to have the Dealer do your work. When they came out with the M8 motor, they put this in the Service Manual and our Shop didn't see any M8's until the Factory warranty was up. View attachment 653445
Slyly written by the wordsmiths at HD. Notice it states one has to follow “HD service procedures.” It’s easy for the reader to misinterpret that to mean “HD service,” which I’m sure was the intent of the MoCo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The biggest thing about your post is that the maintenance has to be done, done right, and documented.

The thing that you’re not emphasizing enough IMO is that if the maintenance or added part causes damage then that damage isn’t covered. For example, if you installed a stage 1 intake and exhaust or an aftermarket tuner improperly you can cause engine damage. The dealer still has to prove that your maintenance caused the damage, but your warranty claim could be denied. Or if you put on aftermarket speakers that draws more current from the amp and burns it up then that warranty claim would be denied as well.

You never actually “void your warrant”. Rather your warranty claims could be denied if your maintenance action caused damage. In the end the only thing the magnums moss warranty act does is give you an avenue to sue to readdress a warranty claim denial.
I did emphasize that though. I was pretty specific about doing it right and following the service manual. I think you should read what I wrote again. I did address "if you break it, it's not covered." Which is identical to saying if improper maintenance causes damage then you're responsible. However, aftermarket electronics I would never recommend, that should be common sense. That's the only thing I really didn't mention that you brought up.

Edit: specifically, look right after I say "keep in mind the following."
 

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I will add this to the conversation, you don’t actually need any document or documentation that you completed a service. It’s up to the dealer doing a repair to Analyze the failure. If it failed because neglect, abuse or incorrect servicing then that’s not warrantable and the claim will be denied. It’s very easy to prove someone has neglected or abused something no need for them to try and prove they did it right. Magnuson Moss act outlines this and also requires that any maintenance that is required to be completed by the dealer must be completed free of charge. This includes buying their fluids and filters. If they tell you you must use brand “X” then they must provide brand”X” free of charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I will add this to the conversation, you don’t actually need any document or documentation that you completed a service. It’s up to the dealer doing a repair to Analyze the failure. If it failed because neglect, abuse or incorrect servicing then that’s not warrantable and the claim will be denied. It’s very easy to prove someone has neglected or abused something no need for them to try and prove they did it right. Magnuson Moss act outlines this and also requires that any maintenance that is required to be completed by the dealer must be completed free of charge. This includes buying their fluids and filters. If they tell you you must use brand “X” then they must provide brand”X” free of charge.
The email from Polaris said to document it. Please don't advise people not to or that they shouldn't bother, as that seems to be what you're implying.
 

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The email from Polaris said to document it. Please don't advise people not to or that they shouldn't bother, as that seems to be what you're implying.
I’m not telling anyone not to document it, I keep track of all my service in the back of my manuals. It’s a good idea to document things for your own records or for resale value. I am saying that they can not deny your warranty because you don’t write down you changed your oil. Keep in mind that all warranty in the US is regulated by federal laws and the manufacturers must follow the laws. The person from Polaris can write whatever they want in an email but that does not change the laws . Your warranty agreement is a legally binding contact and all manufactures warranties are regulated the same way. Now if they say something like “your engine failed because you used the wrong fluids“ then proof of the fluid you used may be important. Especially if you purchased something that was supposed to meet requirements but didn’t. But now your problem is not with Polaris but with the oil supplier. And you are probably going to need proof of purchase and a whole lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I’m not telling anyone not to document it, I keep track of all my service in the back of my manuals. It’s a good idea to document things for your own records or for resale value. I am saying that they can not deny your warranty because you don’t write down you changed your oil. Keep in mind that all warranty in the US is regulated by federal laws and the manufacturers must follow the laws. The person from Polaris can write whatever they want in an email but that does not change the laws . Your warranty agreement is a legally binding contact and all manufactures warranties are regulated the same way. Now if they say something like “your engine failed because you used the wrong fluids“ then proof of the fluid you used may be important. Especially if you purchased something that was supposed to meet requirements but didn’t. But now your problem is not with Polaris but with the oil supplier. And you are probably going to need proof of purchase and a whole lot more.
Yes, this is a good clarification of what you said then. This is exactly why it's best to tell people to just document everything. Just like the email from Polaris, he didn't say "you must," but it sure as hell makes it easier to keep the dealer off your back of something happens, and so it's highly recommended. You think like me, I also document EVERYTHING, not just bikes. Better to have it and not need it...
 

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I did emphasize that though. I was pretty specific about doing it right and following the service manual. I think you should read what I wrote again. I did address "if you break it, it's not covered." Which is identical to saying if improper maintenance causes damage then you're responsible. However, aftermarket electronics I would never recommend, that should be common sense. That's the only thing I really didn't mention that you brought up.

Edit: specifically, look right after I say "keep in mind the following."
I meant the part where if you install something that causes something else to break it's not covered :)
For example, if you install an after market tuner and suffer internal damage, even if you installed it properly the dealer would most likely not cover the repair. It's happened a few times if people who've posted on the various forums I've been a part of. Not just Indian either, nor just motorcycles for that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I meant the part where if you install something that causes something else to break it's not covered :)
For example, if you install an after market tuner and suffer internal damage, even if you installed it properly the dealer would most likely not cover the repair. It's happened a few times if people who've posted on the various forums I've been a part of. Not just Indian either, nor just motorcycles for that matter.
I had a power commander on the bike I traded in to get my first Indian, that thing caused major issues. I didn't install it, I got it that way, would not recommend lol.

Edit: you bring up a good point, I had not considered this. I will add it to the original post.
 

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I’m not telling anyone not to document it, I keep track of all my service in the back of my manuals. It’s a good idea to document things for your own records or for resale value. I am saying that they can not deny your warranty because you don’t write down you changed your oil. Keep in mind that all warranty in the US is regulated by federal laws and the manufacturers must follow the laws. The person from Polaris can write whatever they want in an email but that does not change the laws . Your warranty agreement is a legally binding contact and all manufactures warranties are regulated the same way. Now if they say something like “your engine failed because you used the wrong fluids“ then proof of the fluid you used may be important. Especially if you purchased something that was supposed to meet requirements but didn’t. But now your problem is not with Polaris but with the oil supplier. And you are probably going to need proof of purchase and a whole lot more.
The Federal Trade Commission disagrees with you.

From Auto Warranties and Service Contracts

Keep all your service records — no matter who does the service. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, new brake pads, and inspections. Create a file to keep track of repairs — it will come in handy if you have to use your warranty. If you ever have a warranty claim and it appears that you didn’t maintain your vehicle, your claim might be denied.

Under the contract, you may have to follow all the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance, like oil changes. If you don’t, it might void the contract so you’ll lose coverage. Keep detailed records, including receipts, so you can prove you’ve properly maintained the car.
 

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The Federal Trade Commission disagrees with you.

From Auto Warranties and Service Contracts

Keep all your service records — no matter who does the service. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, new brake pads, and inspections. Create a file to keep track of repairs — it will come in handy if you have to use your warranty. If you ever have a warranty claim and it appears that you didn’t maintain your vehicle, your claim might be denied.

Under the contract, you may have to follow all the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance, like oil changes. If you don’t, it might void the contract so you’ll lose coverage. Keep detailed records, including receipts, so you can prove you’ve properly maintained the car.
They are talking about extended warranty or contracts that’s a whole different story. Extended contracts can have their own rules that are outside the Magnuson moss act. They may also require proof of service or maintenance or even require using OEM parts. This is outside of the standard warranty that all manufactures must provide
 

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Before retiring,[ I was also a fleet mechanic working for the Bell System for over 35 years] I was servicing over 100 units in my shop alone,which consisted of everything under the sun and repairing and or servicing em.And just about every piece of equipment and vehicle the company owned called for synthetic oil,yet all we used was 15/40 conventional Dino oil and NEVER had any oil related problems because of it.And if we did have a problem,I was certified to tear it down to find the root cause of said problem which ,again,was NEVER because the company didn't use synthetic oil in the fleet!! And even the warantee work performed on the vehicles and equipment was performed by me or another tech from their location. So much for wanantee and or contracts.Dave!!!
 

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They are talking about extended warranty or contracts that’s a whole different story. Extended contracts can have their own rules that are outside the Magnuson moss act. They may also require proof of service or maintenance or even require using OEM parts. This is outside of the standard warranty that all manufactures must provide
Actually they’re talking about both; hence why they say “Auto Warranty and Service Contracts”. If you can’t prove it happened then you’re opening yourself up to the dealer questioning whether or not the service was done.
It’s an extremely bad idea to not keep receipts.
 
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