Strategic Warranty Management Reduces Service Costs

Knowing what’s under warranty, for how long and how many more miles, and what affects warranty claims can help guide service decisions and keep costs manageable.

Photo: Fleetio

Vehicle warranty management can often be an overlooked area in fleet management, yet it affords opportunities for significant cost savings. Not only can fleets lose money by paying full price for services still covered under warranty, they can also accidentally void warranties through improper — or improperly documented — service tasks.

With a strong warranty management strategy, fleets can take advantage of warranties and never miss a covered service. Fleets can also use warranty tracking in fleet management software (FMS) and other solutions to easily track standard and extended vehicle warranties, set active warranty policy alerts within work orders, and quickly view warranty credits.

Understanding Warranties

Because maintenance and repairs are a large portion of most fleet budgets, cutting unnecessary spend in this area allows fleets to be more financially flexible so they can reallocate resources when needed. Yet, while manufacturer, extended third-party, and even replacement parts warranties all provide cost-saving benefits, they also all typically come with specific requirements that must be met for a claim to be approved.

Things like aftermarket modifications — which can include upfits that are not part of the original build — poor maintenance, lack of service records, and vehicle misuse can all be reasons for warranty claim denials and even voided warranties. Knowing what’s under warranty, for how long and how many more miles, and what affects warranty claims can help guide service decisions and keep costs manageable.

Whether it’s a standard warranty covering major components or an extended warranty offering prolonged protection, get to know the specifics of your assets’ coverage to take advantage of every potential cost-saving opportunity.

Simplified Warranty Management

Warranty management goes hand in hand with preventive maintenance (PM), on account of needing to adhere to that PM for the warranty to remain valid. Sticking to OEM-recommended service intervals not only ensures you stay within warranty parameters, but it also facilitates early identification of issues so you can address them before they escalate, maximizing vehicle uptime and minimizing service costs.

Unfortunately, cashing in on a warranty service can throw off the daily workflow, as the vehicle typically has to go back to the dealer for repair and you have to scrounge up and hand over any relevant service data, including PM. For fleets still using maintenance spreadsheets, this can be a time-consuming endeavor.

Fleets can use FMS to automatically track comprehensive vehicle service data — including inspection item failures and fault codes — which can be printed or emailed to the appropriate party for warranty claims processing. Additionally, fleets can use warranty management in FMS to automate warranty tracking and alerts.

Once warranty information is attached to a vehicle, the software will tag active warranty policies in work orders so the technician working with the vehicle knows to get in touch with the dealership or OEM. This empowers fleets to stay on top of warranty coverage, schedule maintenance proactively, and avoid missing covered repair opportunities.

Effective warranty management can seem like a hassle, but it’s a huge cost saver for fleets of all sizes. And because FMS records credits received from manufacturers and suppliers for parts and labor covered under warranty, you’ll be able to easily track your savings to see just how valuable warranty management can be.

This article was authored and edited according to Automotive Fleet’s editorial standards and style. Opinions expressed may not reflect that of Automotive Fleet.

Rachael Plant is a content marketing specialist for Fleetio, a fleet management software company that helps organizations track, analyze, and improve their fleet operations.

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