Most drivers know that improper maintenance can void the powertrain warranty of a vehicle, but certain modifications can also cause a dealer to deny a claim.

Brendin Mitchell had a lift kit professionally installed on his 2011 GMC pickup truck. A short while later, the vehicle’s rear differential blew up as Mitchell was driving.

“It’s been a great kit overall until this little mishap,” he said.

Now, the truck won’t move and the cost of repairs is about $2,000.

The truck did have a 100,000-kilometre powertrain warranty, but General Motors says it won’t cover the cost of the repair because of the aftermarket suspension system Mitchell installed.

Mitchell said he knew installing the lift kit would void his truck’s warranty, so he paid for individual warranty for the lift kit itself.

“I’m aware that by doing this, GM is not going to honour (the warranty),” he said.

Mitchell bought the lift kit from Rough Country Suspensions systems. The company’s website does say it will “foot the bill” if the manufacturer warranty is denied.

When CTV Toronto’s Pat Foran contacted the company, they said Mitchell’s case was uncommon, but that they would pay for the repairs to the truck’s differential.

“There was a miscommunication,” the company said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we are going to cover the repair under our Warranty Guard program.”

Mitchell can now get his truck fixed and back on the road.

Any drivers thinking of modifying their vehicle should ask the dealer if it will void their warranty. If a part from a modification service comes with its own warranty, check the fine print to make sure there aren’t any loopholes that could deny your claim.

With a consumer Alert from Pat Foran