If you’re every tried to make a claim on your warranty, you know it can be a difficult process. And, what many of us don’t realize is that there are things we may have done that have voided our chances of using our warranties at all. Because engine repair is so expensive, you want to make sure to protect your warranty benefits. Here are some ways to do so:

1. Change oil on time.

This is absolutely essential. If you need an engine repair that would normally be covered under your warranty, they will look back at your records to make sure you have followed through with your end of the deal in taking proper care of your engine. If you have not been consistent with oil changes, you could get refused coverage on your engine altogether. Make sure to always take your car in when the oil light comes on and preferably before. Keep track of your miles and go every 3,000.

2. Use the recommended oil type, especially if it’s required by the maker.

When you go to the service station for an oil change, you may get a message that your make requires a particular type of oil. Many newer cars require synthetic oil by the manufacturer. If your oil change records indicate that you have had oil changes using regular oil, your manufacturer could pull out of the warranty and refuse to cover anything engine-related.

3. Always get engine tune ups according to the service manual.

Your service manual will indicate when you need your transmission tuned, when you need your oil changed, when you need your fluids replaced, and pretty much every other car care need to extend the life of your vehicle. Make sure to follow these guidelines if you want to be sure to remain covered under your warranty. If you skip any tune ups, you may not be covered.

4. Take extra care to avoid frontal accidents.

Whenever you get into an accident, you run the risk of damaging major parts of your car. If you get into an accident that damages the front of your car, you run the risk of damaging the entire engine. Make sure your insurance covers your engine and make sure you have a bumper to bumper warranty. But, be careful, most companies will try everything they can to get out of payment, so it’s best to do as much as you can to avoid an accident.

Rebecca Morris is a regular contributor to www.carinsurance.org. She has experience writing for a multitude of auto care, car insurance, and safe transportation publications. Rebecca welcomes your comments below!