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What is a Warranty Check?

By B. Miller
Updated May 17, 2024
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A warranty check refers to the ability to verify the status of a warranty on a certain product, either by visiting a website or calling a phone number. Typically, the warranty check will simply need the serial number of the product that one wants to verify, though with larger appliances, yard machines, or automobiles, for example, more detailed information may need to be provided to the manufacturer. Often, the serial number can simply be entered on a website and the details of the warranty will be returned; otherwise, placing a simple phone call is the easiest way to find out if the warranty on a product is still valid, and what the warranty covers.

Because there are so many different types of warranties offered by companies, it is helpful to consider this when making a purchase of any large or expensive product. Some companies will offer full warranties, which generally cover all replacement costs of a product should anything happen, but limited warranties are more common, which generally only cover certain aspects of the product, and for certain reasons. Some warranties are as short as 30 days, while others are guaranteed for life, so it is helpful to keep any documentation that comes with the product; this can help avoid having to perform a warranty check at all.

When one does do a warranty check, the company will typically specify the amount of time left on the warranty, if there is any; what the warranty covers; if there are any limitations to the warranty; what steps need to be taken to activate the warranty; and if a substitute item may be loaned in the interim while the original is being repaired or replaced. This is sometimes included in appliance warranties, for example, though is less common with lawn tools. In addition, some car companies will offer a rental car for no cost if the vehicle needs to be taken for a few days to be repaired. Some warranties will not cover labor, so this is another important aspect to verify when doing a warranty check.

Sometimes a warranty check will offer customers the option to purchase an extended warranty. This means that if the original warranty on the product is one year, an extended warranty might make it another year or two, for example. Generally this option can only be used when the original warranty still exists, to prevent customers from simply purchasing an extended warranty when the product breaks. Most warranties do not cover misuse of the product, and will only cover damage that is based on mistakes or defects in manufacturing, or if the product did not hold up as promised based on normal use.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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