The Short answer: no.
If there was a website called WillAPerformanceExhuastVoidMyBMWsWarranty.com, it'd just say “no” in big black letters against a white background.
Unfortunately, such a website doesn't exist, so we'll give you the long answer.
While it is true that aftermarket parts can cause issues not covered under warranty, it's actually against federal law to void a warranty when someone installs an after-market part, including a performance exhaust.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Back in 1975, a law called the Magnuson-Moss warranty act was passed. This law made it illegal for auto manufacturers (and other consumer products manufacturers) to void warranties simply because an after-market part is added to the vehicle. Specifically, the law states that the manufacturer has to repair issues under warranty unless they can prove that the problem was directly caused by an after-market part. Here's a quick breakdown of everything the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act says:
- - Dealers can't include tie-ins as warranty conditions, i.e. having to service your car at the dealership or using certain brands over others.
- - The warranty can't be voided just because you've installed an after-market part on your vehicle
- - The only time a warranty can be denied because of an installation of an after-market part is when it's proven that the after-market part caused the problem
- - It's up to the dealer to provide proof that the after-market part was the issue to deny the warranty claim
- - If it is proven that the after-market part caused the issue, only the warranty for that issue can be denied, meaning warranty issues unrelated to the after-market part are still covered
Maintain Your Warranty
Adding a performance exhaust to your BMW brings head-turning style and improved efficiency to your ride, not to mention the awesome sound. Here are some tips to help you navigate the after-market warranty world.
- - Make sure to install the part correctly. Often, warranties are voided because a part wasn't installed correctly, leading to failure in other components.
- - Don't let a dealer push you around. Make sure they have absolute proof if they claim a warranty is voided.
- - Make sure that the after-market parts installed in your car are designed for your make and model. Incorrect parts often cause issues that won't be covered by your warranty.
- - If a dealership refuses to cover a warrantable failure, you must aggressively pursue your rights. Send a certified letter to the manufacturer expressing your belief that they have ignored their obligations. Contact your state consumer affairs office and/or attorney general's office. If your state has a dealership licensing board, contact them as well.
Bottom line: Adding an after-market part to your car isn't going to void your warranty, provided the part was designed for your specific vehicle and installed correctly.