Service menus, calibration and warranty issues
I keep running across discussions regarding voiding warranties by accessing service menus and performing calibrations. There are several points that need to be understood about warranties and how decisions are made regarding what is covered and what is not.
First, it is important to understand that it is often the local servicer, who is typically an agent of the manufacturer only in the performance of repairs, who makes the initial determination that a problem is covered or not. This determination may or may not be supported by the manufacturer. It also may or may not be upheld legally in a dispute over warranty status. The point here is that you need to maintain a relationship with the servicer and understand his perspective to avoid problems. As soon as tome techs hear that you have had the set calibrated or that you are a DIYer and have been in the service menu, red flags go up. He may assume that you are going to be a busybody and a troublesome client and simply not want to get involved. Warranty work usually is done at a much lower rate than OOW (out of warranty) repairs, the servicer makes nothing on the parts, and has the added hassle of filing claims and getting credits. The bottom line is that you have to understand the perspective of the servicer to avoid warranty issues.
Going into a service menu itself should not void a warranty. Some manufacturers will say that it will, and this is intended to keep unqualified people out of areas that CAN cause problems, and to avoid customer service reps having to answer questions regarding adjustments that they are not familiar with. One can cause damage to hardware and create unrecoverable problems using some service menu adjustments. One can also create real headaches for service techs. If, however, you make adjustments that do not create problems nor affect the service that is otherwise needed, you should have no problems with warranty from a legal perspective. If you do effect a problem, or affect a problem, that is another matter.
The first and best advice is DON'T ADJUST ANYTHING WHEN YOU ARE NOT CERTAIN OF THE EFFECTS. The second advice is to record original values for ALL parameters, even those that you do not adjust. This may be a real headache, but if a global reset of all data becomes needed, you want to be able to get back to where you started. This is also useful in the rare occasion that an EEPROM(memory IC) needs to be replaced. Finally, don't mention to a repair tech that you have had your set calibrated unless there is a possibility that the problem is related. There is no way that one can tell that someone has been in the service menu of most systems except the values of the parameters, and those vary on most sets. If they don't then you should not have been changing that setting in most cases. If you do change a fixed setting, it should be reset to the factory standard BEFORE calling for service. That way, you can't be blamed for the problem, unless you have done something to cause a service issue. In those cases you will almost never be able to restore the settings.
The legal matter of service menu adjustments is that no court will uphold a warranty rejection simply because you entered the service menu, unless the problem is something that could be caused by such adjustments and that can be shown. The practical matter is that you don't want servicers in the field making the assumption that you have messed something up, so it is better to return the set to factory conditions before service or simply don't mention it. If you do mess something up that requires service then explain what you did. It may save lots of time and repair cost. If you didn't create a problem related to the service needed it is irrelevant that you have entered the service level and will likely never be noted.