When you buy a new car, it comes with a factory warranty that covers certain most parts should they need to be replaced or repaired. The length of the warranty and the parts covered differs between manufacturers and models. A typical factory warranty lasts between three to five years or 36,000 to 50,000 miles, whichever expires first, and normally covers things like the powertrain and major electrical systems.
Used cars have often outlived their factory warranty when you buy them, so you might consider buying an extended warranty. If you’ve bought a used BMW, there are some warranty options available to you. Let’s look at what you might expect from an extended BMW warranty.
What’s Covered Under a BMW Factory Warranty?
To appreciate better the advantages of purchasing an extended warranty for your BMW, it helps to know what’s covered under the factory warranty that comes with a new car. BMW’s factory warranty covers:
- All components against manufacturing faults for up to four years or 50,000 miles, whichever expires first
- The powertrain, which includes the engine and its internal components, the engine block, the transmission, and drive axles for up to four years or 50,000 miles, whichever expires first
- Corrosion for up to 12 years with unlimited mileage
- Wheel alignments and balancing, and wiper blade inserts for the first 2,000 miles
- Roadside assistance for up to four years with unlimited mileage, which offers you on-site help in the event of a breakdown
What’s Covered Under a BMW Extended Warranty?
BMW offers three different types of warranty extensions you can choose from depending on how much you’re willing to spend and your coverage priorities. There are 13 areas that these warranties cover either fully, partially, or not at all:
- Final drive assembly
- Transfer case (for all-wheel-drive cars)
- Cooling system
- Fuel system
- Induction system
- Brakes and ABS
- Heating and air conditioning
- Infotainment system
- Interior and exterior
All three plans allow you to extend coverage up to seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, on new, used, and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. You can have your car serviced at an authorized BMW shop by certified BMW technicians using original BMW replacement parts. Also, throughout the coverage period, you continue to get 24-hour roadside service whichever plan you choose.
BMW’s Platinum extended warranty is the most comprehensive and expensive. It covers all 13 areas fully, except for the interior and exterior, which are only partially covered. If you’re extending the protection plan on your CPO BMW, Platinum coverage is your only option.
The Gold extended warranty fully covers 12 of the 13 areas identified above. The infotainment system isn’t covered at all, while the interior, exterior, and the electrical system are only partially covered. This level is only available for new and used cars, not CPOs.
Powertrain Plus Coverage
Powertrain Plus coverage is focused on the drivetrain and some other items. It includes full coverage of the induction system and the transfer case on all-wheel-drive cars, and partial coverage of the engine, transmission, final drive assembly, electrical components, cooling system, and fuel system. Powertrain coverage is only available for new and used cars, not CPOs.
Buying a Warranty for a Used BMW
If your used BMW is less than four years old or has fewer than 50,000 miles, it may still be covered under the original factory warranty. If this is the case, for a small fee you can have the existing warranty transferred, so you enjoy the benefits of the time remaining under that warranty. Alternatively, you may have a certified pre-owned BMW, which comes with an additional year of coverage that you can extend another year at the time of purchase.
While your used BMW is under warranty, you can take advantage of any of the three levels of extended warranties available from BMW, or you can shop around for extended coverage. Third-party companies may be able to offer you similar coverage at a lower price. Also, many third parties allow you to buy coverage at any time, even if the car is no longer under factory warranty.
Some Important Considerations
Your used BMW is an investment you probably want to look after, so it’s wise to consider your warranty options. Also, BMWs are notoriously expensive to maintain. According to one repair site, the average maintenance cost of a BMW is close to $1,000 per year. These are good reasons to look into extending your car’s warranty. As you weigh this decision, here are some important considerations:
- If you buy an extended warranty from BMW, the car must still be under its original factory warranty to qualify for Platinum or Gold level coverage. Otherwise, you may only qualify for Powertrain Plus.
- BMW’s factory warranty doesn’t cover normal wear and tear items such as brake pads and filters. This is also true with their extended warranties.
- Third-party warranties may cover your used BMW even if it’s no longer under factory warranty. They might also extend the warranty over a greater period of time or a larger number of miles.
- Under BMW’s warranties, you may only have your car serviced at an authorized BMW facility. However, this does guarantee it’ll be worked on by trained BMW mechanics using only BMW parts.
- BMW is a stable car company, so you can be reasonably assured they will still be in business through the life of your warranty. You might get a better deal from a smaller company, but you may not have the same confidence they will still be in business five to 10 years later.
Yes, you can buy a warranty for your used BMW, and it may be a good idea when you weigh repair costs against how long you intend to keep the car. BMWs are normally well-made, reliable vehicles, so there’s a good chance even your used car will run without a problem for at least a few years. However, if you need to take it to the shop for repairs, that warranty could be useful when you get the bill.
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