A powertrain warranty is one of several commonly bundled with a new car purchase. It’s also the most common warranty for used car purchases. If you receive one of these warranties, you probably have several questions, including: “Does a powertrain warranty cover the transmission?” We answer all of your burning questions so you can better understand your protection.
What Is a Powertrain Warranty?
A powertrain warranty is a protection plan that covers the parts of a vehicle that make it move. During the warranty term, a powertrain warranty covers the cost of repairs or replacement components if the powertrain stops working as it should. Manufacturers and sellers offer powertrain warranties to show they’re selling high-quality vehicles that they believe will run reliably for at least as long as the warranty period. These warranties give consumers buying new cars and some used cars confidence that their purchase won’t quickly cost them more money.
What Parts Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover?
The parts covered by a powertrain warranty typically include:
- Engine and its internal workings:
- Cylinder block and heads
- Oil pan
- Water, fuel, and oil pump
- Fuel injectors
- Gaskets and seals
- Internal components
- Drive box
- Transfer case (for four-wheel-drive vehicles)
Some comprehensive powertrain warranties also cover additional components, such as:
- Wheel bearings and hubs
- Axle shafts
- Exhaust and intake manifolds
- Other parts
As powertrain warranty inclusions can vary, it’s important to read your terms and conditions carefully so you know what your warranty covers.
What Isn’t Covered by a Powertrain Warranty?
A powertrain warranty doesn’t include:
- Parts that don’t impact your vehicle’s power:
- Stereo systems
- Air conditioners
- Add-on features
- Parts you replace at regular intervals:
- Brake pads
- CV joints
- Damage sustained in events covered by insurance:
- Accidents and collisions
- Glass breakage
- Flood and fire damage
There may also be some exclusions for powertrain parts. The parts a powertrain warranty covers depend on the terms of the warranty and your vehicle’s make and model. That’s why it’s always important to review your warranty terms thoroughly.
Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover the Transmission?
The transmission is one of the many parts of your car covered by most standard powertrain warranties. These warranties cover both manual and automatic transmission systems, so you don’t need to worry no matter what make or model of car you choose. However, some exclusions may apply. Many powertrain warranties exclude the following transmission parts:
- Cooling lines
- Electrical connectors
- Clutch and pressure plate
- Transmission control module
How Does the Powertrain Work?
In simple terms, the engine creates power and sends it to the transmission, which transfers power through the vehicle’s gears. The transmission’s driveshaft then sends power to the car’s drive wheels, which moves you down the road.
The powertrain is a complex system that relies on all the components listed above. If any one of these components fails or stops working efficiently, it impacts the whole powertrain. Repairs and replacement parts can be costly, depending on the component, but these costs are something you don’t have to worry about if you have a valid powertrain warranty.
Why Choose a Vehicle With a Powertrain Warranty?
When you purchase a car, the costs can quickly add up. You’ll spend money registering and insuring it, getting routine maintenance, and paying for gas and tolls. A powertrain warranty can ease your financial burden by ensuring you don’t add costly repairs to the mix. Repairs to a car’s powertrain are among the most expensive, with single components costing hundreds or even thousands to repair or replace. Knowing that you won’t pay those costs if something does go wrong with your powertrain can provide real peace of mind.
When purchasing a car with a powertrain warranty, it’s important to get the warranty’s terms in writing. You can refer back to the warranty’s terms if you’re ever unsure what is covered. You can also present the warranty at the dealership to prove your entitlements, as dealerships may change their standard terms over time. Consider keeping a paper copy of your warranty in your car so you’ll have it when you head to the dealership.
How Long Do Powertrain Warranties Last?
Powertrain warranties are some of the longest-lasting warranties. Powertrain warranties from car manufacturers usually last for five to 10 years or until the car travels between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, but time periods and terms can vary. Once the time period ends or the car travels the set distance, the warranty ends and the consumer pays for their own powertrain repairs.
The manufacturer’s original powertrain warranty has usually elapsed by the time someone buys a used vehicle. Often, used vehicles have no warranty at all, especially when someone buys one through a private sale. However, some car dealerships offer their own powertrain warranties on used vehicles. Powertrain warranties on used cars are usually much shorter than warranties for new cars. For example, a dealership may offer a six-month/6,000-mile powertrain warranty with used car purchases.
Can My Powertrain Warranty End Early?
Certain behaviors can void your powertrain warranty. If you engage in these behaviors, you’ll be liable for any repairs to your powertrain that your warranty would normally cover. Behavior that may void your powertrain warranty includes:
- Neglecting car maintenance
- Misusing your vehicle
- Using poor-quality or contaminated gas
- Installing aftermarket products that damage your powertrain
- Making alterations against manufacturer instructions
Regular routine maintenance is one of the best ways to keep your car’s transmission and other components working as they should. Most powertrain warranties require regular services during their terms. The FIXD scanner and app can help you create a custom schedule based on your vehicle’s make, model, and mileage so you never miss essential maintenance. Once your warranty expires, you can keep using the app to minimize the risk of costly out-of-pocket repairs. Get FIXD today to take the hard work out of car care.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.