When buying a car, especially a used one, it’s important to know the type of warranty it comes with and the parts and systems it covers, as you could save hundreds of dollars this way. The powertrain warranty is one of the most important factory warranty since it covers some of the most expensive parts on a car. In this post, we’re discussing everything you need to know about the powertrain warranty and answering the question “Is the transmission covered under the powertrain warranty?”
What Is the Transmission?
The transmission is part of a car’s key components. It comes in the form of a gearbox with a set of gears inside, and it’s responsible for taking the power from the engines to the wheels. The transmission is also connected to the clutch — and the clutch, in turn, allows you to change gears by disengaging the engine from the transmission.
In short, this gearbox uses gears and gear trains to provide more turning power (torque) and speed. There’re currently nine types of transmission systems: manual, automatic, automated manual transmission (AMT), semi-automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT), dual-clutch transmission (DCT), intelligent manual transmission (IMT), sequential, and torque converter transmission.
What Is the Powertrain?
A car’s powertrain consists of all the parts that create the mechanical energy needed to move the car forward. These parts include the transmission, engine, differentials, driveshafts, turbocharger, supercharger, and the transfer case on all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles. Clearly, a powertrain is a representation of complex engineering pieces — that’s why the cost of repairing these parts or obtaining a replacement is so high.
In other words, a powertrain’s components produce a car’s power and deliver it to the wheels. If any of those components start failing, it could result in costly repairs because of the labor hours needed. A powertrain warranty gives you peace of mind as it covers the complex system that makes your vehicle move.
What Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover?
If you’ve ever had to deal with a cylinder misfiring in your engine, issues shifting gears, or any other problem related to the essential parts of a vehicle, as long as you’re protected with a powertrain warranty, the repairs to get it on the road again are covered — hence, the importance of knowing what this warranty entails.
So, is transmission covered under a powertrain warranty, or is it only the engine?
As we stated before, the powertrain warranty covers every complex engineering piece that makes your car drive, including the transmission, engine, driveshafts, transfer case, axles, differentials, and superchargers or turbochargers. The bumper-to-bumper and drivetrain warranties also cover the transmission, but they don’t last as much or cover as many components as the powertrain one.
Though, it’s worth mentioning that powertrain warranties only remain in effect if the owner complies with a set of responsibilities, including scheduling regular check-ins and driving under normal conditions.
What Does a Powertrain Warranty Not Cover?
As comforting as a powertrain warranty can be, you should know that they don’t cover everything and that you must do your part to ensure the vehicle’s functioning.
The warranty’s exclusions apply to different areas of the drivetrain, including the engine wiring and fuel system, transfer case cooling lines and radiator, transmission clutches, and some parts of the drive systems such as locking hubs and wheel bearings. Components of the braking system also aren’t covered by the powertrain warranty.
Besides, a powertrain warranty doesn’t apply if you cause additional strains on the engine and transmission by driving under abnormal conditions that could lead to a broken transmission. It also doesn’t apply if you perform aftermarket modifications. Also, note that powertrain warranties exclude environmental causes, improper maintenance, and poor-quality fuel.
How Long Does a Powertrain Warranty Last?
Usually, powertrain warranties last longer than bumper-to-bumper and drivetrain warranties — at least, those from manufacturers. While most of them typically remain in effect for about three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first), a powertrain warranty last around five years or 60,000 miles.
Please note that manufacturers have different powertrain coverage terms, so the coverage of a powertrain warranty can also differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, Kia’s powertrain warranties cover 10 years or 100,000 miles, while Jaguar only covers five years or 60,000 miles.
What’s the Difference Between a Powertrain Warranty and a Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty?
Every new vehicle comes with several different warranty coverages including both a powertrain warranty and a bumper-to-bumper warranty. But the major differences between the two are the years they last and the components they cover.
As you already know, a powertrain warranty covers only the parts that make up the powertrain. A bumper-to-bumper warranty, however, covers almost every non-powertrain component except the wear-and-tear components like light bulbs, fuses, and tires.
In short, this warranty serves to ensure the safety of many components a powertrain warranty doesn’t cover. Typically, they last between three years or 36,000 miles and five years or 60,000 miles.
What’s the Difference Between a Powertrain Warranty and a Drivetrain Warranty?
Although a bit uncommon now, it’s still possible to find a car that comes with a drivetrain warranty. They, like powertrain warranties, cover all the powertrain components, but the engine — meaning the transmission, axles, driveshafts, and other components are also covered.
The engine is excluded because it’s the most expensive component. Back in the day, many manufacturers believed that including the engine in the warranty represented a big risk, but as the years passed, they had to keep up with the competition, and that’s how the powertrain warranty became the norm.
Is It a Good Idea to Buy an Extended Powertrain Warranty?
If your powertrain warranty expired or you have a used car and would like some peace of mind, buying an extended powertrain warranty may be a good option. In that case, evaluate your options, as these types of warranties come with several stipulations.
To start, evaluate how reliable your car is, how long you’re planning to keep it, your current budget, and whether another warranty makes more sense.
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.