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What Does a Car Warranty Cover?

What Does a Car Warranty Cover?

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With a car warranty, the maker of your car commits to paying for any necessary repairs or replacements for covered parts that fail early in the car’s life. According to the automaker’s guarantee, your car’s components will all function well, and if they don’t, the manufacturer will make it right at no cost to you. Most of the time, damage covered by an auto warranty must result from mechanical malfunction, poor materials, or subpar construction. Following the car’s purchase, car warranties are valid for a predetermined number of miles or years. Below, we answer the question “What does a car warranty cover?”

Types of Car Warranties

Every new vehicle includes a variety of warranties. The scope and length of the warranty differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer extras like towing or roadside assistance. Types of warranties include:

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

Nearly all of the parts in your car are covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty, including braking, steering, powertrain, suspension, climate regulation, electrical apparatus, and technological features. A bumper-to-bumper warranty typically lasts three years or 36,000 miles, which comes first. Actual coverage terms vary depending on the company. For instance, the bumper-to-bumper warranty on a new Hyundai is valid for five years or 60,000 miles.

Because bumper-to-bumper warranties are so thorough, they are sometimes known as exclusive warranties. This is because listing covered components is more complex than listing the plan’s exclusions. Bumper-to-bumper insurance typically excludes tires, window glass, interior trim, chassis paneling, or any regular maintenance items such as brake pads or spark plugs.

Powertrain Warranty

Powertrain warranties are typically longer-lasting than bumper-to-bumper warranties. These include the systems which move your car down the road, including the transmission, drive systems, and engine. A powertrain warranty, like bumper-to-bumper warranties, solely covers harm brought on by mistakes made by the automaker or poor construction.

Your car’s powertrain parts are among the most expensive, and repairs can cost hundreds of dollars. According to RepairPal, the average cost of a transmission replacement will run between $5,098 and $5,297. Powertrain warranties are typically valid for five years or 60,000 miles, but several manufacturers, including Kia and Hyundai, provide 10-year or 100,000-mile warranties.

Hybrid Warranty

Hybrids often come with a unique set of warranty restrictions and addition to a conventional new car warranty. There will be more stringent coverage requirements and a more extended coverage period for some hybrid components, such as the battery, inverter, and control module. Eight years and 100,000 miles is the typical warranty coverage for hybrid vehicles, but again, the terms vary by manufacturer.

What Is Not Covered Under a Car Warranty?

Typically, many things are excluded from car warranties. The things a car warranty does cover are as follows:

  • Theft and vandalism
  • Environmental damage
  • Unauthorized modifications
  • Scheduled maintenance
  • Collision damage
  • Damage caused by driver negligence

What Is Covered in an Extended Warranty?

An extended warranty comes into effect soon after the factory warranty expires. Technically, they are protected service agreements for vehicles, usually recognized as “vehicle service contracts.” Extended warranty packages often cover:

  • A complete bumper-to-bumper package with comprehensive options
  • A basic powertrain package that includes the most critical components
  • A stated-component package, which includes listed components only

An extended powertrain or bumper-to-bumper car warranty covers transmission failure. The cost to repair a transmission failure varies depending on the cause. For example, recovering fluid leakage may cost up to $100, but rebuilding or replacing the entire transmission may cost more than $4000. If the transmission fails under warranty, though, the repairs should cost you nothing.

An extended bumper-to-bumper warranty also covers maintenance and replacement of power windows, costing around $300 to $400. A broken motor, faulty window regulator, or cable pulley often causes window malfunctions resulting in permanent power window breakdown. However, a powertrain warranty will NOT cover this repair, as it only covers the components that move your car down the road.

Should I Buy an Extended Warranty?

It takes study to purchase an extended auto warranty or vehicle service contract, and a person shouldn’t do it impulsively. Contrary to what a car salesperson or dealer finance manager may tell you, you do not need to purchase an extended warranty simultaneously with your new vehicle.

While you can get an extended warranty through a car dealership, you can purchase one from a warranty provider directly, through a lender, or possibly from your auto insurance company. Depending on the product and company, the price of an extended warranty and the coverage offered can differ significantly.

Cost of an Extended Warranty

Your particular plan will significantly determine the cost of your extended auto warranty. The following elements determine an extended warranty’s price:

  • Make: Considering the expensive replacement parts required for luxury and more costly vehicles, your warranty will typically cost more than for an economy car.
  • Age: Given that older vehicles usually require more maintenance than younger ones, warranties for older vehicles may be more expensive.
  • Mileage: Higher mileage cars are more prone to parts wearing out and needing repair or replacement.
  • Provider: Car dealerships and other third-party providers have different prices.

What Happens if I Have a Problem With My Car?

Driving a problematic car could exacerbate the issue and void your warranty claim. Call your warranty provider to inform them of the problem and request assistance. Once they know the problem, providers approve repairs and give instructions on where to take your automobile for service.

Where Can I Get a Car Warranty?

Check the manufacturer’s warranty if you want a new or relatively new car. Since it comes with the vehicle, there is nothing you need to do to obtain this coverage. You might be able to extend this once it expires for another year or even longer. You might be able to purchase an extended warranty from the dealer if you buy a used car from a dealership and the manufacturer’s warranty has already run out.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Car Warranty

Industry professionals take pride in offering truthful, unbiased information. Based on automoblog’s analysis, you should develop rankings of the top extended vehicle warranty companies in the following rating areas:

  • AffordabilityYou can consider your budget and the potential savings that a warranty offers to help you choose the best warranty.
  • Coverage: A auto warranty provider must provide various coverage options because every customer has different demands. Consider the number of policies each provider offers, term restrictions, exclusions, and supplemental benefits.
  • Industry standing: You can review a provider’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, accessibility, and the number of years in operation to understand its standing in the industry.
  • Transparency: This rating considers the presence of a money-back guarantee and the clarity of the contract.

A car warranty covers several essential components to ensure your car operates correctly. Choosing the right car warranty can help you fund necessary repairs on your car and keep your car working longer.

FIXD Research Team

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.

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We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.


About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

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.

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