If you’re a car owner, getting a powertrain warranty is something you might consider. This coverage can protect you from some of the most expensive repairs. This guarantee covers the cost of repairing components that move your car down the road. Keep reading to learn about what is covered under a powertrain warranty.
What Is a Powertrain Warranty?
A powertrain warranty is a type of consumer protection that covers the key components of a vehicle that enable it to move. It covers everything from the engine and transmission to drive shafts, differentials, CV joints, and more.
This is a popular warranty type because it offers coverage for some of the most critical and expensive components of a car, which can save a car owner thousands of dollars. It differs from warranties such as the comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty, which covers most vehicle components but for a shorter period of time, and the limited drivetrain warranty, which may cover driveline components but not the engine.
A powertrain warranty is usually included when you purchase a new vehicle. This usually lasts on average for five years or 60,000 miles. Manufacturers providing the longest version of this warranty include Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi, who offer 10 years or 100,000 miles of protection. You may often be able to buy an extended powertrain warranty for extended coverage after the manufacturer’s warranty ends, or at the time that you purchase a pre-owned car.
Items Covered Under a Powertrain Warranty
Here are the main car components typically covered by a powertrain warranty:
- Transfer case (on 4×4 vehicles)
When it comes to the engine, coverage includes many parts such as:
- Cylinder block and heads
- Internal components, such as pistons and rods
- Oil pan
- Valve train
- Water, fuel, and oil pumps
- Fuel injectors
- Gaskets and seals
Some powertrain warranties cover even more items than these, such as:
- Wheel bearings
- Axle shafts
- Exhaust and intake manifolds
- Other arts
Keep in mind that a powertrain warranty does not cover the repair or replacement of relatively inexpensive items in the powertrain that need to be replaced regularly, such as the clutch.
Is the fuel pump covered by a powertrain warranty?
No. While the fuel pump does provide fuel to the engine, it sits outside the powertrain and is not considered a part of it. It would, however, be covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Does a powertrain warranty cover the alternator?
No. Although it is attached to the engine and driven by its belts, it is not a component that generates power that moves your car down the road. Therefore, it is not a part of the powertrain. Again, the bumper-to-bumper warranty would cover a failed alternator within the warranty period.
Is a blown head gasket covered under warranty?
Yes. A head gasket provides a seal between the cylinder head(s) and the engine block. If it fails, it will leak coolant and oil. It can even allow these two fluids to mix, which is extremely bad for your engine. Fortunately, your powertrain warranty will cover these components and any subsequent damage a blown head gasket may cause.
Does a powertrain warranty cover spark plugs?
No. Spark plugs are considered a regular wear-and-tear maintenance item, requiring regular replacement. Therefore spark plugs are not covered in a powertrain warranty.
Does a powertrain warranty cover electrical problems?
No, unless the problems are directly related to the electric motors and powertrain in a hybrid or fully electric vehicle. Any other electrical systems are not considered part of the powertrain.
Is the transmission considered part of the powertrain?
Yes. In fact, the transmission is the part of the powertrain most likely to fail, due to its complexity and the power pushed through it from the engine to the wheels. Research your particular vehicle, and if you find that transmission failures are common, consider an extended powertrain warranty.
What will void a powertrain warranty?
Any modifications to the powertrain run the risk of failures not being covered under warranty. For example, if you install a turbo or an aftermarket tune, then have an engine or transmission failure, they will probably not be covered. The reason is that these modifications could potentially have caused the failure, and it would not have happened with factory parts.
Not keeping up with required maintenance can also cause a lack of warranty coverage. Your engine wasn’t designed to run 20,000 miles between oil changes. That would not be the manufacturer’s fault, because more frequent oil change intervals are spelled out in the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
Advantages of Having a Powertrain Warranty
There are several advantages of having a powertrain warranty, such as:
- You can reduce expensive repairs. Powertrain components can cost a lot to repair. While a car’s brand and model are key factors when figuring out how much engine repair costs, an engine replacement can cost between $3,000–$4,000 on average to replace, and some may cost up to $10,000. A powertrain warranty can offer you coverage that protects your finances from unexpected, expensive repairs.
- You can enjoy more security. You can enjoy more peace of mind while using your vehicle, knowing that any problems with the most expensive part of your car will be taken care of at no cost to you during the warranty term.
- You can drive a pre-owned car for longer. If you’re in the market for a used car, a powertrain warranty can help you keep this car on the road longer for less expense. Additionally, it’s likely to cover the costliest repairs.
Tips on Getting and Using a Powertrain Warranty
You can use these tips to get the best deal on a powertrain warranty:
- Research and maintain the items the warranty does not cover. Check and maintain the powertrain items, such as regular oil changes, that a typical warranty does not cover. The terms of the warranty require regular maintenance in order for other items to be covered if they fail.
- Purchase any extended warranty from a suitable seller. Do your due diligence prior to purchase and research different manufacturers, dealers, or third parties that sell this warranty type. Learn about things that will influence the repair quality, such as subcontracting, the expertise of the vehicle repair facilities available under the contract, and access to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Among third-party sellers, CARCHEX and Endurance offer superior powertrain coverage.
- Compare extended warranty quotes from different providers. It’s best to compare several quotes from different powertrain warranty providers to find one that suits you. Depending on your vehicle brand and model, consider whether it would be best to purchase directly from the manufacturer or opt for a reputed third-party vendor.
A powertrain warranty offers significant coverage on the major components of your car’s engine, transmission, and more. Consider your powertrain warranty requirements during the purchasing process for a new or used vehicle, and make sure to choose a manufacturer with positive customer reviews.
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.