Sometimes, things are unpreventable. With so many elements on the road capable of chipping a car’s paint and allowing rust to form, corrosion can be one of those unpreventable things. Many drivers go to great lengths to maintain the quality of their vehicle, and with corrosion always a concern, corrosion perforation warranties are a choice to keep cars in top form.
Is a corrosion perforation warranty the right option for you to maintain the quality appearance and performance of your vehicle? Let’s break down what these plans are and determine if it’s the right way for you to protect your car.
What Is Corrosion?
Corrosion is the result of oxidation, which is the breakdown of metal once it is exposed to air and moisture. This is most commonly seen as rust on vehicles. If a car’s paint is chipped and the underlying metal is exposed to the elements, it will begin to rust and corrode.
Initially starting as a cosmetic issue on the surface of a vehicle, corrosion can also have an impact on a vehicle’s function. If left untreated, heavy rust on a car can corrode through to its internal components and cause them to malfunction. Steering and suspension components can rust out and fail. Brake lines can rust and spring leaks. In particularly bad situations, a frame can rust badly enough to break in half.
What Is a Corrosion Perforation Warranty?
With rocks, humans, other cars, and even particles in the air able to mar a car’s paint and expose the metal surface underneath, most drivers go to some length to prevent rust and corrosion. While many opt for a few generous layers of car wax a couple of times per year, corrosion perforation warranties are also an option for drivers who want to make sure they’re covered should any issues arise.
The purpose of a corrosion warranty is to help cover the cost of repairs should a rust-related issue happen. General corrosion warranties differ in levels of protection depending on the type of vehicle and the length of coverage needed, while corrosion perforation warranties specifically cover damages when rust has perforated through the surface of a car.
Corrosion Warranty Types
Corrosion coverage is usually built into larger factory warranties when buying a new car and can, occasionally, be extended to cover a used car. What the warranty specifically covers in regard to corrosion depends on the underwriting of the warranty.
Most dealerships offer warranties carrying corrosion coverage in the form of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Naturally Occurring Corrosion Warranty. This type of warranty covers the cost of repairs from rust and corrosion caused by naturally occurring elements and not at the hands of the driver. Add-on corrosion protection is usually offered by most warranties to cover the costs of corrosion should it infiltrate into a car’s interior elements. This option is sometimes made available for used cars as well.
When reading the corrosion warranty to determine what type of protection it provides, there are two main types of coverage typically offered.
- Surface Corrosion: This is the broader and more comprehensive warranty option as it covers the costs of repairs for any rust visible on the surface of the car. Rust on interior components of the car, such as the suspension and frame, are also included in the coverage so long as there is visible damage.
- Rust Perforation: The more limited option, this type of corrosion warranty only covers the cost of repairs should the corrosion perforate the surface of the vehicle. If the rust hasn’t eaten through the metal and created a hole, the repairs will not be covered. So even if the paint is bubbling away from the body and rusty metal is visible, it would not be covered until there are holes in it. Rust perforation warranties also typically exclude interior components of the car from coverage.
In short, a corrosion perforation warranty will only cover repair costs when there is a rust-caused hole in a vehicle, while a corrosion warranty with surface corrosion protection will cover the repair cost for almost any rust-related problem.
Corrosion Perforation Warranty Cons
The biggest downside to a corrosion perforation warranty is the extremely limited breadth of issues it covers. Unless there is a hole in a vehicle definitively caused by corrosion, the warranty will not cover the cost of repairs.
In addition, just like warranties for other issues a vehicle may face, there are often limits on how many miles a car may drive before corrosion coverage lapses. Many corrosion perforation warranties expire around the 100,000-mile barrier, which is also roughly the length of time it takes for rust and corrosion to start showing up on the surface of a vehicle. Exploring options for an extended mileage limit or unlimited mileage can be wise if available.
There could also be a time restriction on the length of coverage for corrosion protection. The standard warranty typically covers corrosion repairs for about five years, however, corrosion generally does not develop on a new vehicle within this length of time. Because of this, some drivers choose to pick a package that extends the period of time their car is covered for corrosion damage.
As mentioned previously, checking the fine print of a corrosion warranty is also important to clarify what is and what isn’t protected. Just as there are time and mileage restrictions, certain warranties may limit what specific elements of a vehicle are protected through the coverage as well.
Corrosion Perforation Warranty Costs
With corrosion warranties typically included as part of an overall factory warranty, it can be hard to project the total cost of corrosion coverage. Generally, extended warranties cost from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the type of vehicle needing coverage.
It’s also tricky to predict the cost of repairs caused by corrosion and rust as it depends on what elements of the car are impacted. Smaller surface repairs can set a driver back a few hundred dollars while severe internal issues could come at a much steeper cost.
Should I Get a Corrosion Perforation Warranty?
With numerous factors capable of scratching a car’s paint and exposing the metal to potential rust, protecting a vehicle with a type of corrosion warranty is a good idea. But, a corrosion perforation warranty may not be the best option.
Corrosion perforation warranties are very restrictive in what repairs are covered under the plan, and last too short a time and mileage for such issues to occur, sometimes making this form of warranty not worth the cost. If you’re a driver wanting to further protect your vehicle from corrosion and related damages, a corrosion warranty with surface protection and few limits on duration could be an ideal option.
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.