The Different Types Of Car Warranties And Which One Is Right For You


Warranties can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t understand how they work and what all the different types of warranties mean in terms of coverage. There are two main types of warranties that you need to worry about as a car owner, the manufacturer warranty and the extended warranty. Here is the main difference between the two and who they are appropriate for.

Warranty TypeWhat They AreWho They Are For
Manufacturer WarrantThe manufacturer warranty is the one that comes with your vehicle when you buy it new. Traditionally these warranties last 5 years or 60,000 miles whichever comes first and are transferrable with ownership of the vehicle if it is sold in this period of time. Manufacturer warranties are usually bumper to bumper and will cover just about anything that breaks on the vehicle due to manufacturer error. This will exclude damage caused by weather, vehicle collisions, or overall accidents. Manufacturer warranties are for anyone with a relatively new vehicle that still falls under coverage for its manufacturer warranty. See chart below for the manufacturer warranty time frame guide.
Extended WarrantyExtended warranties are the warranty a vehicle owner purchases after the manufacturer warranty runs out. An extended warranty comes from a 3rd party finance company and coverage can be customized to fit a customers needs. Like manufacturer warranties, these warranties will not cover damage due to owner error, weather, or accidents. Extended warranties are meant for anyone with a vehicle. Warranties are especially helpful for those who struggle to pay unexpected expenses.

Deciding Which Warranty Is Right For You

When shopping around for a warranty, there are a few steps to take to decide which warranty is the right one for you to pick.

  • Make sure your vehicle isn’t already under warranty through the manufacturer
  • Understand how a warranty works
  • Know what a warranty is and what type is applicable to you
  • Ask the right questions about the warranty
  • Identify what type of coverage you want
  • Shop around among warranty providers

How Does A Warranty Work

Similar to car insurance, an extended warranty requires you to pay a monthly premium and you make a claim through the company if anything breaks that is covered under your contract. Think of a warranty like car insurance but for mechanical failures in your vehicle.

Your warranty will not cover the items covered by car insurance like hail, fire, fender benders or serious car accidents where the car may be totaled.

A vehicle service contract or extended warranty covers major repairs where insurance falls short. Manufacturer warranties are much the same, they just don’t require a monthly premium because the cost of the warranty was already covered by the manufacturer in the purchase price of the vehicle.

Like if your starter randomly quits on you or the transmission of your car falls clean out. This is where your warranty will kick in.

Imagine your morning commute to work when suddenly your engine blows out and you find yourself stranded on the side of the road .

A repair of this nature could cost you well over $5,000 and upwards of $10,000 without a warranty.

With a warranty that covers this level of repairs, you will instead simply be responsible for your deductible and poof you fairy god mother AKA your warranty provider will handle your repairs and paying the mechanic.

So instead of that $5,000 cost of replacing your engine, if you have a contract with Protect My Car, those same repairs may only cost you $100 and depending on your policy, you might even qualify for some highly rated road side assistance at no additional cost.

Understanding Types Of Car Warranties Further

There are two main types of car warranties, the ones you purchase, and the ones that come with your vehicle. They are extended warranties and manufacturer warranties respectively. Each warranty will work differently in terms of cost and coverage.

The types of warranties we will define further are:

  • Extended Warranty
  • New Car or Manufacturer Warranty

What Is A Manufacturer Or New Car Warranty?

When you buy a new car, it comes with an implied warranty of X amount of months and X amount of miles. The exact time frame and mileage will vary from brand to brand, but all new vehicles will come with one. These warranties are called manufacturer warranties or new car warranties.

You don’t have to pay any extra for this type of warranty as it is meant to protect you the consumer from poor manufacturing practices. There is also no deductible when you make a claim.

The warranty is the manufacturers promise that the car is made well and anything that breaks on it at no fault of you, or the weather, or a car accident.

The warranty is meant to protect against mechanical failure or random part breaks. For example if your transmission fails or a door handle snaps off the warranty will cover the cost of restoring these parts to a like new state.

You should also know that most manufacturer warranties are implied warranties, meaning that there is no contract and no fine print to read. That makes it especially important to ask the questions on how the warranty is fulfilled and how it can be voided. Implied warranties are still legally binding, but in some cases the dealership may fight you on covering the repairs.

The implied manufacturer warranty will typically be considered a “bumper to bumper” (sometimes called “limited”) warranty meaning the entire vehicle will be covered with the exception of wear and tear items like tires.

Again, the manufacturer warranty is their way of saying “we stand behind the vehicle we produced and you should have no issues with it within a certain time frame”.

If you do, repairs are on them because it was likely a manufacturing error that caused the issue in the first place.

There are typically several warranties that fall under your new car warranty. They are:

Powertrain WarrantyA powertrain warranty from manufacturers typically covers: engine, axles, transmission, transfer case, drive shafts, all wheel drive, rear wheel drive, front rear drive and differentials. 

These also tend to be the most expensive parts on your car. Transmission replacement can cost upwards of $3000 to repair or replace.
Corrosion WarrantyA corrosion warranty covers perforation of the body panels of your vehicle. It essentially covers any rust that may form on your car
Safety Restraint WarrantyThe safety features on your vehicle may also be covered under your manufacturer warranty. This includes the safety components such as airbags, seat belts or safety restraint system (SRS).
Secret WarrantiesSecret warranties are provided by most manufacturers, but most car buyers don’t know about them. They’re sometimes referred to as “policy adjustments” or “goodwill service”.

How To Know If Your Manufacturer Warranty Has Run Out

The length of time that a manufacturer warranty will last does vary from brand to brand but on average the warranties provided by a manufacturer are good for 5 years or 60,000 miles. The top of the warranty range goes to Hyundai , Kia and Mitsubishi with 10 years or 100,000 miles whichever comes first.

ManufacturerWarranty Period (2018 or newer)Notes
Acura6 years or 70,000 miles 
Audi4 years or 50,000 milesNo specific powertrain warranty, only new vehicle limited warranty.
BMW4 years or 50,000 milesNo specific powertrain warranty, only a new vehicle limited warranty.
Buick6 years or 70,000 milesFor all model years 2013 or newer.
Cadillac6 years or 70,000 milesFor all model years 2013 or newer.
Chevrolet5 years or 60,000 miles 
Chrysler5 years or 60,000 miles 
Dodge5 years or 60,000 miles 
Ford5 years or 60,000 miles 
GMC5 years or 60,000 miles 
Honda5 years or 60,000 miles 
Hyundai10 years or 100,000 miles 
Infiniti7 years or 70,000 miles 
Jaguar5 years or 60,000 milesNo specific powertrain warranty, only a new vehicle limited warranty.
Jeep5 years or 60,000 miles 
Kia10 years or 100,000 miles 
Lexus6 years or 70,000 miles 
Mazda5 years or 60,000 miles 
Mercedes-Benz4 years or 50,000 milesNo specific powertrain warranty, only a new vehicle limited warranty.
Mitsubishi10 years or 100,000 miles 
Nissan5 years or 60,000 miles 
Ram        5 years or 100,000 miles (diesel)     5 years or 60,000 miles (gas) 
Subaru5 years or 60,000 miles 
Suzuki7 years or 100,000 miles 
Tesla8 years or 100,000-125,000 milesNo powertrain warranty, only a new vehicle limited warranty. Length of coverage depends on model purchased.
Toyota6 years or 60,000 miles 
Volkswagen6 years or 72,000 milesNo powertrain warranty, only a new vehicle limited warranty
Volvo4 years or 50,000 miles 

Extended Warranties Or Vehicle Service Contracts

Extended warranties which are also referred to as vehicle service contracts, differ significantly from manufacturer warranties in the sense that you buy them and they do not come with the vehicle. Extended car warranties are not offered by the dealership specifically, but through a finance or insurance company in most cases.

If at any point you are purchasing a car and the sales person wants to add on a warranty to the price of purchase, know that this is not a manufacturer warranty but an extended warranty. Even if it is offered by the dealership. The only warranty that falls under the manufacturer warranty category is the one that comes with a NEW vehicle free of cost.

Extended warranties will be sold with a contract that will offer a monthly premium that the customer must pay monthly to keep the warranty valid. Claims are paid out generally directly to the mechanic though in some cases the company will give the money for repairs directly to the customer.

It is important to shop around when seeking out an extended warranty. You should avoid buying the warranty offered by the dealership as there are generally better options available.

Many extended warranty companies offer varying levels of coverage amongst their different plans which allows their customers to customize their plan to best suit their needs and vehicle.

Voids in a warranty are another key difference between extended warranties and manufacturer warranties. The government puts a tighter leash on the manufacturers and it is very difficult for them to get out of paying for your repairs. This is all thanks to the Magnusson- Moss Warranty Act which regulates manufacturer warranties.

Most extended warranty providers want to see you consistently maintaining your vehicle. If you want more information regarding what can void your extended warranty, you can click that link and it will tell you everything that you need to know.

There are a ton of options when it comes to extended warranties which is why it is so important to do your research and shop around. Another thing to know about extended warranties is that they have direct and indirect providers. This is crucial knowledge when deciding on a warranty.

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Warranty

  1. What mechanics are allowed to service your vehicle and make repairs under the warranty?
  2. How does the company pay for claims?
  3. How long is the contract and can you cancel it early?
  4. How is a warranty voided?
  5. What is the process of applying the deductible?

Top Extended Warranty Providers Compared!

 Protect My CarEndurance Auto WarrantyCarchexCar Shield
Cost Per Month$70.56/ month$89/month at promotional price     $122.00/ month otherwise$198.56/ month$129.99/ month
Deductible$100 dollars$100 dollars$100 dollars$100 dollars
Additional ChargesNone$200-dollar admin fee, 5% due at signing (promotional), or 10%NoneNone
Policy Term4 Years / 60,000 Miles5 years / 60,000 miles6 years / 125,000 milesMonth to month
CoverageEngine, Transmission, Drive Axle, Transfer Case, Brake Components, Steering, Electrical Components, Air Conditioning, Front and Rear Suspension, Fuel System, Cooling SystemEngine, Transmission, Drive Axle, Transfer Case, Brake Components, Steering, Electrical Components, Air Conditioning, Front and Rear Suspension, Fuel System, Cooling SystemEngine, Transmission, Drive Axle, Transfer Case, Brake Components, Steering, Electrical Components, Air Conditioning, Front and Rear Suspension, Fuel System, Cooling SystemEngine, Transmission, Axle Steering, AC Components, Steering, Electrical Components, Air Conditioning, Front and Rear Suspension, Fuel System, Cooling System
Major ExclusionsWear and tear items*Wear and tear items*Wear and tear items*Wear and tear items*

Never Get Yourself Into Debt Over Car Repairs Again By Choosing Protect My Car

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Car repairs can be absurdly expensive, and you can expect those unexpected repairs before too long no matter what vehicle you drive.  Car repairs are an unfortunate part of owning and operating a vehicle. Eventually something is going to break and wow can it be expensive to replace and repair these parts.

If you have to replace the engine block it could cost you more than $10,000 depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Most people don’t have a spare ten grand lying around in their bank accounts, or even an extra $2,500 if their transmission blows.

The cost of repairs will depend on your vehicle, but it can cost you thousands of dollars to make repairs to components like the transmission and suspension, which is money most Americans don’t have.

If that cost seems absurd to you, luckily you aren’t alone. We’re on a mission to make car repairs more affordable to the every day working person. With Protect My Car, you don’t have to hold your breath every time that check engine light comes on. Protect My Car is basically an insurance policy for the mechanical features in your car. If your car breaks down when you have a policy with us you pay a deductible for covered expenses and we take care of getting the car repaired and covering the cost.

A vehicle service contract from Protect My Car can help cover the cost of these excessive repairs. In fact, you could pay as little as $100 dollars for that $5,000 engine replacement.

Yes, you heard that right.

For less that the cost of a cup of coffee each day, you can get coverage for:

  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • A/C and Heating
  • Navigation and Electronics
  • …and so much more.

When you walk into the repair shop with a coverage plan from PMC, you can rest assured that you will never pay for these repairs listed here. You pay a $100 deductible, just like insurance and we pay the rest.

Does that sound like a fair deal to you?

If it does, just fill out the form below for a free quote, and see how great it can be to never have to pay for car repairs ever again. It couldn’t be more simple to get a quote from us and you could find yourself saving thousands of dollars per year on car repairs. Below this diagram you will find a button “click for a free quote” from there you can call us or simply get a hassle free quote online.

Protect My Car offers multiple levels of extended coverage for vehicles. The chart below outlines what those levels cover and how much the deductible will cost.

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About Protect My Car

Protect My Car is an extended auto warranty company. Our goal here at Protect My Car is to eliminate your worry of being financially responsible for an expensive mechanical breakdown. With our extended auto warranty, you don’t have to worry about being fully burdened with the cost of a covered repair.