What’s Covered by A Car’s Warranty?
When you purchase a car, you may be offered a warranty by the manufacturer or a third-party provider.
Warranties can cover different aspects of your car and vary in length of time.
Understanding what is covered under your warranty is essential to know what to expect if something goes wrong with your car.
What Kinds of Warranties Are There?
There are two main types of car warranties: powertrain and bumper-to-bumper.
A powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, and drivetrain of your car.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is a more comprehensive warranty that covers most, if not all, of the systems and components of your car.
Powertrain warranties are typically shorter in length than bumper-to-bumper warranties.
They may last for 3 years or 36,000 miles, while bumper-to-bumper warranties can last for 5 years or 60,000 miles.
Who Provides the Warranty?
If the manufacturer offers a warranty, it is sometimes called an extended warranty.
If the warranty is offered by a third-party provider, it can sometimes be called a service contract.
Although the term “Extended Warranty” is interchangeable.
Extended warranties offered by third-party providers, like Protect My Car, typically cover more than the manufacturer’s warranty and for much longer.
How Is the Cost of A Warranty Calculated?
The warranty cost is typically calculated based on the length of time and mileage of the coverage.
For example, a 3-year/36,000-mile powertrain warranty may cost $1,500.
The warranty for a new car will likely be less expensive than a used car’s.
Repair costs climb as a car gets older and wears out.
That’s why it may make sense to purchase an extended warranty for an older car.
An extended warranty can help offset the costs of repairs for an aging vehicle.
What Is Covered Under a Warranty?
The coverage under a car warranty may vary depending on who provides the warranty and the type of warranty.
However, some common things typically covered under most car warranties are the:
Some things that are typically not covered under a car warranty are:
-Wear and tear items such as brake pads and wiper blades
-Damage from accidents or abuse
-Maintenance items such as oil changes
Some fringe services may be covered under a car warranty.
These services can include:
-Rental car reimbursement
What is not typically covered under a warranty?
Wear and tear items like brake pads and wiper blades are not typically covered under a car warranty.
Damage from accidents or abuse is also not typically covered.
And finally, maintenance items such as oil changes are also not typically covered under a car warranty.
Although there are maintenance plans, like the Ambassador Maintenance Program from Protect My Car, that can cover some of the routine maintenance costs.
These programs cover the costs associated with car ownership to such a degree that they turn all of your car maintenance costs into one simple payment.
Can I warranty a car that is broken?
If your car is already broken, you will likely be unable to warranty it.
Preexisting faults will most likely have to be repaired before the warranty begins.
However, depending on the severity of the damage, you may still be able to warranty the vehicle.
Often cosmetic damage can be overlooked, as it is generally not covered by a basic warranty.
When Does Coverage Start and End?
The coverage under a car warranty typically starts on the car’s purchase or delivery date.
It may end after a certain number of years or miles driven for manufacturer warranties.
Although, coverage may continue for years for third-party warranties after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.
It’s important to know when your coverage starts and ends to get repairs done before the warranty expires.
What should I do if my car needs repairs?
If your car needs repairs and you think it may be covered under your warranty, you should first call the manufacturer or third-party provider to find out.
They will be able to tell you for sure if the repairs are covered and what you need to do to get the repairs done.
If the repairs are not covered under your warranty, you will have to pay for them out of pocket.
You may be able to get a discount on the repairs if you go to an authorized repair shop for your particular make and model of car.
Taking care of your car can help it last longer and perform better.
Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tune-ups, can help prevent more significant problems.
And if something does go wrong, knowing what is and is not covered under your car warranty can save you a lot of money and hassle.
How Do I Use My Warranty?
If something goes wrong with your car and you think it may be covered under your warranty, the first step is to contact your warranty provider.
They will likely have a claims process that you will need to follow.
This may include taking your car to an authorized repair shop or providing documentation of the problem.
Once the warranty provider approves your claim, they will typically cover the cost of repairs.
You may be responsible for a deductible, and some claims may not be fully covered.
It’s essential to read the terms of your warranty to understand what is and is not covered.
Under Warranty, but the Dealer Won’t Honor It?
If you have a problem with your car and the dealer refuses to honor the warranty, you can contact the manufacturer.
The Manufacturer’s Lemon Law may apply if your car has a serious defect that impacts its use, value, or safety and cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts.
If your car is a lemon, the manufacturer may be required to buy it back or replace it.
The Bottom Line
A car warranty can provide peace of mind in knowing that you are covered if something goes wrong with your car.
It’s essential to understand the different types of warranties available and what is covered under each one.
Be sure to read the terms of your warranty to know what to expect if you need to use it.
If you have any problems with your car dealer honoring your warranty, you may be protected by the Manufacturer’s Lemon Law.