What You Have to Know About Car Warranties

A new vehicle’s biggest selling point is the assurance that your wallet won’t be hit if something goes wrong during the first few years of ownership or your lease term. New cars are protected by warranties, which shift the cost of repairs to the manufacturer that produced them. You may also purchase extended warranties for used vehicles from both automakers and independent extended-warranty providers.

In this article, we’ll go through what car warranties cover and don’t, as well as what coverage you can expect.

What Is a Car Warranty?

A vehicle warranty is a legal agreement between you and the manufacturer of your automobile or the provider of coverage in the case of an extended warranty. It states that the manufacturer or provider will cover certain repairs or replacements of components of your car in the event that they fail due to a defect in materials or workmanship.

A new car warranty may be hundreds of pages long, or even more, and feature terms that are difficult to understand. Most new car warranties are quite similar in their broad coverage, although there may be minor differences. Extended warranties can differ significantly in terms of what is covered, who pays, and where your vehicle can be serviced.

An automobile warranty is provided when you buy a new car. Dealerships should under no circumstances seek to charge you for the factory’s limited guarantee, which comes standard. Extended vehicle warranties, on the other hand, are an extra expenditure that dealerships may charge thousands of dollars for.

What Does a Car Warranty Cover?

A vehicle warranty covers the cost of repairs for parts that break down due to manufacturing flaws or faults. So, if your power window motor, transmission, or infotainment system stops operating as it should, you may return it to the dealer, and they will repair it. There will usually be no deductible with a new car warranty and obtaining coverage will not entail any haggling. Warranties generally cover both the defective component and the labor necessary to replace it.

Most auto warranties cover a fixed number of miles or years and terminate when the first milestone is achieved. For example, if your car warranty is for five years or 50,000 miles and you reach 50,000 miles but the car is only three years old, the warranty would be on that mileage milestone.

What Won’t a Car Warranty Cover?

Most auto warranties have a lot of exclusions, meaning that they won’t cover certain things. They won’t cover inherent items, such as brakes and wiper blades. The cost of the car warranty is not covered by an auto warranty.

Collisions and neglect are not covered by the warranty. It is up to your automobile insurance policy to handle collision repairs, not the manufacturer. If you never changed the oil in your three-year-old automobile, the manufacturer will not be responsible if the engine fails. Damage caused by parking outside during a hailstorm is not a warranty concern: it’s an accident claim that must be handled by your insurance company.

Automakers will refuse warranty service on cars they believe to be misused. Consider taking your Honda Accord to the track, for example, and you’ll discover that your warranty claim has been denied. They’ll also refuse car insurance on vehicles that have had a lot of modifications, whether they’re used on the street or off-road. If there’s evidence that you’re using a trailer that is far above the tow capacity shown in the owner’s manual, an automaker may void your transmission warranty.

What’s the Difference Between a Car Warranty and a Recall?

The federal government will work with the automaker to recall all models that are affected by a safety hazard if the need for repairs is due to a flaw causing an accident. Regardless of the vehicle’s age or mileage, recall repair services are always free.

What Types of Warranties Are There?

A new automobile comes with a variety of warranties, each of which is valid at different times. Warranty coverage and duration differ from automaker to automaker. Some vehicle manufacturers provide extras such as roadside assistance or towing, depending on the manufacturer.


The vast majority of a car’s systems are covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty, which may be referred to as basic warranty, comprehensive warranty, or limited guarantee. If an air conditioner, transmission, or even an interior trim piece fails while the warranty is in force, the manufacturer will pay for repairs at one of its dealerships. Bumper-to-bumper new vehicle warranties generally run three years or 36,000 miles to five years or 60,000 miles. The length of each automaker’s coverage is detailed later in this article.


A powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, axles, and differentials only. It does not cover non-powertrain components such as power door locks, audio systems, or headlights.

When your vehicle’s bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, your coverage begins. If your car has a basic four-year or 50,000-mile warranty and a six-year or 70,000-mile powertrain warranty, the coverage will extend between 50,000 and 70,000 miles (between 4 and 6 years of ownership).

Among new cars, the best powertrain warranties include a ten-year or 100,000-mile coverage.

Corrosion and Perforation

In snowbelt regions, warranties on corrosion and perforation are essential. They protect the automobile against significant rust and corrosion problems. Some automakers define their warranties by significant metal panel perforation, while others limit coverage based on true metal panel hole development. For example, some firms provide different terms for various sorts of damage.

Emissions System

The federal government requires certain elements of your car’s emission-control system to be covered by a special warranty. The primary coverage states that the manufacturer is responsible for repairs that result in your vehicle failing a state-mandated emissions test during the first two years or 24,000 miles on the road. For eight years or 80,000 miles, particular components must be covered.

Hybrid and Electric Car Battery Warranties

The high-voltage batteries installed in hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles receive special warranty coverage mandated by the federal government. In most cases, an electrified auto’s batteries must be covered with a warranty that lasts a minimum of eight years.

Several automakers provide battery coverage that exceeds the federal mandates. Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota are just a few of the automakers who offer 10-year high-voltage battery warranties.


A tire warranty covers faulty construction and early wear, not normal wear and tear. It does not cover you against issues caused by a vehicle’s technological failure, such as misaligned wheels. Because prorating is involved, you seldom receive the full price of a tire when making a claim.

Do Second Owners Get Warranty Coverage?

Bumper-to-bumper coverage is most often carried over from one owner to the next if it is sold multiple times. If, for example, you only have 30,000 miles on a three-year-old automobile with a five-year, 50,000-mile warranty when you sell it, the new owner will be covered for the final two years or 20 000 miles of the warranty.

Warranty coverage for automobiles varies greatly among manufacturers, with some extending the entire term of coverage to new owners and others restricting second-hand owner access. Hyundai and Kia, for example, do not extend their exceptional powertrain warranty protection to second or subsequent buyers.

When purchasing a used vehicle, it’s crucial to know when it was originally sold. That will let you know how much time is left in the warranty.

Do I Get a Warranty on a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

Yes, the manufacturer of a certified pre-owned (CPO) car extends warranty coverage. The durations and terms of CPO warranties differ, with some necessitating the payment of deductibles on covered repairs.

It’s critical to find out whether the automobile you’re interested in is “factory” certified, which will guarantee manufacturer-backed warranty protection. Dealers may advertise vehicles as certified and give a non-factory extended warranty or vehicle service contract. Only franchised new car dealers that specialize in that brand sell factory-certified used cars.

You should be aware of the many different kinds of warranties that come with a vehicle purchase. The warranty you choose will depend on your needs and how much coverage you want for your investment. There are, however, some things to keep in mind when deciding on any kind of car warranty:

  • It is crucial to know whether or not a used car has ever been certified by the manufacturer before purchasing it.
  • Always make sure to check if there’s an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty offered by the dealership.
  • When considering what type of powertrain warranty would work best for you and your family, take into account where you live (for example – snowbelt regions often require corrosion/perforation protection).

We hope you enjoyed this article on the basic of car warranties!

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