How Long Does a Car Warranty Last? – Warranty Guide for New Cars

What is Car Warranty?

A car warranty is a contract between a vehicle manufacturer and the new car owner where the manufacturer promises to repair or replace defective components and workmanship for a specified period of time. A car warranty is typically a bumper-to-bumper warranty, powertrain warranty, and several different types of manufacturer-backed secondary warranties. The warranty covers defects in the manufacturer’s design or installation and usually lasts for three years or around 30,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Extended warranties must be purchased independently and typically have a deductible. The warranty typically does not cover accidents, normal wear and tear, or routine maintenance items.

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Kytely Upgraded Dog Car Seat Cover

Kytely Upgraded Dog Car Seat Cover

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TOPSACE Car Side Mirror Squeegee

TOPSACE Car Side Mirror Squeegee

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Drop Stop as seen on Shark Tank (2 Pack)

Drop Stop as seen on Shark Tank (2 Pack)

  • Gap Coverage: Drop Stop is a car accessory that provides 100% gap coverage in front of, surrounding, and behind the seat belt catch.
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Veepeak OBDCheck BLE Bluetooth OBD II Scanner

Veepeak OBDCheck BLE Bluetooth OBD II Scanner

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  • App Required: A third-party App is required (check recommendations in the description below, some may require separate purchase).
  • Warranty: The device comes with a one-year replacement warranty.
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IMINSO Handheld Vacuum Cordless Car Vacuum

IMINSO Handheld Vacuum Cordless Car Vacuum

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What are the Different Types of Car Warranties?

1. Manufacturer warranty

A manufacturer warranty is a written guarantee offered by a car manufacturer to cover any design flaws or defective parts in a vehicle. It typically covers repairs and replacements of parts that break down due to design defects, and may also include powertrain, corrosion, maintenance, and emissions coverage. Manufacturer warranties typically last for three years or 36,000 miles, and will not cover routine maintenance, normal wear and tear, damage caused by accidents or environmental factors, cosmetic parts, or damage caused by improper car care. Although manufacturer warranties are included in the cost of the car, it is important to consider purchasing an extended car warranty to ensure the car is protected for years to come.

2. Manufacturer extended warranty

A manufacturer extended warranty is a product offered by auto dealers that promises to repair, replace, or reimburse customers for certain damages that occur on a vehicle. It is typically offered with the purchase of a new or certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle and provides coverage for design and workmanship defects. This warranty begins after the original factory warranty expires and is usually an optional purchase. It usually covers similar issues as the original warranty did, but can include different components and extra perks. Some common perks include roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption reimbursement.

3. Powertrain warranty

A powertrain warranty is an extended warranty that provides coverage for the mechanical components of your vehicle that are responsible for its propulsion. This includes the engine, transmission, driveshafts, transfer case, differentials, camshaft, timing belts, and other related components. It typically lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, but some may last up to 10 years or 100,000 miles. It does not cover wear and tear parts such as spark plugs and clutch packs, damage caused by misuse, or services such as transmission fluid changes. With the increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles, some powertrain warranties may also cover the vehicle battery against capacity issues.

4. Bumper-to-bumper warranty

A bumper-to-bumper warranty, also known as a comprehensive or exclusionary warranty, is a type of car warranty that provides protection for virtually all the mechanical parts of a car from the front to the rear bumper. This kind of coverage is so comprehensive it’s often easier to list what isn’t covered, like normal wear and tear items, tires, interior trim, window glass, and chassis paneling. Typically, bumper-to-bumper warranties last three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, and cover any design flaws, component malfunctions, or workmanship defects.

Bumper-to-bumper warranties are popular because they provide a high level of protection for many years. They provide peace of mind for car owners, knowing that they won’t have to pay out of pocket if something goes wrong with their vehicle. In addition, they may also include some smaller coverages like hybrid vehicle parts, heating and air conditioning, electrical components, and safety features. All in all, bumper-to-bumper warranties are a valuable asset that can help keep your car running for years to come.

5. Wear-and-tear warranty

A wear-and-tear warranty is a type of car warranty that covers normal wear and tear items, such as brake pads and windshield wipers. This type of warranty is different from other car warranties in that it does not cover repairs caused by factory and workmanship errors, and instead focuses on regular maintenance and cosmetic parts. This type of warranty is also different from a factory warranty, as factory warranties typically cover parts damaged by normal use, not wear and tear. The coverage for a wear-and-tear warranty may also be shorter than a factory warranty as it does not cover major repairs, only regular maintenance.

6. Emissions warranty

An emissions warranty is a type of car warranty that covers the components of a vehicle that limit its emissions. These warranties vary by state, and manufacturers often provide longer coverage for California residents. The federal emissions control warranty generally provides two years or 24,000 miles of coverage for performance issues, three years or 36,000 miles of coverage for design issues, and eight years or 80,000 miles of coverage for select component defects. In California, vehicles may be eligible for up to seven years or 70,000 miles of coverage. The warranty covers parts related to emission control, such as the catalytic converter and engine control unit.

7. Electronic parts warranty

An electronic parts warranty is a type of manufacturer warranty that covers repairs to the battery, electric motor, and other unique components found in an electric or hybrid car. This type of warranty is usually issued by an automobile manufacturer and provides coverage for a specific period of time. The exact length and coverage of the warranty varies by manufacturer, but typically it will cover repairs to the battery, electric motor, and other unique components for the length of the warranty or until the car reaches a certain mileage. Additionally, some manufacturers offer a corrosion warranty, which protects against rust or corrosion of sheet metal on your car, as well as a lifetime limited parts warranty which covers the repair or replacement of specific vehicle parts for as long as they last.

8. Roadside assistance program

A roadside assistance program is a service that provides assistance to drivers who experience automotive problems such as flat tires, running out of gas, or becoming stranded. It is usually offered as an additional benefit associated with an extended warranty plan or a vehicle service contract. The program typically provides towing services to the nearest authorized dealer, vehicle unlock services, flat tire changes, battery jump starts, and emergency fuel delivery. Additionally, some programs may also provide alternate transportation or reimbursements of certain transportation expenses for warranty repairs. Finally, programs may also include roadside assistance, towing, and rentals.

9. Maintenance and repair services

A car warranty typically covers repair and replacement costs caused by factory and workmanship errors. However, certain items are excluded from coverage, such as routine maintenance, normal wear and tear, damage caused by accidents or environmental factors, cosmetic parts, and damage caused by improper car care. Other services potentially included with a car warranty are alternate transportation, reimbursement of certain transportation expenses, protection plans, pre-paid maintenance, and tire and wheel protection. Most warranties cover the entire vehicle for repairs, including parts and labor, to correct any defect in materials or workmanship for a certain amount of time (usually 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first). Some automakers also offer optional maintenance packages and complimentary maintenance, allowing buyers to prepay some standard maintenance with the purchase of a new vehicle.

10. Extended warranty plans

Extended warranty plans are optional service contracts that provide coverage after a vehicle’s original manufacturer warranty has expired. They are offered by both car dealerships and third-party providers and typically offer more comprehensive coverage tiers and customization options than factory warranties.

The average length of coverage for an extended warranty plan is usually longer than a standard manufacturer warranty, ranging from six years or 100,000 miles up to ten years or 125,000 miles. Extended warranties typically start on the car’s in-service date, while new vehicle warranty coverage typically starts on the date of purchase. Additionally, extended warranties are typically more expensive than manufacturer warranties.

It’s important to read the fine print before purchasing an extended warranty plan to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need. Shopping around and comparing different plans is a great way to ensure you get the best deal.

How Long Does a Car Warranty Last?

A car warranty typically lasts for a set period of time or a set distance in miles, usually 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, this varies by manufacturer, with many offering bumper-to-bumper warranties for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles and powertrain warranties for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles. The industry standard for one year of warranty coverage equates to about 12,000 miles of driving, but this is not always the case as the average American drives 12,700 miles per year. It is important to be aware of the warranty details of your specific car make, model, and year in order to best understand how long your car warranty may last.

Tips on How to Maximize Your Car’s Warranty Coverage

1. Research your car’s warranty coverage

Researching your car’s warranty coverage starts with understanding the type of warranty you have and what it covers. Here are the steps you should take to research your car’s warranty coverage:

  1. Check when the manufacturer’s warranty expires: New vehicles typically come with a couple of standard warranties while used vehicles may or may not come with any car warranty. If you purchased your used car from a dealership, you can find out its warranty status by reading the Buyers Guide.
  2. Read through vehicle service contracts for your used car: When you receive the documentation accompanying your warranty, make sure to understand all the terms and conditions. Pay special attention to parts, time periods, mileage, and other terms that apply to the coverage in your warranty.
  3. Expect to pay more if your car is older or has higher mileage: Used car warranties can be pricier than vehicle protection plans for new cars. Third-party warranty companies weigh age and mileage as factors when providing extended car warranty quotes, which tend to be higher in used cars than new ones.
  4. Compare extended car warranty coverage options and pricing: Before you sign with a company, you should reach out to several used car warranty companies for quotes. Comparing estimates and coverage plans will ensure that you find the best deal for your budget.
  5. If you purchased your used car from an individual rather than a dealership, you might not know what factory warranty coverage is still valid for your vehicle. To find out, you’ll need to locate the VIN number and the mileage of your vehicle and call your dealer to find out if it is still covered.

2. Read your warranty’s fine print

When looking through your car’s warranty fine print, there are several key pieces of information to pay attention to that will help maximize your coverage. These include: the type of warranty (extended warranty, standard warranty, etc.); the time period, mileage, and parts covered; the exclusions; and any other restrictions that may apply to your warranty. To understand the specific limitations of your warranty, it’s important to view your vehicle’s warranty status and read the warranty documentation thoroughly. Additionally, when purchasing a used car, be sure to compare all of your warranty options and read through each vehicle service contract carefully to ensure you understand what type of warranty coverage is offered and what vehicle repairs are excluded.

3. Look for manufacturers with better warranties

Step 1: Before shopping for a car, research the manufacturers’ warranties. Take time to compare the coverage offered and the time frames.

Step 2: Once you have decided on a car, negotiate the price of the vehicle, and then ask about any factory extended warranties that might be available for the car.

Step 3: After you have considered the factory extended warranties, research third-party providers to compare their plans and prices.

Step 4: Compare the warranty providers in-depth. Make sure to find out if you are buying the warranty from the administrator itself or from a broker, and research the provider’s reputation, plan selection, and customer service.

Step 5: Once you have decided on a provider, consider customizing the plan to fit your own budget and needs.

Step 6: Make sure to keep all warranty information in a safe and secure place.

Step 7: In the event that you need to use the warranty, contact the provider or administrator as soon as possible to get assistance.

4. Ask your dealer about extended warranty options

Step 1: Contact your car dealership’s customer service line or visit the dealership in person.

Step 2: Ask your dealer about the different types of extended warranty options they offer. Make sure to ask about the coverage details, as well as the plan lengths, to determine which option is best for you.

Step 3: Negotiate the price of the extended warranty with the dealership. Remember that you may have more room for negotiation when it comes to factory extended warranties than third-party extended warranties.

Step 4: Once you have decided on a plan, review the details of the extended warranty agreement. Make sure you understand all of the coverage details, as well as the terms and conditions.

Step 5: Sign the agreement to purchase the extended warranty for your car. Keep a copy of the agreement for your records.

5. Invest in repairs and maintenance now to avoid more costly repairs later

Investing in repairs and maintenance now can help you avoid more costly repairs later. Keeping a detailed maintenance history for your vehicle, including oil/filter changes, radiator flushes, A/C recharges, brake changes and regular tune-ups, can be beneficial in the long run, not only for an extended warranty but for increasing your vehicle’s resale value as well. Additionally, investing in a high-quality extended warranty plan when buying a used car can save you money by covering unexpected auto repairs, as the likelihood of mechanical issues increases as vehicles age. Corrosion can also be covered under a warranty, which is especially important in areas with a lot of salt, water, or other environmental factors that can damage a car.

6. Know what is not covered by your warranty

Warranty coverage usually has certain limitations, depending on the type of warranty and the provider. Generally, factory warranties will not cover normal wear-and-tear parts, routine maintenance services, environmental damage, aftermarket parts and alterations, damage caused by an accident or collision, damage caused by misuse or abuse, or damage caused by lack of maintenance. Additionally, drivers who off-road or race, install unauthorized aftermarket parts or modifications, do not follow the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule, use improper fluids, or neglect regular maintenance can void their factory warranty. Extended warranties may also have limitations, so it is important to read the agreement’s fine print carefully to understand what type of coverage is offered and what vehicle repairs are excluded. Generally, extended warranties do not cover routine maintenance, normal wear and tear items, damage caused by accidents or environmental factors, cosmetic parts, or damage caused by improper car care.

7. Check your warranty’s mileage limit

It is important to check your warranty’s mileage limit when maximizing coverage for your car because warranties typically have a mileage limitation that is required to be met in order to receive coverage. For example, many warranties will cover repairs for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. As the average American drives around 12,700 miles per year, in most cases the mileage limit will be reached before the 10-year period is up. Additionally, many Americans are now driving cars that are over 12 years old. This can mean that the original warranty has expired and you will need to purchase an extended warranty if you want further coverage. It is important to understand all the terms and conditions of your warranty, paying special attention to the parts, time periods, mileage and other terms that apply to the coverage, in order to maximize your coverage.

8. Make sure you submit your warranty claims in a timely manner

It is very important to submit warranty claims in a timely manner, as this could mean the difference between getting your repairs covered by the warranty and having to pay out of pocket. If you wait too long to make your claim, it might be too late and you will not be eligible for coverage. Delaying in filing a claim can also lead to complications in the process, as you may not be able to provide the necessary documentation or other evidence to back up your claim. Therefore, it is important to take the time to research the requirements of your warranty and submit your claim as soon as possible.

9. Consider purchasing an after market warranty

It is important to purchase an aftermarket warranty for a used car because it can save you money in the long run. Without extended warranty coverage, you’ll be responsible for the entire cost of repairs and service bills. Depending on the age and condition of the car, these costs could add up to a significant amount. An aftermarket warranty can provide peace of mind by protecting you from these unexpected repair costs. Additionally, aftermarket warranties often offer more comprehensive coverage than a factory warranty and can be personalized to fit your budget. Shopping around to compare plans is important to ensure you are getting the best coverage at the best price.

10. Monitor your warranty’s status and stay in touch with your provider

Monitoring your warranty’s status can help you maximize your coverage by ensuring that you understand what your warranty covers and what it doesn’t. Knowing the terms and conditions of your warranty will help you determine what repairs and maintenance are covered under the warranty and what repairs and maintenance you may need to pay for out of pocket. Knowing the exact expiration date of your warranty can also be helpful; for example, if you own a used 2016 car, the warranty may expire in the fall of 2020 or 2021, depending on the terms and the actual date of purchase. Knowing this can help you plan when to have repairs and maintenance done that may be covered by the warranty. Additionally, researching the warranty provider can help you make sure you are getting the best coverage from a reputable and customer-friendly company. By monitoring your warranty’s status, you can make sure you are maximizing your coverage and getting the most out of your warranty.