What to do when the car breaks down just like that or through pure wear and tear, without any accident at all? Maintaining a vehicle can be very time-intensive and costly. One way to be prepared for such car repairs is through car warranties. But what must be considered when buying a warranty? And how to find the right company for it?

What an Auto Warranty does

A warranty covers things where car insurance leaves off: It takes care of mechanical and electronic repairs on your vehicle that occur during a certain period. This includes both parts and labor of the repair. What exactly the warranty covers depends on the type of warranty, the scope of coverage, and the brand of the car.

Manufacturer’s vs. Extended Warranty

Many people don’t know that a car warranty does not only apply to new cars but is also available for older vehicles.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

When you buy a new car, automakers usually provide a manufacturer’s warranty that is included in the price. It can be seen as a promise that the car is made well. Depending on the manufacturer and the type of warranty, it is valid for a certain number of years or miles driven, whichever comes first. For the warranty to remain valid, the car must be serviced on time and by a reputable dealer. 

Extended Warranty

When the manufacturer’s warranty expires, you have the option to prolong it by buying a so-called extended warranty from a dealership or third-party company. It is also known as a vehicle service contract or vehicle protection plan. Here, the cheaper the warranty, the less protection it offers. Among the best-extended warranty providers are “Endurance”, “CARCHEX”, “Protect My Car”, and “CarShield”.

Different Types of Auto Warranties

Whether for new or used cars, “warranty” does not always mean the same thing. There are various types of car warranties that cover different things. The two most common types are the Bumper-to-bumper and the Powertrain Warranty.

Bumper-to-bumper Warranty

The Bumper-to-bumper Warranty is the most comprehensive coverage available for your car. Except for wear-and-tear parts such as tires, brake pads, and wiper blades, all parts and systems are covered. For most manufacturers, the bumper-to-bumper warranty is 3 years/36 000 miles, but some, like Kia, offer up to 5 years/60 000 miles of protection.

Powertrain Warranty

The Powertrain Warranty covers the parts that make your car move. This includes the engine, transmission, axles, driveshafts, seals, gaskets, and transfer case. Since these are the most expensive parts of your car, this warranty can help you avoid spending a lot of money. But be careful: some wear parts related to the powertrain, such as the battery and belts, are not covered. The coverage period is longer than for the bumper-to-bumper warranty. The average coverage period is five years/60 000 miles and for some manufacturers, such as Hyundai, it is even 10 years/100 000 miles.

Others

There are many other warranties too, as for example Rust and Corrosion Warranty, Accessory Warranty, Emissions Warranty, and Battery Warranty.