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Types Of Car Warranties To Learn

types of car warranties

All new cars come with what’s known as a “limited warranty.” This means that the manufacturer will repair or replace, at no charge to you, any part of the vehicle that is damaged due to a defective material or workmanship within the first three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Beyond this period, the vehicle is considered “unscheduled” and may need repair at any time. There are two basic types of extended warranties: those offered by the automobile dealer and those purchased from an independent source.

Whichever type you choose, it is important to understand the limitations and benefits of each. Below are types of car warranties.

List types of car warranties 

Bumper-to-bumper Warranty

Bumper-to-bumper warranty

A bumper-to-bumper warranty is an extremely useful thing to have. It basically means that if anything goes wrong with your vehicle during the first 3 years or 36,000 miles of ownership, then the manufacturer will fix or replace it for you free of charge.

Some manufacturers offer a 5-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. This means that if something goes wrong with your car, they will either repair it for you or replace it with a new one.

This type of warranty is very rare these days. Most manufacturers offer only a 1-year or 24,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. That means that if anything goes wrong with your car, you will be responsible for fixing or replacing it.

Corrosion Warranty

A corrosion warranty is a very specific kind of warranty that applies to products that have been painted. It is an assurance from the manufacturer that the paint on the product will not deteriorate due to exposure to the elements.

Corrosion is one of the major causes of deterioration of vehicles. If you have a car that has been in an accident and it was not properly repaired, then there is a good chance that the paint will have been damaged by rust.

Paint on a vehicle is only one of many areas of the vehicle that can be affected by corrosion. Another common area is the wheel wells.

It is important to keep in mind that this type of warranty only covers the materials used to construct the product. It does not cover deterioration caused by poor installation or use. Moreover, these warranties are usually very limited in duration.

They will probably only last for the first five years that you own the item. However, if you are buying a pre-owned product, then you should check with the seller to see if they offer a corrosion warranty.

Emissions Warranty

An emissions warranty is a warranty that covers the parts (usually the engine) of a vehicle that has been treated for or tested for the emission of pollutants. The intent of this type of warranty is to ensure that a vehicle is safe to drive and will not damage the environment.

Most states have some sort of emissions warranty. In fact, if you live in an area with very strict pollution laws, you should insist upon having this type of warranty included in your new vehicle purchase contract.

It may not be required by law where you reside, but it is highly recommended. It could literally save your life. You see, many modern vehicles are engineered with such high levels of sophistication that they can actually harm human health if the vehicle isn’t maintained properly. This is especially true when it comes to smog equipment.

Battery Warranty

Battery warranty

Most companies will warrant their batteries for 1-year or 24-months. Some companies offer a “bundled” warranty which covers the battery and the starter motor. Others offer a separate warranty on the battery and the starter motor. Still others don’t offer any warranty at all on the starter motor. If you are getting a car with an OEM battery, it will almost always have a warranty.

If you are going to be driving your vehicle a lot and using it to tow a boat or trailer, then you should definitely get a battery that comes with some type of warranty. You never know when something will go wrong. 

A dead battery can leave you stranded and vulnerable to all kinds of trouble. If you are going to be using your vehicle for towing, then you should definitely ask about the warranty on the battery and the starter motor. You might want to consider getting both since you never know what kind of abuse your vehicle is going to receive.

Accessories Warranty

An accessories warranty covers items such as specialty tools, wiring harnesses, light bulbs, and fuses. It does not cover parts like brake pads, engine bearings, or anything that is integral to the vehicle’s basic operation.

This type of warranty will be found on almost every car sold in the United States. However, it is not required by law. You should always check the owner’s manual or ask your dealer for clarification about what type of warranty your vehicle comes with.

CPO Warranty

This is one of the lesser known types of warranties, but it is out there and it can be worth a lot of money if you are in a bind.  Basically, what it means is that if your car or truck has a mechanical problem within a certain time period (usually three years or 36,000 miles) the dealer can repair it for free.

They don’t have to charge you for parts or labor. They also don’t have to give you any kind of written guarantee. All they have to do is fix the problem and return your vehicle to you.  CPO stands for “Certified Pre-Owned”.  There are several different types of CPO warranties and they all vary in what they cover and how they cover it.

 One thing all of them have in common is that they are a great way for a buyer to get a good deal on a pre-owned vehicle without having to pay a lot of money for a lot of extra benefits like extended warranties, etc.

Used Vehicle Warranty

Most car dealers offer a warranty on the used vehicle they are selling you. This warranty varies in length from 3-months up to a full year. It is important to know what this warranty covers before you buy the vehicle.

The most common type of coverage is “Faulty Workmanship”. This basically means that if the vehicle was manufactured by the car dealer, there is a chance that they will fix or replace the vehicle because it was not constructed properly.

Other types of warranties a car dealer may offer are: A warranty on the interior and exterior of the vehicle; a warranty on the engine and transmission; a warranty on the brakes and steering; and, a warranty on the tires and wheels.

Powertrain Warranty

Powertrain warranty

The powertrain warranty is the coverage period for the engine, transmission, drive axles and rear end. It usually covers the first five years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Some manufacturers offer a “Powertrain Plus” option that extends the warranty an additional two to five years or 125,000 to 200,000 miles.

If you have a van or a pickup with a heavy duty or commercial use, it’s a good idea to buy the “Powertrain Plus” option. That way, if anything goes wrong with your engine or drivetrain, you’ll still have the coverage you need to get it repaired or replaced.

New Vehicle Warranty

New vehicle warranties are usually very high, but they do have some limitations. For one thing, the coverage is only valid for the first 36 months or so that you own your vehicle. After that time period, you are then responsible for repairs yourself or with the help of a mechanic of your choice.

In addition, many new vehicle warranties only cover “manufacturer defects” and not “dealer defects”. This means that if your car gets into an accident at a dealer, it is not covered under warranty. The same goes for any accidents that occur while driving your vehicle on a road trip or any other type of vehicular adventure.

Most states have a lemon law which gives you the right to return a new vehicle to the dealership and get your money back, even if the dealership did everything by the book. This is especially true if the problem was caused by a defective part supplied by the manufacturer.

Dealership Warranty

A dealership warranty is a promise by the dealer to repair or replace your vehicle (or some of it) if there is a problem that is covered by the warranty. Some dealers will also pay to have your car towed to a repair shop if you are a few miles away.

They will do this even if you are not in their “service area”. Most often, they will pay for the repairs to be made within a certain number of miles of where the car is currently located.

You should check with your state’s motor vehicle department to find out what the laws are concerning dealership warranties in your area. Also, be sure to read the “fine print” in any contract you are thinking about signing with a dealer.

You should insist on including a sentence or two in the contract stating that the dealer cannot alter the terms of the warranty without your consent. This is important because many times dealers will try to get around this by altering the terms of the warranty without telling you.

Adjustment Warranty

An adjustment warranty is basically an extra warranty that covers any adjustments you need to make to your car or truck because of normal wear and tear. It’s a good idea to buy one if your vehicle is more than 5 or 6 years old because it will cover a lot of “wear and tear” that would otherwise be out-of-pocket for you.

A good example of this type of warranty is the CARFAX Adjustment Warranty. If your vehicle is less than 3 years old and has 100,000 miles on it, then the factory will still warrant the repair of major components.

However, if your car or truck is 3 to 6 years old and has between 120,000 and 150,000 miles on it, then the factory will make an adjustment warranty available to you. This way, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for “normal wear and tear” which can include things such as brake work, tires, fluids, and other routine maintenance.

Extended Warranty

An extended warranty is a contract you sign with an automobile manufacturer that basically says that if your car or truck ever needs repairs for a covered reason, the manufacturer will fix it for free. Typically, these warranties are for either 3 or 6 years. The idea is that you won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses for maintenance and repairs if your vehicle is under warranty.

This is a great way to get quality repairs done on your vehicle without having to dig into your pocketbook. However, you should know there are a few catches. First, these warranties are typically very expensive.

For example, many extended warranties for new cars cost $500 to $1,000 per year. Also, not all extended warranty plans are the same. Some manufacturers offer a one-year plan for $100, while others may offer a three-year plan for $300.

You also may or may not be able to get the exact coverage you need with an extended warranty. For example, you may be able to get some of the repairs done for free, but not all of them.

Statutory Warranty

A statutory warranty vehicle is one that is required by law to be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. These vehicles are usually new cars and trucks that are sold by the thousands by the manufacturers.

The reason they are so numerous is that it is cheaper for the manufacturer to include a free warranty on these models than to offer a separate warranty on every single one of their vehicles.

This means that if your car or truck is a statutory warranty vehicle, you are entitled to the benefits of a manufacturer’s warranty. Usually, this includes free repairs for any problems that arise for the first three years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Some states have different terms and some don’t have any kind of statutory warranty at all. Check with your state’s DMV to find out what the terms are in your area.

FAQS

What are the most important car warranties?

Most important car warranties are the powertrain which covers most parts of the vehicle. It typically covers the engine, transmission, drive train, axles, and the differential. 

What is the difference between a manufacturer’s warranty and an extended warranty?

Manufacturer’s Warranty vs Extended Warranty. Basically, a manufacturer’s warranty lasts for the full term or duration of the vehicle’s warranty period. An extended warranty typically lasts for six months to five years and is considered an extra protection plan.

How do I decide if I need an extended warranty?

If you already have collision coverage on your policy, you probably don’t need an extended warranty. However, if you don’t have collision coverage, or if your existing coverage isn’t sufficient to pay for the repairs needed, you should definitely consider an extended warranty.

Extended warranties are usually offered by the same insurance companies who write your basic auto insurance policy, and they are easy and inexpensive to add to your policy.

Conclusion

A car warranty is an agreement between you and an auto manufacturer that covers certain defects that may occur in your car during the first several years of ownership. In general, the coverage in a car warranty is very limited.

But, it’s still important to read and understand the terms of your car warranty, because it can affect the cost of repairing your vehicle and also, it can protect you against fraudulent repair work.

You should definitely take the time to learn about your car warranty and how it works. That way, you’ll know what you’re entitled to and what you shouldn’t expect to receive as part of your car warranty.

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