How Much Does a Manufacturer’s Warranty Cover?
When that new car smell is gone and you’re left with whiffs of unidentified odors left by your kids, pets, and day old French fries and your car doesn’t work as well as it used to, you’ll begin to wonder the extent of your auto warranty coverage. Having a good understanding of what parts and repairs are covered (and for how long) will give you the complete picture of how you can minimize your costs with each tune-up and know what insurance coverage you should get. The following are a few tips about a Manufacturer’s Warranty to help you get the best service for your car and save you money in the long run.
The Manufacturer’s Promise
To understand what a Manufacturer’s Warranty covers, it’s a good idea to understand what exactly a Manufacturer’s Warranty is, and what it is not. Essentially, an auto warranty is a promise given by the manufacturer or dealer to cover various defects and repairs over an allotted amount of time and/or certain amount of mileage on the car. In general, a basic warranty will last about three years or 36,000 miles. It’s important to note, that depending on the car manufacturer the warranty will vary.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, before purchasing a car warranty, there are a few basic questions that should be on your checklist. As a consumer, you need to get all the answers from the dealer before you say “Yes!” to the warranty. Items such as the length of the warranty, each of the parts and repair problems covered as well as any conditions or limitations on the warranty and the point of contact for service.
The good news is that Manufacturer’s Warranties are legally binding documents that pledge to replace and/or fix any parts on the car that have broken down or are fundamentally faulty including detective parts. Although warranties are fantastic and can save you a lot of money in the beginning, they do not cover regular maintenance or breakdowns due to accidents, lack of proper maintenance, acts of nature such as floods or hurricanes, contamination of fluids or fuels, fire, theft, negligence, collision, or misuse and abuse.
There are various levels of warranty coverage so you will need to inform yourself of the limits and overall coverage before you jump into the purchase. Here are some of the most basic types of warranties available for your car that your dealer may offer to you:
1. Basic “bumper-to-bumper” warranty coverage:
The most general of all coverage, this warranty pays to repair any flaws and defects in factory-installed parts.
2. Roadside Assistance warranty coverage:
This warranty covers towing costs and even tire repair in case of a breakdown during travel.
3. Drivetrain/ Powertrain warranty coverage:
This warranty in particular seems to outlast the bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage. It covers the engine, transaxle parts and the transmission.
4. Federal Emission warranty coverage:
If your car should not meet the particular requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency standards, this warranty covers any necessary repairs needed to correct defects in the damaged or default parts.
5. Rust or Corrosion warranty coverage:
This warranty covers the rusting of parts made of sheet metal in your vehicle.
How to Maintain Your Warranty
Regularly maintaining maintenance on your car is important to do anyway, but it’s particularly crucial when you have a warranty. Failing to regularly maintain and inspect your car can lead to a voided warranty. Typical car maintenance are tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, fluid checks and flushes, replacements on brake pads and belts, and other minor repairs. Luckily, as long as you get your car repaired, it doesn’t matter which mechanic or shop you choose. You don’t have to only depend on the dealer’s service department for your repairs, so choose a mechanic you trust. If you are curious about how to choose the best mechanic for you, here are some tips to help you decide.
Auto Insurance vs. Car Warranties
When it comes to car warranties, the manufacturer makes a guarantee to the car buyer regarding the vehicle’s condition. If these car parts malfunction or do not work as they are intended, then the warranty will cover the costs to repair or replace the necessary part. Additionally, the car warranty will cover the cost of a car rental due to the need for the car to be in the shop.
Auto Insurance, however, is very different. The insurer is responsible for taking on financial protection and/or reimbursement for the risks that are inherent with driving. All states in the United States, except for New Hampshire, require drivers to have some form of auto insurance. Depending on the level of auto insurance, drivers are covered for accidents, collisions, car rentals and at times, roadside assistance. Auto insurance prices depend on a person’s driving record along with the make and model of their vehicle. Some insurance companies give discounts or rewards for good driving and responsible driving records.
Having both auto insurance and a car warranty will save you money and headaches in the long run.
Service Contracts or “Extended Warranties”
Unfortunately warranties run out. That’s where extended warranties come in. Many car owners choose to purchase a service contract or extended warranty to provide further coverage for repairs and maintenance. These contracts are sold separately by car dealers, vehicle manufacturers and independent providers. Depending on your needs, you will need to look over the various types of service contracts to get the one that is right for you.
Extended warranties do not provide benefits until after the initial warranty expires. This is often frustrating for people who find their service contract actually provides better service than their initial warranty, however, it cannot be used while the original warranty is still in effect. Rates for these contracts depend on the life of the car. Vehicles with fewer miles and past repairs will definitely give you a better deal.
Although these service contracts are often referred to as “extended warranties” they are actually not warranties at all. Since warranties end and service contracts are optional, it is critical for car owners to purchase good, reliable, affordable insurance that will provide them with adequate coverage and be the best fit for their specific car.
Those interested in purchasing both a service contract and insurance need to do their homework and research the best choice for them. They should practice due diligence to find the most trustworthy source. This is particularly true when dealing with third party companies.
Understanding the Best and Worst Warranties Available
Three types of vehicles on the market stand out for their basic and power train warranties. Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Kia are known for providing the best warranties with each brand offering 5 years or 60,000 miles as well as 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain warranties.
Cadillac and BMW offer four years or 50,000 miles for basic warranties and five years or 100,000 miles powertrain warranties. Other brands such as Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Mazda and Subaru offer less coverage, but still provide adequate service for standard warranties on the market.
Finding the Best Used Car Warranty
Having a little peace of mind when purchasing a used car goes a long way. Figuring out how to purchase a warranty on a used car can be tough, but when you read the fine print, you’ll discover you’ll find the best coverage for you.
A certified preowned-car warranty is great because the factory warranty backs the product. It’s important to know, however, that certified pre-owned vehicles need to be in good or great shape and insurable. Any insurer wants to provide insurance to “healthy” patients, as in, cars that do not have much damage or are known for not needing lots of repairs. Any car that needs major work such as a new transmission will not get the opportunity to be labeled a certified pre-owned vehicle.
Know that not all certified pre-owned vehicle warranties are the same. When you’re shopping for one, look at deductibles first. It is also helpful to check if the certified pre-owned warranty is transferable if the car is sold before it expires. Brands like Audi and Nissan do not transfer all or some parts of the warranty, however some brands like Kia or Hyundai are more flexible.
In the long run, remember, in many ways it is all just insurance. You are protecting your car – and your wallet – in case you need repairs or something major comes up. When it all comes down to it, car makers would much rather be in the car business and not the insurance business. So car manufacturers often negotiate contracts with giant companies that provide insurance in the form of warranties.
Auto City is a used car dealership. However, many used cars that we offer come with remaining manufacture’s warranty. Additionally, all cars come with a warranty from our dealership. Please ask one of our knowledgeable sales advisors if you have any questions about warranties or extended service contracts. Additionally, we offer free CARFAX reports right here on our website for all cars listed for sale by our dealership. CARFAX does a good job calculating any remaining warranty – simply click on “warranty check” on the right menu, enter vehicle mileage and check warranty details.