There’s no denying that today’s cars are more durable and reliable than ever. It’s also true that they have more complex features for enhancing comfort and optimizing engine performance.
While such efficiency may be good for the modern consumer, it comes at a cost— high repair and maintenance costs. Compared to models from a decade ago, today’s cars are more expensive to maintain and repair. This makes a decent warranty one of the most worthwhile investments you can make when buying a car.
To choose the most suitable warranty for your car, you need to be well-versed in the various aspects of an automobile warranty.
What is a Car Manufacturer Warranty?
A manufacturer’s warranty is a promise by the manufacturer that they will incur the expenses of certain car repairs, provided breakdowns occur within a stipulated period and/or mileage.
The most basic car manufacturer’s warranty lasts for 3 years or with a mileage of 36,000 miles. This can vary depending on the car brand, type, and company.
The Federal Trade Commission legally binds manufacturers to their warranty stipulations. They are required by the law to fix any broken car parts regardless of the cost – as long as the repairs were included in the initial warranty agreement.
However, the manufacturer is not obliged to cater for routine maintenance or car breakdowns resulting from accidents, natural disasters, negligence, abuse, poor car maintenance, fire, fuel contamination, or theft.
Before you buy a car, consider factors such as the warranty length, included parts, as well as the terms and conditions of the warranty. If it’s a used car manufacturer warranty, inquire whether the car manufacturer warranty will be extended to you.
Types of Car Manufacturer Warranty
A factory warranty covers the main components of a car. The five main manufacturer’s warranties include bumper to bumper, powertrain, federal emission, roadside assistance, and corrosion warranties.
1. Bumper to Bumper Warranty
This warranty covers all your car components and systems, except consumable “wear and tear” parts such as wiper blades, tires, and brake pads.
Most of the car manufacturers today provide a 3 year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. With up to 5 years/50,000 miles of assurance, Mitsubishi and Hyundai offer some of the best car manufacturer warranty in this regard.
2. Powertrain Warranty
Also known as drivetrain warranty, this type of insurance covers the key mechanical parts of your car such as the engine, differential, and the transmission. The warranty period is usually longer than in bumper to bumper warranty.
If you own a smart car like the Smart Fortwo electric, this warranty will provide your powertrain and battery pack with 8years/ 99400 miles of protection. KIA and Hyundai offer the best smart car manufacturer warranty deals when it comes to powertrain coverage— about 10 years/100,000 miles.
3. Federal Emission Warranty
If your car doesn’t meet the emission standards outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency, this warranty will protect you from the expenses of repairing defective parts. This includes any additional repairs that may arise from such corrections.
5. Corrosion Warranty
Also known as rust warranty, a corrosion warranty guarantees consumers cover against rust or pre-term deterioration of key metallic parts of their cars. This is by far the longest car manufacturer warranty available, with some manufacturers offering lifetime warranties.
6. Roadside Assistance warranty
This type of warranty covers the costs of towing your vehicle in the event of a breakdown. Some packages cover tire repair costs.
Extension of Manufacturer Warranty
If your manufacturer’s warranty period is not as generous as desired, you can opt to prolong the warranty period through an extended warranty. An extended warranty kicks in after the initial manufacturer’s warranty runs out, offering coverage for a longer period.
One of the benefits of extended warranties is that they can be transferred to a third party in case you decide to sell your car before the warranty contract expires. This adds value to your car and attracts more potential buyers.
The best extended car warranty should be designed with the specific needs of your car in mind. It may not cover everything included in the original warranty, but it should at least cover major aspects of car repair.
What Happens to the Warranty if You Buy Your Car from Another Country?
If you are considering purchasing a new car from other countries, you should bear in mind that warranties may vary from one region to another despite being offered by the same manufacturer.
Toyota is a good example in this regard – while the company offers a five-year cover in the U.S. it only offers a three-year warranty to its Irish customers. However, this does not apply to holidays and travel. If your car breaks down outside the U.S., you will be eligible for the agreed warranty—as long as you are within the E.U.
Before you buy any car, always inquire about the car manufacturer warranty details.