If you don’t enjoy expensive surprises at inconvenient times, it’s worth taking time to understand what your car warranty covers and what it doesn’t. You may assume that your car warranty provides roadside assistance when you have a breakdown, only to discover that it doesn’t at a time when you most need it. Or perhaps you think that your car warranty is valid under all circumstances, only to find that the modifications you made to the engine voided it.
So, what does your warranty cover?
Basic car warranties for new cars typically cover any manufacturer defects that need repair at no cost to you. The period that your car warranty is in force depends on the make of your car and can range from three years or 36,000 miles to six years or 72,000 miles. Car manufacturers generally offer more extended periods and mileage for more expensive cars and less for lower-end vehicles, but not always.
Your new car warranty coverage is known as bumper-to-bumper, meaning that the car manufacturer will repair or replace any defective factory part between your vehicle’s front and back bumpers at no cost to you during the period of your warranty. Well, almost anything.
What your car bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t include is tires, normal wear and tear (like replacing oil filters, brake pads, and wiper blades), and body panels, including bumpers. Car warranties also don’t cover any auto body repairs.
The good news is that tire manufacturers provide their own warranties, and will replace or repair defective factory tires at no cost to you.
Your new car warranty will typically cover your transmission, driveshaft, axles, wheels (not the tire itself), engine, and anything else that makes the car move.
Most new car warranties also include roadside assistance if you break down during the car warranty period.
Car salesmen may also sweeten the deal by offering free maintenance for the period of the car warranty. You can negotiate all of these car warranty specifics when buying your vehicle.
We’ve looked at car warranties for new cars, but what about used cars?
More and more used car dealerships trade in certified pre-owned (CPO) cars. A CPO car has been inspected and repaired by the manufacturer, and although the warranty period may be shorter than for a new car, the car warranty covers the same defects as it does for a new car.
You can also get an aftermarket car warranty for non-certified used cars, which will either be for a very short period of time, like 30 days, or will resemble an extended service warranty. Some used car dealerships offer no car warranty at all, and all defects and repairs are at your expense the minute you drive off the lot. This information is important to know before driving off of the lot.
What will void your warranty?
You are responsible for the maintenance of your car. For example, the manufacturer will not repair or replace your engine if you destroyed it because you neglected to replace your oil filter.
Be cautious about “pimping your ride” as well: a bling steering wheel cover is fine, but if you replace your Honda Civic engine with a Ferrari engine, your car warranty will definitely be void.
Make sure that you know what the manufacturer’s car warranty covers when you’re looking to buy a new car. Car salesmen will often use the car warranty as bait to persuade you to buy from their franchise, which is fair enough, but check it out yourself before making a decision.
If you’re questioning what your warranty covers or are involved in a collision based on something faulty with your vehicle, contact Orlando Auto Body at 480-351-1734.