What’s Covered in My Auto Warranty?


The word “warranty” alone can make a person automatically feel protected. But you can get the most out of your various vehicle warranties—and there can be quite a few of them—if you know and understand what each of them is all about.The word “warranty” alone can make a person automatically feel protected. But you can get the most out of your various vehicle warranties—and there can be quite a few of them—if you know and understand what each of them is all about.

Drivetrain

A drivetrain warranty covers the majority of parts that are integral to delivering power to the driving wheels—axles, the driveshaft, a maze of gears and more. The warranty does not cover wear and tear on certain parts, like belts and hoses, but does cover wear and tear on pistons and bearings.

Powertrain

Contrary to popular belief, drivetrain and powertrain warranties are not the same. The drivetrain is just one part of the powertrain. While the engine and all its configurations, as well as the transmission, are included in what is considered to be the powertrain, they are not part of the drivetrain where warranties are concerned. Kelsey Mays of Cars.com cautions that a powertrain warranty does not guarantee years’ worth of free comprehensive vehicle repairs.

“It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, such as the driveshaft and constant velocity joints,” Mays says. “With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don’t cover regular maintenance like engine tune-ups and tire rotations.”

Bumper to Bumper

Oftentimes this is called a basic warranty because it is quite simple: it covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components all throughout your vehicle, but it does not cover regular maintenance.

“A basic automobile warranty covers everything except items subject to wear and tear, such as oil filters and wiper blades,” Edmunds.com clarifies.

Rust Perforation

This type of warranty protects you from rust-through problems with the sheet metal of your vehicle. According to Cars.com, these policies generally last up to six years and have no mileage limits but will not cover surface rust, or corrosion that has caused a hole. Furthermore, most policies don’t provide coverage for rust caused by rock chips, hail or acid rain.

Roadside Assistance

Most manufacturers will cover instances during which you are stranded with your vehicle. Emergency locksmith services, fuel delivery and flat-tire changes are just a few of the benefits of a roadside assistance policy. But be vigilant before you sign up for a separate roadside assistance warranty.

“Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies,” Mays explains.

Batteries

Your traditional car battery may be covered in a bumper-to-bumper policy, but if it isn’t, you can get a warranty that will cover defective batteries just for the remaining battery life that you lost.

Hybrid batteries and their associated equipment—such as control modules, variable transmissions, and more—are considered part of the overall emissions system (used to reduce fuel consumption and thus air pollution); therefore, they are automatically covered for at least eight years or 100,000 miles under federal emissions laws. Some states with zero-emissions vehicle regulations like California require even more coverage.

Warranties can be offered for a myriad of other vehicle parts and services. Additionally, certain mileage or timing specifications often vary by manufacturer, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual or local dealer for specifics, as well as for any further information you may need.

 

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