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Summary
  • A dealership warranty is a buyer’s guarantee that the purchased vehicle will function as specified. Vehicle warranties must be performed at an authorized dealership unless an emergency repair is necessary. It’s also possible for a dealer warranty to apply to a used car.
  • The different car dealership warranty types include the new vehicle limited warranty, the powertrain warranty, and sheet metal rust through warranty.
  • The pros of a dealership warranty include reliable coverage, benefits, and convenience. The cons are higher interest rate, additional fees, and poor return.
  • Installing parts that didn’t come from the vehicle manufacturer can void a dealership warranty. Normal wear and tear and driving off-road also aren’t covered. Dealership warranties also don’t cover scheduled maintenance.

Driving a car comes with a price. Aside from paying your monthly dues and applying for insurance, you also need to consider getting a dealership warranty.

What Is a Dealership Warranty?

A dealership warranty is a buyer’s guarantee that the purchased vehicle will function as specified.

Almost all vehicle warranties cover product quality and performance and include all the conditions under which they will be honored.

The conditions for vehicle warranties can vary, depending on the manufacturer, but all warranties have a time and mileage restriction.

Types of Car Dealership Warranties

car with dealership warranty under repair
The number of warranty types has gone up over the years as vehicles developed more features.

The number of warranty types has gone up over the years as vehicles developed more features. Here are seven types of car dealership warranties you might find.

New Vehicle Limited Warranty

Also known as the “bumper-to-bumper” policy, this type covers most vehicle components. It’s a comprehensive warranty that covers the components your vehicle came with when you first bought it.

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Powertrain Warranty

A powertrain warranty lasts longer than a bumper-to-bumper warranty. It covers the engine transmission, transaxle, and final drive units.

Sheet Metal Rust Through Warranty

A sheet metal rust through warranty covers any form of rust inside the outer metal surface of the vehicle’s body. It lasts longer than the powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Emission Control Device Warranty

An emission control device warranty covers components that limit vehicle emissions.

Depending on the emission rating, warranty coverage for the emissions system can include the powertrain control module (PCM) and catalytic converter that are anywhere between eight and ten years (80,000 to 150,000 miles).

Restraint Systems Warranty

This type of warranty covers seatbelts and airbags. Depending on the manufacturer, it can last for a few years or the vehicle’s lifespan.

Hybrid and EV Component Warranty

Hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) rely on electric motors to move, and these parts are less prone to wear and tear compared to gasoline engine components.

Still, they also come with warranties, especially for the battery pack, which does most of the work for these types of vehicles.

Extended Warranty

An extended warranty takes over once the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

An extended warranty is also called a service contract. A lot of extended warranties resemble an insurance plan because they include deductibles.

However, be careful when getting an extended warranty for your vehicle. These warranties don’t come from the vehicle manufacturer, and you might end up buying a useless warranty instead.

How Does Car Warranty Work?

Vehicle warranties must be performed at an authorized dealership unless an emergency repair is necessary. The vehicle manufacturer is also responsible for assigning a certified technician to perform the repairs.

For example, should the air conditioning unit in your vehicle stop working while the bumper-to-bumper warranty is still in effect, you won’t have to pay a dime to get it fixed for as long as you go to an authorized dealership.

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Used Car Warranties

More than 284 million vehicles travel US roads, and they have an average lifespan of 12.5 years. This means that millions of vehicles aren’t covered by factory warranty and are often in need of repairs.

Fortunately, there are tons of aftermarket warranties available for used cars.

A used car warranty is essentially an extended warranty. However, not all used cars can come with one一in most cases, only certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles have warranties.

It’s also possible for a dealer warranty to apply to a used car. However, the terms might change when a different person purchases the vehicle.

Are Used Car Warranties Worth It?

car under dealership warranty
While a used car warranty can have some benefits, keep in mind that it works like an extended warranty, which can come with a couple of loopholes and restrictions.

While a used car warranty can have some benefits, keep in mind that it works like an extended warranty, which can come with a couple of loopholes and restrictions.

Pros and Cons of a Dealership Warranty

There are upsides and downsides to getting a dealership warranty. Here are some of them.

Pros: Reliable Coverage, Benefits, and Convenience

A dealership warranty offers reliable coverage because the manufacturer provides high-quality parts installed by trained professionals.

Other perks that come with a dealership warranty include roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement.

Lastly, getting a dealership warranty the same day you’re buying a new car saves you time from having to get one later on.

Cons: Higher Interest Rate, Additional Fees, and Poor Return

A dealership warranty can significantly add to your monthly payments for a new car. There might also be unwanted fees and add-ons that you can’t write off.

Lastly, warranties take effect the moment your vehicle rolls out of the dealership, which means you’re paying additional fees even when your car’s running fine. They might even expire before you need to use them.

Out of Scope: What Dealership Warranties Don’t Cover

Replacing parts that didn’t come from the vehicle manufacturer can void a warranty, especially if the dealership proves that the replacement part caused the defect. Warranties also don’t cover normal wear and tear.

Driving off-road can also void a warranty because that’s considered abnormal use, which means that parts are more likely to wear out more often than they’re supposed to.

Lastly, car warranties don’t cover regularly scheduled maintenance. You could also void your warranty if you don’t keep up with certain preventive maintenance tasks.

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The Verdict: Are Car Warranties Worth It?

Getting a car warranty saves you the trouble of having to whip out a couple of bucks when your vehicle develops major issues.

Warranties act as a safety net for when your vehicle’s powertrain, emissions system, and restraint devices, among others, get damaged.

However, keep in mind that warranties also have their cons. A new vehicle won’t need major repairs anytime soon, so getting a dealership warranty the same day you buy your car might seem like you’re paying for nothing.

There are also certain conditions that can void a warranty, including abnormal use and installing parts that didn’t come from the vehicle manufacturer.

Where to Get Replacement Parts That Aren’t Covered by Your Warranty

Wear-and-tear parts or those that are needed during regular maintenance are normally not covered by your car warranty. These include oil filters, brake pads, wiper blades, bulbs, and more. Luckily, it’s easy to find high-quality yet affordable replacement parts here at CarParts.com.

Take your pick from our wide array of products sold at unbeatable prices. They are all sourced from top manufacturers, so you can be sure they’ve all passed stringent quality control tests.

You don’t have to drive anywhere to get these parts. Simply access our website using our mobile phone or computer. Input your ride’s specific details to narrow down your search to the replacement parts that fit your ride.

Your shopping experience is important to us. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us using our toll-free hotlines. Our team is ready to answer all your queries.

Keep your car running at its best. Follow your scheduled maintenance checks, and get your replacement parts from us.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Automotive Features Reviewer at CarParts.com

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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