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Buying a car is a big investment, which is why manufacturers offer warranties for their vehicles to show that they stand behind their products.

What is a Manufacturer’s Warranty?

New cars often come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty will cover repairs, replacement, or refund for a vehicle if it develops problems over a specified period of time or miles. A manufacturer’s warranty can cover major automotive components like batteries, seat belts, or air conditioning systems. It can also cover parts on leased vehicles. Make sure to read your car’s manual to find out what’s included in your car’s warranty.

signing a car warranty
Automakers usually provide a three-year or 36,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty for their new vehicles.

What Are the Different Types of Manufacturer’s Warranties?

Manufacturer’s warranties cover a wide range of situations and problems. Here are the most common types of manufacturer’s warranties:

New Vehicle Limited Warranty

Automakers usually provide a three-year or 36,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty for their new vehicles. The coverage starts from the date of purchase until the specified date or mileage (whichever comes first). However, limited warranties can come with some caveats. For one, most limited warranties don’t cover systems that fail over time due to wear and tear or routine maintenance.

Powertrain Limited Warranty

The powertrain limited warranty usually lasts five years or 60,000 miles and covers the engine, drivetrain components, and transmission. The actual length and coverage of a powertrain limited warranty depends on the automaker. Make sure to check your vehicle’s manual to find out what’s not included in the warranty coverage. It can exclude things like fire, misuse, improper repairs, poor maintenance, water contamination, and problems resulting from normal wear and tear.

Extended Warranty

If you want extra coverage for your vehicle’s parts, you can pay extra to get an extended warranty. This warranty extends the manufacturer’s warranty period and usually includes coverage for major vehicle systems, powertrains, rust damage, roadside assistance, and normal wear and tear. Extended warranties are technically not warranties as defined by law, so they are also sometimes referred to as service contracts.

safety cone for roadside assistance
An extended warranty usually includes coverage for major vehicle systems, powertrains, rust damage, roadside assistance, and normal wear and tear.

What Warranty Do Used Cars Come With?

Standard warranty coverage only lasts three years or 36,000 miles. A used car that’s more than three years old may be out of warranty. However, some used vehicles that are certified to be in top condition (certified pre-owned vehicles) come with a warranty.

Used car dealers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to post buyer’s guides containing warranty information on the side window of each car. You’ll find warranty coverage checked or unchecked on the buyer’s guide.

How to Use a Manufacturer’s Warranty

A manufacturer’s warranty is expected to cover the cost of repair or replacement if parts malfunction within a specified time or mileage limit. This may also cover the cost of a rental car.

If you want to use your warranty coverage, you’ll need to follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule and procedures as stated by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you may end up forfeiting your vehicle’s warranty.

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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