Car Warranty Guide: Everything You Need To Know
For most of us, our car is the most or second-most valuable thing we own. Sadly, they break down even more so as they age. Enter: the car warranty.
A car warranty is essentially a repair contract limiting a car owners financial risk for a set period of time.
It can help you find peace of mind even on a day its not needed. And on the day the seal on your cars radiator cap breaks, leaking hot vapor onto the thermostat and melting the housing, which not only triggers an overheating warning but also sends coolant into the overflow tank causing a ok, youre right. Sorry. Still a little shaken from last months post-warranty repair bill.
Having a car warranty can protect you from paying out-of-pocket fees if your car needs repairs. But not all warranties are the same. In fact, not all warranties are worthwhile.
Heres our guide on automobile warranties, how they work, and if you need them.
Gmc Vehicle Warranty And Protection Plans
Whether you already own a GMC vehicle or are shopping for your first one, your confidence and peace of mind is our priority. Explore warranty details such as coverage and benefits designed to help protect you from unexpected repair costs, and give premium satisfaction with the GMC lineup.
All GMC vehicles are designed, engineered and built to Professional Grade standards. In addition to limited warranties, GMC offers a variety of protection plans to help your vehicle maintain its peak performance.
Recommendations For Extended Warranty Providers
There are many warranty companies out there, and our team has narrowed down the best extended car warranty providers so that you know which ones to trust. We evaluated companies based on coverage, cost, transparency, customer service, and industry standing. You can get free quotes from three of our highest-rated picks Endurance, CARCHEX, and Protect My Car below.
You May Like: How Much To Register A Car In Ca
How Extended Warranty Providers Compare On Price
Weve compared the cost of an extended warranty for four of our favourite used cars, bringing together cover provided by the car maker and from five independent providers. Weve gathered quotes for the most comprehensive cover available from each source, for cars first registered in 2015 that have covered 50,000 miles.
The prices are for 12 months cover, paid in one lump sum, and with no excess charges unless stated otherwise.
The levels of cover do vary, so wed advise you to check out exactly whats included in any extended warranty policy before you buy it.
Other Things You Should Know
Extended auto warranties can be difficult to understand partly because of the amount and complexity of the information and partly because you dont know what you dont know. These information gaps are hard to identify on your own.
So, this section is all about the random things you should know about extended auto warranties that may help you decide if its the right option for you and how to find the right one.
It can be tempting to buy an extended car warranty when your vehicle actually has some repair work that needs to get done. Why not? If the warranty covers the expense, the amount that you pay for the warranty should be tiny compared to the potential repair cost.
Unfortunately, this logic doesnt pan out, much to the dismay of uneducated warranty buyers. The problem is that warranties dont cover pre-existing conditions. In other words, if your vehicle already has some issues with the engine, for example, you wont be able to use a new warranty to reduce or eliminate the repair costs. Any issue that develops after you have the warranty, however, is fair game if its covered.
Warranty providers enforce this pre-existing condition policy by implementing a waiting period after you buy the warranty. Commonly, you have to wait a whole month before you can use the warranty coverage for repair costs. In this time, the provider can see if your vehicle functions normally.
Extended Warranties vs. Auto Insurance
Maintaining Your Warranty
Read Also: Car Door Frozen Shut Prevent
Bottom Line: Are Extended Car Warranties Worth It On Used Cars
In many cases, an extended warranty on a used car makes sense. It’s a great way to save money on expensive repairs, and it could help you keep your car running smoothly for the long haul. However, not all warranties are alike. If you want an extended warranty for your used car, it’s crucial to research your options carefully.
Figure out where your break-even point is by learning about common repairs you may face and how much they may cost especially potentially expensive repairs to your cars engine or transmission. Do the math and include deductibles imposed by the warranty company. Keep in mind that theres always a chance you wont use the warranty if your car doesnt break down over the term of the contract.
Benefits Of Extended Warranty Coverage
As a Honda owner, you want complete peace of mind. The Honda Plus Extended Warranty was designed to take care of any mechanical failure of your vehicle anywhere in North America, using only genuine Honda parts and Honda trained technicians.
Coverage this comprehensive helps you plan for anything even the unexpected. So whether youve leased or purchased, add a Honda Plus Extended Warranty for complete peace of mind.
Standard Warranty vs. Honda Plus Extended Warranty
Standard Warranty vs. Honda Plus Extended Warranty
Recommended Reading: Erase Car Scratches
What To Look For In Factory Warranties
Although there are many extended factory car warranty companies, all of them sell three basic types of extended warranties:
Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Factory Car WarrantiesBumper-to-bumper extended factory car warranties cover everything except maintenance items like oil, brakes, and tires . However, usually you do not need a bumper-to-bumper factory car warranty because new cars come with one, free. Only buy a bumper-to-bumper factory car warranty for when your free warranty expiresâor example, after you have gone past the 3-year/36-thousand mile new car warranty on your new vehicle.
Stated Component Factory Car WarrantiesStated component factory car warranties cover only those components “stated” in the warrantyâfor example the engine, transmission, suspension and the cooling and heating systems. No other components are covered. State component extended factory car warranties is recommended for vehicles that are beyond the original warranty but are not considered “high mileage,” for example over 100,000 miles.
Drive Train Factory Car WarrantiesDrive train factory car warranties cover only the engine, transmission, drive shaft and drive axles. These types of factory car warranties are usually recommended for high-mileage vehicles.
Endurance: Most Comprehensive Coverage
Availability: All states except CaliforniaYear established: 2006Headquarters: Northbrook, Ill.
Endurance holds the No. 1 spot in our industry-wide best extended car warranty review. The company is a direct provider, meaning it handles all customer claims and contracts in-house. It offers six coverage plans with term limits up to 8 years or over 200,000 miles.
Plans range from basic powertrain coverage to exclusionary plans. During our research, we found that an Endurance warranty tends to cost around $546 to $612 per year of coverage, with total costs between $2,990 and $3,990 depending on the service plan you choose. All extended car warranty plans also come with roadside assistance, towing, trip interruption benefits and rental car reimbursement for the duration of the contract.
Heres an overview of Endurances warranty levels:
Most comprehensive plan, covering almost all mechanical and electrical components aside from a few exclusions
Highest level of stated-component coverage
Covers the powertrain as well as the brakes, air conditioning and steering and some electrical components
Most budget-friendly car warranty plan, protecting the engine, transmission and water pump
Plan tailored to high-mileage vehicles that covers the powertrain, electrical, cooling, air conditioning, heating and fuel systems
Combines prepaid maintenance and stated-component warranty coverage
Don’t Miss: California New Car Registration Fees
How To Check A Car Warranty By Vin
The good news is, you can go online and use one of the many VIN number lookup tools to check to see if your car or one you may purchase has an original warranty left on it. You simply enter your VIN number and see all kinds of information about the vehicle, including any recalls, accidents, repairs, and the warranty details. Its worth checking out before purchasing any used cars.
Difference Between A Warranty And An Extended Warranty
An extended warranty typically doesn’t follow the vehicle the way a factory warranty does, nor does it stick with you after you make a trade.
An extended warranty is different from an original warranty and is generally found on used vehicles. They’re a separate purchase that you can make at a dealership, through a third party, or from your insurance provider. Extended warranties are also known as service contracts, and you need to read the fine print carefully before you sign on the dotted line.
A factory warranty is an agreement that the manufacturer is going to cover the costs of certain repairs. The specifics vary. However, original manufacturer warranties typically come as either bumper-to-bumper coverage or powertrain coverage and follow the vehicle for a certain number of miles or amount of time.
Don’t Miss: How Many Cans Of Freon Does My Car Need
Find The Vin And Mileage
this process will go much more smoothly if you can track down your vehicle identification number . check your car insurance cards or your registration. you also might find it on the drivers side dash, drivers side door or on the engine block.
youll also need your cars current mileage. check the odometer on your dash and write down the number, or take a picture of it.
Does The Vehicle Come With A Warranty
Many used cars come with warranties. The previous owner may have purchased a transferable extended warranty, or the manufacturer may provide an extended warranty as part of a vehicle’s certified pre-owned designation. If the car has low mileage, it may still have some of the factory warranty remaining. The dealership may also offer a warranty on a used car.
Before you buy an extended warranty for a used car, find out if it already has any warranty coverage. You may want to buy additional coverage even if it has a warranty .
Recommended Reading: How To Repair Cigarette Burn In Leather Car Seat
Q Can I Add An Extended Warranty If The Factory Warranty Has Long Expired
A. If your car meets the eligibility requirements of a particular warranty plan, yes. Most providers dont require continuous warranty coverage. Instead, your vehicle will have to be under the age and mileage limits of the plan and be in a satisfactory condition for coverage. All providers and many plans have different requirements, so it pays to shop around before you apply for a particular warranty.
Q What Is The Average Price Of An Extended Warranty
A. Prices can range between $350 to $1,000 a year on average. This is a wide range since prices vary widely between providers and the individual plans they offer. Pricing depends on the vehicle type, vehicle condition, your driving history, and the particulars of the plan. Getting a free quote and speaking with a service agent are the best ways to know the exact price youll pay for your warranty.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Cigarette Burn From Car Seat
Is There Anything That Will Void My Warranty
Your limited warranty could be voided if the systems and parts under warranty are damaged by any of the following:
- Damage due to accident, misuse or alteration
- Damage or corrosion due to environment, chemical treatments or aftermarket products
- Damage due to insufficient or improper maintenance
- Damage due to contaminated, improper or poor-quality fuel
- Damage due to impact
Are Extended Warranties Worth It
Purchasing an extended warranty can be a smart choice for some car owners, but its not right for everyone. If you own a highly reliable vehicle with inexpensive repair costs, you may be better off setting savings aside for car repairs. However, the peace of mind extended warranties offer may be well worth the cost for some drivers.
Extended warranties can be worthwhile investments for:
- Drivers looking to establish predictable auto budgets
- Drivers who plan to own their vehicles past the factory warranties expiration
- Drivers with unreliable vehicles
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Scuff Marks From Car Door Panels
New Car Warranty And Emissions
Pay special attention to your vehicles emissions control section when checking the new car warranty. This is one part of any car that confirms its emissions performance.
Important note: As many states follow minimum requirements for carbon emissions and pollution control released from a vehicle, the previous point is important. If your vehicle cannot meet the state standards, you might also be stopped from driving on highways and state roads. Moreover, fixing a defective or damaged emission control system can be rather expensive. So, make it a point to check if coverage is available.
If you find the warranty coverage to be inadequate, consider buying a mechanical breakdown policy or extended warranty to supplement the warranty of your new car.
The Truth Behind Extended Car Warranties
The differences between true extended warranties and vehicle service contracts are just the tip of the iceberg of things that confuse countless vehicle owners. With so much information that is either conflicting or misleading, its easy to buy an extended warranty that wont actually give you the coverage you want or need.
So, lets set the record straight about a few things.
Don’t Miss: Average Commission On A Car Sale
What Type Of Manufacturer Warranty Do I Have
Factory warranties are usually one of the following:
- Bumper-to-bumper warranty:This is a standard warranty manufacturer provide for a brand-new car to cover almost everything from bumper to bumper.
- Powertrain warranty:Cover for the basic mechanical parts your car needs to function. These warranties usually cover a longer period.
If you know which you have, look up your vehicle in the table below to find out if youre still covered.
How To Check If My Car Is Under Warranty
Many vehicles come standard with at least a three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, whichever comes first. Power-train warranties, which cover major components of the engine and transmission, are also common. Some manufacturers offer even more, such as a rust or seat belt warranty. If you did not purchase your car new, you must find out when the vehicle was purchased and how many miles it had on it, as this is when the warranty began. Learn how to find out if your car is under warranty.
Get your vehicle identification number . You can find it on an insurance card or on your vehicle’s title. Also have your vehicle’s correct mileage handy.
Ask to speak to the service department at the dealership. Tell the service representative that you want to find out if your vehicle is still under warranty. He should let you know when the vehicle was purchased and if any warranty still exists based on your current mileage.
- You can also run a vehicle history report to determine when the vehicle was bought. The report is not free but can prove helpful.
- Don’t go just by your owner’s manual to determine if your car is still under warranty. Some vehicles can be purchased up to a year before the actual vehicle’s model year.
You May Like: How To Read Club Car Serial Number
Factory Vs Extended Car Warranties
Most people learn of the major differences between factory and extended warranties when the clock runs out on the original warranty coverage. If you know ahead of time what these differences are, however, you can make a smart decision about what you want to do when the time comes.
Keep in mind, there are plenty of similarities between the two as well. This is why things can be confusing when researching the two. So, to keep them separate, keep these major differences in mind:
In general, you can get better coverage with an extended warranty over the factory coverage. Some vehicle owners, in fact, choose to include an extended warranty even when the factory coverage is still in effect. That said, whether you should get one or not depends on several factors.
How To Check With Your Extended Warranty With The Financing Company
If you financed your car, then your financing company can come in handy to help you with your extended warranty-related quarries. Just like a dealership, your finance company also keeps a detailed record of your purchase which includes all the details of your vehicle including details of your extended warranty. So you can reach out to them and ask for details of your extended warranty and even factory warranty.
Read Also: How To Keep Squirrels Away From Car
New Car Basic And Powertrain Warranties
If you purchased your vehicle new then you have a few things to consider. Nearly every new vehicle purchase comes with two different types of car warranty, each with its own periods of coverage.
The first is your Basic Coverage. Its sometimes referred to as Bumper to Bumper, which is a comprehensive warranty for any defect that may occur with your new vehicle. These warranties are designed to cover defects in the manufacturing process. They are effective for a period of years and/or a set number of miles. For example, a 3 year / 36,000-mile Basic Coverage warranty is good for 3 years from the original date of purchase OR until you have put 36,000 miles on the vehicle. You can simply check your date of purchase or your odometer to see if this car warranty still applies.
The second type of car warranty is the Powertrain Warranty. This typically covers manufacturing defects for any parts that give your vehicle power, such as the engine and transmission. These also are effective for a period of years and miles and are typically effective for longer periods than the Basic Coverage, for example, 6 year/ 70,000-mile.
Armed with this information, you are now ready to see if your new car is still under warranty. You can certainly check the manufacturers website for details or see the table above. You can also contact the dealership where you purchased the vehicle. Simply provide them the Vehicle Identification Number .