What To Do Know About Extended Car Warranties

An extended auto warranty covers expenses your manufacturer’s warranty does not. Learn what you need to know about extended car warranties today.

A typical car or vehicle warranty protects drivers from paying for specific expenses out-of-pocket. Not all manufacturer’s warranties cover the same types of maintenance or repair services, however. This is where an extended auto warranty steps in and offers additional levels of protection.

An extended auto warranty covers expenses due to repairs and maintenance-based services not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Extended warranties are available through automakers, vehicle dealerships and third-party providers. How do you know which companies offer the best deals on trusted extended auto warranties? Read ahead to learn everything you need to know about extended car warranties today.

Vehicle Warranties - Learn the Basics Here

Each new vehicle sold includes some type of warranty protection. While some of these warranties are limited, others cover extensive scenarios and expenses. All warranties provide financial protection when approved repairs are required on your automobile after its original purchase date, however.

Auto warranties are drafted to last for either a specific period or a specific number of miles driven. Some warranties include coverage clauses for both. The main purpose of a vehicle warranty is to prevent drivers from paying out-of-pocket expenses related to defective materials and/or flawed n craftmanship. An auto warranty also serves as a promise from automobile manufacturers to their customers regarding the quality of the vehicles they sell.

Still, not every auto warranty is designed the same. You might need more protection than provided by a basic warranty. This is especially true when you frequently travel long distances, drive dangerous roadways or travel often with your family, For these and many more reasons, it is important to examine extended car warranty options before making a purchase.

Comparing Manufacturer’s and Extended Car and Truck Warranties

Numerous types of auto warranties are available. Two main types are most issued. A manufacturer’s warranty is included in the purchase price of your vehicle. An extended warranty is a separate purchase, which includes additional coverage terms and features. 

Warranties from the Manufacturer

A typical manufacturer’s warranty protects drivers from defects in materials and craftmanship for the life of the warranty. While under warranty, both the manufacturer and dealership where your automobile was purchased are legally obligated to repair issues covered by warranty terms. Certain conditions must be met on your end, however. All auto warranties include clauses, which prevent drivers from visiting numerous services centers and/or repairing the vehicles themselves. All vehicle warranties also only last for a predetermined number of miles driven or time (months to years depending on warranty terms/provider).

Types of Extended Warranties and Additional Information

Your manufacturer’s warranty is limited in features and terms. If you need additional coverage you need to purchase an extended warranty. Multiple types of extended warranties are available from a wide variety of providers. Your dealership will likely be the first to offer you an extended warranty for purchase. This is quite common, in fact, due to customers already committing to a purchase in the presence of a salesman who has access to warranty options. Extended warranties purchased through your dealership are typically only made available at the time you purchase your new car. This sales tactic is used to entice customers to buy the warranties. This service is also highly convenient, however. Many drivers prefer to drive off the lot in their new automobiles with extended coverage. Prices on dealership-provided extended warranties are therefore typically higher in exchange for the conveniences they offer.

The different types of extended warranties made available serve different purposes. They also cover different types of expenses. For example, bumper-to-bumper warranties provide comprehensive coverage and commonly last 3-years or up-to 36,000 miles. These types of extended warranties cover nearly everything on your automobile, with limited exceptions applied. Additional types of extended auto warranties include:

  • Corrosion (covers repair expenses due to natural or accidental corrosion).

  • Lifetime limited (protects against manufacturer defects but not typical wear-and-tear; lasts for life of damaged parts but not life of vehicle).

  • Maintenance (covers certain maintenance services not protected under normal warranties).

  • Cosmetic (covers prespecified cosmetic damage from weather, natural disasters and more).

  • Emissions (covers expenses for qualified repairs to your vehicle’s emissions system).

What Is an Implied Auto Warranty?

Every U.S. state sets forth its own laws pursuant to vehicle warranties. These are referred to as implied auto warranty guarantees. The state-imposed Warranty of Merchantability requires all vehicles to operate as stated by an automaker when the vehicle is released on the market. Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose laws protect drivers against automobiles with issues rendering them unsafe, and unusable for the purposes for which they were sold.

Used Vehicle Warranties

Extended warranties are available for used vehicles. Prices and terms might vary from those offered on new vehicle warranties. This is because a new vehicle is typically at less risk of needing to activate any coverage features. Typical used vehicle warranties last for up to 100,000 miles. When purchasing an used vehicle extended warranty you need to assess the vehicle’s value and compare it to the price of the warranty before committing to a purchase. 

Manufacturer’s vs. Extended Warranties - Here’s What They Cover

Typical manufacturer’s warranties cover an automobile’s battery, heating/AC system and seatbelts. A manufacturer’s warranty also generally covers electrical systems, exhaust systems, failing sensors and premature rust as well. This type of warranty also offers limited powertrain coverage (check your warranty or with your provider for details). Routine maintenance services are commonly not covered by a basic manufacturer’s warranty. Large repairs and fixes to damages caused by accidents or negligence are also not commonly covered. 

Extended warranties cover much more. This especially true for extended powertrain warranties and bumper-to-bumper warranties. Extended auto warranties are available to cover nearly everything your manufacturer’s warranty does not, provided you are willing to pay for the coverage.

Additional Coverage Information

Ford offers a bumper-to-bumper warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Ford also offers a 5-year powertrain warranty with mileage limits up to 60,000 miles. Additional maintenance warranties are also available through Ford. Similar coverage options are available through other popular automakers as follows:

  • Kia (5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 10 years/100,000 powertrain).

  • Hyundai (5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 10 years/100,000 powertrain).

  • Subaru (3 years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 5 years/60,000 powertrain).

  • Toyota (3 years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 5 years/60,000 powertrain).

How Much Does Extended Car Warranties Cost?

Average prices on extended auto warranties range between $1,000 and $5,000 per warranty. These prices are impacted by the make, model and condition of each vehicle covered. The length of the warranty also impacts the pricing. Prices are often negotiable, however. Terms might also be negotiable as well. Possible negotiable terms include:

  • Deductibles.

  • Copays.

  • Coverage features. 

Top Nationwide Extended Car Warranty Providers

Carchex, Endurance and CarShield are three of the top nationwide extended warranty providers today. Carchex offers Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium warranties, each with different levels of protection. Endurance is a gold-certified member of the Motor Vehicle Protection Products Association (MVPPA), which means the company is trusted and reliable. Carchex offers warranty programs for vehicles logging 200,000 miles or higher. CarShield Platinum plans also cover repairs to components not typically covered by warranties, including the fuel pump/injector and suspension system.