What Does Your New Car Warranty Cover?

Your new car warranty is a wonderful thing, or is it? Do you know what your warranty covers and what it leaves out? How long is it good for?

Did you know that rust isn’t covered by most warranties unless it actually perforates the sheet metal? Surface rust doesn’t count. Other items not included are those subject to tear and wear, such as hoses, belts, oil filters and wiper blades. Batteries and tires aren’t included either because they have warranties of their own.

When it comes to emissions and safety, the federal government steps in. Warranty on most emissions and exhaust components should be 8 years or 80,000 miles. Seatbelts and airbags must be covered for a minimum of 5 years or 50,000 miles.

There are four types of new car warranties (most cars come with at least the top two):

1- Basic – Also known as bumper-to-bumper, it covers everything except the items mentioned earlier. Depending on the model and manufacturer, basic warranties are usually good for 4 to 6 years (36,000 to 60,000 miles).

2- Drivetrain – The drivetrain is everything that makes your car run, like the engine, driveshaft, transmission and drive axles. These warranties usually last between 2 and 10 years (36,000 to 10,000 miles).

3- Rust or Corrosion – Covers rust-through problems only. It usually lasts as long as the basic warranty.

4- Roadside Assistance – Includes free towing, rental car reimbursement and assistance in common situations like flat tires, running out of gas or locking yourself out of the car. Service is provided during coverage of the basic warranty.

All the details of your warranty coverage will be explained in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet. Some manufacturers also offer secret warranties for common problems with their cars, but these are given on an individual complaint basis.

If you still feel you need additional protection, you might want to consider purchasing an extended warranty.


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