Auto Warranty Heads-Up

Many people mistake auto warranty with vehicle service. The two are completely different. So what exactly is a vehicle warranty? When you purchase a car, there is a warranty you sign with the manufacturer. This warranty covers your car for only a certain period of time and a specified number of miles covered by your vehicle.

You do not get auto warranties from third parties. The only people with authorization to offer the warranties are the car dealers and the manufacturers. If your car gets into an accident, auto warranty only covers the repair of some parts of the vehicle. Even when the warranty covers this, your vehicle must still meet the conditions of the warranty, which are the mileage and the period you have had the vehicle since purchase.

What An Auto Warranty Covers

Now you may be asking yourself exactly what parts of the car, auto warranty covers. Even though the conditions state that auto warranty covers some parts of the vehicle, the truth is it covers almost all parts of the vehicle. Most of the basic parts of the car that are prone to accidents are all covered. These are bumpers, electrical components, air conditioning, and a few other parts. The warranty period for these parts goes up to a maximum of three years and a coverage of about 36,000 miles. This is however for the less expensive brands. For more costly luxurious brands like the BMW and Jaguar, the period extends to 4 years with a mileage of 50,000.

There is also the powertrain auto warranty, which covers repairs of the engine transmission. Engine transmission repairs can cost more than the other parts, sometimes running to thousands of dollars and that is why there is a special coverage for that.

For emission control systems and catalytic converters, the requirement under the federal law is for all manufacturers to provide at least 80,000-mile warranty. This warranty should also cover 8 years.

In recent years, another addition to auto warranty includes roadside assistance. This however only covers the luxury brands like the BMW and Jaguar.

Rust protection is another recent addition to auto warranty. This covers panel body rusting which is almost minimal with the vehicles manufactured in recent years.

What An Auto Warranty Does Not Cover

Auto warranty does not cover most of basic and regular maintenance details. This includes items like oil changes, brake linings, seat belts, wipers, and tubing among others.

Before you drive off after purchasing your car, make sure you go through the following items so as not to ask questions later.

Make Sure You Know What The Auto Warranty Covers

Do not make any assumptions. Go through the manual very carefully and note down everything that your warranty covers. If your vehicle needs some repairs at some point, your dealer might insist that the parts you need repaired are not covered and you should pay extra for them. If you have not read the manual, you may end up paying for something that is already covered. Before you pay anything, do a double check and if necessary call your manufacturer or the auto company for clarification.

What Is An Extended Auto Warranty

Unlike the name suggests, these are not actually warranties but are more of an insurance coverage and they are used to safeguard your vehicle against unexpected repair costs.

You are probably wondering whether an extended auto warranty is similar to a manufacturer’s warranty. The answer is no. A manufacturer’s warranty, unlike the extended warranty, will be included in the initial price of purchase. If you decide to get an extended warranty you will have to incur an additional cost.

An extended auto warranty can be a real lifesaver. Picture your car having a sudden breakdown and the manufacturer’s warranty is long expired. It may cost you a fortune to have it repaired. With an extended auto warranty, you will not have to worry about that. They are designed to help cover repair costs once you have surpassed a specified amount of mileage or years on the manufacturer’s warranty.

Should you decide to get an extended auto warranty, you can easily do so at the dealership as you are purchasing the car. You can also decide to get it later on as long as the manufacturer’s warranty is not yet expired.

When Do You Qualify For An Auto Warranty Refund?

So, you went ahead and got an extended auto warranty for your car. But for one reason or another, you want a refund for the same. Is it possible? Well, there are certain instances where you may qualify for a refund. Of course, be sure to carefully read the terms of the warranty. Getting a refund on the warranty will depend on those terms.

If you sell your car to a third party or a dealership, then chances are that you will get a refund. However, be sure not to transfer the warranty to the new buyer.

Suppose your car was stolen and you were not able to recover it. You will still qualify for a refund in this case. You should also get a refund in case your insurance company totaled your car.

Additionally, you may get a refund if the terms and mileage on your extended auto warranty have not expired or if you bought the warranty within the past 6 years. Whether or not you still own the car, you are entitled to a refund.

The refund you get is calculated on a “pro-rata” basis. This means that the company takes into account the time and mileage remaining as per what was specified in the warranty.

It is, however, important to note that an extended auto warranty refund depends heavily on the dealership and insurance company. Therefore, make sure you are familiar with all the necessary policies when buying the extended auto warranty. Some dealers will insist that you cannot get a refund as long as the warranty was used while others will have no problem at all.


Having a warranty saves you from many expenses in case your vehicle needs repairs. It does not matter how good you think your car is. It is always good to know that you have protection in case of an accident or any other problem.

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