2021 Kia Seltos

Just How Good Is The Kia Warranty? A Step-by-Step Guide

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  • Kia offers one of the best warranties, with its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
  • An extended warranty can help protect your Kia where the factory warranty falls short.

Are you thinking of buying a new Kia? The brand’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is one of the longest warranties available. Plus, Kia’s bumper-to-bumper warranty is 5 years/60,000 miles. That’s excellent coverage compared to most manufacturers. Just a few other brands, such as Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Genesis, offer such generous protection. 

We took a deep dive into what the Kia warranty program covers. Our review will give you a better understanding of what is and isn’t protected. We’ll also examine the reasons why you might want to get extra protection from an extended warranty, even if you have coverage from the Kia warranty. There are several reputable extended car warranty companies out there, and we did some digging to find the best ones.

Top Extended Warranty Companies
We reviewed the best extended auto warranty providers, and here are our top picks. 
Best Direct Coverage Best for Older Vehicles Best Prices
logo endurance logo logo carshield
Endurance CARCHEX CarShield
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Get Quote Get Quote Get Quote
(877) 374-1840 (866) 254-0205 (800) 563-2761
     

Kia’s 10-Year/100,000-Mile Warranty Program

The powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties aren’t the only ones that come with new Kia models. Like most car manufacturers, Kia provides new car owners with several different types of warranties to protect their vehicles. All of the Kia warranties provide coverage for faulty or defective materials and workmanship. This means your Kia warranty won’t cover repairs due to normal wear and tear on your car.

All of these warranties are considered limited warranties. The term “limited” means the warranty covers specific parts or systems, or that it excludes certain parts from coverage.

Warranty Type Length of Coverage What’s Covered
Basic Limited Warranty 5 years/60,000mile All parts and systems of your vehicle are covered except exclusions listed in your warranty booklet, such as tires and parts with specific warranty coverage.
Powertrain Limited Warranty 10 years/100,000 mile This warranty protects the parts that make your car go forward, such as the engine, transmission/transaxle, and driveline.
Service Adjustment Limited Warranty 1 year/12,000 miles Service adjustments are minor repairs not normally covered by the warranty, such as wheel balancing and alignment.
Original Equipment Battery Limited Warranty 3 year/36,000 mile Kia will diagnose and replace a failed battery with a new one. Non-genuine Kia replacement batteries are not covered.
Paint Limited Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles Paint that fades, chips, cracks, or becomes discolored is covered. This doesn’t include paint that is damaged in collisions.
Audio/Equipment System Limited Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles This warranty covers the original entertainment and audio equipment, including navigation, that was installed in the vehicle. This doesn’t cover any aftermarket or third-party audio equipment or devices.
Anti-Perforation Limited Warranty 5 year/100,000 miles This warranty protects the body sheet metal of your Kia from premature rusting and corrosion. This excludes rusting due to salt, rocks, or other road hazards.
Brake and Clutch Linings 1 year/12,000 miles Brake linings (including pads and shoes) and clutch linings will be replaced if they don’t function properly with normal use.
Federal and California Emissions Warranties Ranges from 24 months/24,000 miles to 8 years/80,000 miles (SULEV vehicles 180 months/150,000 miles) These warranties cover emissions control systems parts. Specific parts, including the engine control module, catalytic converter, and exhaust manifold catalytic assembly, are covered for longer.
Replacement Parts and Accessories 12 months/12,000 miles This covers Kia Genuine parts used during repairs and replacements.

If you need a covered repair, contact your local Kia dealership. The service department can help you set up an appointment to bring in the vehicle and get it fixed. Repairs covered by the factory warranty should be made free of charge.

Kia Warranty Coverage Periods

The warranty coverage period for new vehicles starts on the in-service date. For most owners, that’s the day you were sold the car. However, new cars bought off the lot may already be in service as demonstrator (demo) vehicles.

A demo car is a new vehicle that’s used as a test drive car. You’ll need to check with your dealership to see if the vehicle was registered. If it was registered, the warranty will have already started.

For example, let’s say you test drive a new Kia and buy it that day. The car has been on the lot for a few months and has been on several test drives. It has a few hundred miles on it. The dealership registered the vehicle with the state, so the warranty has already started. You’ll have fewer months and miles than the normal warranty coverage.

One of The Best Powertrain Warranties in The Industry

The Kia powertrain warranty covers your engine, axles, transaxle, transmission, differentials, and propeller shafts. These are some of the most important – and most expensive to repair – parts of your vehicle.

While the Kia powertrain warranty is for 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, it’s only available for the first owner. If you’re the second owner and buy your Kia used, you only qualify for a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

That means a used Kia with four years and 50,000 miles on it only has powertrain protection for one year and 10,000 miles for the next owner. If you plan to buy a used Kia, be sure to check the powertrain warranty status before you buy, because you may have less coverage than you thought. You may want to purchase an extended warranty to continue powertrain coverage.

What’s Not Covered by Your Kia Warranty?

As we touched on before, your Kia warranty only covers defective parts from the manufacturer. Anything added after the vehicle left the manufacturing plant isn’t covered by the new car warranty. Your tires are also not covered by the warranty. Most tire manufacturers provide their own warranties for tires. You can ask your Kia dealership for information about your tires and potential tire warranties.

Other things not covered by your Kia warranty include:

  • Modifications to the vehicle.
  • Damage caused by road hazards or collisions.
  • Improper driving habits, such as driving over curbs.
  • Damage or corrosion from road salt, hail, wind, or other environmental factors.
  • Any damage caused by installing parts not of the same quality as original Kia parts.

See your manual for complete information on what’s excluded from warranty protection.

Kia Roadside Assistance Benefits

In addition to lengthy coverage, Kia also gives owners emergency roadside assistance and trip protection benefits. Roadside assistance is available for 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is limited to $75 per occurrence. These perks include:

  • Lock-out assistance.
  • Jump-start assistance.
  • Flat tire assistance, provided you have a spare tire available.
  • Gas delivery (twice a year and maximum of two gallons of gas).
  • Towing to the nearest Kia dealership if you experience a covered breakdown.
  • Trip interruption expense benefits like meals, lodging, or rental cars depending on how far you are from home and length of repairs.
While comprehensive in its own right, your new Kia warranty still only covers factory defects. An extended warranty can help you fill in the coverage gaps your manufacturer’s warranty leaves behind.
While comprehensive in its own right, your new Kia warranty still only covers factory defects. An extended warranty can help you fill in the coverage gaps your manufacturer’s warranty leaves behind.

Is An Extended Warranty Worth It for A Kia?

Once your Kia warranty expires, do you know how you’ll pay for expensive repairs? An extended warranty can help you cover unforeseen costs related to mechanical breakdowns on your vehicle’s systems. 

Unlike manufacturer or factory warranties, an extended warranty is actually a service contract that’s a separate purchase from your vehicle. However, more comprehensive extended warranties will probably look similar to your manufacturer’s warranty.

Reasons to Consider An Extended Warranty on A New or Used Kia

Does it make sense to buy an extended warranty, especially on a new Kia vehicle? That depends a lot on personal preference and your car’s repair history. Some reasons you might want to consider an extended warranty include:

  • More Complete Coverage: Even a new car warranty doesn’t cover everything. Your new Kia warranty only covers factory defects. An extended warranty can help you fill in the coverage gaps your manufacturer’s warranty leaves behind.
  • Peace of Mind: If your car breaks down and you’re not sure why, it’s nice to know the repairs could be covered. Consider your car insurance. You pay for insurance to protect you and your car in case you get in an accident. You can add additional, optional collision coverage to protect you if you run into an object, like a utility pole. You might not use the extra coverage, but knowing it’s there will put your mind at ease.
  • Price: An extended warranty could pay for itself if you need a major car repair. Even if you plan to save up money each month for unexpected car repair emergencies, you never know how much you’ll need. It could be easier to pay for an extended warranty that will cover the cost of repairs than try to guess how much you need to save. For example, if you save up $1,000, but your car repair is $3,000, you’re still short $2,000. With an extended warranty, you could be paying a monthly payment for vehicle protection and just need to cover a $100 deductible before the warranty pays the remaining $2,900.

The more you drive your Kia, the more likely you’ll experience a breakdown. As cars age, and as Kia’s technology advances, necessary repairs are needed more often. While RepairPal and J.D. Power reports both say Kias have above-average reliability compared to other vehicles, you can’t always plan for a major, unexpected repair.

See the chart below for the average annual maintenance and repair costs of some common Kia models, according to RepairPal.

Model Average Annual Repair Cost
Optima $471
Soul $437
Sportage $462
Forte $451
Sedona $495

Choosing Between a Dealership Kia Extended Warranty & a Third-Party Warranty

You have two options to get extended protection for your Kia. You can either buy a Kia Distinction Protection Plan from your dealership or go through a third-party warranty provider. Out of the best extended warranty companies we’ve researched, Endurance, CARCHEX, and CarShield are our favorites. 

These extended warranties offer similar protection to your vehicle, with a few differences. Here’s a head-to-head comparison with Endurance.

  Kia Distinction Protection Plans Endurance Extended Vehicle Protection Plans
Repairs Completed at authorized Kia dealership, national network of 6,000 authorized service centers, or any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada Your choice of over 30,000 certified repair centers, including independent shops, national chains, and dealerships
Coverage Options Coverage for newer cars with low mileage, including certified pre-owned Coverage options for almost any car, including older vehicles or those with higher mileage
Number of Coverage Levels 5 5
Maximum Miles Covered 120,000 200,000
Additional Benefits Rental car expenses, towing coverage, trip interruption services, roadside assistance Rental car reimbursement, towing coverage, trip interruption services, roadside assistance

Do your research before you buy your next Kia to decide if you want a dealership extended warranty or a third-party warranty. Your dealer may encourage you to purchase a dealership extended warranty when you buy the car, but it’s not your only option. Most providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and flexible payment options to fit your budget.

Top Extended Warranty Companies
We reviewed the best extended auto warranty providers, and here are our top picks. 
Best Direct Coverage Best for Older Vehicles Best Prices
logo endurance logo logo carshield
Endurance CARCHEX CarShield
black starblack starblack starblack starblack star black starblack starblack starblack starblack star black starblack starblack starblack starblack half star 5 1
Get Quote Get Quote Get Quote
(877) 374-1840 (866) 254-0205 (800) 563-2761
     

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