factory warranty

Understanding Your Car’s Factory Warranty

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  • The average factory warranty includes at least 3 years and 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage.
  • Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi offer the longest factory warranty coverage.
  • You can purchase extended warranty coverage for about $100 per month.
  • Contact your dealership to check if your car is still covered under its factory warranty.

While you can expect every new car to have routine maintenance costs, unexpected breakdowns can be frustrating. Luckily, every major car manufacturer in the U.S. backs its vehicles with a factory warranty – a promise to pay for the cost of repairs should a part malfunction in your first few years of ownership.

In order to get the most out of your manufacturer’s warranty, it pays to know what is covered and for how long. While covered breakdowns are similar across all manufacturers, the length of time you’re covered can vary widely. This guide will review factory warranty coverage for major auto manufacturers and explain how to check if your car is still covered by its original warranty.

All factory warranties come to an end eventually, but you can stay protected long-term with an extended auto warranty from your manufacturer or an independent warranty provider. You can reach out for free quotes from several of the best extended car warranty companies using the buttons below.

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What Is a Factory Warranty?

A factory warranty is a promise from the manufacturer to repair or replace vehicle parts that fail because of improper installation or faulty workmanship. This is likely to include any breakdown that isn’t the result of an accident, improper use, or lack of maintenance.

Every major auto brand sold in the U.S. backs its vehicles with a new vehicle limited warranty, which can last anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on the brand. Most automakers include separate, longer coverage for vehicles’ powertrains, which are made up of components and systems like the engine, transmission, transfer case, and transaxle. All other vehicle parts are typically covered by a shorter bumper-to-bumper warranty.

How Does a Factory Warranty Work?

While every factory warranty is different, most have similar rules and guidelines. For example, you will be required to maintain your vehicle in accordance with the factory-recommended maintenance schedule in order to keep the warranty valid. A factory warranty does not pay for these regular maintenance items, which usually include inspections every 30,000 miles and regular oil changes and tire rotations.

If your car breaks down, you must bring it to a dealership for diagnosis and repairs. Factory warranty coverage will not be accepted anywhere other than an authorized brand dealership or service center.

A certified mechanic will diagnose the issue and repair your vehicle, and the manufacturer will pick up the tab. Keep in mind that not every malfunction may be covered.

What Does a Factory Warranty Cover?

A factory warranty is typically broken up into several individual warranties, though some manufacturers – most often luxury automakers – include all warranty coverage under a single umbrella. 

When coverage is broken up, it is generally divided into the following limited warranties:

  • Powertrain warranty
  • Bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Corrosion warranty
  • Emissions warranty

Powertrain Warranty

A powertrain warranty covers the powertrain components. These include parts of the:

  • Engine
  • Drive axles
  • Transmission
  • Transfer case

Basically, a powertrain includes all the parts of your car that make it move. Because these are the parts that are typically the most expensive to fix, many manufacturers cover them for a longer period of time. The average length of a powertrain factory warranty is five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

A bumper-to-bumper warranty is named as such because it covers most all of the parts between a vehicle’s bumpers. This can include parts and systems such as the:

  • Brakes
  • Suspension
  • Fuel system
  • Air conditioning
  • Steering system

It’s important to note that bumper-to-bumper warranties don’t protect the front and rear bumpers themselves – just most things in between. If your factory warranty includes any additional perks like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, or towing, that coverage typically lasts only as long as the bumper-to-bumper warranty.

The average length of a bumper-to-bumper factory warranty is three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Corrosion Warranty

A Corrosion warranty covers damages to the sheet metal parts of your car. It promises to replace any parts that corrode or rust through during the warranty period.

Emissions Warranty

This warranty pays to repair or replace emissions components if they malfunction or fail to meet state or federal emissions criteria. Examples of emissions parts are oxygen sensors, the power control module (PCM), the muffler, and exhaust pipes. Because of differing state emissions laws, most brands also include a separate California emission warranty that is a little longer than the standard emissions warranty.

Factory Warranty Exclusions

Not every single part of your car is covered by a factory warranty. Damages that are the result of an accident, improper maintenance, racing, or improper use are not covered. Also commonly excluded from the manufacturer warranty are the following:

  • Bulbs
  • Glass
  • Bumpers
  • Upholstery
  • Oil changes
  • Exterior trim
  • Tire rotations
  • Wiper blades
  • Shock absorbers
  • Brake pads and shoes

Parts that aren’t covered are generally non-mechanical (like upholstery) or wear-and-tear items that are expected to deteriorate with regular use (like brake pads, wiper blades, shock absorbers, bulbs, and more).

Is My Car Still Under Warranty?

To check if your vehicle is still under factory warranty, consult the warranty booklet that was included with your car. Assuming you have kept up with your oil changes and your car is within the warranty period, it should still be covered.

If you can’t find your warranty booklet, you can check your car’s warranty status by contacting a dealership and asking. Be sure to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) handy. Most manufacturer warranty coverage is transferable to new owners, so even if you purchase a used car, it may be covered under the original factory warranty.

The table below outlines the warranty info for most major auto manufacturers in the U.S. Numbers represent the manufacturer warranty terms for 2021 vehicles. Older vehicles may be covered under different terms.

Warranty Factory Powertrain Warranty Factory Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
Acura Warranty 6 years/70,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Audi Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
BMW Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
Buick Warranty 6 years/70,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Cadillac Warranty 6 years/70,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Chevy Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Chrysler Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Dodge Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Fiat Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
Ford Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Genesis Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
GMC Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Honda Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Hyundai Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Jaguar Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles
Jeep Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Kia Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Lexus Warranty 6 years/70,00 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Lincoln Warranty 6 years/70,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Mazda Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Mercedes Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
Mitsubishi Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Nissan Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Porsche Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
Ram Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Subaru Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Tesla Warranty 8 years/150,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Toyota Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Volkswagen Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
Volvo Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles

Extended Car Warranties

When your car’s factory warranty expires, it is possible to lengthen your vehicle protection with an extended warranty. Most manufacturers sell extended warranties that offer similar protection to the factory warranty. These are sold through dealerships and typically need to be purchased when you buy your vehicle. It’s important to note that these aren’t true warranties, but rather vehicle service contracts

You can also get a vehicle service contract from an independent company. Third-party contracts offer similar coverage but typically at a lower cost and for longer terms. The average cost of a third-party extended warranty is around $100 per month, though prices can vary depending on your vehicle make, model, age, and mileage.

Are Extended Car Warranties Worth It?

More often than not, the cost of an extended car warranty will be more than what it pays out for covered repairs. Because of this, it can be a better financial move to save for the cost of repairs yourself. However, many drivers still like to purchase an extended warranty because it provides the peace of mind that if an especially expensive breakdown occurs, the cost will be covered. Extended warranties also help you budget for repairs over time and, unlike a personal savings account for car repairs, you can’t touch the money if another bill comes up.

Top Recommendations for Extended Car Warranties

If you do choose to purchase an extended warranty, be sure to shop around to find the lowest rates and the best value. Use only reputable extended car warranty companies, such as Endurance and CARCHEX.

Endurance: Best Overall

Endurance contracts can cover your vehicle over 200,000 miles. There are six levels of Endurance coverage, which range from basic powertrain protection to exclusionary bumper-to-bumper extended warranty coverage. EnduranceAdvantageTM plans even include prepaid maintenance coverage that pays for oil changes, diagnostics, and brake pad replacements – items typically excluded from extended warranty coverage.

To give you an idea of Endurance warranty costs, we reached out to the company for a couple of sample quotes, shown in the table below. Note that warranty quotes are highly personalized, so your own prices may vary.

Vehicle Vehicle Mileage Endurance Warranty Plan Term Length Monthly Payment Down Payment Total Price*
2018 Toyota Camry 28,000 miles Supreme (exclusionary coverage) 5 years/100,000 miles $72 per month for 36 months $156 $2,733
2013 Honda Accord 90,000 miles Secure Plus (powertrain coverage) 5 years/100,000 miles $82 per month for 36 months $175 $3,115

*Each plan requires a $100 deductible per repair service.

To learn more, read our full Endurance warranty review. Or, click below to get your own free Endurance quote.

Best Overall

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CARCHEX: Best for Used Cars

CARCHEX contracts can be purchased to cover your vehicle up to 250,000 miles. CARCHEX offers five levels of coverage, including plans designed specifically for older vehicles. The provider has been endorsed by industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, CARFAX, and Edmunds.com, which is a good sign of its reputability. 

In our cost research, we found CARCHEX to offer some of the lowest-priced extended warranty contracts. See the results of our secret shopper analysis below.

Vehicle Vehicle Mileage CARCHEX Warranty Plan Term Length Monthly Payment Down Payment Total Price*
2018 Toyota Camry 28,000 miles Titanium (exclusionary coverage) 5 years/100,000 miles $136 per month
for 18 months
First month’s payment $2,451
2013 Honda Accord 90,000 miles Silver (powertrain coverage) 5 years/75,000 miles $116 per month
for 24 months
First month’s payment $2,786

*Each plan requires a $100 deductible per repair service.

You can read our comprehensive CARCHEX review for more information, or get a free, personalized quote from the provider below.

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