The Automotive Guide: Understanding Your Car Warranty

Automotive OEM companies spend $49.40 billion on warranty claims. These are claims submitted by car owners to have repairs made to their vehicles. The manufacturers want people to have confidence in their vehicles, so these warranties provide consumers with the security they need to purchase a new car.

The article will explain your car warranty and what it covers.

What Is a Car Warranty?

A car warranty is an agreement between you, the car owner, and the vehicle manufacturer. This agreement states that the carmaker stands behind its products and will address certain issues. The manufacturer will cover the cost of repair and replacement of damaged parts.

This doesn’t mean any damage is covered. The repairs covered are car failure, faulty parts, car recalls, or decline in workmanship. Your car insurance will cover damages from accidents.

What Does the Warranty Cover?

Vehicle warranties vary in length and level of coverage from one maker to the next and for different vehicle models. There are common levels you’ll see mentioned in warranties.


This is the basic limited warranty and will cover almost all of the components in your vehicle between the front and rear bumper. A common term for this warranty is three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Some can be up to five years and 60,000 miles of coverage.

This type of warranty coverage typically includes:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drive axles
  • Electronics
  • Electrical systems
  • Braking
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Vehicle body
  • Fuel delivery
  • Air conditioning and heating


Your vehicle’s powertrain is the components that enable it to move. This includes the engine, transmission, and drive systems. This warranty is crucial because these are the most expensive parts of your car to repair or replace.

The standard length of coverage for a powertrain warranty is five years or 60,000 miles. However, some can go up to ten years and 100,000 miles.

Other Types

In addition to these two main warranties, your vehicle could come with other, more specific warranties. These typically focus on one part of the car. You can read on here about how a warranty for a specific car part works.

A common warranty you’ll see is a battery warranty. It will cover a battery replacement should yours suddenly not be able to hold a charge. A safety restraint warranty covers the airbags, seat belts, and other safety features in your vehicle.

A corrosion or anti-rust warranty will cover the repair of any sheet metal panels that prematurely rust through or corrode. There is also a federal emissions warranty that the federal government requires to ensure auto manufacturers comply with emission-related parts.

Check Your Car Warranty

If you recently bought a new car, then you need to sit down and read the car warranty that came with it. This will help you to better understand what is covered under your warranty and what you’re responsible for.

Browse our other car articles for more helpful explanations about your car, truck, or SUV.

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