(iSeeCars) – Each new car sold comes with two separate warranties: the bumper to bumper warranty and the powertrain warranty. Together, the two warranties provide comprehensive coverage in the event of premature failure of your new or near-new car.
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The powertrain warranty covers the more expensive components in your car, but what it covers and what it excludes is not clear to many car buyers. We describe the ins and outs of the powertrain warranty.
What is the powertrain?
A car’s powertrain refers to the critical components that produce a car’s power and transmit it to the wheels. These parts include the engine, transmission, differential, axle shafts and, depending on whether a car is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive, the transaxle, driveshaft, and transfer case. . In short, if a component is directly involved in the creation or flow of engine power, it is part of the powertrain.
As you can imagine, these parts are complex engineering parts – there is nothing simple about an engine or transmission. When there is a major failure with any of these parts, the cost can be high due to the labor hours required to repair as well as the cost of obtaining replacement parts. This is becoming all the more true as cars incorporate more and more technology under the hood.
All vehicles also have what’s called a powertrain, a term that can be easily confused with the powertrain. The powertrain, however, focuses on the drive wheels. All-wheel drive (AWD), all-wheel drive (4WD), front-wheel drive (FWD), and rear-wheel drive (RWD) are the four types of transmissions. The components of these drive systems are covered by the powertrain warranty. (For more on transmissions, see our guides: 4WD vs AWD and RWD vs FWD.)
What is covered by a powertrain warranty?
The powertrain warranty is a type of limited warranty that covers the cost of any repair or replacement of any component of a vehicle’s powertrain.
What exactly is protected differs in detail from one guarantee to another. Typically, parts covered include gaskets and gaskets, internal parts like crankshaft, pistons, valves, fuel injectors and timing chain, cylinder block and oil pan, gears transmission and synchronizers, and all the hardware that makes up the differential and axle systems.
It is important to note that coverage for all of these components may be void if the vehicle has been altered from factory specifications, been used improperly, or been intentionally abused. This means that you shouldn’t expect a powertrain warranty to cover damage resulting from off-road driving of your Mitsubishi Mirage.
Being involved in an accident also voids the warranty. Any powertrain repairs required as a result of a collision will be covered by your insurance, not warranty.
Also, be sure to take your car to authorized service providers and dealers when it’s time to make a warranty claim; the work of a local independent mechanic will not be covered by the terms of the factory warranty.
What is not covered by a powertrain warranty?
With every warranty, there is a long list of exclusions as to what is not covered; sometimes this list seems longer than the list of parts covered. As we mentioned, the details of what is and is not included differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, but a common theme is that all electronics, engine control module sensors, belts, hoses, emissions and cooling systems are not covered. Wheel bearings, catalytic converters, oil pumps, and water pumps are other potentially uncovered parts.
A good rule of thumb is that anything considered a wear item is not covered by a powertrain warranty. For example, if your clutch goes on your manual transmission car, don’t expect the dealer to cover the cost of the replacement. Even if it only lasted 20,000 miles, after-sales service will just call it a wear item and give you the bill. The same goes for other items such as the timing belt or constant velocity joints, which are considered wear items and will not be covered by a warranty.
Routine maintenance items such as oil changes, tire rotations and brake pads will also not be covered. The warranty is designed to protect car owners from unscheduled repairs, not to pay for routine maintenance.
If you don’t want to be surprised by your local mechanic on what is and is not covered by your service contract, you will need to read the fine print regarding your warranty coverage. It doesn’t matter whether you buy a new car with factory coverage or a third party warranty – the contract will clearly state the terms of the warranty.
How long does a powertrain warranty last?
The length of a powertrain warranty differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the terms of coverage are generally written as: five years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The longest warranty belongs to Hyundai, Kia, Genesis and Mitsubishi; that include powertrain coverage that lasts ten years or 100,000 miles. Korean brands have offered powertrain coverage over a decade since the late 1990s; twenty years later, their warranty remains the longest in the industry. Here is a list of automakers and the length of their powertrain warranties:
|Brand||Powertrain warranty (years / miles)|
|Genesis||10 / 100,000|
|Hyundai||10 / 100,000|
|Kia||10 / 100,000|
|Mitsubishi||10 / 100,000|
How is a powertrain warranty different from a bumper-to-bumper warranty?
Together, these two auto warranties are known as the Manufacturer’s Warranty. The powertrain warranty covers the most expensive and critical mechanical components in your vehicle. As stated before: If this is the creation or direct flow of power, this is part of your powertrain and would fall under the terms of a powertrain warranty.
The bumper-to-bumper warranty, on the other hand, is a comprehensive warranty that covers all systems and components that are not under the powertrain warranty. Suspension and brake components that are not considered wear items would fall under the bumper-to-bumper warranty, as would the power steering system, air conditioning, infotainment system, and steering systems. ‘lighting.
The bumper to bumper is intended to protect against workmanship, defective materials or other premature failure which is not due to neglect, abuse or wear and tear. Typical bumper-to-bumper warranties only last about three years or 36,000 miles, which is less than the typical five years or 60,000 miles of coverage provided by a powertrain warranty.
Do I need to purchase an extended aftermarket powertrain warranty?
Many companies offer extended warranty coverage to affected buyers looking for the peace of mind that comes with a warranty. These third-party warranties typically cost from $ 1,000 to $ 3,000, depending on the extent of coverage and the age and mileage of the used vehicle to be covered.
Since the cost of powertrain repairs can run into the thousands, an extended third-party warranty might seem like a tempting proposition. But it only looks like this: in truth, most buyers of those extended powertrain warranties never actually use them. If this is the case, the cost of repairs is often lower than the cost of the warranty.
A better financial decision is to save what a third-party warranty would cost you into an account reserved for emergency repairs to your car. If you have to dip into it because of an unforeseen trip to your mechanic, the money is there; if you don’t need it, you save extra money on your next vehicle purchase.
For more information on after-sales warranties, read our article on auto warranty extensions.
The bottom line
The powertrain is the heart of an automobile. If any of the components in this integrated series of systems fail, your car goes out of control. A properly functioning powertrain is essential to having a reliable and reliable vehicle.
The powertrain warranty is a welcome safety net in case your car experiences a major premature failure of any major mechanical system that may require expensive repairs. A powertrain warranty protects the consumer and also makes them feel better about their purchase. Car manufacturers benefit as much as the car buyer: Hyundai and Kia, for example, saw their own sales increase dramatically after the introduction of their ten-year warranty.
Whatever car you buy, read the fine print on any powertrain warranty that may be included or offered with the sale. Know the length of coverage, what is covered and what is not and what the deductibles could cost if you have to use the warranty. Being informed is the most effective way to avoid surprises during the warranty period.
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This article, What is a powertrain warranty and what does it cover ?, originally posted on iSeeCars.com.
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