Understanding Car Warranties

Not all car warranties are created equal. Car warranties differ between manufacturers and then they differ from what components are covered for how long. All of this can be a little confusing. Here are some ways to making your car warranty more understandable.

First, you want to find you warranty information. The warranty information may be in your owner’s manual or it may be in a separate warranty information booklet.  The warranty information booklet may look something like your owner's manual, only thinner.

To make it a little easier, figure that most everything is going to be covered under the bumper-to bumper warranty. Exceptions generally include wear and tear items such as wipers, tires, belts, and more. Under the powertrain warranty, everything that makes the car go, including the engine, transmission, and drivetrains, will be covered.

Emissions control warranty and emissions performance warranty will cover the emissions control systems on your car. The emissions coverage is federally regulated but does differ slightly in California and Massachusetts. Plus, some components of the emissions control systems are covered for a longer period of time than others. Refer to your warranty booklet or owner’s manual for all the details.

The corrosion or rust perforation warranty will cover rust or corrosion damage if it has cause a hole in the body of the car and if it was cause by a manufacturer defect of workmanship.

For warranties on tires and battery, read your owners manual. Different tire and battery manufacturers will have different warranties on their products. Plus, some car manufacturers have a different warranty on accessories. So, if you have a dealer install accessory, you can find that information in your owner’s manual as well.