When signing the paperwork for your new vehicle, one thing that you should examine thoroughly is the auto warranty. After all, your car is one of the largest single purchases you might make in life.
Warranty in the automobile sales and service industry is a convoluted concept. It’s no wonder most car owners leave the dealership without the best coverage for their cars. Understanding your car's extended warranty coverage could save you a lot of money in repairs and maintenance. A vehicle is a considerable investment, and it’s only with this crucial warranty information that you can guarantee its protection.
While bumper-to-bumper warranties have a nice ring to them, you might be surprised they don’t cover everything in your new vehicle. It is a phrase thrown around with abandon in the industry, and most new car buyers take it at face value. You should know what is covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty and what is often excluded.
In this article, we will discuss in detail what bumper-to-bumper coverage is in order to make an informed decision.
Bumper-to-bumper warranties, often called vehicle service contracts, are types of extended warranties that cover all major systems of the vehicle between the front and rear bumper.
Of all types of automobile warranty coverage available in the industry, bumper-to-bumper warranties are the most common.
Other extended warranties that are included under a factory warranty are Powertrain Warranties, Drivetrain Warranties, Corrosion Warranties, and a New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is the most significant component of a new car’s warranty package as it offers the most comprehensive coverage for all parts and systems of the vehicle.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is a type of comprehensive coverage that covers almost any mechanical issues that occur due to defects in materials or workmanship.
Powertrain, steering components, electrical, air conditioning, and safety equipment.
Optional inclusions can be roadside assistance, key fob replacement, and tech coverage for radio, GPS, navigation components, LCD screens, sunroofs, and convertible motors.
Because of the comprehensive coverage options that offer a wealth of covered components in their contracts, it's sometimes easier to list what's excluded in the warranty plan.
This comprehensive auto warranty can be misleading. The term bumper-to-bumper warranty implies that all parts of your vehicle from the front bumper to the rear bumper are covered but this is not the case. In fact, many vehicle service contracts are now being called exclusionary warranty plans to avoid confusion and get right to the point of what isn't covered by your warranty.
The coverage is for all parts except “wear items,” and this list is long. These are parts of your car that deteriorate with time, and you’ll have to pay for such repairs out-of-pocket for these repairs.
Some components and services that this warranty doesn’t cover include:
Lenses and headlights/tail lights
Interior trims/ Fabric and upholstery
Repairs due to accidents or collision
Repairs arising from neglect or lack of maintenance
Oil changes and oil filters
Damage from environmental conditions
The list of items can even be longer or shorter depending on the manufacturer, your vehicle model, or the year of manufacture. Some manufacturers also include coverage of some parts for a short period.
If you damage a vehicle part, or the damage happens through an act of God, this warranty won’t cater for repairs. Your auto insurance covers such kind of damage, which is a good reason to invest in the best auto policy out there.
If you enter your vehicle in races or such extreme use, this voids your warranty. Any modifications or alterations to your vehicle could also void the manufacturer’s warranty and cost you a lot in repairs.
It’s advisable to consider this warranty as a manufacturer’s defect warranty. Why? Your car’s manufacturer is only willing to replace and repair parts that fail due to defective material or workmanship.
The main difference between a bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty is the specifics of parts and services covered and the extended warranty period of coverage.
Bumper-to-bumper covers more parts but has a shorter lifespan. It offers more comprehensive coverage than a powertrain warranty. On the other hand, powertrain warranty coverage applies for fewer parts in your car but lasts longer.
A powertrain warranty is the other common form of extended manufacturers’ vehicle warranty. It covers the engine, transmission, suspension, and drivetrain. The warranty is offered for new cars or certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. In case of damage or malfunction to these parts, this warranty covers the cost to repair or replacement.
In the engine, this warranty covers all parts from the gears, crankshaft, pistons, timing belt, and the oil pump to the intake and exhaust valves.
For the transmission system, most warranties cover all internal components from the mounts to the torque converter. However, you should check the fine print because some extended warranty providers will exclude cables and electrical items.
In the front and rear-wheel drive systems, components covered include the axle shafts and all internal systems and axle housing, gaskets and seals, sprockets, chains, and gears.
In most cases, the powertrain warranty won’t cover repairs in case of accident or collisions, improper maintenance, poor quality fuel, corrosion, and regular use.
A powertrain warranty normally applies for 60,000 miles or for five years (whichever comes earlier). However, this might vary depending on the manufacturer or the specific vehicle you want to buy.
Bumper-to-bumper warranty is a manufacturer’s warranty that covers a new vehicle for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Some automakers today offer extended new car coverage terms going to five or six years as a selling point.
When you buy a new car, the three years of basic coverage offered by a basic comprehensive warranty might look like a long period in which to make a decision. But, what happens if your car breaks down after the expiry of your bumper-to-bumper warranty?
For many drivers, the basic warranty coverage period expires without having made bought any further coverage. In case of repairs or servicing, it means you have to pay out-of-pocket. If you had purchased an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty, you would have avoided such costs.
An extended bumper-to-bumper warranty works after the expiry of the original period provided by the manufacturer. It is an agreement to cover auto repairs and services after the factory warranty expires.
It offers you more peace of mind knowing you can still have your car repaired and serviced without draining your finances. These extended warranties come with perks such as 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, towing and trip interruption protection, and other benefits.
An extended warranty comes at an extra cost and is sold separately. It goes into effect once the auto manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper warranty expires. While some manufacturers offer extended auto warranties, you can also shop for a better deal from third-party providers.
These comprehensive plans come in different packages to suit unique car owner needs. In addition to covering most parts, repairs, and services in your vehicle, they have add-ons to enhance your experience.
Buying an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty becomes a smart decision if you plan to keep your vehicle over a long period.
This extended coverage offers additional benefits, including
Added perks to the basic coverage. They include 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, towing to a repair facility, trip interruption coverage, and key fob replacements, among others.
You can keep your vehicle instead of selling it due to expensive repairs/services
You save a lot of money on costly repairs when you have this extended car warranty.
Tailored warranty coverage: The best auto warranty companies offer different levels of coverage to suit your unique driving needs.
You can choose the best repair shop in your neighborhood.
Auto warranty companies offer flexible interest-free payment plans. You can negotiate prices with an auto warranty provider to get the best deal on the market.
Enjoy peace of mind knowing your vehicle is covered for a long time.
Now that you appreciate the importance of an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty, it’s time to shop for the best deal. The choice is between a manufacturer's auto warranty and comprehensive third-party coverage.
The manufacturer extended warranty limits you in terms of flexibility. They mostly have a single warranty for specific car models. These plans also force you to purchase expensive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. There’s no room for price negotiations and to make it worse, you don’t have a say on the service shop you want to use.
Third-party extended warranty, on the other hand, offers more flexibility in terms of price and coverage. The top auto warranty companies offer tailored coverage plans to suit different car owners. You also get to choose your mechanic, and there’s room for price negotiations.
Are you about to buy a new car? Before you sign those papers, make sure you get the best warranty coverage for your vehicle. This smart move could save you thousands of dollars in repairs and maintenance. With this insight on the bumper-to-bumper extended warranty, you can now make the best decision to guarantee your vehicle is always in mint condition and at the best price.
To find the best auto warranty deals on the market, don’t look any further. PolicyScout is your one-stop shop for the best deals on auto insurance and warranty coverage. Contact us today, and let’s help you find the right coverage for your vehicle.