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What Is a Powertrain Warranty?

Chances are you’ve heard of a powertrain warranty. But do you know what it is? Powertrain warranties usually cover only the basic problems with major systems, including the engine, the transmission, and drivetrain.

Though powertrain warranties can—and often do— last longer than a basic warranty, they often do so with the catch that they don’t cover anything outside of a short list of problems. CARCHEX can help you understand what you’re getting in a powertrain warranty and provide you with the coverage your vehicle needs.

Understanding the Powertrain Warranty

Simply put, a powertrain warranty covers the components that power the car. Most manufacturer powertrain warranties last for 50,000–100,000 miles, but cover far less than what’s covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty. While the list of what it covers may be shorter, the powertrain warranty covers some of your car’s most important systems.

A typical powertrain warranty covers:

  • Engine—the heart of your car that moves the vehicle through combustion
  • Transmission—moves your vehicle’s gears either automatically or manually
  • Transfer case—moves power to the wheels from the transmission to the rear axles through the drive shafts in 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles
  • Drive shafts—rotating shafts that transmit torque in an engine
  • Axles—rods that pass through the center of a wheel or group of wheels on a vehicle Most cars have two axles
  • Differentials—helps your car turn easily
  • Drive box—two parts that relay rotation and momentum (one is located behind the transmission, and the other connects a front axle differential to the transfer case)

While the factory powertrain warranty might sound like a sufficient level of coverage, it doesn’t take into account anything like your electrical components, air systems, or your interior. It will cover you if parts of the powertrain have a severe mechanical failure, but when it comes to more common issues, car owners are often stuck paying steep bills out of pocket.

There’s Really No Such Thing as “Bumper-to-Bumper”

When shopping for a powertrain warranty, you’ll also see the phrase “bumper-to-bumper” quite often. You might even think to yourself, Oh, good! “Bumper-to-bumper” must mean my entire car is good to go for a few years, but the name is deceiving. Keep in mind that no warranty covers everything between your bumpers.

A bumper-to-bumper warranty covers almost everything between your car’s front and rear bumpers for usually at least three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Bumper-to-bumper warranties are designed to protect new car owners from high repair costs for mechanical or part defects in the initial period of ownership.

Still, you have the option to purchase a warranty for car repairs that come up after a powertrain or even a bumper-to-bumper warranty expires. After all, most car problems are statistically shown to occur after the initial warranty has expired. CARCHEX offers extended warranties for your vehicle to save you the headache and hassle of an unexpected major repair.

car breakdown

Why Invest In an Extended Warranty?

Even though a powertrain warranty generally lasts longer than a bumper-to-bumper (comprehensive) warranty, the reduced effectiveness it provides doesn’t leave many drivers feeling as confident when issues come up. It may seem like you’re getting hit with expensive repairs just as time is running out on your warranty.

With an extended warranty, you can retain the same level of coverage found in a bumper-to-bumper warranty and a powertrain warranty for far longer. If you come across a major issue in your car’s powertrain without an extended warranty, you could have to pay thousands of dollars in repair costs. With an extended warranty, you can relax knowing the coverage you receive will cover many of the unexpected repairs life will bring.

Who Should Provide My Powertrain Extended Warranty?

There are two routes for purchasing an extended warranty for your vehicle: either you can choose to purchase from your vehicle’s manufacturer and extend the warranty that came with your new vehicle, or you can opt into purchasing your extended warranty through a third-party provider like CARCHEX.

While you may be tempted to purchase an extended manufacturer warranty, it may not always be the right option. With an extended warranty from a manufacturer, you’re often more limited than with a warranty from a third party. Manufacturers often require you to have your vehicle repaired at specific dealerships under their brand, so you can’t select just any mechanic.

Extended warranties purchased through manufacturers are also largely non-transferable, so if you decide to sell your vehicle, the policy will end with the sale. This isn’t always the case with third-party extended warranty providers, so you could add value to your vehicle for potential future resale.

The Cost of Powertrain Repairs

Your powertrain system is your car’s powerhouse, and without it, you don’t have a functioning car. Because of this, repairs can get pricey quickly. An engine rebuild or replacement costs more than $2,700 on average, and a transmission rebuild or replacement can cost nearly $2,000. If you drive an old or rare car, the cost to repair a transmission could be even higher.

Also, there’s more to your powertrain system than just the engine and the transmission. Why risk thousands of dollars in costly repairs? Consider a powertrain warranty that would bear the brunt of the bill when the time comes for your car’s powertrain system to get a reboot.

Can You Afford To Pay These Repair Costs?

Choosing the Right Extended Warranty for You

Opting to use a third-party provider like CARCHEX for your extended warranty gives you the protection you want, and then some. By purchasing a CARCHEX Extended Vehicle Protection Plan, you receive the following extra protection:

  • No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™—We believe you shouldn’t need to fight to receive the lowest price for your bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranty.
  • Affordable monthly payment plans—Your extended warranty should help you, not break the bank.
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee—If you’re not satisfied, we’ll give you your money back.
  • 24-hour roadside assistance—If you’re having mechanical issues on the road, we’ll be there. CARCHEX covers free roadside assistance, gas delivery, rental car, towing, and trip interruption services.
  • Your choice of mechanic—You’re not required to go to an expensive dealership for repairs. Use your trusted mechanic or a nearby repair shop instead.
  • Claims paid directly to the repair shop—Our customers don’t have to be the middleman or wait to be reimbursed.

Choose Your Coverage with CARCHEX

Want options when it comes to purchasing your extended warranty? CARCHEX offers five levels of coverage. If that’s not enough, each level includes more customizable protection plans. That way, you can get the coverage you need to feel secure and get the most out of your vehicle.

  • Titanium Coverage, the CARCHEX version of bumper-to-bumper—coverage that includes most of your vehicle’s needs
  • Platinum Coverage, our highest level of stated-component coverage
  • Gold Coverage, the plan that covers all of your vehicle’s major systems—perfect for well-traveled cars with more than 90,000 miles
  • Silver Coverage, the plan that gives you peace of mind that all of your vehicle’s major systems can get the essential coverage they need when they need it
  • Bronze Coverage, designed to stop you from worrying about costly repairs to your vehicle’s engine and transmission
CARCHEX Vehicle Protection Plans

CARCHEX Powertrain Coverage

All of the CARCHEX Extended Vehicle Protection Plans—from Bronze to Titanium—ensure your powertrain system are taken care of when a repair arises. That’s the thing about our protection plans—they’re designed to help you and protect you from the costly repairs associated with owning a vehicle outside of its manufacturer’s warranty.

Extended warranties from CARCHEX protect your vehicle for an additional five to seven years, depending on the plan you select. In addition to the great benefit of protecting your vehicle’s powertrain system, our extended service plans come with extra benefits, like 24/7 roadside assistance, rental cars, and the No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™.

How Does CARCHEX Stack Up Against the Competition?

There are many third-party extended protection plan providers, each promising the coverage you deserve. Compared to the competition, CARCHEX has provided extended protection plans longer and satisfies customers more than the leading warranty companies. CARCHEX is well respected among other agencies, too, gathering the support of organizations like CARFAX, Car Buying Tips, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The other extended protection plan providers are backed by financial lending institutions, not people-based organizations.

Call Now for Your Free Powertrain Warranty Quote

With CARCHEX, you can upgrade your limited and/or powertrain warranty with an extended warranty from a proven company with a long history of exceptional customer service. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and offer five flexible plans to fit your driving habits. If you’re not sure what plan you need or want to talk it out with one of our representatives, feel free to give us a call today.

To find coverage beyond a factory powertrain warranty, call us at 866-261-3457.


Auto Trader: www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/powertrain-warranty-vs-bumper-to-bumper-whats-the-difference-239994

My Transmission Expert: https://www.mytransmissionexperts.com/how-much-does-transmission-repair-cost/

Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/extended-warranty-contract-service-companies/carchex-in-hunt-valley-md-23015869

CARCHEX 118 Shawan Road, Suite 210 Baltimore, MD 21030 (FL License # E155490)

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We proudly offer the CARCHEX No-Haggle, Lowest Price Everyday Guarantee™ for all of our auto warranty and car inspection programs.
Consistent with consumers’ understandings and expectations of the market in which CARCHEX operates, CARCHEX uses the terms “warranty”; “extended warranty”, “extended auto warranty”, “extended service protection plan” and similar terms to describe the more technical term “vehicle service contracts”. For more information, see this FTC link or learn more here or by reviewing CARCHEX’s website.
CARCHEX markets and sells extended warranties on behalf of third party extended warranty providers, and your extended warranty will be between you and the provider. This website site is intended solely for the purpose of providing general information regarding the purchase of extended warranties. Specific contract terms, rates, taxes, fees and other charges are determined upon validation of vehicle information and acceptance by the extended warranty provider, for which CARCHEX is not responsible. Extended warranties may not be sold where prohibited by law.
CARCHEX 118 Shawan Road, Suite 210 Baltimore, MD 21030 (FL License # W469753)
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