Disclosure: This content was produced by an independent editorial party for the purposes of educating our customers, and is not influenced by the other business operations of CARCHEX.

An extended car warranty covers the cost of repairing or replacing parts of your vehicle that break down over time. A plan comes in handy if you’re not prepared to pay for repairs, especially ones that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Exactly what parts a car warranty covers will depend on details like your type of warranty, level of coverage, and car’s make and model. As vehicle service contract specialists, our team at CARCHEX can answer all of your questions about what a car warranty covers.

Car Warranty Types

There are several different types of car warranties, with the two main categories being factory warranties and extended warranties. Within each of these types, you can find bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty plans. Factory warranties also cover other potential car issues with corrosion and factory adjustments.

Factory Warranty vs. Extended Warranty

When you buy a new car from the dealership, the vehicle will almost certainly come with a factory or manufacturer’s warranty. This type of warranty is usually offered for new vehicles and certified pre-owned (CPO) cars, but details may vary accordingly. A manufacturer’s warranty is meant to cover your vehicle’s defective parts or workmanship flaws.

The length of your factory warranty is based on a certain number of years or miles, whichever limit comes first. A factory warranty is typically transferable between owners if coverage hasn’t expired when you sell the car.

Below are examples of new car factory warranties from the most popular automakers in the U.S.:

Manufacturer WarrantyBumper-to-Bumper WarrantyPowertrain WarrantyCorrosion WarrantyRoadside Assistance
Acura4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
Audi4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles12 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
BMW4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles12 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
Buick3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles6 years/100,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Cadillac4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
Chevrolet3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Chrysler3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles3 years/unlimited miles5 years/60,000 miles
Dodge3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles3 years/unlimited miles5 years/60,000 miles
Fiat4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles3 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
Ford3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles5 years/60,000 miles
Genesis5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles7 years/unlimited miles5 years/unlimited miles
GMC3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Honda3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles3 years/36,000 miles
Infiniti4 years/60,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles7 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
Jaguar5 years/60,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles6 years/unlimited miles5 years/60,000 miles
Jeep3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles3 years/unlimited miles5 years/60,000 miles
Kia5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles5 years/100,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Land Rover4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles6 years/unlimited miles4 years/50,000 miles
Lexus4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles6 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
Lincoln4 years/50,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles5 years/unlimited milesLifetime coverage
Mazda3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles3 years/36,000 miles
Mercedes-Benz4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Mini4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles12 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles
Mitsubishi5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles7 years/100,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles
Nissan3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles3 years/36,000 miles
Porsche4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles12 years/unlimited miles4 years/50,000 miles
Ram3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles3 years/unlimited miles5 years/60,000 miles
Subaru3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles3 years/36,000 miles
Tesla4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 milesLifetime coverage4 years/50,000 miles
Toyota3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles5 years/unlimited miles2 years/unlimited miles
Volkswagen4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles7 years/100,000 miles3 years/36,000 miles
Volvo4 years /50,000 miles4 years /50,000 miles12 years/unlimited miles4 years/unlimited miles

Once your factory warranty expires, you can purchase an extended warranty. Coverage options for extended auto warranty plans may be different than for your factory warranty. Also, automakers aren’t your only choices for buying one of these vehicle protection plans.

Many drivers turn to reputable third-party auto warranty companies like CARCHEX for their affordable and customizable auto coverage choices.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

bumper-to-bumper warranty provides the most comprehensive coverage you can get for your vehicle. It’s also called an exclusionary warranty because it takes care of every car part other than components that are specifically listed as exclusions.

This car warranty covers a vast number of components and is offered as both a factory and an extended warranty. The standard length of a manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper warranty is three years or 36,000 miles, but your specific warranty may last longer.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranties Include:

  • All major vehicle systems
  • Electrical systems (alternator, power windows, door locks, and sunroofs)
  • Safety features (air bags and seat belts)
  • Air conditioning and heating (compressor, condenser, and evaporator)
  • Steering system (rack and pinion, power steering pump, and power steering hoses)
  • High-tech systems (cameras and GPS system)
  • Select emissions components
  • Hybrid vehicle parts like batteries

Powertrain Warranty

A powertrain warranty covers the most essential parts of your car which allow it to move. Protected components include the following:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drive axles
  • Driveshafts
  • Seals and gaskets
  • Differentials
  • Transfer case

The period of time that a factory powertrain warranty lasts is usually longer than for a bumper-to-bumper warranty, often up to five years or 60,000 miles. Powertrain coverage from Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Genesis can last for as long as 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The cost to repair parts of your powertrain doesn’t come cheap, with replacing an engine or transmission alone costing several thousand dollars. That’s why many car owners choose to purchase extended powertrain warranties, even though they’re the lowest level of coverage.

Factory and extended warranties both offer powertrain coverage plans.

Can You Afford To Pay These Repair Costs?

This car warranty covers the cost of fixing corrosion that affects your vehicle’s outer panels. Corrosion and rust from moisture and salty air can significantly damage your car’s exterior, so it’s important that it be avoided if possible.

Corrosion coverage typically only comes through factory warranties, so most used car warranty companies won’t have plans available.

Emissions Warranty

Emissions warranties are designed to offer repairs or replacements to the parts of your car that are most likely to make it fail government-required emissions tests. The federal emissions warranty lasts for two years or 24,000 miles, though specific parts like catalytic converters receive protection for eight years or 80,000 miles.

The California emissions warranty protects eligible cars for somewhat longer than the federal limits. Remember that not all cars across the U.S. may qualify.

What Does a Car Warranty Not Cover?

Generally speaking, the following auto parts and situations will not be covered by your car warranty:

  • Routine maintenance: There’s no coverage for regular maintenance services like oil changes and tire rotations.
  • Wear and tear items: Parts that break down like brakes, brake pads, windshield wiper replacements, and headlight bulbs receive no protection.
  • Exterior and body panel damage: Dings and scratches in the paint aren’t covered, though your corrosion perforation warranty may cover certain situations.
  • Interior damages: Cosmetic issues like holes in the seats and broken plastic are your responsibility.
  • Issues caused by improper car care: If you neglect routine car upkeep or participate in reckless driving habits, your warranty will be voided.
  • Damage from accidents, theft, and severe weather: Issues caused by car collisions, vandalism, and theft are excluded from coverage, as are damages from hail, flooding, and fallen tree branches.
  • Alterations or modifications: Installing nonfactory parts and tampering with the odometer will void your warranty coverage.

The best way to determine what a car warranty covers and excludes is by reading the fine print in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet. This is especially wise since not every car make and model have the same types and length of coverage.

Are Tires Covered Under Warranty?

Tires are counted as wear and tear items and aren’t covered by most factory or extended warranties. Instead, automakers refer drivers to the tire manufacturer they purchased from. These tire warranties usually last for four to six years, the length of the tread life, or a certain number of miles.

Speak with your tire manufacturer to determine exactly what your warranty covers. Remember that your plan may be voided if you don’t follow proper maintenance standards like regularly rotating and inflating your tires.

What Does an Extended Car Warranty Cover?

Whether you purchase a used car warranty from the car manufacturer or from an independent coverage provider like CARCHEX, you’ll get to choose from several plans. The pricier and more comprehensive the warranty plan, the more parts and repair costs it will cover.

Extended Warranties Can Cover:

  • All major vehicle systems: Bumper-to-bumper extended warranties cover most car parts, from your powertrain to air conditioning and audio systems.
  • Roadside assistance: Many extended warranties include 24/7 roadside assistance, towing services, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption benefits.
  • Normal wear and tear: While factory warranties only cover defective parts and poor workmanship, extended maintenance plans can also cover parts that wear down.
  • Powertrain parts: The car’s expensive engine, transmission, and drivetrain parts are covered.

Should I Buy an Extended Car Warranty?

After your new car limited warranty expires, the cost of car repairs will no longer be covered. You’ll then be responsible for covering all auto repair bills, no matter the part or price tag. Extended vehicle warranties help to offset these upfront costs through low monthly payments.

The peace of mind that a car warranty covers drivers’ needs is also a reason that people buy coverage. You may want to purchase an extended warranty if you’d sleep better by knowing you won’t be surprised by costly and unexpected repairs.

If you’re planning to keep your car for a while, it’s best to consider a vehicle service contract. That’s because vehicles are bound to have issues as they age. If you’d like to sell it in the next year or two, however, it may be smart to avoid car warranty coverage.

Extended Car Warranty Cost

The price you pay for extended coverage is largely dependent on your specific plan, though most drivers report paying between $1,500 and $2,500 for coverage. Below are some factors that make up your extended auto warranty cost:

  • Car make and model: Luxury cars and expensive models usually drive up the cost of your warranty due to the price of replacement parts.
  • Vehicle age: Aftermarket warranties for older cars may cost more than for newer cars since they generally need more repairs.
  • Current mileage: Cars with high mileage are more expensive to cover.
  • Car condition: If your car is unreliable or damaged, expect a higher warranty cost.
  • Coverage plan: Car warranties that cover more vehicle systems are pricier but typically offer greater bang for your buck.
  • Deductible amount: Plans with high deductibles have lower premiums.
  • Chosen provider: Costs vary between car dealerships and different third-party providers, so ask for car warranty quotes from CARCHEX and other companies.

What To Consider When Buying a Car Warranty

As you think about the type of extended warranty you want to purchase, ask yourself the following questions:

What does the car warranty cover?

Do you need the comprehensive protection of bumper-to-bumper coverage, or is a basic powertrain warranty plan right for you?

Is my car reliable?

Can you expect your car to hold up over time based on its dependability scores? Just because it’s reliable when new doesn’t mean it will stay that way in the future.

How much does the car warranty cost?

Is it better to pay low monthly payments or to cover one major repair bill out of pocket at an unexpected time?

Who should provide my warranty?

What are legitimate extended warranty providers that score well for customer service, claims handling, coverage plans, and pricing options?

What Does CARCHEX Cover?

CARCHEX has been named the most reputable third-party auto warranty company by voices across the automotive sector. That’s because our team has a clear focus on customer service that can be seen across our five flexible and affordable coverage plans.

Along with industry-leading coverage options, a CARCHEX warranty offers these benefits:

  • Strong reputation: We have partnerships and endorsements with Kelley Blue Book, SiriusXM, RepairPal, CARFAX, Autoblog, and The Motoring Club.
  • Choice of your own repair shop: CARCHEX gives policyholders the flexibility of working with their own mechanics and repair shops rather than forcing drivers to head to a specific dealership.
  • Direct claims payments: CARCHEX pays repair facilities directly, so you won’t need to shell out the repair cost and then wait for reimbursement.
  • Bonus coverage types: Every CARCHEX vehicle protection plan includes 24-hour roadside assistance, fuel and fluid deliveries, towing services, trip interruption benefits, and rental car reimbursement.
  • Affordable prices: We offer some of the lowest monthly payments in the industry and offer our best rates from the start rather than making customers haggle.

CARCHEX vs. the Competition

There are plenty of other companies with car warranties that cover similar parts to CARCHEX, but they don’t perform well in comparison. You’ll see why below:

CARCHEXAutoAssureConcord Auto ProtectEndurance
Years in Business24131017
Instant QuoteYesYesYesYes
BBB AccreditationYesNoNoNo
BBB RatingA+C+D-Not Rated
BBB Complaints (last 36 mo.)1591171602,029
Partnerships/EndorsementsCARFAX, RepairPal, Edmunds.com, Autoblog, SiriusXM, Vehicle Protection Association, and Goss’ Garage.Vehicle Protection Association, Dun & BradstreetConsumer AffairsCourtney Hansen, Katie Osborne, Vehicle Protection Association

Updated September 2023

CARCHEX Warranty Plans

Each of the five CARCHEX car warranties covers a different set of items, from the Bronze plan’s powertrain warranty up to the extensive protection of Titanium coverage. Nearly all motorists can find at least one CARCHEX plan that meets their coverage and financial needs.

  • Titanium coverage: This plan lasts for up to 10 years and is similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty. It covers all car parts minus a short list of excluded components.
  • Platinum coverage: Offering the highest level of stated-component coverage, this plan covers hundreds of car parts and all major vehicle systems for up to 10 years
  • Gold coverage: This protection plan is ideal for vehicles with over 60,000 miles and includes all major systems for up to 10 years.
  • Silver coverage: Much stronger than a basic powertrain warranty, a CARCHEX Silver car warranty covers your car’s major systems for up to seven years.
  • Bronze coverage: CARCHEX offers this plan to protect drivers from the most common and expensive repairs to the car’s engine, transmission, and drivetrain.
CARCHEX Vehicle Protection Plans

Get a Car Warranty Quote From CARCHEX

Whether you want to know what a car warranty covers or just need to get a quick quote, our team at CARCHEX can offer guidance. We’ll answer any questions you may have and can compare car warranties to make sure you receive the best possible protection.

Call 866-261-3457 to speak with one of our CARCHEX representatives today.

FAQ: What Does a Car Warranty Cover?