| CARCHEX Research Center

Is An Extended Auto Warranty As Good As A Factory Warranty?

When you buy a new car it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. This factory warranty covers specific problems that arise under the agreed terms. An extended auto warranty covers repairs when the original factory warranty expires. Extended plans for used cars are very similar, or in some ways better, than the original factory warranties. Let’s compare these two types of coverage.

Original Factory Warranties – What Is Covered?

Original factory warranties can vary between automakers and models. For example, a 2014 Ford Focus carries a 3 year, 36,000 mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. This warranty covers the engine, transmission, safety systems, body sheet metal panels, and emissions performance. Also typically included in the factory warranties are air conditioning, major electrical, audio, and fuel systems. Oftentimes the powertrain (engine and transmission) coverage is extended to 5 years and 50,000 miles or longer.

In order for the warranty to be valid your vehicle must be properly operated and maintained and it must be taken to a dealership for service and repairs. These terms are similar among all automakers’ original warranties.

Original Factory Warranties – What’s Not Covered?

Some car owners confuse car warranties with car insurance. For example, your factory warranty does not cover any damage caused by accidents, theft, or vandalism. Plus, normal wear and tear are not covered either. So for dents, dings, and scratches, you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself. Also regular maintenance, such as oil changes and brake pad replacement are not covered by a car warranty from the factory. Finally, normal tire wear is not covered by original factory warranties either.

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How Do Extended Warranties Stack Up?

For starters, factory warranties have a defined term so at some point your car will be left without coverage. Extended warranties can be purchased to cover repair costs in ways similar to original factory warranties. However, some extended warranties can also cover wear and tear to your vehicle, including tire wear. Also, there are special extended vehicle protection plans that cover high-tech component repair which can be expensive to pay for out-of-pocket.

Unlike some factory installed warranties, the best extended warranties allow you to take your vehicle to a licensed repair center of your choice. This could be the dealer, a national chain, or even your local mechanic.

Both factory and extended warranties usually provide for towing assistance, flat tire change, emergency fuel delivery, and lock-out assistance. Extended warranties also provide trip interruption reimbursement and a free rental car while your repairs are being completed.

Need Coverage?

Is your factory warranty about to expire? Then keep your vehicle investment covered with an extended vehicle protection plan. These plans pay for repairs in ways similar, and sometimes superior to, the original factory warranties. You can even add coverage to an existing factory warranty to cover wear and tear.

Contact CARCHEX now, toll free at 1-877-CARCHEX (1-877-227-2439) if you have any questions. Or get a fast, free online extended auto warranty quote today.

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