When you buy a new car, you’ll have the peace of mind for the next couple of years that anything that breaks is likely to be covered under one warranty or another. New cars typically come with two types of warranties: bumper to bumper and powertrain. The bumper to bumper covers all the parts of the car that aren’t part of the engine. The powertrain warranty covers all parts of the engine and transmission. These two combined cover most of your car for two to three years depending on the length of the warranty. Some powertrain warranties on newer models are offered for 100,000 miles or 10 years, whichever you reach first. Bumper to bumper warranties typically last only 36,000 miles, or so. But, when you buy a new car, the dealership also gives you an opportunity to look forward into the future to the time when both of these warranties expire.
You can purchase an extended warranty for your vehicle at any point of ownership. But, they’re never as affordable as the day you drive you’re new car off the lot. Typically, these service contracts come in two types, those offered by the car manufacturer and those offered by private, third party companies who deal in warranties. If the extended warranty is purchased from the manufacturer, it’s likely to simply continue the same coverage your current bumper to bumper or powertrain warranties offer. If the extended warranty is sold by a third party, be sure to read the fine print so that you have a solid understanding of the protection you’re buying and any limitations the company will impose.
Extended warranties are designed to protect consumers from large bills on car repairs. Although they don’t always cover everything that breaks, especially if the breakdown points to owner neglect or failure to perform scheduled maintenance. You can keep up with recommended scheduled maintenance by checking your owners manual regularly and by looking through the recommended maintenance section featured on Cars.com. The warranty company should cover anything major that happens to your car’s engine or transmission. The third party warranty variety can have some limitations that manufacturer warranties do not. They might restrict where you can have work done on your vehicle. They might also make you pay for the work and then submit a claim to them for reimbursement. It’s important to understand all aspects of the warranty so that you can take full advantage of it when and if you need it. Extended warranties aren’t for everyone, but they are worth everyone taking a close look at them before making that decision.