Its natural to spend some time choosing a car that’s right for you. You have a specific type that you want, a specific model, and even a specific color in mind! It’s a big investment and the decision is overwhelming in itself. What most people forget to spend more time on is the warranty.
Once you have the car of your dreams, it is important to realize that it will need constant preventive maintenance. However, despite being up to date with your scheduled maintenance, your car will most likely need repairs at least once in its lifetime under your ownership. Having a warranty is very valuable because car repairs can be expensive. But, as long as your warranty is intact, you don’t have to come out of pocket to get our car fixed. Here we give you tips on understanding your warranty in a simple way.
When you buy or lease a new car, it always comes with a manufacturer’s warranty which is a basic warranty covering all of the car’s systems. The length of the warranty varies but most automobile manufacturers offer at least a three-year or 36,000 mile basic warranty.
In addition to the basic warranty, you also have the drivetrain, or powertrain, warranty which covers the major components of a vehicle. This warranty runs concurrent with the basic warranty and is often extended beyond the basic warranty term.
There’s also a dealer’s warranty which may only be honored at the individual shop and may not include the same kinds of standards or attention to detail provided in a manufacturer’s warranty.
So the first step is to identify where your warranty will be coming from. Is it from the manufacturer or from the dealer? This will also tell you something about the coverage. Then look at the breakdown for parts and labor. Many warranties have a specific coverage period and cost coverage for the classifications of parts and labor separately. Vehicle parts may be covered much longer than the labor on fixes.
Identify the time frame of the warranty. As mentioned earlier, the manufacturer’s warranty will most likely cover up to three years. Some might have a longer time frame, like five to seven years. Warranties on a used car are obviously shorter.
Another very important step is to understand what is and is not covered in your car warranty. Some warranties are comprehensive while others cover only a specific part. In addition, many warranties also have specific exclusions for different parts and situations. Do identify what these are because knowing what is not covered can help you prepare for out of pocket expenses.
Lastly, remember to keep all the necessary documents. Most warranties require the vehicle owner to keep accurate service records in order to be covered.