Does A Car Warranty Cover Regular Service Costs?
In this article we talk about getting coverage for your vehicle after the factory warranty ends.by Bhavik Sreenath, on
A manufacturer warranty is quite comprehensive to ensure a hassle-free experience at least in the first few years of ownership. But what happens once your warranty ends? Should you get an extended warranty instead? Will your extended warranty match the services provided as part of your factory warranty? Well, these are common doubts people have and in this article, we uncover these questions and more.
Are Regular Service Costs Covered Under Warranty?
A warranty plan, be it one offered by the manufacturer or a third-party provider is designed to provide coverage against unanticipated breakdowns and failing parts which are in most cases caused by manufacturing defects. The level of coverage varies from plan-to-plan and provider-to-provider, however, most warranties do not cover regular maintenance.
Regular service is limited to replacing parts that are subject to wear over time and it is essential to subject your vehicle to timely maintenance. Failure to do so can not just affect your vehicle’s health but also deny you from availing of the benefits of an extended warranty. Here’s a list of things covered under regular service:
- Oil changes
- Tire replacements and repairs
- Headlight and taillight bulbs
- Normal wear and tear items such as windshield wiper replacements
- Emissions and corrosion damage
- Scratches, dings, or damaged seats
- Glass repair and replacement
- Brake pads and brake components
Not sure if an extended car warranty is worth it? We’ve covered all the pros and cons of extended car warranties to help you make the right decision.
What’s Covered By An Extended Car Warranty?
An extended warranty refers to a service contract that covers a range of repairs after the manufacturer’s warranty is over. The coverage of an extended warranty program usually begins after the expiry of the manufacturer’s factory warranty program. A typical Extended Warranty program covers repair and replacement costs of electrical and mechanical components, which in some cases include problem areas not covered by the manufacturer. Those parts include:
- Electrical components
- Some safety features
- Heating and air conditioning
Need to pick a new extended warranty? Here’s how to choose the best Extended Car Warranty.
How Can I Use My Car Warranty?
In case of a factory extended warranty, all you need to do is take it to your nearest authorized service center and if the part or component in question is under warranty, which can be found by going through the terms and conditions of the extended warranty document, then it will be replaced free of charge.
In case of a third-party extended warranty, you can take your vehicle to any authorized or affiliated garage for needed repairs. After this you’ll have to file a claim with your extended warranty provider and depending on your plan and provider, they will either pay the repair facility directly or the payment made by you will be reimbursed. Make sure you keep track of the age and mileage cap specified by the warranty provider as crossing any one of them will imply that your vehicle is no longer under warranty.
Many factory warranties offer other benefits along with their extended warranty plan such as roadside assistance, 24x7 helpline, towing services, and more but these perks end with the warranty. But getting a comprehensive extended warranty can get you some if not all of these perks back. A warranty program can last anywhere from one to eight years and most manufacturers offer in-house extended warranty programs while you purchase your vehicle. Both third-party and manufacturer warranty programs start from as low as $1000 and pre-repair deductibles reach as high as $100.
What’s The Best Type Of Extended Car Warranty?
A powertrain warranty is self-explanatory. Under this type of warranty, only the components that comprise the powertrain have coverage and others parts, no matter how closely related, will not be covered under this warranty program. Meanwhile, a bumper-to-bumper warranty covers almost every component that isn’t a part of the powertrain. The coverage offered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty plan however can vary from provider to provider, so make you go over the terms and conditions.
A powertrain warranty will more often than not, explicitly mention the specific components that are covered but that might not be the case with a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty will include a list of exclusions which usually include the list of items that are subject to wear and tear, such as tires, brake pads, and windshield wipers, and routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, though it is recommended to read the terms of the policy as these components and the kind of coverage often differs from provider to provider.
An inclusive warranty is a service contract that explicitly mentions the kind of coverage and all the parts covered under the plan, hence negating any form of confusion. A good example would be most powertrain warranties in the market.
An exclusive warranty on the other hand is a service contract that explicitly mentions all the components that are not covered by the warranty provider. Most bumper-to-bumper plans can be covered in this category as they tend to mention the components that aren’t a part of the coverage.
What are the Best Third-Party Extended Warranties?
When it comes to third-party warranty providers, we strongly recommend getting in touch with them to try and get the best deal since most of them will offer you a discount over the quoted price if you ask for one. Olive and Endurance are some of the best third-party warranty providers that offer the option of transferring ownership. Here’s a brief review of these providers:
Not sure how a factory warranty and third-party warranty works? We’ve compared the two in our comprehensive guide on warranties.
Uproar is based out of Seattle, Washington, but it’s not like any other extended car warranty company out there. Uproar bills itself as an innovator, which makes a lot of sense considering it’s the first extended warranty company to offer a 100-percent digital, subscription-based experience. The main highlights of uproar include an instant quote and signup online, same-day coverage, no long-term commitments, transparency, and no aggressive salespeople or robocalls. They are BBB accredited and have five-star ratings from both Google and Consumer Affairs.
With one of the highest satisfaction rates in the industry, a result of their extremely reasonable pricing structure, Olive is yet another provider that has built up quite a fan following. And the cheaper prices mean you can set aside those saving and use them towards routine maintenance.
- For cars up to 10 years old/ 140k miles
- 100% online extended warranty solution with customizable plans
- File claims online 24/7
- Affordable monthly payments
- Call for a quote & get a free $5 gift card
This brand is a well-reputed one and offers a plethora of options. There Platinum Plus warranty plan covers repair costs for both mechanical breakdowns and wear-and-tear items such as windshield wipers, fuses, light bulbs, and brake pads.
- 4 distinct warranty plans spanning a wide price range
- Cut repair costs with full protection for your vehicle
- Inspection required before a claim can be filed
- Deductibles range from $0 to $500
Endurance is one of the biggest names in the third-part warranty space and offers a plethora of plans to cater to a wide range of customer needs. The Endurance Advantage™ plan covers mechanical breakdowns and maintenance through three levels: Preferred, Plus, and Prime. These plans cover all basic maintenance parameters like oil changes, engine checks, and brake pad replacements, along with additional services like roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement. Some of the other benefits include:
- Coverage for cars up to 20 years old
- Basic powertrain warranty options are available
- Inspection required before a claim can be filed
- Extra perks with all-inclusive membership
- Join & save $300 on a protection plan
They offer coverage for cars with up to 250,000 miles which makes them a great choice for people who plan to purchase a warranty for their heavily used vehicles. They offer a wide range of policies some of which offer industry-leading claim filing processes. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, CARCHEX should be on your list when shopping for an extended warranty.
- Covers cars with up to 250k miles
- First-rate full-coverage protection for new and used vehicles
- The claim filing process depends on the policy
- No-haggle, low-price guarantee
- A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau