An extended car warranty is perhaps one of the most valuable yet often overlooked coverage plans available to vehicle owners. Many people do not know how car warranties work in general or what, if anything, is covered when they purchase a car from a national dealership, independent used-car lot, private seller, or auto broker.
Car repairs can be one of the most costly and unforeseen expenses of owning a car. Understanding your auto coverage options is key to making an informed decision. Many customers (whether they’re first-time vehicle owners or seasoned auto traders) want to know, what does an extended car warranty cover? Before we outline exactly what these service contracts entail, let’s start by exploring what an extended warranty even is.
What is an extended car warranty?
To truly understand an extended warranty, it is important to know the different types of car warranties that exist. While there are many types available, we will highlight the main ones below.
1. Manufacturer or Factory Warranty – A manufacturer or factory warranty comes from the carmaker itself, and typically is included with the purchase of any new, certified pre-owned, or used cars.
On average, this type of warranty normally lasts for three or four years, though a few car makers attract buyers through an industry-leading 5-year program. This warranty type is limited in scope, and really only covers parts that are defective due to a factory error or original part issue
2. Powertrain Warranty – Like the name indicates, a powertrain warranty only covers the parts that power the vehicle like the transmission, engine, axel, and driveshaft. Basically, any part that is required to power the car and make it move would fall under this type of warranty.
3. Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty – In essence, a bumper-to-bumper warranty covers all vehicle parts from the front bumper to the back one. It is automatically included as part of all brand-new car purchases made from a dealership and is one of the more comprehensive warranty options.
However, the coverage really only extends if a defect or problem occurs due to something out of your control. It won’t cover wear and tear or regular maintenance.
4. Extended Warranty – An extended warranty ideally covers your vehicle after previous warranties expire. Though you may have the option to purchase an extended plan from the manufacturer or original dealership, many drivers elect to purchase a continuing warranty from a reputable, third-party provider as they are often more flexible and affordable.
Typically, coverage for an extended warranty will start 30 days after the contract date, so you may want to plan accordingly so there is no lapse in coverage.
What do most extended car warranties cover?
Depending on which provider you select, the coverage inclusions of an extended warranty will vary. It is important that you understand the contract terms, inclusions, and exclusions before selecting the extended car warranty you would like to purchase. Beyond the items that are covered, some plans may have limitations on the repair facilities you can use to fix your vehicle. Others have deductibles or limits on the amount they will pay.
Overall, many of the more popular extended car warranty companies will cover:
- Major vehicle systems
- Damage due to corrosion or rust
- Key vehicle parts like the engine and transmission
- Some replacements due to wear and tear
While these are general guidelines, it is important to understand that the coverage varies from company to company. It’s not enough to simply know what is covered in your contract, you should also get a good sense of some of the bigger ticket items that won’t be covered. For example, an extended car warranty would not cover vehicle damage due to an accident or theft. Windshield, windshield wipers, or window damage, also isn’t usually covered by this contract. Additional wear items like your tires or brake pads, typically don’t fall under the coverage inclusions of the warranty extension.
How much do extended warranties cost?
It is clear that there are several benefits to purchasing an extended warranty for your vehicle. You may be wondering, are extended car warranties worth it? The short answer is yes. The cost of these plans can vary based on the depth and length of coverage. American First Auto Protect’s free online form is a great place to start when searching for a car warranty quote.
Prices can vary, but in general, an extended warranty will cost you between $1,000-$3,000 depending on the extent of your coverage. The biggest influencers of the overall cost will be the length of time you choose to extend for, and the array of inclusions that are important to you.
Why should vehicle owners invest in an extended warranty coverage plan?
Just like with an insurance plan, an extended warranty provides drivers with a level of comfort, knowing if life throws them a vehicle curveball, they won’t be out of pocket thousands of dollars. Having guaranteed coverage on your vehicle’s main parts is crucial, especially if you buy a used vehicle or plan to own your vehicle for a long time. When you invest in an extended warranty contract, you can rest assured you will always have reliable vehicle protection whenever you need it.
American First Auto Protect has been assisting vehicle owners with their extended warranties for more than 14 years. We offer a variety of coverage plans to fit our customers’ budgets. Unlike other warranty providers that just cover vehicle parts, our plans go above and beyond to include additional benefits like roadside assistance, towing, and gas fill-ups if you hit “E” far away from a station. Plus, repairs are covered with any Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE-Certified mechanic at dealerships and auto repair shops nationwide. Our most popular Platinum plan provides complete coverage for a wide array of areas:
- Cooling System
- Electrical System
- Drive Axel
- Brake System
- 4X4, AWD
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance
- Out of Gas
- Dead Battery
- Trip Interruption
- Steering System
- Air Conditioning
- Fuel System
- Abs – Brakes
- GPS Navigation
- High-Tech Electronics
With comprehensive coverage like this, it is easy to see why American First Auto Protect is the go-to choice for extended warranties. Our company focuses on providing quick, reliable service and sound peace-of-mind to all our clients. With American First Auto Protect, customers always come first. Our main priority is the happiness and satisfaction of our vehicle owners, and we do this by providing them with dependable coverage that meets their needs and their budgets. This incredible customer feedback proves it.
Are you ready to buy an extended warranty? Regardless of what you decide, it is important to be an informed customer and vehicle owner. Start by learning what, if any, coverage you currently have on your vehicle from a manufacturer or previous owner. If the time has almost run out or is already expired, it’s time to act. When researching the best options for extended auto warranties, be sure to fully understand what is covered and how the car warranty works if you need to place a claim. It’s not just about the extended car warranty cost, it’s about the value provided by the contract and the provider itself. Finding the right auto warranty company is the most important part of the process.