Topics:Repair and Maintenance Budget Safety Voided Warranty Mileage Car Value Car Trouble Car Resale Money Saver Buying Tips Winter
By Riley Clark
March 15th, 2021
By Riley Clark
March 15th, 2021
A factory warranty is coverage offered by the original manufacturer for a specified period of time or until a certain mileage threshold is reached. Through a factory warranty, the manufacturer agrees to pay for certain repairs. Factory warranties are generally only included with new car purchases. Across many well down car manufacturers, the specific coverage is similar because they are all competing for the same customers and those customers expect coverage on their new car. Jennifer Willy, a travel expert at Etia explained the different types of warranties, saying, “the coverage offered can be both inclusionary and exclusionary. If a factory warranty is inclusionary, the contract will explicitly list every part that is included in the coverage and if it is exclusionary, the contract lists the excluded parts instead. The latter coverage typically includes more items, since there are thousands of parts that make up a car.” Key Takeaways: Factory Car Warranty Questions Answered Can my used car still be under warranty? What does a factory warranty typically cover? What happens if my factory warranty is expired? What is the difference between a factory warranty and an extended warranty? Is an extended warranty for me? Can my used car still be under warranty? If the original factory warranty is still active then it will generally transfer to the next car owner. This means that when buying a used car that still has the manufacturer warranty it will be transferred as if the purchases were the original owner. However, this is not always the case, so be cautious and make sure to read the fine print. In order to be sure, call the dealership of the make of the car and provide the VIN to find out exactly how much warranty is left on the car? How to check if my car is still under warranty? What does a factory warranty typically cover? Typically, there are two major types of factory warranties; a basic limited warranty and a powertrain warranty. Oscar Verduga who works at a German car manufacturing dealership added that, “the warranty is activated when the vehicle is purchased brand new and changed to the owner’s name. There are typically different levels of warranty that have different lengths of time and mileage and cover different items. Usually the shorter warranty is the most complete. It covers bumper to bumper, except wear and tear items such as brakes and tires." “Always keep records of the terms of your warranty so that, if you’re unsure down the road of what’s covered and for how long, you can check back. When in doubt, you can also give your manufacturer a call with your vehicle identification number to find out exactly when your was put into service and determine if it’s still covered that way. This trick works for used cars as well.” — Richard Reina, CARiD Bumper to bumper warranty A bumper to bumper warranty is typically the most comprehensive type of factory warranty available. Be aware, however, that a bumper to bumper warranty doesn’t actually cover every part of your car. Parts that are not covered by this warranty are typically parts that will naturally wear over time, such as brake pads, wipers, and light bulbs. A factory warranty that is bumper to bumper is really more of just something that will cover any of the manufacturer’s parts that are defective. For example, the manufacturer will replace the engine of the car if it stops working because it was defective, not if something the owner of the vehicle did caused it to stop working. Powertrain warranty A powertrain warranty covers less items than the bumper to bumper warranty. The powertrain warranty typically covers more of the larger portions of the vehicle that will keep the car running. It typically includes; the engine, the transmission, axle shafts, driver shafts, and more major components of the vehicle. Basically, the powertrain warranty covers anything that provides power to your wheels. Again, the powertrain warranty does not cover parts that are damaged through normal wear and tear of your vehicle, but instead, covers faulty manufacturer parts over until a specified period of time after purchasing your vehicle or a certain number of miles have been put on the car. What happens if my factory warranty is expired? If you still want similar coverage for your vehicle you can look into purchasing an extended warranty. There are many reputable third party car warranty companies that offer varying levels of protection, depending on your needs. A Complete Guide to Car Warranties E-Book These plans typically come at a monthly cost for the consumer. When a covered repair is necessary, the consumer lets the car warranty company know and then it works out the payment between the company and the repair shop. What is the difference between a factory warranty and an extended warranty? A factory warranty is typically included in the cost of the car if it is available and usually only covers parts of the car that make the car run and that are specific to the car manufacturer. However, the extended warranty, also referred to as an auto service contract, comes at an additional cost to the consumer and can sometimes cover more or less than what would have been covered on the factory warranty depending on the chosen plan. Is an extended car warranty for me? Lauren Fix, CEO of the Car Coach says, “A warranty offers peace of mind. When making a five-figure purchase, the thought of paying out for major repairs in the first couple of years is nerve-wracking. Cars typically come with a warranty, although extended warranties may be offered through a third-party company. Deciding if you want or need an extended car warranty is a personal decision. You need to decide if you would rather pay a monthly sum and have the peace of mind that any costly repairs that occur will be covered or you will have to budget for those repairs on your own. An extended auto warranty also often offers roadside assistance. 5 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing an Extended Car Warranty
Guest Post by Mike Jones Every person has a unique fingerprint that can give insight into their name and date of birth, as well as their medical, employment and criminal history. There’s a story to be told behind every fingerprint. A vehicle’s VIN is no different. A VIN, or vehicle identification number, is a unique, 17-character code assigned to a car. No two cars have the same VIN. After all, no two cars have the same story. A VIN gives valuable insight into a car’s manufacturing history, its features, its insurance, and its warranty. From repairs to recalls, there’s a lot your VIN can tell you. What does the VIN mean? The VIN may look like a random selection of numbers and letters, but the placement of those characters will tell you a lot about the manufacturer, the engine, and even the fuel type of your vehicle. 1st Character: Where the vehicle was built. J means Japan. L means China. 1 means the United States. 2nd–3rd Characters: The vehicle’s manufacturer. For example, Toyota is JT. 4th–8th Characters: The vehicle’s brand, engine size, and type. 9th Character: The vehicle’s security code. This number is the result of a complex algorithm that is used by adding/subtracting the other digits. If the answer is this 9th character, your VIN is accurate. If it isn’t, it could have been forged. 10th Character: The vehicle’s model year. A letter is recycled every 30 years, so A is 2010, B is 2011, C is 2012, and so on. 11th Character: Which plant assembled the vehicle. 12th–17th Characters: The vehicle’s serial number. Where is the VIN located? You can find your VIN on the dashboard of your car. Stand outside, in front of the driver’s seat, and look closely where the dashboard meets the windshield. This is the most common place you’ll find the VIN. If it’s not there, it could be on the driver’s side door frame You can also find your VIN on your vehicle’s paperwork, like its insurance card or title. Why is the VIN important? A VIN can tell you so much more than where and when your car was made. With a VIN, you have access to the entire life story of your vehicle. You can see its maintenance record, accident history, branded title (total loss, salvage, lemon, junk, potential odometer rollback, etc) or clean title. You can also see whether your vehicle has ever been subject to recalls. All of this information is especially useful if you plan to buy a used car. How do you know if the car is safe to drive? How do you know whether it’s been properly maintained? How do you know it isn’t stolen and being sold for a profit? Run a check on the VIN. There are plenty of websites you can use, including Carfax, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and VehicleHistory. Some other vehicle information you’ll learn from your VIN: Line type Body style Whether it’s 2WD or 4WD Weight class The mileage on the odometer (and whether it’s been flipped) Past owners Any liens Airbag deployment Whether parts are original Your VIN and Car Warranty If you’re in the market to buy a car, you can discover whether the car is still under its original manufacturer’s warranty by searching the VIN. If the car isn’t under warranty and you’re considering an extended vehicle warranty, use the VIN to take a look at the vehicle’s maintenance history. If the vehicle has a documented history of maintenance, a vehicle protection plan may be worth the investment. A vehicle protection plan or mechanical breakdown insurance (in California) will help cover the costs of any future repairs and give you automotive peace of mind for the future. However, a vehicle protection plan does not cover regular maintenance and wear items (think oil changes, alignments, belt replacements, brake pads and rotors, shocks, batteries, etc) or pre-existing conditions. If the used car you’re looking at has been involved in major accidents, it’s best to avoid the vehicle altogether and find a car that you can rely on. Providers of vehicle protection plans and insurance companies will ask for your VIN for this reason and will adjust rates accordingly depending on your vehicle’s reliability and history. A branded title for example will disqualify the vehicle for a vehicle protection plan or mechanical breakdown insurance. Whether you’re a proud new car owner or are still searching for your next vehicle, take some time to look up the VIN. You may be amazed by the story it tells. Mike Jones is the president and CEO of autopom!, a BBB Accredited A+ rated provider of vehicle protection plans for both new and used cars. Click here to learn more about autopom!
Protection means protection no matter what, right? Wrong. When purchasing an extended car warranty, you must be aware of the caveats of your coverage. Certain factors can lead to your extended car warranty being voided. Although every car warranty company is different, luckily, many of the car warranty companes have similar parameters for what voids an extended car warranty. Read below to find out the top five. If you are unsure of what a car warranty or extended warranty is in general, check out our complete guide to car warranties for a simple run-down. 1. Keep up with your vehicle’s recommended maintenance Every vehicle has a recommended maintenance schedule. Most car warranty companies, will void your car warranty if you do not keep up with the recommended maintenance. This often includes rotating your tires, getting the oil changed, and receiving specified inspections.To find out what your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule is simply put your vehicle’s make and model into this car maintenance guide. 2. Avoid modifications For most car warranty companies, your vehicle’s extended car warranty will be voided if you make any vehicle modifications other than modifications recommended by the manufacturer. Laura Gonzalez from AudiPeoria, with years of experience in the automotive industry, states that, “most aftermarket modifications (e.g. parts that are not approved by the manufacturer) will void your warranty. For example, if you lift your vehicle and then it has problems with the drivetrain, you will have a difficult time getting the dealership to cover the repairs under warranty, because they can simply state that the vehicle was not built to accommodate the modification.” 3. Drive carefully Deliberate and obvious abuse of your vehicle, such as off-roading, hitting curbs, racing or anything else that the vehicle was not manufactured to do will void the warranty. Look through your contract carefully to see what the car warranty company defines as misuse. Jake McKenzie from Auto Accessories Garage adds that "Overloading your vehicle by competing in races or track days, off-roading, or even plowing snow can be considered misuse, or otherwise outside of normal operation. A claims investigator may look for signs of racing or off-roading in your vehicle and they can deny a claim at their own discretion. They will not necessarily need proof of racing or off-roading, but can choose to deny coverage based solely on the presence of signs that may indicate racing or off-roading." 4. Be mindful of your mileage Lauren Fix from the Car Coach says "car warranties are based in mileage and time, which ever comes first. After that point, the coverage protection dissappears." Be mindful of the mileage on your car and be aware of when you are going to hit that mileage limit. When this happens, your car warranty is voided. 5. Let the extended car warranty company know that a repair needs to be done Before getting any car repairs on your car, make sure to let the car warranty company know. Without prior authorization from the administrator, the car warranty may not be held responsible to pay for the repair. Typically, the only exception for this is when the repair is classified under emergency repairs stated in the agreement. The bottom line Although this list covers the most common factors that car warranty companies include in voiding a car warranty, this is not a comprehensive list. When you are exploring your options, go through your contract carefully before agreeing to anything. Pay special attention to everything included in the contract that will void your car warranty. Being informed beforehand ensures you know exactly what you are purchasing with an extended car warranty.
Are you looking into buying a used car and want to know its warranty status? Are you wondering if your current car still has an active vehicle warranty? Are you trying to guide a family member or friend through the car-buying process and want to check all the boxes? Are you purchasing a pre-owned vehicle and want to check if there is still a warranty on it? Whatever your reasons for being curious about the status of your extended warranty, here are four things you need to know to get the most accurate information about a car's warranty: 1. Look at your VIN number Your car’s VIN number is necessary in order to find out if your car is still under warranty. A VIN number is a unique 17-digit code where each digit or group of digits has a meaning and is given to all vehicles driven in the United States. A car’s VIN number can be located in the following locations on your car: Lower left hand side of the dashboard — Look at the left corner of your dashboard where the glass meets the dashboard. Under the hood — Pop the hood and check in front of the engine for a small metal plate with a number printed on it. Under the windshield wipers — Check on the outside front area of your car below the windshield wipers on the driver-hand side. Under the spare tire — Lift up your spare tire and check under the tire for your VIN number. The spare tire is typically located in the trunk of the car. Driver’s-side door — Open the door and the number will be found where the door latches or inside the doorjamb where the car side mirror is located when the driver door is shut. Wheel well — Go to the wheel well that surrounds the back tire on the driver’s side. If you check these possible locations and you still can’t find your vehicle’s VIN number, try calling the dealership directly and asking where your specific car 's VIN number is located. Simply tell them the make and model of your car, and they should be able to tell your where the VIN number is located. Other places to look for the VIN number include the vehicle’s title, registration card, and your insurance card. 2. Check the miles driven on your car To find the miles driven on your car check the odometer. The odometer is typically found behind the steering wheel. 3. Call the dealership Whether you bought your car directly from the dealership or you bought it used, you can call the corresponding dealership of your car to find out when the car was originally purchased. Any dealership, for your specific make of car, can lookup when your vehicle was purchased no matter which location it was purchased from. Make sure to have the VIN number and the mileage of your car handy. The dealership should be able to determine what the warranty is on your car and if it is valid according to the information you provide. Bryan Rodgers, owner of a dealer repair service stated, "Once you have your VIN, call your dealer and ask when your warranty expires, as they will have that information for you. If you really can't seem to find your VIN, simply drive your car to your dealer, and they'll help you find it and let you know then if you're under warranty or not." Note that the warranty is also found in your vehicle’s owner manual, but it is wise to find out directly from the dealership instead of relying on what the warranty in the manual says. Consumers can purchase cars up to a year before the designated model year, so it is difficult to know when the exact date of purchase was without calling the dealership. 4. If needed, get a Carfax report on your car If the dealership is not sure whether or not your car is still under a basic warranty then you can get a Carfax report on your car. Getting a Carfax is simple: go to Carfax and type in your VIN number or search by license plate and state. Aside from your warranty information a Carfax report will also check for major accidents, open recalls, total loss, airbag deployment, service history, estimated miles driven per year, multiple owners, registration history, rebuilt, mileage rollover, hail damage, last reported mileage, vehicle service, mileage rollback, not actual mileage, lemon status, length of ownership, structural damage, state ownership, flood damage, salvage titles, junked, and commercial or personal use. The price of obtaining a Carfax for a single vehicle is $39.99. What to do if your car warranty is expired If you call and find out that your car is not still under a limited warranty, we advise thinking about getting a new extended warranty. However, there are a number of different options available to you: Follow your car maintenance schedule One of the most important things to do is to follow your car’s maintenance schedule and to ensure that genuine parts are being used. Make sure to go the manufacturer's website before getting a repair to ensure that your mechanic has the parts that you need. Defects in materials can cause major damage to your car. You can find your car’s specific maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual or google to find your vehicle's correct owner's manual. Here’s a nearly comprehensive list of different car owner’s manuals. Start a car repair fund Start to set aside money every week or month and put it in a fund specifically set aside for unforeseen car repairs and regular car maintenance. Do not touch this account unless you use it for car service. You will be more prepared for planned and unplanned maintenance requirements for your vehicle. Get a car warranty For extra protection you can get an extended warranty on your car. This typically constitutes of a monthly cost and the protection against car repairs varies with the different type of car warranty you get. With a car warranty, you will be able to tailor it to fit your specific needs. Most don't cover routine maintenance from normal vehicle wear and tear but they often a car warranty covers major problems with your engine, battery, etc. The company will take care of much of the paperwork, and many of your necessary repairs will be covered by your warranty. Many car warranty companies provide this service apart from your car’s dealership and they often include extra service such as roadside assistance. Typically the dealership will have high fees and you can obtain a car warranty from other sources for less. Learn how you can get the same protection from other car warranty companies for a fraction of the price.
Guest Post by Mike Jones Whether you’re buying a new car or purchasing a used vehicle that’s almost as good as new, you can’t help but worry about what repairs your vehicle may face down the road. Like death and taxes, we can’t seem to escape car problems or the costs that come with them. A broken AC or leaking water pump, a transmission issue or ignition problem — all come with costly repairs. It’s best to prepare for these car issues well before they actually happen so that your vehicle and your wallet don’t pay the price. One of the best ways to prepare for the inevitable is by investing in an extended vehicle warranty. Over the years extended vehicle warranties have been the target of myths and fiction that have made drivers ask the question: Is an extended vehicle warranty actually worth it? The easy answer is yes. If you want peace of mind, an extended vehicle warranty is definitely worth it, whether you’re driving your first new car or your fifth used car. Don’t let the following myths fool you into putting your vehicle and your budget at risk. 1. Extended warranties are a waste of money This is perhaps the biggest myth surrounding extended vehicle warranty plans. Many drivers forgo warranty plans because they worry that they’re too expensive. However, while you can find an extended vehicle warranty for as little as $1,119 (Platinum coverage, $0 deductible, in California, for a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid), some major car repairs can cost you anywhere from $500 to $7,000. You’ll be spending a lot more money if you’re not covered by a warranty plan. If you opt for an extended vehicle warranty, your plan will likely pay for itself after one large repair bill. This doesn’t include the added benefits a warranty offers. Extended vehicle warranties don’t only help cover your vehicle repairs, but some include roadside assistance for when your car breaks down, rental vehicle assistance for when your car is in the shop, and repair shop choice. Some providers also offer payment plans to help make payments easier for drivers. Where does this myth come from? It comes from the fact that many dealerships overcharge for extended vehicle warranties. These plans come with loans and interest rates, making many drivers feel like they’re being played. 2. Only dealerships sell extended vehicle warranties This is partly true. Only dealerships sell extended vehicle warranties. But you can find vehicle protection plans from a variety of providers across the nation.A vehicle protection plan is a convenient and affordable alternative to an extended vehicle warranty. Despite the difference in its name, it offers many of the same benefits (sometimes with a few additional perks like no-fee payment plans). While you can buy an extended vehicle warranty directly from your dealership, don’t limit your options. Explore other vehicle protection plan providers. How do their plans stack up against those of the dealership? Who offers the lowest prices? Who offers the greatest benefits? Be sure to check their reputation at the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot.com. 3. All warranties are the same No two car warranties are exactly the same. In fact, even dealerships or providers offer several different types of warranties. They differ in price, in coverage, in benefits, and in features. The type of coverage you receive depends on several factors. First, it depends on how much you want to spend. If you’re willing to spend more on a warranty plan, you should also be expecting more coverage. The type of coverage you receive also depends on your state of residence and the year, make, model, and mileage of your vehicle. For example, the type of coverage available for a 2019 Lexus will differ greatly from that of a 2003 Ford. It’s important that you shop around, just as you did when you purchased your car. Many providers offer free quotes and let you look at contract samples. Read the language in the contract carefully. When you do, the differences between the plans you’re looking at will be obvious. Remember to check online for reputation of the provider. 4. I’m already covered by my manufacturer’s warranty so I don’t need double coverage While you may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty shortly after you buy the car, you won’t be for long. The original factory warranty comes with year and mileage limits that leave you on your own once they’ve been exceeded. It’s a good idea to invest in an extended vehicle warranty or vehicle protection plan before your manufacturer’s warranty expires. When you drive a newer car, you’ll be guaranteed a higher level of coverage, longer terms, and lower rates. The same can’t be said if you wait five years for protection. You and your car with more wear/tear and miles won’t get as good a deal had you not waited. Now that you’ve uncovered the myths of an extended vehicle warranty, it’s time you look into the options and peace of mind that are available for you and your vehicle. No one wants a road trip interrupted by car problems or a vacation abandoned because a repair shop bill broke the bank. One thing that’s not a myth? With a vehicle protection plan, you’ll drive with automotive peace of mind knowing that your car and your wallet are covered.Mike Jones is the president and CEO of autopom!, a BBB Accredited A+ rated provider of vehicle protection plans for both new and used cars. Click here to learn more about autopom!
Whether driving through muddy streams, hilly sand dunes, or dusty red rocks, off-roading enthusiasts agree that there’s nothing wrong with getting a little — or a lot — dirty.However, the thrill of the ride can come at a high price. Vehicle damage incurred while off-roading is not usually covered by car insurance, manufacturer warranties, or extended car warranties.Furthermore, making modifications to your vehicle in some cases completely voids extended warranty coverage. This is the case for a variety of vehicles, including the top off-roading Jeeps, Toyotas, and other SUVs and trucks. So what’s an adventurous soul to do? You need to know the specific limits of your vehicle and the terms of your insurance, your manufacturing warranty, and your extended car warranty. Read on for basic rules regarding how off-roading and modifications impact car warranty coverage. Off-roading damage coverage An extended car warranty, sometimes called a service contract, is designed to offset repair costs after a manufacturer’s warranty expires. It covers a certain number of years after you reach either a certain mileage or number of years from the manufacturer’s warranty period. The investment payout from having a car warranty can be hefty even with a single repair, such as needing a complete transmission replacement with a Jeep warranty.Car warranties only protect against manufacturer defects, not damages or parts that will need to be repaired periodically. So if something unexpected happens off the road, such as a huge rock chip in the windshield of your 4Runner or a blown gasket of your Wrangler, you’re out of luck with warranty coverage. In fact, even unlucky off-roading weather conditions — such as excessive water from a storm or flood — falls outside normal operating conditions where a car warranty can be applied.According to the DMV, an original manufacturer’s warranty may even be permanently voided due to “misuse of a vehicle, including off-roading.”Unfortunately, car insurance generally does not cover incidents that occur off-road, either. Whether you’re an off-roading veteran or a rookie, it’s a good idea to purchase specific off-road car insurance to avoid crippling costs from an unexpected accident. Common modifications and their implications While most cars or trucks are equipped to handle your average bumpy dirt road, making modifications to a vehicle’s original state can extend nature’s playing field and amplify off-roading fun. However, major modifications and even some minor ones can void original or extended warranties. At the very least, modifications limit your coverage options if you’re shopping for a car warranty.Modifications to the following can cause a vehicle to become ineligible for a car warranty: Tire and wheel size Increasing the tire and wheel size can cause inaccurate odometer tracking. Car warranty companies need to be able to determine the exact mileage of a car, and there’s no sure way to tell if an odometer has been tampered with.Larger tires put a strain on the drivetrain, sometimes requiring re-gearing and/or an axle swap to handle the heavy tires. Additionally, large and bulky treads can limit road traction, adding strain when the car’s systems would work fine under normal conditions.Instead of altering the tire and wheel size, consider a standard-size, all-terrain tire that can drive well on paved roads but also offers good traction with bad weather conditions and some off-road use. Suspension lift kits Lift kit installations go hand in hand with increased tire and wheel size. Aside from the annoyance of requiring maintenance and causing a bumpier ride, adding a suspension lift kit to your SUV or truck will likely void a warranty simply by virtue of the fact that the suspension has been adjusted beyond factory specifications. A number of issues can arise from suspension height or torsion bar modifications that might otherwise not occur. Intake and exhaust modifications Intake and exhaust modifications are usually done to increase horsepower, improve miles per gallon, and increase acceleration from idling position. Since cold and dense air is better for good engine performance, replacing a restrictive factory intake system with a less restrictive one makes sense for performance.However, less restrictive intake systems, like an open cone filter, are not water resistant and can cause hydro locking. These modifications also put increased wear and tear on the engine and drivetrain. Maintaining car warranty eligibility The bottom line is that both off-roading and its accompanying modifications increase liability. Regardless of how well-suited your vehicle is for adventurous pursuits, the wear and tear and adverse conditions increase your odds of needing repairs that may not be covered. And modifications decrease warranty providers’ confidence in the longevity of original vehicle parts.If you’ve modified your vehicle, you don’t need to automatically assume you won’t qualify for a car warranty. Car warranty administrators have different tolerances for vehicle modifications, so it’s worth a shot to see if the modifications are considered acceptable.However, if you’re considering a modification, it could make your vehicle ineligible for continued or future coverage, so communicate with your warranty company about what is acceptable to maintain coverage and what is not. Then you can determine whether the modification is worth missing out on the benefit of a car warranty.