Car Warranty FAQ

Hand holding drawn car
Facts You Should Know
All new cars come with excellent warranties that cover the powertrain, as well as bumper-to-bumper coverage of the vehicle. Some even come with roadside assistance and more. Sometimes, when you buy a new or used car, you may be offered an auto service contract that protects you from unexpected or expensive repairs. But you'll want to make sure you're not paying for double coverage when your new car warranty might suffice. If your car is nearing the end of its factory warranty, you may be looking for a way to extend your coverage in the event of a costly repair or expensive component failure. That's where vehicle service contracts or extended warranties come in. 

In this article on car warranty FAQ, we hope to offer information that will explain the difference between a warranty and a service contract, what is covered, and just as important, what is not covered.

What is an Auto Warranty?

An auto warranty is provided by the vehicle manufacturer on all new vehicles. It is a contract that is good for a specified time and/or mileage, whichever comes first, that will fix or repair certain malfunctions or defects in the car. 

Sometimes used cars might come with some sort of warranty coverage as well. Auto warranties generally cover such features as electronics, brake parts, the engine and transmission.

What is an Extended Warranty?

Extended warranty or auto service contracts are often available as an "add-on" to your existing warranties from the automaker. Many times, extended warranties or service contracts can cost thousands of dollars. Be sure to ask questions and get answers in writing, because it is important to know what you are paying for and you need to know exactly what you are getting for your money.
Both vehicle service contracts and extended warranties are accepted at dealerships, though an extended warranty is usually only used at your specific car brand's dealership. On the other hand, vehicle service contracts may be used at any dealership or ASE certified repair shop.