Understanding How a Warranty Works

September 1st, 2016 by


Warranty. Noun. A written guarantee issued by the manufacturer of a product that states said product will operate up to a documented standard for a set duration of time. Any and all repairs that manifest during the duration of the warranty will be covered at no cost to the purchaser.

That’s the basic definition of a warranty Depending on the type of warranty, or the product in question, the warranty and what’s covered will vary. When it comes to car warranties, it’s important to understand not only the type of warranty but what it covers. Doing so will help in reducing many unneeded headaches and written checks. Also, understand that some warranties may require the owner to maintain the vehicle to a certain standard and have scheduled inspections to keep a warranty in effect.

The Basics

The two types of warranties that are commonly  referred to and typically provided by manufacturers are a basic limited warranty and a limited powertrain warranty. Some manufacturers also include a rust-through warranty and complimentary roadside assistance for a specified period of time. We get into what each warranty covers below.

Car warranties are based on time and/or miles driven. The most typical warranty terms is three years or 36,000 miles for a basic limited warranty and five years or 60,000 miles for a powertrain warranty. Some manufacturers like Audi, have the same duration for both warranties. All of the brands available at Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, are backed by a 3-year or 36,000-mile limited basic warranty, a 5-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a rust-through warranty and complimentary roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

So what that means is that a driver who experiences car trouble and has a basic warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles can get repairs covered under the basic warranty taken care of, free of cost, if they have owned the car for less than three years and have not driven it for more than 36,000 miles. Both requirements must be met, as this type of duration is based on a “whatever comes first” rule. If an owner exceeds the time by one day or mileage by one mile, their warranty will not be active.

In addition, most car warranties only cover the parts and repairs, but not necessarily the labor. Service specialists and technicians are doing all the work to repair a car. How do they get paid? Unless the car warranty covers labor costs, then the owner will have to cash out for the time spent fixing their car.

Before discussing the various types of warranties, a good note to keep in mind is regular maintenance. Keeping a car in good shape lessens the chance that a component will break down. Plus, the trade-in or resale value will be higher for a vehicle in good condition and under warranty.

Types of Warranties

Not every car warranty is the same – they don’t all cover all types of repair. There are various types of warranties in the auto industry today and they each have their own selection of repairs and parts they will cover.

Basic Warranty: Basic or limited warranties only cover the simple things like aesthetics. Have a scratch? Broken mirror? This warranty will cover the costs. Is the transmission busted? You need a powertrain warranty for that. Basic warranties typically last 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Powertrain Warranty: This type of warranty covers the working components of a car that make it run – the engine, the transmission and drivetrain. If you have this type of warranty, read it carefully so you know what is and isn’t covered.

Rust-through / Auto-Corrosion / Perforation Warranty: As the name states, this warranty is the most simple of car warranties. Is a component of the car corroded or rusting? As long as the warranty covers that component, then it can be repaired free of charge. An auto-corrosion warranty will typically last for the same duration as a powertrain warranty due to how long it may take for corrosion and rust to form – 5 years, or 60,000 miles.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: The name of this warranty is misleading. Although it would be great if a warranty covered everything on a car, the reality is there is no such thing. A bumper-to-bumper warranty can be very broad, and only cover a small spectrum of parts. Plus, they tend to have a short duration, making them utterly useless. They’ve all but disappeared from the market completely.

Extended Warranty

Extended warranties are available to new car and used cars. Extended warranties are purchased as additional protection to cover the vehicle after the manufacturer’s warranty is no longer active. They can be purchased at the time of initial vehicle purchase or afterwards. However an aftermarket warranty will have to be paid for in full at the time of the transaction, whereas when purchased with a new car, the cost can be added into monthly finance payments.

As a dealership that sells Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram is proud to offer our buyers the Mopar “360 Complete” Plan. This plan is offered exclusively to FCA vehicles, you can read more about it here

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