Types of extended car warranties
Several types of extended car warranties are available. Some are comprehensive and cover nearly every system in your vehicle, while others are far more specific.
A powertrain warranty is one of the most common options available and provides fairly basic coverage. This type of vehicle service contract covers only the most important parts of your car. Covered parts include:
Powertrain warranties often last around five years, but some plans can last as long as 10 years.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is the most comprehensive type of extended warranty. As the name suggests, it’s designed to cover everything from your front bumper to the back.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty likely covers everything a powertrain warranty would cover. It also covers other major systems within your vehicle, such as your heating and cooling system, electrical systems, steering system, brakes, safety features, and more.
Bumper-to-bumper warranties don’t generally last as long as powertrain warranties. While it’s not uncommon for companies to offer powertrain warranties for up to 10 years, most bumper-to-bumper warranties are good for four or five years.
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A dealership warranty is an extended warranty that comes from the dealership where you buy the car. Dealership warranties generally come with the same coverages as those you’d purchase from the manufacturer or a third party.
Buying your extended warranty from the dealer has some advantages. It’s convenient since you’re already at the dealer to buy a car. You may also be able to wrap the cost of the warranty into your vehicle financing.
That being said, dealership warranties can also be more expensive than those that other providers offer. And you may find yourself convinced by a pushy salesman before you have a chance to shop around.
Like dealerships, vehicle manufacturers also offer extended car warranties. Like other providers, manufacturers may offer powertrain warranties, bumper-to-bumper warranties, and other coverage options. And because you’re getting the extended warranty from the same provider as the original factory warranty, the coverage is more likely to be similar (if not identical).
It’s worth noting that manufacturers sometimes require that you stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule for the warranty to remain valid. Additionally, you may have to visit the dealership or a specific repair shop when you need work done.
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Rust and corrosion warranty
A rust and corrosion warranty — as the name suggests — is designed to cover rust and corrosion on your vehicle. This type of coverage can pay for surface damage to the vehicle, as well as more serious damage to the metal.
Rust and corrosion coverage is less common, and not everyone needs it. You may want this kind of warranty if your vehicle is frequently exposed to certain environmental factors, like snowstorms and road salt. However, this type of plan may also cover corrosion that occurs after an accident.
An emissions warranty is a type of vehicle warranty that can pay for repairs to your vehicle if it fails an emissions inspection. Not everyone needs this type of policy since not all cities and states require emissions or smog testing.
An emissions warranty covers systems and parts that bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranty plans may not cover. Covered components include catalytic converters, onboard emissions diagnostic systems, and electronic emissions control units.