updatediconLast Updated : August 6, 2020

What Is An Auto Warranty?

Auto Warranty, Car warranty, and Extended Auto Warranty refer to a vehicle service contract that covers the cost of repairs or replacements of defects in a car. Strictly speaking, an auto warranty is a manufacturer's warranty on certain repairs for new cars. There are conditionalities of age and mileage.

These vehicle service contracts provide coverage over the cost of repairs and replacements on older cars. They can cover more items than the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) warranties and fill the gaps left uncovered by the original warranty.


Auto Warranty, Car warranty, and Extended Auto Warranty refer to a vehicle service contract that covers the cost of repairs or replacements of defects in a car. Strictly speaking, an auto warranty is a manufacturer's warranty on certain repairs for new cars. There are conditionalities of age and mileage.

These vehicle service contracts provide coverage over the cost of repairs and replacements on older cars. They can cover more items than the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) warranties and fill the gaps left uncovered by the original warranty.

Top Auto Warranty Companies

Based on the reviews and ratings from our community, Consumera has compiled this list of the top Auto Warranty companies.

Autopom
Autopom
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Autopom has 9+ years of experience in the industry. They offer nationwide breakage coverage and interest-free payment plans. 

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AA Auto Protection
AA Auto Protection
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Leading auto warranty company established in 2002. Flexible payment schedule with no down payment. Offers Powertrain Plan for expensive repairs or older vehicles

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Endurance
Endurance
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30-day money-back guarantee. Certified by Vehicle Protection Association. Endurance Elite Membership with Endurance vehicle protection plan.

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CarShield
CarShield
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Low or nil deductibles. Flexible payment terms. Rental car eligibility.

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Infinite Auto Protection
Infinite Auto Protection
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The company offers up to 60% dealer costs and 30-days money-back guarantee. They also offer Hi-Tech components protection.

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Protect My Car
Protect My Car
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Maintenance perks such as free oil changes, tire rotations. Vehicle Service Contracts are transferable to a new owner. Founded in 2015

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Carchex
Carchex
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Carchex is one of the largest auto warranty company. They offer trip interruption service and 24/7 comprehensive roadside assistance. 

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Omega Auto Care
Omega Auto Care
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Offers reimbursement of repairs from roadside hazards. Reimburses tire replacement. Offers coverage of trips being delayed by car breakdowns

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Liberty Bell Auto Protect
Liberty Bell Auto Protect
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Liberty Bell Auto Protect has ASE-certified mechanics and dealers to make repairs. They cover rental cars and offer 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.

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 Concord Auto Protect
Concord Auto Protect
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Choice of repair facility offered to customers. 30-day money-back guarantee. Provides 24/7 roadside assistance throughout the year

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Wondering which Auto Warranty company is right for you?

Auto Warranty vs Auto Insurance

Auto warranties are often confused with auto insurance. Though these value additions seem to provide similar vehicle protection, they cover separate aspects. It is a must for you to understand the critical difference before choosing them for car protection.

Auto WarrantyAuto Insurance
The auto warranties are sold by manufacturers or dealers as a cover from mechanical breakdowns, provided they are manufacturing defects.Auto insurance covers vehicle damage arising due to fire, accident, or theft but no mechanical issues.
It falls within the vehicle's purchase price, and you need not pay extra unless you opt for an extended warranty.It has monetary caps, beyond which the insurance company will not pay the extra amount.
The manufacturer sells the auto warranty, whereas third-parties may provide the extended warranties.Standalone insurance companies provide auto insurance.

To sum it up, auto warranties and insurance provide various types of financial protection. Having auto insurance is necessary to prevent massive expenditure due to physical injuries. On the other hand, an auto warranty can protect your vehicle and save you from spending extra money on repairs and replacements.

How Do Auto Warranties Work?

The extended auto warranty is not technically a warranty but a vehicle service contract. It typically comes into operation after the expiry of the car manufacturer's guarantee on a new car. In the case of second-hand cars, the auto warranty might be offered during purchases by dealers or manufacturers.

Extended auto warranties may be sold by original vehicle manufacturers as well. There are also many third-party companies in the business, which work out to be more affordable. Auto warranties may vary in type, but they all work similarly. Here’s how:

File An Auto Warranty Claim 

If your car experiences a mechanical breakdown, call the auto warranty company to get the issue resolved. Do note that if the repair is not authorized or the company's facility is not approved, you may not get a refund or coverage. Present The Repair And Maintenance Record

Keep a copy of your car's service records to use your auto warranty without any issues. If you fail to prove that your vehicle was serviced at regular intervals, your warranty may not be honored.

Pay Deductibles 

Pay the deductible (if applicable) when your vehicle is back in your possession

Ensure that you have read your warranty thoroughly and understood the terms & conditions. If you are unsure of the terms and conditions, check with the dealers and get your queries resolved.

What Do Auto Warranties Cover?

The coverage offered by auto warranties depends on the specific type purchased. Various companies have several plans that provide different coverage levels based on what the consumers want and can afford.

If you purchase the most comprehensive auto warranty coverage plan, you can expect the following systems and parts to be covered. The company will bear the cost of repairing any of these parts' mechanical breakdown after lessening the deductible payable.

  • Gasoline Or Diesel Engine: Vacuum pumps, seals & gaskets, piston rings & pins, valves, timing chain, etc.
  • Drive Axle: Internally lubricated parts and housing & cover if damaged by the same.
  • Transmission: This includes the internally lubricated parts such as torque converter, transfer case, transmission case, etc.
  • 4x4/AWD: Differential Assembly and Transfer Case components like drive chain gears, bearings, ring shift forks, output shaft, bushing, oil pump, planetary gears, etc.
  • Electrical System: This includes starter motor, voltage regulator, alternator, starter solenoid, etc.
  • ABS-Brakes: Wheel speed sensors, pressure modulation valves, ABS master cylinder, etc.
  • Cooling System: Components include radiator, fan clutch, water pump, etc.
  • Differential Assembly: Includes front and rear differential housing, axle shaft, bearings, bushings, etc.
  • Brakes: calipers, power booster, clips & retainers, etc
  • Heater and Air Conditioning: Condenser, compressor clutch, field coil, A/C high/low-pressure compressor cutoff switches, etc.
  • Fuel System: Metal injection lines, etc. and internally lubricated parts
  • Front Suspension: Control arms, control arm shafts & bushings, ball joints, stabilizer, linkage, etc.
  • Steering: This includes steering box unit, etc., and internally lubricated parts like power steering pump and cylinder.
  • Rear Suspension: Similar parts covered as front suspension.
  • High-Tech Parts: Parts such as shift solenoids, power window motors, powertrain control module, factory-installed front & rear monitoring cameras, etc. are included, among others.
  • Super/Turbo Charger: Super/Turbocharger mount gaskets during replacement and other internal parts

Please refer to your vehicle service contract for the details specific to your package. Ensure that you are well aware of what is and is not covered.

Types Of Auto Warranty

Auto warranties come in various kinds, and each type has a different coverage option. Read on to know the types of warranties and what they cover before opting for one over the other

Basic Warranty/Manufacturer’s Warranty 

Also called bumper-to-bumper coverage, this type of warranty comes with new vehicles, and is sometimes transferable to a new owner when it is sold. The basic warranty covers the parts of a vehicle such as sensors, fuel tanks, audio systems, and air conditioning that break down due to manufacturing error or normal wear-and-tear.

The coverage length will depend on mileage or time. Generally, the basic warranty includes 36,000 miles/3 years, 50,000 miles/5 years, or 100,000 miles/10 years based on the manufacturer. The basic warranty may seem free, but the cost hides in the final price of the vehicle.

The basic warranty is broken into four types:

  • Powertrain Warranty

This type of warranty covers significant parts of vehicles such as the engine, transmission, wheel drive systems, and other internal components. If there exists a manufacturer's fault, the repair or replacement is done free of cost. Some companies offer a powertrain warranty with deductible while others without any deductible.

  • Emission Warranty

This warranty covers emission problems experienced after a certain amount of miles or years. Generally, the basic warranty covers the emission warranty but sometimes offered separately. Ford is one such company which provides an emission warranty separate from the basic warranty.

  • Rust And Corrosion Coverage

This type of warranty covers vehicles affected by rust, generally if it makes a hole in the metal. Some companies offer this warranty only to certain parts like the window line, while others may not provide this kind of warranty.

  • Drivetrain Warranty

The drivetrain warranty covers wheels, transmission, axles, and driveshaft but does not include the engine, and lasts longer than the powertrain warranty.

Extended Warranty  

This type of warranty is also known as the aftermarket warranty. The extended warranty covers vehicles for an additional period after the closure of the manufacturer's or basic warranty. An extended warranty has a separate cost you will pay monthly or annually.

Each company will have different types of extended warranties, and some vehicles may not be covered. Check the warranty provider's website to determine if the extended warranty covers your vehicle and the aspects it includes.

 Dealership Warranty  

As the name suggests, dealers give this type of warranty when the vehicle is purchased. Each dealership will cover different aspects. Generally, the contract includes specific stipulations regarding what must be done to repair a vehicle part covered under warranty. The stipulations might also add that you can have your vehicle serviced at the same dealership where purchased you purchased your vehicle.

Benefits Of Auto Warranty

Modern vehicles are designed using expensive technology, computerized equipment, and electrical wiring. When such vehicles fail, it can be expensive to replace or repair the parts. Adding an auto warranty to your vehicle can protect you from going broke for many years.

Some of the advantages of auto warranty are:

  • You can repair or replace defective/damaged mechanical parts without spending a large sum of money
  • Securing of liquidity in case the vehicle breaks down
  • An auto warranty can enhance the value of your vehicle
  • If your vehicle breaks down when it is under warranty, it will be towed to a certified repair shop

Auto warranties are tempting solutions if you are looking forward to safeguarding your vehicle and preventing repair costs. Ensure to read the coverage details and understand the clause of the warranty before buying one.

Things To Know Before You Buy An Auto Warranty

Obtaining an auto warranty is the first step towards protecting your machine on the roads. But before purchasing the warranty, you must consider several aspects that influence your buying decision.

1. How Long Does The Warranty Cover You? 

Before you pay, know for how long you will be covered. If you have purchased a new vehicle, determine the time/number of miles the warranty covers. The time/number of miles depends on the brand and type of vehicle purchased. Some companies offer three years/30,000 miles, and others five years/50,000 miles or more. In the case of used vehicles, determine if the coverage begins when you take ownership or when it was initially purchased.

2. What’s Covered Under Warranty? 

It is essential to be aware of the distinctions between various types of warranties. As no warranty provides complete coverage, you must know what the warranty offers and if it meets with your requirements.

3. Can The Warranty Be Canceled Midway? 

Some companies let you cancel the warranty immediately after purchase and provide a prorated refund. If the warranty is bundled with an auto loan, then the principal amount and the number of payments you have to make are reduced. But the payment amount will remain unchanged.

4. Is It Necessary To Have A Separate Maintenance Budget? 

Warranties do not cover maintenance, such as timing belt replacement, oil changes, or tune-ups. You must have a separate maintenance budget.

How To Choose An Ideal Auto Warranty Company?

With dealers and repairers demanding outrageous fees, obtaining auto warranty on both new, pre-owned or old vehicles becomes highly beneficial. With a pool of auto warranty providers, choosing the right company could become a daunting task. Read the following tips to choose the best auto warranty company for your vehicle:

1. Look For A Reputed Company

Most of the companies claim to provide full coverage. Do not get taken away by the claim. Discuss the definition of full coverage with the warranty provider. Ensure they cover all the significant components which, when repaired or replaced, burn a hole in your pocket.

2. Find Out What The Warranty Covers 

Most of the companies claim to provide full coverage. Do not get taken away by the claim. Discuss with the warranty provider the definition of full coverage. Ensure they cover all the major components which, when repaired or replaced, burn a hole in your pocket.

3. Length Of The Warranty  

Do not get settled with cheaper warranty plans. Some plans that appear to be expensive provides higher the miles limitation and longer terms than the other providers. The coverage range can be two years to ten years.

Avoid mileage calculation as it can be misleading. Some plans define mileage from zero plan, and others mean additional, i.e., beyond the mileage at the date of purchase of the warranty. Ask the provider how long the warranty lasts and how much it costs to add a year to your plan.

A worthy auto warranty provider can ably protect vehicles and save your hard-earned money. To make your search easier, Consumera.com has listed top auto warranty providing companies after scrutinizing numerous customer reviews. Go ahead and give it a check!

Frequently Asked Questions?

Yes, you can cancel your extended auto warranty at any time. Some companies might offer flat cancellation or a free total refund if a warranty is canceled within 30 days.

The cancellation is also subject to you not having made any claims during this period. If you have already filed a claim for repair/reimbursement, you may only receive a partial refund or prorated amount.

Finding out if your vehicle is still under warranty is easy. Locate vehicle identification number (VIN) by directly checking with the dealers or checking the vehicle's warranty information on the automaker's website. VIN will give you the information on the duration of your warranty.

When buying or selling a used vehicle, the warranties associated with it may or may not be transferred. If a vehicle with a manufacturer’s warranty is being sold or purchased, the warranty gets transferred to the new owner. Extended warranty, on the other hand, can be transferred depending on the terms & conditions of the warranty provider.

When buying or selling a used vehicle, the warranties associated with it may or may not be transferred. If a vehicle with a manufacturer's warranty is sold or purchased, the warranty gets transferred to the new owner. On the other hand, an extended warranty can be transferred depending on the terms & conditions of the warranty provider.

An extended auto warranty is generally purchased with that of a new vehicle. It can also be purchased from third-party warranty providers before or after the manufacturer's warranty expires. But some automakers let you buy extended warranty only when the vehicle is under its original warranty.

There are limits on the age of the car and mileage when purchasing the extended warranty. Generally, auto warranties are not available for cars, having exceeded 140,000-150,000 miles. Many companies do not allow cars older than 20 years to be covered by the vehicle service program.

Deductibles are of two types: per visit and, per repair. In the 'per repair' deductible, you will pay if a particular vehicle part is repaired or replaced. Whereas in the 'per visit' deductible, you will have to pay for every visit, regardless of the work. The deductible may be paid to the repair facility once the auto warranty provider has authorized it.

Extended auto warranties are most beneficial in this regard. If your car suffers a mechanical breakdown and you need alternate means of transportation, you can rent a car. The auto warranty company will reimburse the expenses up to $35 a day, for at most six days. The cap on reimbursement is $210 for the entire breakdown. The eligibility for breakdown assistance is as follows:

  • One day car rental and $35, for repairs taking a minimum of 9 hours
  • Two-day car rental and $70, for repairs taking a minimum 12 of hours
  • Three-day car rental and $105, for repairs taking a minimum of 16 hours
  • Four-day car rental and $140, for repairs taking a minimum of 20 hours
  • Five-day car rental and $175, for repairs taking a minimum of 24 hours
  • Six-day car rental and $210, for repairs taking a minimum of 28 hours