In this guide, we’ll define what a manufacturer warranty is, what these types of plans cover, how to find out if you have automaker vehicle protection, and whether you should get extended coverage. We’ll also tell you how some of the best extended car warranty providers can protect your car for years to come.

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What Is A Manufacturer Warranty?

A manufacturer warranty is a contract between an automaker and the car’s owner that promises to pay for repairs and replacements if a factory-produced part is defective. New and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles usually come with manufacturer warranty plans, and covered repairs generally don’t require deductibles. Factory warranties are usually for a set term and mileage limit, but some car manufacturers offer lifetime plan options.

Types of Manufacturer Warranties

The six main types of manufacturer warranties are below, along with some details from these protection plans:

  • New vehicle limited warranty: Bumper-to-bumper coverage for most car parts that typically lasts for around 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain limited warranty: Protection of your vehicle’s engine, transmission, and drivetrain that generally lasts for 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Corrosion/perforation warranty: Long-lasting coverage that takes care of your vehicle if its body panels start to rust through
  • Emissions warranty: 2 years/24,000 miles of coverage is required by law, but coverage varies by part. A California emissions warranty is also usually included.
  • Lifetime limited parts warranty: Covers certain vehicle parts from manufacturer defects for however long the component lasts
  • Maintenance warranty: Takes care of scheduled maintenance costs that manufacturers don’t normally cover

What Does a Manufacturer Warranty Cover?

Typically manufacturer warranties provide you with bumper-to-bumper protection that covers you for major vehicle parts if you experience a mechanical breakdown. However, coverage may vary depending on the automaker and the age of the vehicle you purchase. Below we will detail what a factory warranty usually covers and excludes.

What Is Included Under a Manufacturer Warranty?

Typical inclusions for manufacturer warranty coverage are as follows:

  • Defects due to faulty production
  • Major vehicle part systems like the powertrain or drivetrain
  • Corrosion damages
  • Emissions

Many warranty plans also come with roadside assistance, towing services, and trip interruption benefits. While coverage limits are usually similar to that of your manufacturer warranty, these benefits are typically considered part of a separate plan.

What’s Not Included Under a Manufacturer Warranty?

These are some of the standard manufacturer warranty exclusions:

  • Normal wear and tear items: This includes brake pads, windshield wipers, tires, and other parts that normally break down over time.
  • Routine maintenance: Oil changes, tire rotations, and filter replacements usually aren’t covered by warranties.
  • Damage: Car accidents, environmental hazards, damage from improper fuel use, and issues due to neglect, theft, or vandalism are not covered.
  • Cosmetic damage: Paint chips, cracks in auto glass parts, and scratches in the paint are left out of a manufacturer warranty.

Are Used Cars Covered Under A Manufacturer Warranty?

A used car can still be covered by a manufacturer warranty as long as it’s within the coverage period. If you purchased a CPO vehicle, it will likely include coverage similar to the period of time for a new car limited warranty.

Not all manufacturer warranty plans can be transferred to new owners. Before purchasing a vehicle, check whether an automaker will transfer the car’s warranty coverage.

How Long Does a Manufacturer Warranty Last?

Standard coverage for a manufacturer warranty lasts 3 years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper plans and 5 years or 50,000 miles for powertrain warranties. Even so, terms for vehicle coverage vary depending on the automaker. 

To give you an idea of what major manufacturer plan coverage looks like, we have highlighted terms of the most popular car companies below:


Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

Powertrain Warranty


5 years/60,000 miles

10 years/100,000 miles


5 years/60,000 miles

10 years/100,000 miles


4 years/60,000 miles

6 years/70,000 miles


3 years/36,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles


3 years/36,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles


3 years/36,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles


3 years/36,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles


3 years/36,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles

As can be seen, most automakers have standardized their factory warranty plans to match one another. If you’re looking for the best new car warranty, head to companies with longer plans, such as Hyundai, Genesis, Mitsubishi, and Kia.

Which Car Manufacturer has the Longest Warranty?

Hyundai is the vehicle manufacturer with the longest new car warranty with terms of 10 years or 100,000 miles for powertrain coverage and 5 years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper plans. Genesis, Audi, and Kia also have some of the best term lengths and coverage plans available.

How Do I Check My Manufacturer Warranty?

Checking if your manufacturer warranty is active can be done with these steps:

  1. Gather Your Vehicle VIN: Your VIN is a 17-digit number that identifies your vehicle and it can be found in your car’s registration or title paperwork. You can also find it on the windshield on your drivers side in the left corner of your dash.
  2. Check Your Mileage Count: Gathering the mileage on your car will help you determine if you have reached your limit on your warranty. If you are over the threshold of 100,000 miles you most likely aren’t covered anymore. However, this does not apply if you have unlimited miles on your current plan.
  3. Contact the dealership where you purchased your vehicle: Calling your dealership is the only surefire way to see if you’re covered. When you call, they will ask you for your VIN number and mileage on your car. Once this is done, they will be able to look up your warranty and tell you if it has expired or not.

Most dealerships will also send you an alert through the mail when your factory warranty is about to expire. Some companies like Carfax also offer a warranty checking service for a price.

Should You Extend Your Manufacturer Warranty?

It’s smart to consider extending a car’s factory warranty before your coverage expires. Unless you’re ready to face unexpected and potentially costly vehicle breakdowns, you should look into an extended third-party or manufacturer warranty plan for peace of mind.

You’ll need to compare extended warranty information from both automakers and third-party providers, as each choice has its pros and cons. By getting quotes from warranty providers, you’ll find out which one meets your budget and coverage needs.

Extended Warranty Vs. Manufacturer Extended Warranty

Manufacturer extended warranties are backed by automakers themselves and provide coverage through your car retailer. These plans can typically only be purchased before the expiration of the new vehicle warranty for your model year.

Factory extended warranty plans require owners to have repairs done at a licensed dealership, which can be inconvenient for some car owners. They also tend to cost significantly more than the kind of warranty offered by third-party alternatives.

Aftermarket auto warranties from reputable extended car warranty companies are generally cheaper, offer higher coverage limits and more extensive plans, and can be purchased at any point in your vehicle’s life. They also let motorists choose to have repairs performed at any licensed repair shop instead of only at a dealership.

Manufacturers Warranty: Conclusion

A manufacturer warranty provides you peace of mind when purchasing a vehicle from a dealer. It provides you with coverage for the most important systems for your vehicle so you don’t have to worry about repair costs if your car breaks down. However, every factory warranty plan comes with limits so it’s also important to consider your options for extending coverage. We recommend you look around and weigh your options before making a decision.

Recommended Aftermarket Extended Warranty Companies

After searching through the top third-party extended car warranty providers, we found that Endurance and CARCHEX rose to the top. Make sure to get free quotes from these two options, along with quotes from automakers.

Endurance: Best Coverage

Endurance car warranty plans are some of the best in the industry. The company offers six plans that can cover just about any driver’s needs. Here’s an overview of what makes Endurance stand out:

  • Six coverage options
  • One free year of Endurance Elite Benefits
  • Long-standing industry reputation

If you’re looking for an extended warranty that’s highly likely to fit both your budget and coverage standards, get a free quote from Endurance.

CARCHEX: The Best Coverage For Older Vehicles

CARCHEX also has some impressive extended warranty offerings, which is why it’s been endorsed by both Kelley Blue Book and CARFAX. Here’s an overview of why CARCHEX received those recommendations:

  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and many positive customer reviews
  • Five coverage plans for various budgets and service needs
  • Accolades from experts for excellent service

While its endorsements are impressive, CARCHEX’s quality of service is what makes its warranty plans truly stand out.

Manufacturer Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about manufacturer warranties:

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