Key Takeaways

  • You can either get a limited or lifetime powertrain warranty
  • A powertrain warranty costs around $3,000
  • A powertrain warranty will cover things like your engine, transmission, and wheels

In this article, we will explore what a powertrain is, what powertrain warranties cover and don’t include, and whether you should purchase this type of protection plan for your vehicle. If you decide it is worth it, we’ve reviewed some of the top most reputable extended warranty companies so you can compare options.

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What Is a Powertrain Warranty?

A “powertrain warranty” is a protection plan where the vehicle manufacturer or a third-party provider promises to pay for part repair and replacement in the case of mechanical failure. These warranties provide protection for breakdowns of the powertrain, which is a system of components that work together to move your car. 

They come in two types which include limited and lifetime powertrain warranties.

Powertrain Limited Warranty

Limited powertrain warranties come with mileage and time restrictions for coverage, and once they are reached, protection for your vehicle expires.

Lifetime Powertrain Warranty

On the other hand, a lifetime powertrain warranty covers your car as long as you own it.

What Is Included in the Powertrain?

The “powertrain” consists of the key components that generate power and keeps your car’s wheels turning. Core parts of this system include the engine, transmission, driveshaft, axels, and differential. Through these parts, the energy produced in the engine is transferred down your wheels on the ground, allowing your vehicle to move.

Powertrain Warranty Coverage

A powertrain warranty typically covers the parts of your vehicle that provide power to the wheels to make your car move. These include some of the most important and expensive parts of your vehicle, such as the engine, transmission, and drive shaft. Below we will go into detail about what is included in typical powertrain warranties and what is excluded from coverage.

What Does A Powertrain Warranty Cover?

Here’s a list of the parts that are commonly included under powertrain warranty plans:

  • Engine (Including internal parts)
  • Transmission
  • Drive Axle
  • Transfer Case
  • Differentials
  • Wheels

Engine parts that are typically covered include under a powertrain warranty include:

  • Engine Block
  • Seals and Gaskets
  • Water, fuel, and oil pumps
  • Fuel injectors
  • Valvetrain
  • Oil pan
  • Pistons
  • Other internally lubricated parts

It’s important to remember that the powertrain warranty covers the least vehicle components of any auto warranty type. If you want everything from wheel bearings to CV joints to the timing belt and the torque converter to be covered, you may want to consider a more inclusive plan.

What Is Not Covered Under a Powertrain Warranty?

A powertrain warranty usually does not cover vehicle parts that are not directly part of the powertrain system, such as:

  • Air conditioning
  • High-tech components
  • Radios or audio systems
  • Suspension
  • Brakes

While a powertrain warranty has exclusions in the fine print for the parts listed above, they may be included in your bumper-to-bumper warranty. Here are parts and services that almost no dealership or third-party auto warranty plan will cover:

  • Routine maintenance like oil changes and multi-point inspections
  • Auto glass parts such as the windshield and mirrors
  • Collision damage
  • Normal wear-and-tear parts like tires, wiper blades, and brake pads
  • Damage from misuse, abuse, or neglect
  • Unapproved lift kits and modified vehicles
  • Damage caused by environmental conditions or chemicals
  • Damage from improper maintenance or use of unapproved fuel

While certain parts won’t be protected, an extended powertrain warranty does cover your car’s basic parts, contributing to your safety on the road. Because of this, an aftermarket warranty is a solid choice for budget-conscious motorists who want hassle-free coverage.

How Long is a Powertrain Warranty?

A powertrain warranty typically lasts for 5 years/60,000 miles, but some can last up to 10 years/100,000 miles. Some providers also have unlimited powertrain warranty plans. However, the length of your factory powertrain warranty will depend on your automaker and whether your vehicle is new, used, or certified pre-owned.

If you need an extended warranty for cars over 100,000 miles, you may want to choose a third-party provider. Most factory-backed vehicle service contracts only extend powertrain coverage up to a maximum of 120,000 miles.

For a powertrain-specific plan that will last your vehicle’s entire lifetime, check out the most reputable extended car warranty companies that can give drivers up to 250,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Third-party options are usually cheaper than manufacturers’ extended warranties, offer more flexibility, and often include standard roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement benefits.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Vs. Powertrain

The main differences between powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties are their length and amount of parts covered. A powertrain warranty covers fewer parts overall, but they last much longer. On the other hand, bumper-to-bumper warranties provide much more comprehensive coverage and have shorter terms.

Both types of warranties can come with new vehicles as part of a factory warranty or as part of a CPO car purchase. While a powertrain warranty comes with less coverage overall, it is cheaper warranty than other types of protection plans.

Powertrain Warranty Cost

On average, a powertrain warranty costs around $3,076.84  total based on quotes we got from top warranty providers. However, how much powertrain warranties cost for you depends on the plans offered and what coverage you would like. If you just want basic coverage it will be cheaper, but if you want more parts covered, many warranty companies offer powertrain plus plans that include additional vehicle components for a higher premium.

Powertrain System Repair Cost

The cost of a warranty can definitely be worth it if an expensive powertrain part fails and needs repairs or a replacement. To put in perspective below we have average replacement costs for common powertrain system parts:

Vehicle Repair

Average Repair Cost

Spark plug replacement

$191 to $250

Engine control module replacement

$925 to $1,002

Transmission replacement

$4,830 to $5,023

Water pump replacement

$413 to $545

Fuel pump replacement

$787 to $948

Is a Powertrain Warranty Worth It?

Yes, powertrain warranties are typically worth it to help pay for expensive part repairs or replacements for a vehicle when you don’t have the capital. However, whether you should get a powertrain warranty hinges on your car’s reliability and your personal finances. Unless your current factory warranty has expired, typically you are covered with a bumper-to-bumper warranty plan, so it may be unnecessary to purchase coverage.

To help you determine whether you need coverage, below are RepairPal’s reliability ratings and average repair costs for the 15 most popular vehicles in the U.S.

Vehicle Model

RepairPal Reliability Score

Annual Repair Cost

Ford F-150

3.5 out of 5.0


Chevrolet Silverado

3.5 out of 5.0


Ram 1500

3.5 out of 5.0


Toyota RAV4

4.0 out of 5.0


Honda CR-V

4.5 out of 5.0


Toyota Camry

4.0 out of 5.0


Chevrolet Equinox

3.5 out of 5.0


Honda Civic

4.5 out of 5.0


GMC Sierra

3.5 out of 5.0


Toyota Tacoma

3.5 out of 5.0


Toyota Corolla

4.5 out of 5.0


Nissan Rogue

4.0 out of 5.0


Ford Explorer

3.5 out of 5.0


Toyota Highlander

4.0 out of 5.0


Jeep Grand Cherokee

3.5 out of 5.0


The average annual repair cost for all models in the U.S. is $652, and unexpected expenses go up as models age. While not all vehicles need extended powertrain warranties, it’s worth looking to see whether you could save money and reduce stress by purchasing one.

Powertrain Warranty: Conclusion

Powertrain warranties can give you peace of mind if your most important car parts break down and need repairs. While it is not the most comprehensive plan available, it covers the basic parts you need to drive your car. We’ve provided some of our recommended companies, but we urge you to look around and compare options to find the best deal for your personal needs.

Best Powertrain Warranties

In our review of the top extended car warranty companies, we compared the coverage plans, average costs, customer reviews, and industry reputations of every major provider. Based on this research, we found that Endurance, CARCHEX, and CarShield offer the best powertrain warranty plans.

Endurance: 5.0 Stars

Endurance offers some of the industry’s best coverage through its powertrain-focused warranties, the Secure and Secure Plus plans. Secure Plus is an enhanced powertrain plan, so it covers the powertrain along with various other important parts.

Here’s a breakdown of what each Endurance powertrain warranty plan covers:

Parts Covered

Endurance Secure Plan

Endurance Secure Plus Plan



Drive axle

Transfer case



Electrical systems

Air conditioning


We got a quote for an Endurance Secure warranty on a 2012 Subaru Outback with 88,000 miles. Here are the terms we were offered:

  • Plan: Secure
  • Term length: 5 years/50,000 miles
  • Financing: $69.96 for 36 months
  • Down payment: $152.55
  • Deductible: $100
  • Total cost: $2,671.11

Learn more about the company by reading our full Endurance warranty review.

CARCHEX: 5.0 Stars

CARCHEX, which we named Best for Used Cars, carries both a Bronze powertrain plan and a powertrain-plus Silver plan. Here is a breakdown of each offering:

Parts Covered

CARCHEX Bronze Plan

CARCHEX Silver Plan



Drive axle

Fuel system

Electrical systems

Air conditioning

We reached out to CARCHEX for Silver coverage on a 2012 Subaru Outback with 88,000 miles on it and were offered the following terms:

  • Plan: Silver
  • Term length: 6 years/60,000 miles
  • Financing: $108 for 24 months
  • Down payment: First month’s payment
  • Deductible: $100
  • Total cost: $2,592

Take a look at our comprehensive CARCHEX review for more information on this provider.

CarShield: 4.5 Stars

CarShield often has the “best for your budget” warranty choices, as seen with its Silver powertrain plan and Gold powertrain-plus option. Here’s what each CarShield powertrain warranty covers:

Parts Covered

CarShield Silver Plan

CarShield Gold Plan



Transfer case

Drive axle

Air conditioning

Fuel system

We asked CarShield for a quote with the Gold plan on a 2012 Subaru Outback with 88,000 miles and were offered the following terms:

  • Plan: Gold
  • Term length: Unlimited
  • Financing: $89.99 monthly
  • Down payment: First month’s payment
  • Deductible: $100
  • Total cost: Depends on coverage length

With a month-to-month CarShield contract, you’re not locked into a long-term commitment, which adds flexibility to powertrain warranty coverage. Read more in our full CarShield review.

Powertrain Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about powertrain warranties:

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