Understanding Your Warranty Coverage

If you are buying a new car, the warranty may be a few sheets of paper that you don’t pay too much attention to, but understanding your warranty coverage is almost as important as buying the right vehicle. A car repair bill can easily be hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and knowing what your warranty covers can potentially save you a lot of money.

Firstly, the warranty issued by the car manufacturer is not the same as the one that your dealer might issue, which may only cover repairs carried out at that dealership and is almost certainly not as comprehensive as the manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty issued by your manufacturer generally covers more types of repairs or maintenance, lasts for anything up to 10 years and remains effective even if you put a lot of mileage on your vehicle.

Take a good look at the time frame on your vehicle warranty. Both parts and labor may only be covered for a few months on the warranty from your dealership, while you can expect a much longer period on the manufacturer’s warranty, typically at least five years. Keep in mind that parts and labor are two different things; your warranty may have a different coverage for each, and as a genera rule, parts are covered over a longer time period than labor.

Look for any exclusions in your warranty, or things that aren’t included, which can better help you plan for unexpected repairs. A warranty may cover repairs to the engine, but very few other parts of your vehicle, while a comprehensive warranty, often known as a bumper to bumper warranty, covers just about everything. Wear and tear or damage to your tires is typically not included in a vehicle warranty. Some warranties specifically cover just the parts of your engine, but not the rest of your car. And you may need to be organized – some warranties require you to keep accurate and up to date records of service vehicles, in order for the warranty to continue to be in effect.

Understanding your warranty coverage is important, and it is acceptable to ask your dealer or manufacturer for clarification if something isn’t clear. Make sure you know where your vehicle warranty is, and the number you need to call in case of a repair or problem. Having some sort of warranty is a must, given the high cost of car repairs, and understanding it is just as important.

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