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Publish Date - February 24, 2022

Author: Staci Bailey

Categories:   Buying & Selling Cars    Useful Automotive Information   

New Car Warranty Terms, Explained

Buying a brand new car comes with some advantages. Owning a shiny new vehicle complete with that new car smell feels pretty great. Not having to worry about the vehicle’s history or hidden issues offers peace of mind. Perhaps best of all, that brand new car comes with a built-in warranty.

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Buying a brand new car comes with some advantages. Owning a shiny new vehicle complete with that new car smell feels pretty great. Not having to worry about the vehicle’s history or hidden issues offers peace of mind. Perhaps best of all, that brand new car comes with a built-in warranty.

A new car warranty is offered by the manufacturer and covers components that are deemed defective and don’t meet expectations. On a new car the warranty is already included in the sticker price. There is never a reason for a dealer to charge you a fee for the warranty on a brand new vehicle.

Typically a new car warranty is restricted by time and distance. As an example, a warranty for 5 years/60,000 miles is good for the first five years after purchase or until the odometer reaches 60,000 miles. Whichever of these two conditions are met first will end the warranty.

A warranty can be a nice feature to have if you plan on selling your vehicle too. Many warranties transfer at least in part if the car is sold. Keep that in mind if you have to sell because a manufacturer’s warranty is a nice perk to attract buyers.

What Does A New Car Warranty Cover?

A manufacturer’s warranty is meant to protect drivers from incurring expenses due to defective components. If a part does not perform to expectations the manufacturer will replace it at no cost. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for any additional expenses.

A new car warranty does not cover routine maintenance. You will need to stay on top of your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to make sure that you do not void your warranty. Regular maintenance is the buyer’s responsibility and you will have to pay for it out of pocket.

Some parts on your vehicle, such as tires, windshield wiper blades, and brake pads are expected to wear out. These items are not covered under your new car warranty. The only exception would be if these parts wear out prematurely in which case they would be replaced and the reason for the premature wear would be fixed for free.

Warranties don’t cover damage due to accidents, theft, fire, or flood. For these you will need car insurance. A new car warranty doesn’t apply to regular wear and tear either so don’t expect the moon.

New Car Warranty Types

Typically if you are purchasing a brand new car it will come with multiple different warranties. Some parts will overlap warranties. The reason for this is that each warranty will expire at a different time and some parts get additional coverage. Here is a rundown of some warranty types that your brand new vehicle may come with.

Bumper To Bumper Warranty

This type of warranty is sometimes called a comprehensive warranty or a vehicle service contract. It covers every part that came with the vehicle when it was purchased. So anything between the front and rear bumpers of the vehicle is included under this warranty.

Powertrain Warranty

A powertrain warranty covers the vehicle’s engine, transmission, and drivetrain. These are the mechanical components which cause the car to move. Typically this warranty will be in effect longer than the bumper to bumper warranty.

Restraint System Warranty

This type of warranty applies to the seat belts and airbags in the vehicle. It comes into play if one of these items are defective, but not if your airbags go off due to a collision.

Corrosion Warranty

A corrosion or rust warranty will pay to repair or replace body panels that have corroded. Typically the rust needs to have occurred through no fault of the driver in order to be covered under warranty.

Emissions Warranty

This type of warranty covers the parts which reduce the emissions your vehicle produces. Typical components covered under this warranty include the catalytic converter and engine control module. Emissions warranties can vary substantially from one state to another and they can be complex with some parts being covered for longer periods than others.

Electric Vehicle Component Warranty

Hybrid and electric cars contain unique components such as the battery and electric motor. These parts are covered under a separate warranty.

What Can Void Your New Car Warranty?

As mentioned above, the warranty that came with your new car can be voided if you don’t stick to the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer. There are a few other scenarios which can void a warranty.

Warranties are only applicable if you use your vehicle as it was intended. Activities such as racing or taking your car off the road can result in voiding your warranty. Towing more weight than is recommended by the manufacturer can also void the warranty.

Putting aftermarket parts on your vehicle can void parts of the warranty. Federal law allows dealerships to deny warranty claims if they can prove that a part added after purchase has caused the defect to occur. However, aftermarket parts can’t void your entire warranty.

Additional Warranty Types

There are a couple of other resources that protect car owners from costly repairs. They are not specific to new cars so they get a section of their own.

Extended Warranty

An extended warranty can be purchased from a variety of vendors. It is meant to take over when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. This type of warranty is optional and comes at an additional cost.


Some serious defects can cause a car to be unsafe. If such a defect is discovered federal law requires the manufacturer to issue a recall. When this happens they must attempt to contact every owner and make the repairs to correct the defect for free. Recalls should never cost you any money and they can never expire.

A brand new car comes with some nice perks including a new car warranty. Get the most out of all the warranties that come with your vehicle by understanding what they cover and how they work. Need a little help financing that vehicle? Here’s a quick way to compare quotes online now.