A powertrain warranty covers the parts of a car that make it move. This includes the engine as well as the transaxle, transmission, transfer case, front-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive. Exact coverage details vary by provider, with some powertrain warranties covering additional electrical components.
This article will provide an in-depth description of powertrain warranty coverage. We’ll give examples of what to expect from a powertrain warranty, as well as suggestions for extended powertrain warranty providers.
Our review team has researched the industry’s best extended auto warranty companies, assessing coverage, costs, customer reviews, and more to find out which provider offers the best powertrain coverage. Start comparing free powertrain warranty quotes from our top recommended providers below.
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What Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover?
A powertrain warranty typically covers all parts that provide power to your wheels, including the engine, transmission, front-wheel drive system, rear-wheel drive system, and related seals and gaskets. Powertrain warranties cover the most expensive parts of the vehicle.
When a covered component stops working, your warranty provider will pay for the cost of parts and labor repair or replace the failed component, minus a predetermined deductible. The full list of covered components varies among warranty providers, but here’s a general list of what a powertrain warranty may cover:
- Cylinder block
- Timing gears
- Timing belt/chain
- Timing cover
- Gaskets and seals
- Oil pump
- Water pump
- Oil pan assembly
- Engine mounts
- Transfer case
- Axle shafts
- Constant velocity joints
- Front/rear hub bearings
- Propeller shafts
- Torque converter
- Converter housing
Not every powertrain warranty contract is the same, and the above list is only meant to give you an idea of what components are usually covered by a powertrain warranty. Check your owner’s manual or warranty contract to learn exactly what is covered by your powertrain warranty.
Powertrain Warranty vs. Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
Powertrain warranties and bumper-to-bumper warranties cover many different components. A powertrain warranty only protects components like the engine, transmission, front-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive. Most bumper-to-bumper warranties cover the majority of mechanical and electrical vehicle components, with only a few exclusions.
Practically all new cars come with a bumper-to-bumper warranty. Some automakers fold powertrain coverage into this warranty, but the best new car warranties offer separate, longer coverage for your powertrain.
The standard manufacturer bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 3 years or 36,000 miles. The standard manufacturer powertrain warranty lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Some factory powertrain warranties, like the Hyundai warranty and Kia warranty, extend up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.
What Does a Powertrain Warranty Not Cover?
Typically, a powertrain warranty does not cover regular maintenance services like oil changes, multi-point inspections, and tire rotations. Wear-and-tear components like brake pads, wiper blades, and the clutch are also often excluded from coverage.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that a warranty only pays for the cost to replace or repair parts that are damaged as the result of normal use. Powertrain warranties do not pay to repair damage that is caused by:
- Improper maintenance
- Lack of maintenance
- Improper use
- Fire, floods, or other environmental events
- Theft or vandalism
How Long Does a Powertrain Warranty Last?
The typical manufacturer powertrain warranty lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Most automakers sell extended warranties that offer additional years of powertrain protection.
Some third-party providers offer extended warranties for cars over 100,000 miles. For example, you can get an Endurance auto warranty that protects your powertrain up to 8 years and 200,000+ miles. Through another top provider, CARCHEX, you can get a powertrain warranty that lasts up to 10 years and 250,000 miles.
To check if your vehicle is still covered by its original powertrain warranty, consult your warranty booklet and odometer. You can also call your local dealership and ask a representative to check your warranty coverage. If you provide your vehicle identification number (VIN) and current mileage, the dealership can check their system and tell you how much (if any) powertrain coverage remains.
Are Powertrain Warranties Worth It?
New and certified pre-owned vehicles almost always come with powertrain warranty coverage that is included for free. Some drivers choose to extend warranty coverage either through their manufacturer or by purchasing a vehicle service contract from a third-party provider. Many drivers find these warranties to be worth the cost, but the value depends on your needs and your budget.
To decide if a powertrain warranty is worth it for you, consider your vehicle’s reliability. You can look into how dependable your car is by using a website like RepairPal. If you have a highly reliable vehicle, you may end up paying more for your extended warranty than you would paying for repairs out of pocket as they arise. In this case, it may be more budget-friendly to save for the cost of repairs yourself.
However, there is always a chance that even the most reliable car can experience an unexpected breakdown. If this happens and you do not have warranty protection, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in repair costs. Many people depend on their vehicles for their jobs and daily activities, and if you don’t have the cash on hand to have failed parts replaced or repaired, you may be left without transportation.
An extended powertrain warranty can give you peace of mind to know your vehicle’s most expensive repair costs will be covered.
How Much Does a Powertrain Warranty Cost?
Based on our research, a powertrain warranty can cost anywhere between $1,700 and $4,700 for three to seven years of coverage. This price will vary depending on your vehicle make, model, age, and mileage, as well as the level of coverage you choose.
We reached out to a few leading extended warranty providers for powertrain warranty quotes and received the following prices for a 2017 Ford Explorer with 45,000 miles.
|Term Length||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/75,000 miles|
|Monthly Payment||$156.28 for 18 months||$165.78 for 18 months|
|Down Payment||$168.05||First month’s payment|
We also asked for quotes for a 2012 Honda Civic with 88,000 miles and received the following prices and term lengths.
|Term Length||5 years/50,000 miles||5 years/150,000 miles|
|Monthly Payment||$119 for 36 months||$190 for 18 months|
|Down Payment||$246||First month’s payment|
Recommendations for Extended Powertrain Warranties
If you are looking to purchase an extended powertrain warranty, carefully consider your options. Manufacturer extended warranties provide high-level coverage but have a number of disadvantages.
Usually, you need to purchase a manufacturer extended warranty before your factory bumper-to-bumper warranty expires (typically after three years). In some cases, you’ll need to buy an extended warranty when you purchase your new vehicle, which doesn’t give you time to accurately assess whether you want extended warranty coverage.
An aftermarket car warranty can be purchased at any time. These plans are typically less expensive than manufacturer extended warranties, often by hundreds of dollars. The best way to find a low-cost extended powertrain warranty is to compare free quotes from multiple providers. You can do so quickly and easily using the buttons below.
Be sure to consider options from two of our top recommended providers: Endurance and CARCHEX.
Endurance: Best Coverage
We rate Endurance highly because it provides extensive and comprehensive warranty coverage at a fair price. The Endurance powertrain warranty is called Secure coverage. The provider also has a Select Premier powertrain plan that’s specifically tailored for older vehicles.
If you’re looking to extend your vehicle’s factory warranty coverage, you might consider purchasing a full-coverage plan from Endurance. Even if you think a powertrain plan is all you need, you should look into your full-coverage options. Endurance bumper-to-bumper plans may not cost much more than basic coverage, depending on the age and mileage of your vehicle.
CARCHEX: Best Service
CARCHEX provides some of the best service among third-party extended car warranty providers. CARCHEX has a Trustpilot score of 3.3 out of 5.0 based on over 1,500 customer reviews, with the majority of reviews giving the company an “excellent” rating. It’s also received a superior A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The CARCHEX powertrain warranty is called Bronze coverage. If you’re looking to cover just your powertrain components with few frills, the CARCHEX Bronze plan may be right up your alley.