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Do you drive an old or high-mileage vehicle that’s still reliable? If so, you might be able to save money on your extended car warranty coverage by purchasing a basic drivetrain warranty instead of a more comprehensive plan. 

In this review, we’ll discuss the difference between a vehicle’s drivetrain and its powertrain, as well as what a drivetrain warranty covers, the cost of coverage, and whether your car is eligible for drivetrain coverage. 

We’ll also introduce you to a couple of the industry’s best extended car warranty companies so you can find out where to get high-quality, low-cost drivetrain coverage. To start comparing drivetrain warranty prices from our top providers, use the buttons above.

What is a Drivetrain?

The drivetrain refers to the most vital parts of your car that help the vehicle move, including the transmission, driveshaft, axle, and a few other parts. A drivetrain warranty can help repair or replace these parts in the event of a breakdown.

Drivetrain Part What It Does Average Repair Cost*
Transmission Increases torque to accelerate and decelerate, and uses sensors to switch gears according to speed $5,109 to $5,286
for a full replacement
Driveshaft Transmits torque from the engine to the wheels to keep your car moving $168 to $2,063,
depending on the repair
Axle Controls the power that goes to the wheels and allows the wheels to turn $822 to $916
Constant Velocity (CV) Axle/Joint Allows the driveshaft to transmit power without increasing friction $941 to $1,214
Universal (U) Joint Connects the driveshaft to the differential $222 to $275
Differential Allows wheels to rotate at different speeds $84 to $139
for a fluid change
Wheels** Rotate to move your vehicle $755 to $767

*Cost data from RepairPal and YourMechanic.

**Excludes tires.

There are four main types of drivetrains for cars: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive. See a breakdown of each type of drivetrain below:

  • Front-wheel drivetrain: Power from the engine is delivered to the front wheels of your vehicle.
  • Rear-wheel drivetrain: Power from the engine is delivered to the rear wheels of your vehicle, leaving the front wheels in charge of steering the vehicle.
  • Four-wheel drivetrain: The driver can control whether power from the engine goes to the front or rear wheels.
  • All-wheel drivetrain: Power from the engine is delivered to both front and rear wheels.

Drivetrain Warranty vs. Powertrain Warranty

A drivetrain warranty covers your vehicle’s transmission, driveshaft, axle, and other parts, but it notably does not include the engine. A powertrain warranty covers the engine and drivetrain after a mechanical breakdown.

Powertrain
Warranty Coverage
 Drivetrain
Warranty Coverage
Engine
Seals and Gaskets
Driveshaft
Transmission
Axles
Wheels
CV Joint
U-Joint  
Differential  

Although drivetrain warranties cover many expensive vehicle parts, you could still be left with a heft repair bill if your engine or gaskets blow. According to Bridwell Automotive Center, the average price to replace an engine at an auto repair shop is between $3,000 and $4,000. If you have it replaced at a dealership, it could cost you upwards of $7,500.

For this reason, many extended warranty providers offer only powertrain coverage.

Drivetrain Warranty: Coverage and Cost

All new vehicles come with factory bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties that cover drivetrain parts. After your factory warranty expires, you may want to look into an extended drivetrain warranty.

How Long Does Drivetrain Warranty Coverage Last?

Usually, the powertrain warranty, which includes drivetrain warranty coverage, lasts longer than the bumper-to-bumper warranty. Typical powertrain warranties last for 5 years/60,000 miles, while bumper-to-bumper warranties last 3 years/36,000 miles on average.

However, the best new car warranties can last much longer. 

How Much Do Drivetrain Warranties Cost?

Drivetrain warranties are generally wrapped into powertrain coverage. In our experience, a powertrain warranty costs about $100 to $200 per month for an older vehicle.

We reached out to the industry’s top-rated providers to get quotes for powertrain warranty plans for a 2012 Honda Civic with 88,000 miles. These are the prices we received for powertrain plans with $100 deductibles.

Provider Powertrain Plan Term Length Price Down Payment
#1 Endurance Secure 5 years/50,000 miles $119 per month for 36 months $168
#2 CARCHEX Silver 5 years/150,000 miles $190 per month for 18 months First month’s payment
#3 Protect My Car Driveline 4 years/75,000 miles $79 for 48 months $0
#4 CarShield Gold Unlimited $130 monthly First month’s payment

Prices will vary greatly depending on: 

  • The type of vehicle you drive
  • How old your vehicle is
  • How many miles are on your odometer
  • The term length you choose
  • The deductible you choose
  • Your location

Where to Buy the Best Extended Car Warranty

We recommend motorists in the market for drivetrain warranty coverage get quotes from our top two providers: Endurance and CARCHEX. Our review team rated every major auto warranty provider in the industry, and these two companies stood out in terms of quality of coverage, service, pricing, and more. Read on to learn why.

Endurance: Best Coverage

Endurance may be right for you if:

  • You want an extended car warranty company with strong financial standing and a good reputation.
  • You want comprehensive, customizable coverage options.
  • You would benefit from having perks such as roadside assistance, free tire replacements, and more.

We found Endurance to offer the best extended vehicle warranty coverage on the market. Endurance extended warranties come in six plan levels, including two levels of powertrain coverage and a specialty powertrain plan for high-mileage vehicles. 

Endurance has overall positive customer reviews, earning 4.4 out of 5.0 stars from Trustpilot. It also has an A+ rating from AM Best, which means it’s financially reliable and has a superior ability to pay out customer claims. Finally, another perk to Endurance vehicle service contracts is that your first year of coverage comes with free enrollment in the Endurance Elite Benefits program, an impressive benefits package that includes:

  • 24/7 emergency roadside services
  • Total loss protection
  • Collision discount
  • Tire repairs and replacements
  • Key fob replacements
  • Endurance mobile app

Learn more in our complete Endurance warranty review, and get a free, no-obligation quote from Endurance below.

Our rating: 4.6 out of 5.0
Endurance is our pick for best coverage with its comprehensive warranty options.

CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

Our second-highest-rated company, CARCHEX, might be right for you if:

  • You want to experience the best service in the industry.
  • You want an extended warranty provider backed by reliable auto industry professionals.
  • You want fair rates for standard drivetrain warranty coverage.

CARCHEX has the strongest reputation of any top car warranty provider. It partners with household names such as CARFAX, Edmunds.com, and Kelley Blue Book, has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and has a 3.2 out of 5.0-star customer rating on Trustpilot.

CARCHEX offers five extended vehicle protection plans, including two levels of powertrain-specific coverage that can cover cars up to 250,000 miles.

Some benefits that come with all CARCHEX plans include:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Towing reimbursements
  • Rental car reimbursements
  • Trip interruption coverage

Learn more about the provider in our full CARCHEX review. To get a free, personalized quote from CARCHEX, click below.

Our rating: 4.4 out of 5.0
Our research found this provider to be the best for used cars.

Frequently Asked Questions: Drivetrain Warranty

What is included in the drivetrain?

Your vehicle’s drivetrain includes the transmission, driveshaft, differentials, axles, CV joints, U-joints, and wheels. In other words, “drivetrain” is an umbrella term referring to all of the parts that make your car move, except for the engine.

How much does it cost to fix a drivetrain?

Here are average drivetrain repair and replacement costs across top car brands in America, according to RepairPal and YourMechanic:

  • Transmission replacement: $5,109 to $5,286
  • Driveshaft replacement and repairs: $168 to $2,063
  • Axle shaft replacement: $822 to $916
  • Wheel replacement: $755 to $767
  • CV axle replacement: $$941 to $1,214
  • U-joint replacement: $222 to $275
  • Differential fluid change: $84 to $139
  • Transfer case replacement: $2,807 to $2,905

Prices range considerably based on factors like the year, make, and model of your car, your location, and whether or not you have powertrain or drivetrain warranty coverage.

What is a powertrain warranty?

A powertrain warranty covers all parts that make your car move, including the engine and the drivetrain. Your powertrain warranty provider will pay for covered repairs after a mechanical breakdown.

How long is a powertrain warranty?

The best factory powertrain warranties can last up to 10 years/100,000 miles. Typically, manufacturer’s powertrain warranties last for 5 years/60,000 miles.

If you want to extend your powertrain coverage, you can purchase an extended auto warranty. Top third-party providers will cover powertrains up to 200,000 or 250,000 miles.

Methodology

Our review team prides itself on sharing accurate and unbiased information with consumers. We have accumulated data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate our rankings of the industry’s best providers. Companies receive a score out of 5.0 overall, as well as a rating in each of the following categories:

  • Price: Comparing providers can be difficult due to the many factors that influence cost. To determine this score, we employ a secret shopper analysis using different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations.
  • Coverage: A wide variety of coverage is essential to support the differing needs of customers. We take into account the number of extended car warranty plans available, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
  • Customer Service: The level of customer service and care provided by an extended warranty company is an important consideration. Our review team sifts through customer reviews and complaints from reputable sources such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot. We also consider the responsiveness of each company’s customer service team based on our secret shopper analysis.
  • Reputation: Good extended warranty providers consistently provide quality experiences. Our team takes into account BBB ratings and the company’s history of reliable service when giving this score.
  • Transparency: Customers value a commitment to open and honest communication when it comes to vehicle service contracts. Our team of experts takes into account the availability of money-back guarantees and sample contracts.