What does powertrain warranty cover? – Powertrain V/S drivetrain warranties

Are you thinking of getting a pre-owned car but not sure whether it will have a powertrain warranty? When shopping for a car, especially a used one, and that too from a certified dealership, there is a good chance that it will come with a powertrain warranty. But what does powertrain warranty cover?

An automotive warranty typically comprises a bumper-to-bumper and a powertrain warranty, including some other coverages. A powertrain warranty covers everything that keeps a vehicle going, for instance, the engine, transmission, and all the components that transmit power to the wheels.

To know more in detail about what is covered under powertrain warranty and which providers offer the best one, you need to go through this informative piece.

What exactly is a Powertrain warranty?

Before we learn what a powertrain warranty includes, let’s look at what exactly it is. A powertrain warranty can be considered a promise from the manufacturer/dealership to repair or replace faulty or damaged components within a car’s powertrain. For instance, if your vehicle has a powertrain warranty and its fuel injectors get damaged within the warranty period, the owner can have them fixed or replaced at little to no cost.

Unlike other warranties, the powertrain tends to be restricted. That means it only applies to the parts or car components specified by the manufacturer. Moreover, this warranty is subjected to numerous stipulations. For instance, a powertrain warranty may pay for the replacement parts’ cost but not the laborer’s cost.

What does powertrain warranty cover?

Many people ask, ‘what is covered under powertrain warranty?’ so here is the answer. A powertrain warranty is slightly different from other car warranties as it only includes a limited number of components. The following components are covered under a powertrain warranty:

  • Engine: The heart of your vehicle is built to convert heat from the combustion into the force that moves the car.
  • Drive Shaft: It is a car’s component built to transmit torque, mechanical power, and rotation to the wheels to move the vehicle.
  • Drive Box: Two components that transmit momentum and rotation (one resides at the back of the transmission and the other one connects the transfer case and a front axle differential)
  • Transmission: A transmission is a crucial component of a car that helps move its gears either manually or automatically.
  • Axles: It is a central shaft fixed to the wheels and helps them rotate and support the vehicle’s weight.
  • Transfer case: It transmits power to the wheels and the rear axle via the drive shaft.
  • Differentials: If there were no differentials, a car wouldn’t turn. So that’s the job of differentials.

All of these components make a car’s most essential and expensive parts. Therefore, it is a must to get their warranties to have them repaired or replaced whenever it is needed. Typically, powertrains warranties last for a maximum of 50,000 to 100,000 miles which is far less than a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

How long does a powertrain warranty last?

The longevity of a warranty mainly depends on the provider. For instance, if you buy a new vehicle from the best manufacturer, the powertrain warranty will last for 10 years, which is 100,000 miles. However, other car manufacturers may offer 5 years of warranty which makes around 50,000 miles. Below we have listed some well-known manufacturers and their warranties in 2022.

New Car Warranty

Powertrain

1. Hyundai

10 years/100,000 miles

2. Kia

10 years/100,000 miles

3. Genesis

10 years/100,000 miles

5. Mitsubishi

10 years/100,000 miles

6. Tesla

8 years/mileage varies by model

7. Acura

6 years/70,000 miles

8. Cadillac

6 years/70,000 miles

9. Lexus

6 years/70,000 miles

10. Infiniti

6 years/70,000 miles

11. Lincoln

6 years/70,000 miles

The rest, including Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Chrysler and many others, offer powertrain warranties that last only for 5 years.

Once the factory warranty for the powertrain expires, you will be responsible for any upcoming damage repairs and replacements unless you get an extended warranty. Here are the average costs of powertrain components that you would be paying for if your factory/extended warranty had expired.

Powertrain Component

Average Cost

Timing Chain Replacement

$1,266–$1,871

Oil Pan Replacement

$728–$956

Water Pump Replacement

$301–$653

Engine Control Module

$919–$1,076

Transfer Case Replacement

$2,466–$2,884

Transmission Mount Replacement

$139–$267

Axle Shaft Replacement

$485– $607

Axle Seal Replacement

$158–$326

Wise tip: If your factory warranty has expired, it would be best to get an extended warranty for your vehicle that cover at least essential components like the engine and transmission. In fact, extended warranties also cover other parts of your vehicle under different plans. If you are a regular driver, we recommend that you get both a powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties for your vehicle after the expiration of your factory warranty.

Powertrain V/S bumper-to-bumper warranty

While there are several types of warranties on the market, powertrain and bumper-to-bumper are considered the most useful ones. Here we have made a short comparison between the two warranties.

  • A powertrain warranty covers a handful of the car’s parts but the most expensive ones and lasts longer.
  • On the other hand, a bumper-to-bumper warranty covers almost everything (all systems and parts) of your vehicle.
  • A bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t last more than 3 years (36,000 miles), while a powertrain warranty goes as long as 5 years (50,000 or 60,000 miles).

Don’t be deceived by the term ‘bumper-to-bumper’ warranty. It‘s just industry jargon for this comprehensive coverage. Originally the warranty does not cover EVERY part of the vehicle.

Powertrain V/S Drivetrain warranty

There’s not such a big difference between a powertrain and a drivetrain warranty. The only differences are

  • A drivetrain warranty covers everything that a powertrain warranty does, except for the car engine.
  • A drivetrain warranty lasts 5 to 6 years, which means 50,000 or 60,000 miles. A powertrain typically lasts for the same period except for a few automakers like Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis, which offer a warranty for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The reason there is a separate warranty for the drivetrain is that the drivetrain is a crucial car component and has a high chance of failure due to constant running. If it is not fixed or replaced on time, it can lead to total damage to your vehicle.

Why should you get a powertrain warranty?

Although a powertrain warranty comes with all new vehicles, it would be wise to get an extended warranty if you have a bigger vehicle. Also, you must go through all the details in the contract, as it could vary from vehicle to vehicle, to decide whether it is worth the money or not. Below we have further guided you on what to look for and what questions you need to answer yourself before getting a powertrain warranty.

Can you pay for the major repair cost?

Car repairs can dent your wallet and even crush you under piles of debt in the worst cases. How to figure out if you need a powertrain warranty? Firstly, consider which manufacturer’s vehicle you own. Japanese and German cars are known for their expensive car parts and repair costs. So if you own a vehicle from such a company, you must get a powertrain warranty.

How reliable is your car?

Obviously, you got to do your homework before investing in something big; frankly, it’s not too challenging to determine your vehicle’s reputation. Look for the information on your vehicle and testimonials from the current users. You will find all the information on the web. Make a report, talk to your trusted mechanic and determine the reliability of the vehicle. Typically cars with manufacturing default have expensive warranties.

How long will you keep your vehicle?

Getting an extended vehicle warranty also depends on how long you plan to keep it. Some drivers like to switch to newer vehicles every few years, while others like to keep theirs until their last breath. If you belong to the latter group, you might consider getting an extended warranty. However, if you belong to the other group, then look for extended warranties that are resellable or transferable.

  • Is taking another warranty worth it?

If you belong to a clan that prefers to keep everything in their vehicle covered, then maybe you should get an extended warranty. A bumper-to-bumper warranty would be perfect for such overthinkers. Also, it’s a win-win situation. You will be covered for a good 5 to 6 years with peace of mind.

How much are you willing to spend?

If you have an eagle eye, you can comb out vehicles on the secondary market with good condition and plenty of miles left on them. To get further coverage, you can refer to several affordable companies offering great extended coverage deals.

Conclusion 

 In short, a powertrain warranty covers pretty much everything that keeps your vehicle going. It will cover all the expensive parts, including the engine, drive shafts, transmissions, axles, brakes, suspension systems, and more. Should you get a powertrain warranty for your vehicle? Of course. Regardless of how much it costs, the sum will be lower than what you would otherwise be paying.

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