Now that you know what a car warranty is, how to check to make sure your car’s warranty is still in effect, and whether or not it’s better to pay out of pocket for a given repair (see previous blog posts), it’s time to answer one simple question: How long does a car warranty last? Whether it’s the warranty from the auto manufacturer or an extended warranty from a third party, knowing how long a warranty lasts can give you peace of mind or time to shop for a new warranty.
Let’s start with manufacturer warranties from the automakers. From the moment you drive a new or certified pre-owned vehicle off the lot, the vehicle’s suite of warranties is in effect for a specific amount of time and mileage. Bumper-to-bumper warranties, which cover nearly everything in a new vehicle, can last anywhere from three years/36,000 miles to five years/60,000 miles. Powertrain warranties — focused on the engine, transmission and all components tied to them — have longer time frames and higher mileage limits, ranging from five years/60,000 miles to 10 years/100,000 miles. Other warranties can cover items like anti-perforation of body panels and frame, 24-hour roadside assistance and so on.
Eventually, all warranties from the manufacturer will expire due to either time or, for the few who really use their vehicles, hitting the mileage cutoff. Should the owner need more coverage, they can opt for an extended warranty from either the manufacturer or a third party. Such warranties can last from two years to an entire decade, with some of the 10-year extended warranties also covering up to 200,000 miles.
Knowing how long a warranty lasts, whether by time or mileage, can help owners be ready for when it’s time to obtain extended coverage, continuing that peace of mind for a long time to come on the open road.