People often ask what car parts are going to be covered by their extended car warranty, and this really depends on whether it is a full or limited warranty. Please keep in mind, that no matter what kind of warranty it is, it will not protect you if you have damaged the car yourself. For instance, say you scratched the paint by accident when washing your car… you will not be covered by this. Only when the car fails mechanically in some way because of regular wear and tear will you have protection from your warranty.
It should also be pointed out that you should get regular oil changes and take care of any regular maintenance. Not only will this keep your car running, but it will also keep your warranty valid. The warranty company will NOT cover you if you have not kept up with oil changes. And who can blame them really. Having a warranty protection plan does not mean you can just let your car fall apart and not take care of it. It just means you can have the peace of mind of knowing that if your engine blows or your transmission goes out, you don’t have to go broke to get it fixed with money out of pocket. So it’s more like an insurance program. Just because you have health insurance does not mean you want to use it so you can live like a slob.
So what is covered with most car warranty programs?
A basic warranty will cover any defective parts that fail during regular driving activity. This will usually not include things like filters, brake rotors, belts hoses and tires. If you want those things covered you will want to bump up yoru coverage a little bit.
A powertrain warranty will cover anything that essentially “drives” your car, including engine, transmission, axles, drive shafts, etc. To me, this is the essential warranty to have because it covers the biggest costs you will ever have on your car. A blown engine can be a real budget buster, and an shot tranny can ruin those vacation plans to Hawaii, so I would make getting at least a powertrain warranty a priority.
A rust and corrosion warranty is great for people living up north where there is a lot of salt put on the roads during the winter months. This will pretty much only guard against anything done to the paint job of the car and will not cover dents and dings that result from regular driving.
There are a few other types of warranties that will help protect you against emissions problems and even that offer roadside assistance. You can get full coverage on your vehicle and this will often cover even wear and tear which includes brake rotors, belts, filters of every kind, and much more. Always read the fine print to see exactly what is covered by the policy you are looking at. An extended warranty can be a real money saver but it can also be a major pain if you don’t so your research first.