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Factory Warranty: Definition, Coverage, And Length

A factory warranty is automaker-provided protection that supplies your vehicle with mechanical breakdown coverage for car part repairs or replacements.

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The Gist:

  • A factory warranty comes with all new cars and typically provides bumper-to-bumper, powertrain, corrosion, and emissions warranty coverage.
  • Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, and Mitsubishi offer the longest factory warranty coverage terms in the industry, with 5 years/60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 10 years/100,000 miles of powertrain warranty coverage.
  • An extended warranty can provide your vehicle with similar levels of protection once your factory warranty expires.
Endurance
4.5
Reputation: 4.5/5.0
Coverage: 5.0/5.0
Price: 4.5/5.0
Customer Experience: 4.5/5.0
idée Endurance is our first choice for extended warranties
  • Best Plan Offerings
  • Mileage Covered: 200,000 miles on the odometer
  • Free Cancellation: Full refund within 30 days
  • Plan Options: 6 different plans to choose from
  • Longest Plan Term: Up to 8 years
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

In this guide, we’ll define what a manufacturer or factory car warranty is, explore what it cover, show you how to find out if you have automaker vehicle protection, and help you decide whether you should get extended coverage. We’ll also tell you how some of the best extended car warranty providers can protect your car for years to come.

What Is A Factory Warranty?

A factory warranty is a contract between an automaker and the car’s owner that promises to pay for the cost of repairs and replacement parts if a factory-produced component fails due to a defect or faulty workmanship. The terms factory warranty and manufacturer warranty are synonymous. New and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles usually come with factory warranty plans, and covered repairs generally don’t require deductibles. In addition, factory warranties are usually for a set term and mileage limit.

Types Of Manufacturer Warranties

Factory warranties from a manufacturer can take the form of different types of coverage. You can typically expect most of the warranties listed below to be included with your manufacturer-backed coverage. 

  • New vehicle limited warranty: Bumper-to-bumper warranty protection for most car parts that many manufacturers provide for around 3 years/36,000 miles.
  • Powertrain limited warranty: Protection for your vehicle’s engine, transmission, and drive axles that generally lasts for 5 years/60,000 miles with many automakers.
  • Corrosion/perforation warranty: Provides long-lasting coverage that takes care of your vehicle if its body panels or sheet metal starts to rust through.
  • Emissions warranty: 2 years/24,000 miles of coverage is required by law, but coverage often varies by part. A California emissions warranty is also usually included. Parts often covered include catalytic converters, electronic emission control units, and related exhaust items.
  • Lifetime limited parts warranty: Covers certain vehicle parts from manufacturer defects for however long the component lasts.
  • Maintenance warranty: Takes care of routine maintenance costs and are often provided by luxury automakers or by another manufacturer for a short period of time.

What Does A Factory Warranty Cover?

Typically factory warranties provide you with bumper-to-bumper coverage for major vehicle parts if you experience a mechanical breakdown. However, coverage may vary depending on the automaker and the age of the vehicle you purchase. Below we will detail what a factory warranty usually covers and excludes.

What Is Included Under A Manufacturer Warranty?

A car manufacturer’s factory warranty typically covers: 

  • Defects due to faulty production
  • Major vehicle part systems like the powertrain or drivetrain
  • Corrosion damages
  • Emissions equipment problems

Many warranty plans also come with roadside assistance, towing services, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption benefits. While coverage limits are usually similar to that of your new vehicle limited warranty, these benefits are typically part of a separate plan. 

What’s Not Included Under A Manufacturer Warranty?

These are some standard exclusions from a factory warranty:

  • Normal wear and tear items: This includes brake pads, windshield wipers, tires, and other parts that normally need to replaced over time.
  • Routine maintenance: Oil changes, tire rotations, and filter replacements usually aren’t covered by warranties.
  • Damage: Car accidents, environmental hazards, damage from improper fuel use, and issues due to neglect, theft, or vandalism are not covered.
  • Cosmetic damage: Paint chips, cracks in auto glass parts, and scratches in the paint are left out of a manufacturer’s warranty.

Are Used Cars Covered Under A Manufacturer Warranty?

A used car may be covered if it has time remaining on the original manufacturer’s warranty. If you purchased a CPO vehicle, it likely has coverage for part of the original warranty period. 

Not all manufacturer warranty plans can be transferred to new owners. Before purchasing a vehicle, check whether an automaker will transfer the car’s warranty coverage.


Factory Warranty Length

Standard factory warranty coverage typically lasts 3 years/36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper plans and 5 years/60,000 miles for powertrain warranties. Even so, terms for vehicle coverage vary depending on the automaker. You can find your make and model’s factory warranty length in your car owner’s manual.

To give you an idea of what major manufacturer plan coverages look like, we have highlighted protection terms of the most popular car companies in the table below:

AutomakerBumper-to-Bumper WarrantyPowertrain Warranty
Hyundai5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Kia5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Genesis5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Mitsubishi5 years/60,000 miles10 years/100,000 miles
Infiniti4 years/60,000 miles6 years/70,000 miles
BMW4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Volkswagen4 years/50,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
Toyota3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Chrysler3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Dodge3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Jeep3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Ram3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Ford3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Chevrolet3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Honda3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Subaru3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Nissan3 years/36,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles

As seen above, many automakers have standardized their factory warranty plans to match one another. If you’re looking for the best new car warranty, you’ll want to check out companies with longer plans, such as Hyundai, Genesis, Mitsubishi, and Kia.

Which Car Manufacturer Has The Longest Warranty?

Hyundai, Genesis, Kia, and Mitsubishi are the vehicle manufacturers with the longest new car warranties, with terms of 10 years or 100,000 miles for powertrain coverage and 5 years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper plans. Infiniti, BMW and Volkswagen also have longer-than-average factory coverage terms.


Do I Have A Factory Warranty?

Checking if your original factory warranty is active can be done following these steps:

  1. Gather your vehicle identification number (VIN): Your VIN is a 17-digit number that identifies your vehicle and it can be found in your car’s registration or title paperwork. You can also find it on your driver’s side windshield in the left corner of your dash.
  2. Check your mileage: Knowing the mileage on your car will help you determine if you have reached the limit on your warranty. If you are over 100,000 miles you most likely aren’t covered anymore. However, you may have unlimited miles on certain coverages.
  3. Contact the dealership: Calling the dealership where you purchased your vehicle is a quick and surefire way to see if you’re covered. When you call, they will ask you for your VIN and mileage on your car. They will be able to look up your warranty and tell you if it has expired.

It’s good to note that most dealerships will send you an alert through the mail when your factory warranty is about to expire. Some companies like Carfax also offer a warranty checking service for a price.


Should You Extend Your Factory Warranty?

It’s smart to consider extending a car’s factory warranty before your coverage expires. Unless you’re ready to face unexpected and potentially costly vehicle breakdowns, you should look into an extended third-party or manufacturer warranty plan for peace of mind.

You’ll need to compare extended warranty information from both automakers and third-party providers, as each choice has its pros and cons. By getting quotes from warranty providers, you’ll find out which one meets your budget and coverage needs.

Third-Party Extended Warranty Vs. Manufacturer Extended Warranty

Manufacturer extended warranties are backed by automakers and provide coverage through your car retailer. These plans can typically only be purchased before the expiration of the new vehicle warranty for your model year.

Factory extended warranty plans also require owners to have repairs done at a licensed dealership, which can be inconvenient for some car owners. They also tend to cost significantly more than third-party alternatives.

Aftermarket vehicle service contracts from reputable extended car warranty companies are generally cheaper, offer higher coverage limits and more extensive plans, and can be purchased at any point in your vehicle’s life. Motorists can choose to have repairs performed at any licensed repair shop instead of only at a dealership.


Factory Warranties: Conclusion

A factory warranty gives you peace of mind when purchasing a vehicle from a dealer. It provides you with coverage for the most important systems in your car so you don’t have to worry about repair costs if it breaks down. However, every factory warranty plan comes with limits so it’s also important to consider your options for extending coverage. We recommend you shop around before making a decision.

Endurance
4.5
Reputation: 4.5/5.0
Coverage: 5.0/5.0
Price: 4.5/5.0
Customer Experience: 4.5/5.0
idée Endurance is our first choice for extended warranties
  • Best Plan Offerings
  • Mileage Covered: 200,000 miles on the odometer
  • Free Cancellation: Full refund within 30 days
  • Plan Options: 6 different plans to choose from
  • Longest Plan Term: Up to 8 years
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

Recommended Aftermarket Extended Warranty Companies

Endurance and Olive® earned top marks in our industry-wide review, so we suggest starting your search with free quotes from both providers. However, make sure to gather quotes from other reputable providers to ensure you find the right coverage for a price that fits your needs. 

Endurance: Best Plan Offerings 

Endurance car warranty plans are some of the best in the industry. The company offers six plans that can cover just about any driver’s needs. Endurance is unique because it’s a direct warranty provider, which means you’ll deal with the company itself instead of a third-party contract administrator if the time comes to file a claim.

Benefits that come standard with a vehicle service contract from Endurance include roadside assistance, rental car benefits, and one free year of Endurance Elite coverage.

Olive

Olive provides customers with a fully online buying experience, cutting out the need to call a customer service representative to purchase coverage. We also like how Olive doesn't enforce a waiting period for its warranties to take effect, meaning you're covered the moment you purchase your protection plan.

You’ll find three levels of extended warranty coverage, ranging from basic powertrain to bumper-to-bumper protection. Benefits include towing assistance and rental car reimbursement.


Factory Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about manufacturer warranties:

What car manufacturer has the best warranty?

The best manufacturer warranty plans come from Hyundai, Genesis, Mitsubishi, and Kia. All four companies offer a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

What does a manufacturer warranty cover?

A manufacturer warranty generally includes a new vehicle limited warranty, which provides almost complete coverage for your car, and a longer-lasting but more limited powertrain warranty.

Does a manufacturer warranty transfer?

Yes, most factory warranty plans transfer to new owners as long as the warranty period hasn’t ended. There may be a transfer fee, though.

What is a factory warranty replacement notice?

A manufacturer warranty replacement notice is an unsolicited letter sent by the dealer you purchased your vehicle from that tells you your plan is about to expire. When you get one, it will prompt you to extend coverage by calling the toll-free number listed. You may also receive calls from an automated message machine.


How We Rate Warranty Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a long history of reliable service score well in this category. We also evaluate the availability and transparency of each company’s contracts, as well as whether each provider offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
  • Price: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
  • Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.

*Data accurate at time of publication.


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