what is included in a powertrain warranty

what is included in a powertrain warranty

What is included in powertrain? Knowing the facts

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It’s essential to know what is included in a vehicle’s powertrain. Given below are the powertrain components that mechanically drive your vehicle:

• Axles (on most vehicles)

• Transfer case (on four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles)

Besides these parts, a vehicle manufacturer manufactures parts that are included or excluded from the original warranties of powertrain as they see fit. These powertrain components can be hubs, wheel bearings, exhaust manifolds, axle shafts, and much more.

Whether you purchase a used or new car, you always see that the car should not give you significant expense afterward. If there is any defect that arises after purchasing, it should be repaired or rectified properly with low-cost or free, and you always want that assurance for yourself, from whatever company you purchase the car. It should not give you much pain for thinking about the repairing of the car. For that, you need to know the components of the powertrain which provides the warranty. Not every element is included in the warranty, but some of the powertrain components that are covered by the warranty are given below:

• Warranty on Audio component

• Comprehensive warranty also referred to like a new car warranty or a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty

• Warranty on powertrain

• Warranty on emissions

• Warranty on rust

Powertrain warranty is important because the repairing cost of powertrain components is not inexpensive. Whether there is an oil leak in the front pump seal or one or more of the engine’s cylinders have low compression, or it’s a simple noise bearing problem in the differential, it may cost you hundreds of dollars.

Hence powertrain warranty will save you some penny. Not only this, the warranty process shows the commitment of a manufacturer towards its quality products.

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All new cars come with warranties, but unfortunately they don’t cover absolutely everything that can go wrong with your car. One of the longest lasting warranties available is the powertrain warranty, but what exactly does it cover?

In simple terms, a powertrain warranty covers the parts of a car that provide power and make it move. Typically that involves the engine, transmission and drivetrain. If any of these components are found to be defective or damaged within a certain period of time, then the manufacturer will pay to have the bad components repaired or replaced. For additional repairs to other components, your new cars bumper-to-bumper warranty may have you covered, assuming it’s not expired yet.

Be warned though, powertrain warranties don’t usually cover those pesky wear items like clutches or CV joints and boots. These items wear out during the typical usage of your car so they don’t fall under warranty coverage. Other items like the battery aren’t covered either, but sometimes have their own specific warranty coverage.

Like other new car warranties, the powertrain coverage is limited in terms of time or mileage; whichever comes first. However, powertrain warranties are usually longer than other warranties, like the bumper-to-bumper coverage.

Typically, automakers offer about 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Some automakers like Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi extend that to 10 years or 100,000 miles. Essentially, if your car is older than the warranty coverage period or has more miles than allowed (whichever comes first), then those repairs won’t be covered.

Considering a hybrid vehicle? The hybrid components usually have their own warranty, which is separate from the powertrain coverage. These vary by automaker, but some are quite extensive: Hyundai offers lifetime coverage and unlimited mileage on its hybrid components, while Toyota’s parts are limited to 8 years and 100,000 miles.

Finally, don’t expect engine, transmission or drivetrain maintenance to be covered under a warranty. That means you’re on the hook for things like engine tune-ups and oil-changes.

In the past, powertrain warranties used to be a huge selling point, especially with domestic automakers that could promote their warranties as a way to boost buyer confidence in the products. These days though, it seems like the warranty isn’t as important anymore, leading to Chrysler and GM drop their warranty coverage down to five years/60,000 miles from 10 years/100,000 miles. Now only a few companies offer such long warranties. However, these 100,000 mile warranties do not transfer from the original owner of the car to a second-hand buyer. That means you shouldn’t expect a used model from these automakers to still boast the same long warranty as it did when it was brand new.

If you want additional warranty coverage on a used car, consider getting a certified pre-owned car. Automakers include powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties on their CPO cars, ensuring you have some extra peace of mind when it comes to a used vehicle.

Powertrain warranties are advertised as being longer than other new car warranties, and as a result are quite limited in terms of coverage, so be wary of what automakers are promoting and what they mean for your long-term car care.

Photo Credit: Subaru

As the car industry struggles to recover from its slump, manufacturers are getting more aggressive with their offerings. Finding the most comprehensive warranty coverage has always been an important part of new car shopping, but deciphering the details can be a challenge. The Korean brands, especially, have become particularly competitive by offering long-term powertrain warranties. It’s a good way to get a vehicle to stand out amongst a crowd, but it’s important to understand what you’re buying.

What is a Powertrain Warranty & What Does It Cover?

A vehicle’s powertrain – the “go parts” – consists of the engine, transmission, and drivetrain (the components that get the engine’s power to the wheels and down to the ground). It’s a big system with a lot of moving parts, and if any part of the powertrain fails, you’re a lot less likely to get where you need to go. A particular car’s powertrain features and engine specs are a crucial element of its success. What better way for manufacturers to show confidence in their vehicles than by advertising a spectacular powertrain warranty coverage package?

Simply speaking, a powertrain warranty covers the powertrain components if they are damaged or found defective within a certain period of time, meaning the manufacturer will pay to have bad components repaired or replaced. The powertrain warranty generally has a year/mileage “whichever comes first” period of coverage, and expires upon reaching the designated milestone. This warranty usually applies for a longer timeframe than other manufacturer’s warranties, such as the bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Powertrain warranty coverage usually excludes wear parts, like clutches, CV joints and boots, and other parts that have a limited lifespan and are expected to be replaced at regular intervals (or sooner, depending on how hard the car is driven or how well it is maintained – for this reason, brake pads are a good example of a well-known wear part, although they aren’t part of the powertrain and wouldn’t be subject to powertrain warranty coverage anyway).

Limited Powertrain Warranty vs. Lifetime Powertrain Warranty

The extent of your car’s powertrain warranty coverage depends on the car and the manufacturer. The powertrain warranty factors heavily into the manufacturer’s strategy for marketing the car, so if you’re car shopping based on powertrain warranty coverage, make sure to read and understand all the details of the warranty. Each manufacturer and car will have its own set of rules, limitations and exclusions, such as mechanical components that are not covered, whether or not labor costs are included in the repairs free of charge, when the warranty takes effect (some are activated upon purchase, while others kick in after a more general warranty expires), and whether or not the warranty is transferable to a subsequent owner.

When you’re reading up on powertrain warranty coverage, you might run into the terms “Limited Powertrain Warranty” (pretty likely) and “Lifetime Powertrain Warranty” (considerably less likely).

A limited powertrain warranty is a warranty with exceptions and exclusions, such as those described above. The terms of the limitations should be clearly described in any documentation you read. Some powertrain warranties might sound too good to be true at first – maintain a critical eye and just keep in mind that automakers couldn’t stay in business if they fixed your car for free forever.

The lifetime powertrain warranty is a stroke of marketing genius in which the powertrain is covered against defects and damage for the life of the car… or, at least as long as it remains under the ownership of the original registered owner. And the lifetime powertrain warranty is still a limited warranty, and regardless, it doesn’t really exist any longer.

Photo Credit: Kia Media

Even though manufacturers are getting bolder with their powertrain warranty coverage (it’s not unusual to see ten years/100,000 miles for some cars) you’re unlikely to find a lifetime powertrain warranty… at least, not anymore. Just one manufacturer has experimented with such a program, but dropped it after just three years. The announcement generated a lot of positive buzz as a brave move for Chrysler, especially since the powertrain warranty coverage it replaced (three years/30,000 miles) was considered somewhat weak. Introduced in 2007, it covered most new Chrysler models (excluding high performance, heavy duty, and fleet vehicles) and was the first lifetime powertrain warranty available in theUnited States. Chrysler’s lifetime limited powertrain warranty covered the gas engine and its related parts (diesel vehicles were excluded), the transmission (except manual transmission clutch parts), and drive systems (including front-, rear-, all- and four-wheel-drive vehicles). The lifetime limited powertrain warranty took effect after the basic warranty coverage expired.

Chrysler’s lifetime powertrain warranty had a big drawback – if the original owner sold the car, the warranty was not transferable to the new owner. It was an unusual caveat, because standard year/mile powertrain warranties are generally transferable until they expire. The coverage applied only to the first registered owner and could not transfer to any subsequent owners, even if they were members of the same family or household.

Even though Chrysler discontinued the lifetime powertrain warranty in 2010 (claiming the terms of the warranty confused their customers), industry experts and eager consumers were interested by the concept. Even as the new car market grows ever more fierce and powertrain warranty coverage is improved, it remains to be seen if any other automakers will step up with a similar lifetime powertrain warranty plan

A powertrain is a system of mechanical parts in a vehicle that first produces energy, then converts it in order to propel it, whether it be an automobile, boat or other machinery. The average person is most familiar with the powertrain of their car, which creates energy in the engine, which is transferred to the transmission. The transmission then takes the power, or output, of the engine and, through specific gear ratios, slows it and transmits it as torque. Through the driveshaft, the engine’s torque is transmitted to the wheels of the car, which, when applied to road, moves the car. Simply put, a powertrain is made up of an engine, a transmission and a driveshaft.

For all intents and purposes, a powertrain is basically made up of a part that produces energy, some sort of a part that converts it to torque, then the part that sends that energy to the element that transfers that power to the road, water, air, etc. In basic explanation of what a powertrain is, one might include vehicles that don’t have wheels as well. It may seem simple, but depending on the vehicle or machine, powertrains can be extremely complicated systems. The engine producing the power may be chemically or manually powered, such as in a gasoline fueled internal combustion engine or a windmill. It may even be nuclear powered.

In the field of engineering better engines and powertrains, scientists and engineers are developing different methods of producing the energy by experimenting with a variety of alternative fuels such as biodiesel and synthetic fuels, as well as fuel cell technology. Different types of combustion are also being developed, as well as how that power is transferred into a mode of propulsion for the vehicle. Of course, the main objective in designing a powertrain is in providing adequate propulsion with minimal use of fuel, and now, in an increasingly environmentally minded world, byproducts or pollution.

Depending on what sector of the public a manufacturer is attempting to appeal to, a powertrain on a truck might be described as “hefty,” whereas a hybrid commuter car powertrain may be hyped for how little power is needed to provide a cheap, but adequately powered vehicle. An automaker’s “powertrain warranty” often is a part of negotiations in the showroom, and is different from a “bumper to bumper” warranty.

Increasingly, automakers are making their powertrain warranty a selling point on their vehicles by providing up to a ten year powertrain warranty, meaning all or some of the parts of the powertrain are covered for ten years. Of course, with all warranties, the fine print may exclude certain aspects of the powertrain.

4) What is covered in a powertrain warranty on a 2009 Toyota Corolla with about 30,000 miles on it?

wiseGEEK: What is a Powertrain Warranty?

After you’ve considered the model, bells and whistles and the price of a car, one of the most important features to compare when purchasing one is the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A powertrain warranty covers all or part of the powertrain of a vehicle, which is made up of the engine, transmission and drivetrain. Essentially, the powertrain is the system that powers the car, and then transfers that power to the transmission, then finally to the wheels of the car. When a mechanical problem occurs with a covered part of a powertrain, the manufacturer or auto dealership will pay to have it repaired. What exactly is covered, and to what extent varies enormously.

The powertrain warranty is a powerful marketing tool used to entice buyers in the auto industry. Where a 10-year powertrain warranty was once considered a great warranty, companies like Chrysler are now offering lifetime powertrain warranties with most of their vehicles. It may make all the difference when considering which car to buy, and with the highly competitive nature of the industry, buyers are benefiting from the competition.

As with any contract, the fine print makes all the difference. Make sure you carefully examine the powertrain warranty when comparing different options. If you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge concerning the innards of a car, it’s a good idea to consult someone more knowledgeable, such as a trusted mechanic, or research the terms on the internet. The definition of what a powertrain actually is can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For instance, one definition of an engine can be referred to as a “long block,” meaning everything on the engine that cannot be removed, or another can be a “short block,” meaning only the part of the engine below the cylinder head, without the oil pump.

After you’ve determined what is covered on the engine, be sure to examine how the powertrain warranty defines the transmission and the drivetrain. If you have a manual transmission, the warranty may exclude an important part such as the clutch. It may cover the driveshaft, the axles or transaxle, but may exclude parts that typically wear, such as clutch plates or CV joints. One thing to remember is that any after market modifications may void or alter the powertrain warranty.

A powertrain warranty can vary in the maximum allowable miles and years that the coverage is in effect. Typically the powertrain warranty covers more miles than a general or “bumper to bumper” warranty. With a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, a powertrain is covered for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, or whichever comes first. Even if you only put 50,000 miles on a car in 10 years, your coverage will end at that point. Conversely, if you pass 100,000 miles before the 10 years is up, your warranty will lapse. Again, this varies with the manufacturer, or if the car is new or used. Companies buying fleet vehicles may also have very different powertrain warranty coverage than would a normal consumer.

Finally, be sure to check how extensive the warranty is in what type of work is covered. For example, some warranties will only cover the inspection and disassembly of the part, but not the reassembly and/or installation of the repaired or new part. You may bring in your car for a repair you thought was under warranty only to be slapped with a huge repair bill. Like with all things, powertrain warranties can come with frills, such as rental car benefits, towing and the ability to transfer it to a new owner.

58) Is the alternator covered under lifetime powertrain? What about the a-arms?

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