There are many types of warranties in the automotive industry. Nowadays, one of the most common warranties included in car deals is the so-called powertrain warranty which is typically longer than any other type of warranty.
To understand what does a powertrain warranty cover, you should firstly understand what is a powertrain.
In a modern motor vehicle, the term ‘powertrain’ describes the main components that generate power and deliver it to the road surface. That is, the powertrain of a car includes engine, transmission, drive shaft, suspension, and the wheels. The powertrain excluding the engine and the transmission is called drivetrain.
Powertrain Warranty Coverage
The powertrain warranty typically covers the aforementioned powertrain components excluding wear parts like clutches, CV joints, and other parts that are expected to be changed on a regular basis during the inspection. That’s why you should inspect your car regularly – if the malfunction will be caused by wear parts, the manufacturer may refuse to cover the whole breakage. That’s the biggest pitfall of powertrain warranties.
Limits & Exceptions
The powertrain warranty usually has a year/mileage ‘whichever comes first’ period of coverage and expires upon reaching the designated milestone. Some automakers like Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi offer 10 years/100,000 miles period of coverage which is the current best offer on the market. Some time earlier, there were lifetime powertrain warranties (Chrysler offered one, for instance). However, these warranties had one serious exception – they weren’t transferable to a new owner.
Although the powertrain warranty is a standard type of automotive warranty now, you should carefully read the terms specified in the warranty agreement because they might differ for different automakers. Just keep in mind that automakers wouldn’t survive in the business if they had to repair every car for free all the time something brakes.
The powertrain warranty is combined with a bumper-to-bumper warranty.