The Manufacturer's Warranty on a New Car

One of the major benefits of buying a new car is it's manufacturer's warranty. Most new vehicles come equipped with a comprehensive warranty included in the price of the vehicle. After making the purchase, all those nice benefits just come along with the car, offering protection and peace-of-mind throughout the first years of ownership. Making use of that warranty can be a bit confusing though, which is why we explain the different terms and coverage types below.

Warranty Features Explained

There are many different feature types, and many buyers won't understand what all of them are for or what they mean specifically. Here's a breakdown of the most common features that come with a warranty, and what those features mean for the owner.

Powertrain - A powertrain warranty covers things like the drive shaft, axles, engine and transmission of the vehicle. Basically, any component necessary for the locomotion of the vehicle is included in the powertrain portion of the warranty. Bumper-to-Bumper - This coverage may be the most attractive of a manufacturer's warranty. Bumper-to-bumper provides coverage for all other components of the car except those designed for

Bumper-to-Bumper - This coverage may be the most attractive of a manufacturer's warranty. Bumper-to-bumper provides coverage for all other components of the car except those designed for regular replacement like wipers and brake pads. The period of bumper-to-bumper coverage is usually less than that of the powertrain warranty but still proves helpful with many vehicles.

Rust Protection - Warranties with rust protection help cover problems with a vehicle that has sustained body panel damage prematurely due to rust.

Battery - Especially important, and usually exclusive to, hybrid vehicles. This warranty covers the battery and related electrical problems.

Roadside Assistance - Roadside assistance offers coverage for emergency issues that arise out on the road. This warranty provides dispatch of repair personnel for problems like being locked out of the car, flat tires, a dead battery or running out of gas.

What Defines a Quality Warranty?

There are two major components of any warranty. It's important to evaluate both the term length and the overall coverage when determining the value. A high quality warranty will protect a vehicle for at least 5 years and 50,000 miles and some of the best offer limited coverage for up to 10 years and 100,000 miles.

Most new car warranties cover the powertrain or drivetrain of the vehicle, as well as limited time bumper-to-bumper protection. The top-tier offers also come with extras like roadside assistance, emissions coverage and rust protection. If you have narrowed your vehicle search to similar vehicles from two different manufacturers, check their warranties. It could be that the warranties offered by those manufacturers may prove quite helpful in the decision-making process.