Extended Warranty vs. Manufacturer’s Warranty


You know that having a warranty on your car is a very good thing. It means you can have repairs or even replacement covered by the company in certain situations. But there are several types of warranties out there, and it can be confusing to understand what kind of warranty covers what kind of service.

The extended warranty and manufacturer’s warranty are the two most commonly offered warranties for vehicles. Understanding the difference between these two will help you determine whether or not you should purchase either warranty and how they’ll work afterwards.

Manufacturer’s warranty

The key thing to understand about a manufacturer’s warranty is that it’s offered by the maker of the vehicle for free, not by the car dealership that sold you the car. The maker is the car’s brand, such as Chrysler, Kia, Mitsubishi, Ford, Chevrolet, etc.

If there’s a problem with the vehicle, you’ll need to reach out to the associated company to have your vehicle repaired. Usually, they’ll ask you to take it to the nearest dealership that bears their name (which, again, may not be where you bought the car).

Each manufacturer offers a different warranty, although there are some things in common with each. Most state that they cover malfunctions that are not owed to an accident or other damage. Usually, they’ll cover the big-ticket items like your transmission, drivetrain, engine, and more. They won’t cover replacements of your Shinko motorcycle tires or rotary brakes if they need replacing before the warranty is up.

Some manufacturer warranties offer additional, basic warranty services. They may cover repairs for bumper-to-bumper issues within a short time period after the vehicle is purchased. Most don’t, however.

The length of time your car is covered typically lasts about three years or up to 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, some manufacturers are starting to offer longer warranties, from six to ten years or up to 60,000 miles. Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Volkswagen are among them. Some companies offer a manufacturer’s warranty up to 100,000 miles on certain models.

Extended warranty

The extended warranty is typically a service contract of sorts that’s offered by a car dealership or another third party. You usually make the purchase within the first 30-90 days of purchasing the vehicle or after your manufacturer’s warranty is up. They’re offered for new cars, and sometimes they’re offered for cars with low miles.

You don’t have to take an extended warranty offered by your dealership if you don’t think it’s a good deal. Oftentimes, there are better extended warranties out there if you know where to look. Certain online companies offer extended warranties specific to the model of your car. For example, Mopar protection plans for Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM vehicles can be found at authorized third party companies, helping you find the right protection for your brand new vehicle.

You’ll pay an annual premium for these warranties with a deductible. It’s almost like a more comprehensive insurance plan that offers much more affordable or even free repairs on damages to your car. They cover big-ticket items, and sometimes they’ll cover some of the smaller items at a discounted rate.

Should you buy the extended warranty?

Do some research on your make and model to determine the types of repairs that are typically needed and at what mileage they need them. This helps you decide whether or not an extended warranty is right for you.

In most situations, you can’t go wrong with the purchase of an extended warranty, especially if you’re buying your car used. You’re going to have repairs on your vehicle after it reaches a certain mileage, and having the extended warranty is like a low-risk insurance policy to protect you.