When shopping for a used car, if you are offered any warranties at all, it will most likely be a powertrain warranty. But what does it actually mean?
In short, powertrain warranties cover everything that makes the vehicle move, including the engine, transmission, and all the parts that connect the power to the wheels.
Powertrain warranties are designed to provide peace of mind for consumers when purchasing a vehicle. They are offered by the seller and/or manufacturer to repair or fix an issue with the powertrain if it is not performing properly.
What is a Powertrain and Why Does It Matter?
The “powertrain” of a vehicle combines many different components, including:
- Transfer Case (for all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles)
- Internal Working of the Engine
Engine coverage normally includes:
- Cylinder Block and Heads
- Internal Parts
- Oil Pan
- Water, Fuel, and Oil Pump
- Fuel Injectors
- Gaskets and Seals
In addition to the main parts listed above, some powertrain warranties also cover things like:
- Wheel Bearings and Hubs
- Axle Shafts
- Exhaust and Intake Manifolds
- Other Parts
Basically, the powertrain system provides and converts power to the vehicle. The term “powertrain” can also be applied to motorcycles, boats, airplanes, and other pieces of machinery that use an engine for power.
In order for your vehicle to run, the engine has to create power for the car, which is then transmitted to the transmission. Learn how a transmission works.
The transmission takes the power that is created by the engine and transfers it to different gear ratios, transmitting is as torque.
Through the driveshaft in the vehicle’s transmission, the engine’s energy is transmitted to the wheels, which of course, moves the car forward or backward. Computer sensors help to transcribe information to the output sensors.
What Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover?
A powertrain warranty usually covers everything that is involved in the process of providing power to the wheels of your vehicle. This includes the most important and expensive parts of the vehicle: engine, driveshaft, and transmission.
If you are wondering if a part is covered by your powertrain warranty, ask yourself “does it make the car run forward or backward?” If you answer “yes,” it is probably covered by the powertrain warranty.
If your engine, transmission, or any other part that powers your vehicle stops working, a powertrain warranty will replace or repair the part at no cost to you.
Purchasing a used vehicle with a powertrain warranty gives you peace of mind that you are not buying a lemon. The powertrain warranty covers the vehicle’s most expensive equipment.
Often, they are also the longest lasting warranties. If a mechanical problem should arise, the powertrain warranty will normally cover it.
When shopping around for a used vehicle, always look for powertrain warranty information.
What’s not included in a powertrain warranty:
Anything that does not directly affect the power of your vehicle is not covered by a powertrain warranty. This includes parts such as radios, air conditioners, windows, and add-on features.
Additionally, powertrain warranties don’t cover normal wear-and-tear parts that are expected to be replaced at regular intervals. Things like brake pads, clutches, and CV joints may be considered part of the powertrain, but since they are wear-and-tear items, they normally aren’t covered by the powertrain warranty.
Keep in mind that powertrain warranties also don’t cover anything associated with accidents, collisions, theft, vandalism, glass breakage, flooding, fire, and other things that are normally be covered by insurance.
Of course, you always want to make sure to read the fine print to make sure that all aspects of the powertrain are covered. This applies to all warranties. Read the fine print first!
What is a Drivetrain Warranty?
A drivetrain warranty is very similar to a powertrain warranty, but it does not cover anything related to the vehicle’s engine. Your vehicle’s drivetrain contains the components that transfer the power from your engine to the wheels on the ground.
As with powertrain warranties, never assume that some part in your vehicle will be covered. Warranties vary significantly, so read the fine print first.
What is a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is sometimes offered when you purchase a new vehicle. It’s basically a comprehensive warranty that covers anything that could go wrong with your vehicle.
It is normally the shortest coverage warranty that you can get. Powertrain warranties, on the other hand, typically have the longest coverage.
Why You Need a Powertrain Warranty
Besides routine maintenance, insurance, registration, and other costs associated with owning a vehicle, car repairs can get incredibly expensive. And the most expensive repairs are associated with your car’s powertrain.
If you are purchasing a new or used vehicle, it is extremely important that it comes with a powertrain warranty. Warranties for sound systems, electrical components, and other aspects of the vehicle can be nice, but they pale in comparison to the costs associated with powertrain repairs and replacements.
Almost every single part of your powertrain will cost you at least several hundred dollars to up to several thousand dollars to repair or replace. A powertrain warranty is basically saying that the vehicle is solid and the main parts will be backed up if anything goes wrong.
A powertrain warranty should be one of the first things you inquire about when shopping for a vehicle. Learn more car-buying tips.
How long do powertrain warranties last?
Typically, powertrain warranties from the manufacturer last around 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Sometimes, however, powertrain warranties last much shorter or longer than this.
If you are purchasing a used vehicle, the manufacturer’s powertrain warranty may not be in effect any longer. Luckily, the seller will sometimes offer their own powertrain warranty; however, these offers will normally be much shorter than if you bought a new car from a dealership.
Powertrain warranties usually last much longer than other manufacturer’s warranties, such as comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranties.
While the duration of powertrain warranties varies, they all get discontinued eventually. Make sure you get the duration of your powertrain warranty in writing before purchasing your next vehicle.
Auto Simple’s 6 Month / 6000 Mile Powertrain Warranty
We offer a 6 Month / 6,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty on all of our Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. This is in addition to any existing manufacturer warranties that may be attached to the vehicle already.
Additionally, if you are unhappy with your vehicle for any reason, you can return it within 48 hours. No questions asked.
Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600
Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600
Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600
Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)