What Do Powertrain Warranties Cover?

Car manufacturers and dealers frequently look for ways to entice buyers into purchasing new and used vehicles. In many instances, car sellers offer promotional packages that include a powertrain warranty designed to alleviate buyers’ anxiety about repair costs. These packages can be attractive to buyers, but it is often difficult to understand what they cover.

Robinson Lemon Law Group LLC can answer any questions you have about what do powertrain warranties cover. For more information about powertrain warranties, how they work, and the coverages that they offer, please reach out to us. If you have recently purchased a vehicle with a limited powertrain warranty and discovered a powertrain defect that a car manufacturer or dealer is refusing to cover, we are here to help you in any way we can. 

What Does ‘Powertrain Warranty’ Mean?

To understand what do powertrain warranties cover, it is important to consider how a powertrain warranty works first. A powertrain warranty refers to a limited warranty offered by car manufacturers and dealers. It applies specifically to the components of the vehicle responsible for movement, known as the “powertrain.”

Components of a vehicle that make up its powertrain include:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain/drive system

A powertrain warranty typically covers some or all of the costs of any malfunctions, defects, or damage to any of the aforementioned components. If you are dealing with car problems relating to your vehicle’s powertrain and have a powertrain warranty, you can get these issues fixed. To ensure that you are not partially or fully responsible for your powertrain repair costs, it is important to make sure that these problems are covered under your warranty. 

What Is a Limited Powertrain Warranty?

Most powertrain warranties fall under the category of a “limited powertrain warranty,” as they have a specific period of coverage that expires after a vehicle reaches a certain mileage or age. A limited powertrain warranty has exclusions attached to it. You should learn about these exclusions, so you know exactly what is covered under your limited warranty. 

Conversely, full warranties have no period of coverage deadlines and never expire. As long as you own your car, your full warranty remains in effect. Full warranties are also much rarer than limited ones in automobile sales, and it is extremely unlikely a car manufacturer or dealer will offer one to you.

What Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover Exactly?

Each powertrain warranty package differs slightly in terms of coverage, depending on the manufacturer and terms of each agreement. Regardless, there are components that are usually covered across all powertrain warranties. 

For example, engine problems relating to the following components are often covered under powertrain warranties:

  • Cylinder block 
  • Crankshaft 
  • Pistons 
  • Timing belt 
  • Gears 
  • Intake 
  • Exhaust valves 
  • Heads 
  • Oil pan 
  • Valve train 
  • Water pump 
  • Fuel pump 
  • Oil pump 
  • Fuel injectors 
  • Gaskets 
  • Seals 
  • Flywheel

Along with engine component repairs, transmission coverage typically applies to all internal parts, like the mounts and torque converter. Meanwhile, drive system coverage almost universally extends to the axle shafts, axle housing, and joints.

What Is Included in a Powertrain Warranty?

Most powertrain warranties are based on a car’s mileage and coverage period. These deadlines are commonly referred to as a “whichever comes first” period of eligibility. Powertrain warranties may have a longer period of coverage than standard bumper-to-bumper manufacturer warranties, with a standard warranty running an average of five years or 60,000 miles. Manufacturers should cover all qualifying repairs and replacements during the period of coverage under a powertrain warranty at little to no cost to the vehicle owner.

Can You Extend a Powertrain Warranty?

You may have the option to extend your powertrain warranty through a car manufacturer or dealer or a third-party warranty provider. In this instance, you can pay a monthly or annual fee to keep your powertrain warranty going beyond its expiration date. The warranty may include some or all of the same coverages as your original one.  

If you are weighing the pros and cons of an extended powertrain warranty, review your options closely. Keep in mind that it can cost hundreds of dollars a month or thousands of dollars a year to extend your powertrain warranty. Therefore, it is in your best interests to weigh these costs in conjunction with your car’s age, mileage, and other factors to determine if extending your powertrain warranty is worth the investment. 

Powertrain Warranty Exclusions 

While powertrain warranties may be promoted as all-inclusive packages that allow car owners to operate their vehicles without having to worry about repair or replacement costs, this is simply not the case. Many warranties feature a list of parts and circumstances explicitly excluded from warranty coverage. Below is a list of some of the most common and significant exclusions found in powertrain warranties.

1. Non-Powertrain Components

This is relatively straightforward. Powertrain warranties apply exclusively to powertrain components — those responsible for the movement of the vehicle. Any component not associated with the engine, transmission, or drivetrain/drive systems is ineligible for powertrain warranty coverage.

2. Parts That Are Worn Down

Powertrain warranties are carefully crafted to limit expected manufacturer expenses. As such, powertrain components that require regular service and replacement, commonly referred to as “wear parts,” are generally excluded from powertrain warranties. These parts include clutches, CV joints, and boots. 

3. Physical Damage

Powertrain warranties do not work the same way as car insurance. Thus, they do not cover damage to the powertrain caused by accidents, collisions, vandalism, vehicle theft, water damage, fire, or glass breakage.

What to Do if Powertrain Defects Are Not Covered Under a Warranty

Vehicle owners with recurring powertrain defects not covered under their limited powertrain warranties may be eligible for financial compensation or vehicle replacement under their state’s lemon laws. To find out if this is the case, it pays to partner with a lemon law attorney. Then, you can have a lemon law lawyer review your case and help you determine if now is the right time to file a claim against a negligent car manufacturer or dealer. 

In addition, you may be able to seek compensation or get a vehicle replacement as part of a federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act breach of warranty claim. This act promotes transparency about the terms and conditions of warranties. If your powertrain warranty is unclear or a car manufacturer or dealer is refusing to cover your vehicle repair or replacement costs, you may be able to cite this act in a claim against the at-fault party. 

It also helps to review the terms and conditions of your powertrain warranty with a lawyer. An attorney can explain what exactly is covered under your warranty and if a car manufacturer or dealer has violated it. If necessary, a lawyer can help you file a lemon law or breach of warranty claim as well. 

Do Not Wait Any Longer to File a Powertrain Warranty Claim

If you have questions regarding your car’s powertrain warranty or are interested in discussing a potential lemon law or breach of warranty claim, Robison Lemon Law Group LLC can help you out. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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