The Garage Car Care

Kia’s Factory Warranty

The details of how Kia will keep your vehicle covered

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The South Korean automaker, Kia, may not be one of the better-known automakers around, but its factory warranty is something that is sure to stand out among the rest. Compared to the number of car manufacturers that stick with the standard factory limited basic warranty coverage, Kia offers a little extra in terms of length and features for vehicles from the dealership. If you’re looking at a new Kia for your next vehicle, here’s what you should expect from the factory basic warranty coverage.

Warranty In-Depth

The Kia warranty lasts longer than the industry average. Whereas most of its competitors have a simple three-year/36,000-mile factory warranty for the bumper-to-bumper warranty, for example, Kia almost doubles that in an effort to attract more customers to check out its vehicle lineup. The real attractive part of the factory warranty, however, is the powertrain coverage that is among the longest in the industry.

Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage

The standard factory warranty is a five-year/60,000-mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers repairs all of the parts on a car that rolls off of the assembly line, for the most part. Like any other comprehensive coverage, Kia’s limited warranty actually covers everything but wear items. These are parts that are designed or expected to wear over time, like brakes and tires.

The idea of the limited warranty is to cover the vehicle through the most common period of issues it may experience. The main thing to know about the limited warranty, just like any other automaker’s bumper-to-bumper warranty, is its limited scope. The only repairs it will cover must be needed due to factory defects resulting from poor materials or workmanship.

This means you won’t get much from the limited warranty if your vehicle experiences other issues like accidents or environmental damage. There is also limited support for regular maintenance, even though the manufacturer recommends sticking to its standard maintenance timeline to get the best results from the vehicle and the warranty coverage itself.

Despite the drawbacks of this coverage plan going for a Kia is a good choice considering that you have other plans available in the market which got you covered even on parts which wear out over time. Our CarShield warranty review will help you make an educated decision on which of CarShield’s plans fits your needs and budget the best.  

Powertrain Coverage

The powertrain warranty is the coverage that lasts longer than the limited comprehensive coverage. When the comprehensive coverage expires, the powertrain warranty is often the only thing that is left to cover the most important parts of the vehicle, like the drivetrain, engine, transmission, axles, etc. Knowing this, Kia offers one of the only 100,000-mile warranty programs with its powertrain coverage that lasts 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Once again, the coverage works with factory defects alone. This means that it will cover the vehicle’s most essential systems from damage or unexpected issues when the factory makes a mistake. While the scope limits the usefulness of the Kia 10-year powertrain warranty, it does have a lot of money-saving value on potential repairs that would cost you a lot of out-of-pocket money.

Combined with the limited comprehensive warranty, the powertrain coverage offers the most value and peace of mind to most Kia customers. Because it is almost twice as long as the industry standard, you effectively get double the coverage than most automotive makers can offer their customers.

Additional Coverage

In addition to the limited comprehensive and powertrain warranties, you will get a few extra perks with the factory coverage from Kia. For example, there is a five-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan. 

The anti-perforation warranty mainly kicks in to address issues with rust, particularly rust that is tearing through the frame or other important components of the vehicle. It does not, however, address minor issues like surface rust.

The roadside assistance coverage potentially offers more value, especially when you are traveling on the road and unexpected issues come up. This coverage includes handy perks like trip cancellation reimbursement and free towing to a Kia dealer if the unforeseen arises.

What We Like

The terms of an auto manufacturer’s warranty say a lot about the confidence it has in its vehicles. Typically, the longer the warranty, the higher the confidence in the quality of the vehicle. This is particularly true with Kia.

The main thing to like about the factory warranty coverage from the company is the length itself. While the scope is standard for the industry, both the limited comprehensive and powertrain warranties last longer than what you get from the company’s competitors. More importantly, both warranties last long enough to protect your vehicle (and your pocketbook) during the time most new vehicles are likely to experience issues from factory defects.

The inclusion of the 24-hour roadside assistance service plan is also a handy perk to have if you travel frequently. This coverage can help you get out of a pinch quickly or at the very least save you money if you find yourself broken down on the side of the road. 

Like plans from other emergency roadside assistance providers, Kia’s coverage does not, however, kick in to save you money on costly repairs that may be necessary depending on what caused the roadside issue. Instead, this program is typically meant for reasonable reimbursements on dead batteries, rental car expenses, and other issues when you break down. 

Along with the roadside assistance program, Kia offers a trip interruption program that kicks in if you get into an issue on vacation. The trip interruption benefits may not get much use if you don’t travel much, but the company likes to keep vehicle owners covered if they’re away from the customer’s home location. 

What We Don’t Like

Given the longer lengths of the factory warranties Kia Motors America, Inc offers, there is little that doesn’t inspire much confidence in the specific warranty coverages. In fact, the only limitations of coverage apply to the drawback of any standard factory warranty: namely, the scope.

The warranty doesn’t apply in many conditions (i.e. commercial use, accidents causing unforeseen services and unexpected repair bills, maintenance at the nearest Kia dealer, etc). The Kia factory warranty is just too limited to be useful in most cases to most vehicle owners. You are not going to see any money-saving value unless there is an issue caused by the factory. If Kia is doing its job correctly and creates a high-quality vehicle, you will never have to use the factory warranty at all.

This is where a few auto manufacturers create a competitive advantage by offering other extra perks or free maintenance plans so customers can save money even when things aren’t going wrong. Kia, on the other hand, sticks with the traditional approach in this regard, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

You may also get more service and expense benefits from third-party providers. While it’s nice having work done in the skilled hands of Kia service technicians at the nearest dealer or garage, other warranty providers can offer higher maximum limits in warranty terms when things like the vehicle’s age and total mileage figure into the equation. 

Common Repair Costs

Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Kia vehicles:

  • Kia Optima: Rack and Pinion Replacement ($835 to $912)
  • Kia Sephia: Engine Mount Replacement ($258 to $273)
  • Kia Rio5: Thermostat Replacement ($139 to $160)
  • Kia Rondo: Window Switch Replacement ($458 to $470)


Q. Is the factory warranty transferable to a new owner?

A. In a limited fashion, yes. While the bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t transfer over, the powertrain warranty will. Specifically, the used Kia will carry a limited powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles. For complete information on the transferability of the various limited warranties, consult the owner’s manual or a local Kia consumer assistance center (or the toll-free hotline). 

Q. What kind of parts are covered by the comprehensive warranty?

A. Nearly everything between the bumpers. Beyond the normal wear items, which are included, the bumper-to-bumper warranty includes important engine components, drivetrain components, electrical systems, interior electronics, safety systems, and more.

Q. Is the factory warranty available on used or certified pre-owned vehicles?

A. Not likely. If you are buying a used vehicle from Kia, it may have the five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty still available. If you’re getting something preowned, Kia has its own warranty terms and limitations for this program. 

Is Kia’s Warranty Worth It?

Overall, the precise Kia standards that influence this coverage create a great factory warranty if you don’t expect too much extra outside of the roadside assistance it offers. If you’re just looking for a good car, like the Kia brand, or want a factory warranty that will give you a standard amount of protection during the first few years of the car’s life, this is one factory warranty that won’t disappoint.

More Information

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