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A Look at Powertrain Warranty Policies

A comprehensive powertrain coverage will go far in protecting your car

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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON January 7, 2021

When you purchase a new car, it comes with a warranty from the manufacturer. While these warranties are useful, they don’t necessarily coverall all potential damage. To supplement that — or get warranty benefits further down the line — many opt for powertrain coverage. 

 

There are many nuances to powertrain warranties; in essence, "powertrain" refers to the components that cause the vehicle to move. Vehicle parts that give power, including the transmission, drivetrain, and engine, are covered by this warranty. Essentially, powertrain warranties cover everything you need to make the car move.

Powertrain Warranty Overview

Distributors vary based on the plans they offer. However, there are some standard warranties in the automotive industry. Along with bumper-to-bumper coverage, roadside assistance, and anti-perforation coverage, powertrain coverage is a popular add-on warranty option for many drivers. 

Just as the name sounds, this coverage extends to the part of the vehicle that deals with movement. Though specific timelines and mileage ranges will vary, this warranty usually extends to 60,000 miles and approximately five years. 

Pros

  • Powertrain coverage is the most basic and essential protection to have for your automobile.
  • Usually, it comes directly from the manufacturer, letting you choose supplemental coverage. 
  • It protects you from extreme repair prices, such as those for an engine or transmission replacement. 
  • Powertrain warranties are useful for both new and used vehicles. 
  • Often, you can transfer the coverage if you end up selling the car before its term.
  • The expectations are reasonable in terms of timeline and mileage requirements.

Cons

  • Warranties do cost extra to get extended coverage, though powertrain tends to be the most simple, and therefore most cost-effective. 
  • A lot of features are exempt from powertrain coverage. It applies to just the engine, transmission, and drive train, so it lacks a lot of elements of other warranties.
  • You can get powertrain coverage included with other warranties. Drivers can often benefit from more comprehensive plans.

Uproar.car —  Around the Clock Coverage for Your Car

Uproar.car will cover your car for less, protecting you against expensive repairs from bumper to bumper. With a focus on customer care and no middleman to complicate repairs and claims, you’ll get easy coverage you can actually use. The plan even pays for itself — Uproar.car’s warranty coverage gives you exclusive access to discounts, auto concierge service, and a 100 percent online claims process. And with clear, upfront price quotes, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it comes to the cost. It should also be noted, however, that this coverage does not extend to some luxury vehicles, cars over 120,000 miles, and cars more than 10 years old.

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote

Warranty In-Depth

Naturally, powertrain costs will differ based on the provider. The coverage will depend on the age of the car as well as the make and model. The main reason for this protection is the sheer expense of repairs and replacement for the covered parts. Engine, driveshaft, and transmission repair are some of the most costly work to have done on your car.

Powertrain warranties often last for longer periods than other coverage options. It provides relatively comprehensive protection against the most common mechanical issues. These same parts are also the most prone to severe damage. Since, without these parts, the vehicle can’t work, it is an essential warranty.

There are, of course, some things that are excluded from the powertrain arrangement. An easy way to consider what isn’t covered by these packages is whatever isn’t needed to make the car move. This warranty isn't likely to cover the repairs for issues with braking and other problems related to wear and tear.

There are also caveats to the coverage, including the need for preventative maintenance. Regularly scheduled oil changes are necessary to ensure that the car isn’t incurring any damage — a warranty may be voided if you don’t practice this upkeep. Specifics vary based on the vehicle, though for the warranty company to remain profitable, this is a standard caveat. 

Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage

In the case that you want coverage that extends beyond powertrain, a common route is through bumper-to-bumper protection. Bumper-to-bumper plans go much further and include electrical issues, suspensions, and other parts vulnerable to damage. Whether it is for a new or a pre-owned vehicle, there are usually options for both plans. 

If you plan to hold onto the vehicle over a long period, bumper-to-bumper offers many benefits. Conversely, if it is a smaller investment that you simply want to keep operational (and avoid the risk of very costly repairs), a powertrain plan makes sense. 

Additional Coverage

Those who require more from their vehicle will benefit from plans that protect the parts most likely to need regular repairs. For example, rural environments may need windshield and exterior warranties, while urban areas are more likely to benefit from GAP protection. 

Often, additional coverage comes in the form of perks. Different providers offer certain benefits, ranging from roadside assistance to rental car coverage. Some offer trip interruption reimbursement as well. Depending on the business from which you get your powertrain coverage, you can access these perks. 

Common Repair Costs

To assess the value of a powertrain warranty, it is first necessary to understand what the repairs can cost. This way, you can factor in the deductible and assess whether it is a viable protection plan. In most cases, the price of both parts and labor is drastically more than the warranty price, making it well worth the investment.

  • Engine. The engine takes the potential chemical energy and converts it into usable, kinetic energy. This is necessary to move the vehicle forward. On average, rebuilding an engine costs roughly $3,250 in parts alone.
    Engine repair requires a substantial amount of man-hours, adding to the cost of repair substantially. It often costs as much to replace the engine altogether. The warranty will determine which path is taken based on the lowest costing option. 
  • Transmission. The transmission commands the gears inside of the vehicle, used to get you speed. This part is critical for changing gears and maintaining control over both your velocity and torque. The cost of repairing a transmission is usually upwards of $1,000. In most cases, it requires an altogether replacement. A new transmission can run up to $3,500. A rebuilt model can cost almost $3,000,  in addition to the work put in by the mechanic. By the end of the repair process (or replacement), you are looking at a bill well into the thousands.
  • Drivetrain. This part is the conduit for the power that eventually reaches the wheels. It constitutes many components, including the driveshaft and the transmission.
    Unlike with transmissions and engines, the drivetrain may only need small-scale repairs. For instance, if you blow a gasket, it may only cost $200. In some cases, it wouldn’t be worth the deductible. However, significant damage that requires a new set of gears or bearings can have a price tag closer to $2,500. 

In short, powertrain warranties provide essential coverage when you consider the repair cost it can save. So long as the warranty itself is reasonably priced, you can get a lot of value from the plan. Check into what the best warranty for your needs is before making your decision. 

Things We Like

There are a lot of things we appreciate about powertrain coverage. A key aspect is how long the coverage lasts — it usually extends for several years and lets you average a rough yearly mileage of 12,000. The plan's duration means you are more likely to use its coverage thanks to the natural wear and tear process. 

Another aspect of these plans that we appreciate is that it protects you from paying the more costly repairs. Even when considering the average deductible, the benefits far outweigh any downsides. The powertrain system has both the longest shop time and the most expensive parts. Powertrain warranties keep you from paying such hefty bills. 

Additionally, we like the fact that powertrain warranties are generally affordable. Most distributors include a few perks with these plans, too. You can get a powertrain extended warranty for either a pre-owned or a new vehicle. It works after the manufacturer's warranty expires and lets you avoid the stress of lapsed coverage.

Feeling overwhelmed?


You aren't alone. Warranties have many benefits that aren't always clear. If you're new to the industry, check out our  Extended Warranty Guide  that helps explain some key fundamentals.

Things We Don’t Like

Though powertrain coverage is a must-have to save money in the long run, there are some issues with powertrain warranties specifically. For one, we don’t like the number of exclusions on these policies — it may cost less, though it doesn’t protect against electrical failure or accidents. Just about every warranty supplies powertrain coverage, but with these plans, it is exclusive. 

More often than not, there is an associated deductible. While it is not usually too high, it can run hundreds of dollars. A major reason for this is the sheer expense of powertrain repairs. Though it is not nearly the full cost of the repairs, it does require an upfront payment from the account holder. 

Finally, we don’t necessarily like the amount of ways powertrain warranties can be voided. Though it is the industry-standard, it warrants a note that powertrain warranties can be effectively canceled through simple mistakes. For instance, using an aftermarket part or failing to complete a timely oil change can make the entire agreement void

FAQs

It’s common for new drivers or those whose manufacturer’s warranty has lapsed to have some questions about how powertrain coverage works. It depends on the provider, with Honda warranties being different from those through Ford and Dodge. A lot of questions relate to protected parts, while some are about cost and plan duration. Some standard answers are true to all powertrain warranties, and we’ve offered these below. 

Q: What’s not included in a powertrain warranty?

Powertrain warranties include only the drivetrain, the engine, and the transmission and excludes all other parts of the vehicle. 

Q: How long do powertrain warranties last?

The standard duration for a powertrain warranty is five years or 60,000 miles. Whichever milestone arrives first will determine the end of the term. 

Is a Powertrain Warranty worth it?

Powertrain warranties are more than worth the investment. However, it is a matter of determining how much coverage you are likely to use. There are more comprehensive plans that include powertrains, but they tend to cost more and cover cheaper repairs. Ultimately, it is a matter of risk assessment and your personal situation. In most cases, all drivers can undoubtedly benefit from powertrain coverage. 

More Information

Here are a few more resources you can use:

Uproar.car —  Around the Clock Coverage for Your Car

Uproar.car will cover your car for less, protecting you against expensive repairs from bumper to bumper. With a focus on customer care and no middleman to complicate repairs and claims, you’ll get easy coverage you can actually use. The plan even pays for itself — Uproar.car’s warranty coverage gives you exclusive access to discounts, auto concierge service, and a 100 percent online claims process. And with clear, upfront price quotes, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it comes to the cost. It should also be noted, however, that this coverage does not extend to some luxury vehicles, cars over 120,000 miles, and cars more than 10 years old.

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote