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LAST UPDATED: March 6, 2019

What to Expect with a Subaru Warranty

If you just bought a new Subaru vehicle, there are some basics to the Subaru factory warranty you should know about

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PUBLISHED ON March 6, 2019

Subaru offers a fairly standard bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty with new models like the Outback that is comparable with other competitors in terms of length and coverage.

As the factory warranty that comes with all new Subaru vehicles right off the Subaru dealer’s lot, there is a lot to like in terms of the protection the warranty offers from manufacturing defects.

That said, it’s important to realize that there won’t be much extra coverage you’ll get for accidents or routine maintenance service.

Here’s a look at everything you would get with a Subaru of America factory warranty.

Subaru Warranty At-A-Glance

3
Years
or 36,000 miles
Bumper-to-Bumper
5
Years
or 60,000 miles
Powertrain
3
Years
or 36,000 miles
Wear Item Coverage

Pros

  • Nearly all-inclusive in the parts it covers
  • Coverage is longer than the industry standard
  • Warranty is transferable

Cons

  • Powertrain coverage duration is short
  • Few added perks
EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

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Warranty In-Depth

Most factory warranties have a basic level of coverage for addressing factory and manufacturing defects during the first few years of the vehicle’s life. Subaru has the same exact approach: basic defect coverage without much extra. 

With that said, the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties cover nearly everything within the vehicle for the coverage period. Both of these warranties exist side by side for the first few years of a vehicle’s life.

Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage

The comprehensive portion of the Subaru factory warranty comes in the form of bumper-to-bumper coverage. As the name suggests, it essentially covers everything from one end of the vehicle to the other. Typically, this includes components and systems the longer powertrain coverage doesn’t cover. 

General interior and exterior defects are the most common issues covered, but you will also find additional coverage for specialty systems like the electronics, gaskets, torque converters, axle shafts, wheel bearings, oil pans, water pumps, flywheels, infotainment systems, and other internal parts.

The plan should also include any additional features found on upper trims like advanced safety systems (blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, etc). 

Powertrain Coverage

The powertrain portion adds some extensive coverage to parts that are important to the safe and efficient operation of a vehicle. Since a car needs a functioning engine, transmission, and drivetrain to run, this extra coverage can be useful should any unexpected issues due to manufacturing defects arise in the first few years of a vehicle’s life.

Like other types of factory warranties, once again, coverage of issue types is limited. Basically, unless the issue comes from a manufacturing defect with the drivetrain, the warranty won’t cover the cost of the repair or service. 

Additional Coverage

Despite the limitations of the limited and powertrain warranties, Subaru actually does offer some extra value in the form of additional coverages that last at least the length of the limited warranty, if not longer. 

For example, the wear item warranty lasts the same amount of the limited coverage and will address issues with brakes and other items that wear over time. 

Two of the most useful extra coverages include the rust perforation and seat belt warranties. The rust protection covers the body panels of a vehicle for five years and unlimited miles

For the seat belt warranty, the coverage lasts the entire life of the vehicle, even after the other limited warranties have expired, and replaces any defective parts that compromise the safe use and function of the system. 

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 Factory Warranty Guide that helps explain some key fundamentals.

What We Like

The fact that the main factory warranties match and rival the offerings and limitations of other manufacturers means you don’t have to choose between automakers based on the warranties alone. With that said, you aren’t getting too much in terms of unique coverage, so the real draw of the Subaru warranty is the fact that it doesn’t stand out (in a bad way). 

In other words, you get the basics and nothing else. 

The only extra coverage, in the form of warranties like the seat belt and rust perforation coverages, is actually useful in extending the life of important vehicle parts. Lifetime coverage of the seat belts alone offers good value if it comes time to ever sell an aging Subaru. 

What We Don’t Like

The main drawback of the Subaru factory warranty is also the highlight: it’s basic. In other words, you don’t get much for the coverage that is offered. Once again, if the issue isn’t the result of a manufacturing defect, it won’t be covered. 

If you need extra coverage for accidents or maintenance, look elsewhere.

The short duration of the limited warranty alone decreases its usefulness for older Subarus people may buy used. Subaru does offer extended and CPO warranty options, so other coverage does exist. But you may find a third-party provider will offer something better than the factory warranty can alone. 

Scratches in automotive paint.
GETTYIMAGES

The factory warranty from Subaru doesn’t cover minor paint scratches unless they are due to a defect.

Common Repair Costs

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

  • Subaru Impreza: Air Conditioning System Leak Inspection ($52 to $67)
  • Subaru Justy: AC Diagnosis ($88 to $111)
  • Subaru Loyale: Clutch Assembly Adjustment ($44 to $56)
  • Subaru XT: Active Suspension Testing ($88 to $111)
  • Subaru B9 Tribeca: Engine Compression Test ($44 to $111)
  • Subaru Impreza WRX: OBDII Drive Cycle Test ($44 to $56)

FAQs

Q. Does Subaru have a lifetime warranty?

A. Except for the seat belt warranty (that lasts the life of the vehicle), there is no lifetime warranty available. Some individual dealerships, however, may offer one on their own.

Q. What happens when the factory warranty expires?

A. You can expand your warranty coverage with an extended warranty from the factory or a third-party provider.

Q. Will the factory warranty cover oil changes?

A. No. The Subaru factory warranty only covers repairs and service related to fixing factory defects.

Q. What are wear items?

A. Wear items are literally things that wear down by design or more quickly than regular parts. Brake pads, clutch lining, and wiper blades are some examples. 

Is Subaru’s Warranty Worth It?

Since the factory warranty comes standard with any new vehicle, there isn’t much of a choice to make whether you should purchase one or not. Instead, the real choice will probably be if you need any additional coverage. For new vehicles, the factory warranty is usually enough unless you want coverage for routine maintenance. If that is the case, a third-party plan will be a good addition. 

More Information

Here are a few more resources you can use:

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Special Limited Time Relief Program (Expires April 16)

Get $300 off any Endurance vehicle protection plan and $250 in immediate reward vouchers to spend at national grocery, restaurant, and online stores, along with another $250 of reward vouchers after your third monthly payment. Enjoy all this along with other perks like reduced upfront costs, the chance to qualify for up to 30 days of payment deferment, a 30-day money back guarantee, and a free Endurance Elite Membership.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

<br>

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

<br>

autopom!

Live in California? autopom! warranties specifically made to save you more.

autopom! is the warranty provider of choice for many California (only) residences struggling to find quality options in the state. The company’s line of insurance plans is great for saving money on services and repairs that come up unexpectedly.

Get a Free Quote