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LAST UPDATED: August 24, 2019

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the BMW Warranty

The best and worst things about BMW’s unique factory warranty

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PUBLISHED ON August 24, 2019

As an automotive company with a good mix of luxury vehicles, BMW has a unique factory warranty that differs from most automakers in terms of coverage and length. BMW owners get the same general coverage, but the company lacks the usual bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, rolling them up into one warranty instead. How effective is this comprehensive warranty? Read on to find out.

BMW Warranty At-A-Glance

4
Years
or 50,000 miles
Comprehensive
12
Years
or unlimited miles
Corrosion
3
Years
or 36,000 miles
Maintenance Plan

Pros

  • Longer-than-average comprehensive coverage with original BMW parts
  • Good maintenance program for reducing frequent service costs and increasing peace of mind
  • Short adjustment period

Cons

  • No dedicated powertrain coverage
  • Limited BMW roadside assistance with free towing to a dealership
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Endurance

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Warranty In-Depth

Most automakers separate the comprehensive (bumper-to-bumper) and powertrain coverages in the factory warranty, making them distinct in how long each one lasts. BMW, however, has taken a different approach with its factory warranty, offering just a single comprehensive warranty that does the job of both. Beyond the main coverage, the company also squeezes in a few extra perks that can actually save some money on service costs.

Comprehensive Coverage

BMW offers a single comprehensive warranty (they refer to it as a bumper-to-bumper warranty) which lasts for four years or 50,000 miles. The scope of the warranty is comprehensive, meaning almost everything on a vehicle is included in the coverage, just like normal limited warranties.

On the surface, the BMW warranty lacks any sort of traditional powertrain warranty. Coming with just a bumper-to-bumper warranty, it’s easy to assume that you won’t get the specialized coverage on engine, transmission, and drivetrain components a powertrain warranty provides.

In reality, however, BMW has simply eliminated the overlapping coverage comprehensive and powertrain warranties create. With the bumper-to-bumper warranty covering everything but normal wear items, all the same components a powertrain warranty covers are included with the bulk of BMW’s factory coverage. 

Additional Coverage

Unlike many automakers that just stop with the traditional comprehensive and powertrain warranties, BMW offers a few extra coverages and perks to anyone who buys a new BMW vehicle. These extras either cover the car in a way that’s different from the main coverage or offer a unique value to the owner.

For extra protection, each BMW comes with a 12-year and unlimited-mile corrosion warranty that kicks in any time the vehicle needs a repair for surface rust. The lengthy coverage makes it easy to address critical surface and structural rust issues that would make the car unsafe to drive.

Somewhat unique to BMW, the company also offers a three-year and 36,000-mile maintenance period that covers the expenses of regular service the factory recommends for all new vehicles. Combined with the one-year adjustment period for fixing minor alignment issues, this maintenance period makes it easy to pay for minor necessary work.

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A good warranty gives you the peace of mind to enjoy the open road without worry

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

There is a lot to like about BMW’s approach to the main comprehensive warranty. At first, it can seem like you are losing some coverage by eliminating the traditional powertrain, but there’s actually a benefit to keeping everything under one warranty.

The traditional comprehensive/powertrain warranty setup has a lot of overlap. In theory, anything covered by the powertrain is also covered by the bumper-to-bumper, effectively meaning the powertrain doesn’t kick in until after the bumper-to-bumper warranty expires. 

BMW’s approach eliminates this overlap while lengthening the comprehensive coverage by a year compared to the industry standard of three years and 36,000 miles. BMW owners get to enjoy the comprehensive coverage for a bit longer than other automakers offer.

The fact the company throws in a short maintenance plan is also beneficial for saving money. While it’s somewhat restrictive in where you can get maintenance work done, it helps to keep the car up on the factory maintenance recommendations without paying out-of-pocket. 

What We Don’t Like

The main disadvantage to BMW’s comprehensive setup is the reduction vehicle owners take in the parts coverage standard powertrain warranties have. In other words, the important components around the engine, transmission, and drivetrain aren’t covered as long as more traditional powertrain warranties offered by competitors. 

A standard powertrain warranty lasts around five years or 50,000 miles. This makes the coverage longer than the typical three-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty, offering longer protection on the most important parts of a vehicle. BMW simply averages these two terms with the comprehensive warranty.

In doing this, they effectively limit the amount of coverage on the powertrain components. Instead of having five years of coverage, BMW owners only have four. As a result, there is a trade-off made to enjoy the extra boost in comprehensive coverage the factory warranty offers.

Common Repair Costs

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

  • BMW 318ti: Air Conditioning System Leak Inspection ($52 to $67)
  • BMW 330xi: Ignition Coil Replacement ($526 to $583)
  • BMW 650i: Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement ($496 to $1,045)
  • BMW 328d xDrive: ABS Control Module Replacement ($1,633 to $1,702)

FAQs

Q. Are oil changes covered by the factory warranty?

A. No. The factory warranty is limited to issues caused by manufacturing defects. These defects normally include improper installation or poor component materials.

Q. What are wear items and are they included in the warranty?

A. Some new car components, known as wear items, naturally wear out through regular use. These include things like brakes and tires. Under the BMW factory warranty, such items are not covered.

Q. What is a corrosion warranty?

A. Corrosion or anti-corrosion warranties are a part of a comprehensive protection plan to protect the vehicle from rust that can develop on a vehicle’s surface or frame when it’s wet or humid. The warranty covers repairs to fix the rusted spots so the car’s body remains safe to drive.

Is BMW’s Warranty Worth It?

If you are looking for a factory warranty that simplifies the coverage you get with a new vehicle purchase, BMW is a company to consider if you find something worthwhile in the lineup. While minor trade-offs are made with the average powertrain coverage, you get more comprehensive coverage compared to other automaker warranties outside of some certified pre-owned and extended warranty service contracts

There are also a few extra perks of value to note. The maintenance plan, in particular, is a good addition for keeping a vehicle on track with factory-recommended services and repairs without paying directly out of your own wallet. 

More Information

Here are a few more resources you can use:

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

<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>

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