What is a Powertrain Warranty?

The powertrain is a mechanism that transmits mechanical energy from the engine of a vehicle to its wheels. This includes … Continued

The powertrain is a mechanism that transmits mechanical energy from the engine of a vehicle to its wheels. This includes the car’s engine, its transmission, as well as its drivetrain. Since these are parts that are essential to keep the car running, it’s important that they’re always in the best condition possible. If ever your powertrain gets damaged, the warranty will cover most, if not all, of the prices for repair.

The problem is not many car owners know what a powertrain warranty is. They might not even know what a powertrain is in the first place. In this article, we’ll talk about what a powertrain warranty covers, how long it lasts, and where to find the right one for you. We’ll even discuss the difference between a powertrain warranty and bumper-to-bumper coverage.

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What is a Powertrain Warranty and What Does it Cover?

You may be unsure whether you need a powertrain warranty or not. If you drive carefully, it’s unlikely that you’ll be in a situation wherein your powertrain will get damaged, right? Just like with most things in life, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Getting your car parts covered is definitely a worthwhile investment, since they’ll cost a lot of money to replace if they’re not under some form of warranty. If you’re still second guessing getting a powertrain coverage, let us show you how much money you could save by getting one.

When you purchase a powertrain warranty, the engine and its components will be covered. The engine is the most expensive component of the powertrain to get fixed, so getting a powertrain warranty will help you save a lot of your hard-earned money. For instance, a replacement timing chain costs $1200 to $1800, while a new oil pan can cost around $500 to $1000. Parts seemingly as small as the water pump can even set you back $300 to $600. Some warranties cover these small parts, but others don’t, so choose properly which one you’ll get.

The car’s transmission is also covered when you get a powertrain warranty. As we’ve mentioned before, different warranties cover a different assortment of parts, so be sure to read through it carefully. In most cases, though, all of the internal parts are covered. Warranties usually don‘t cover electrical components such as cables and wiring. If you get a quotation for a damaged transmission, you’ll find that an engine control module costs around $1000, while a transfer case can run you back $2500 to $2900. Getting your transmission mount replaced also costs a pretty penny at over $200.

Another major part covered by a powertrain warranty is the front and rear wheel drive systems, also known as axle shafts. These connect the wheels to the car’s transmission, which allows for the rotation. The axle shafts are also the ones responsible for delivering the all-important torque to the wheels. If you have to get a new axle shaft because the old one got damaged, you better be prepared to part ways with five to six hundred dollars. Just the seal for an axle shaft costs $150 to $300. Meanwhile, a new constant velocity joint costs an eye-watering $2600 to $3000.

If you get a comprehensive powertrain warranty, even the seals, gaskets, and other internals such as chains, sprockets, and gears will be covered, giving you some much-needed peace of mind. Most of the time, more than one of these components are damaged so the costs will definitely add up, which is why it’s a good idea to inquire about getting a warranty as soon as possible.

What’s Not Covered

It would also be good to know what’s not covered under a powertrain warranty. These may vary depending on where you get your warranty from as well as the make and model of your vehicle. Most engine coverages exclude things like wiring, sensors, and hoses. Engine radiators, starter motors, and coolant heat cores are also not included. Meanwhile, electrical connectors, clutch and pressure plates, control modules, and cooling lines are excluded from transmission and transaxle coverages. Lastly, drive system coverages don’t include things like wheel bearings, locking hubs, hub bearings, and programming modules.

As a responsible car owner, you should know what situations a powertrain warranty won’t cover. They likely won’t cover the following scenarios: accidents or collisions, insufficient or improper maintenance, the use of contaminated or dirty fuel, damage due to corrosion or rust, as well as damage due to regular use or environmental causes.

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When Should You Get a Powertrain Warranty?

You should get a powertrain warranty if you plan on keeping your car for a long time. This will protect you and your vehicle from the inevitable breakdowns that will happen along the way as your car ages. If you don’t intend to keep your car and instead want to sell it, consider getting a warranty as well, since this will increase the car’s value. You could spend a bit more money to get an extended warranty. If you do, you no longer have to worry about powertrain damages for an even longer time. Even though you’ll spend more upfront, you’ll save more money with an extended warranty compared to when you get a new one when your current one expires.

Powertrain Warranty vs. Bumper-to Bumper Coverage

The two most common warranty plans are bumper-to-bumper coverage and the powertrain warranty, which we’ve already talked about at length in this article. The former does not actually cover every part from the front bumper to the back, but it does cover more parts of the car compared to the latter. It also runs out a lot quicker. A standard bumper-to-bumper warranty is good for three years or 36,000 miles. On the other hand, a regular powertrain warranty can last you five years or 60,0000 miles on average. However, powertrain warranties cover more of the car’s internal parts such as its electronics.

Getting a powertrain warranty can only do you good, so get one at the soonest possible moment. A powertrain coverage protects different parts such as the engine, transmission, and axles. Think about getting an extended warranty too, if you can afford it.

Sources:

  1. What is a Powertrain Warranty and Why Does it Matter? – YourMechanic
  2. Car Transmission and Drivetrain Systems – HowStuffWorks