Looking at the Subaru Warranty
SUBARU WARRANTY BASICS
- Standard amount of coverage for the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties.
- Actual coverage for wear items.
- CVT coverage on specific models.
- Not as long as other automakers.
- Limited coverage of wear and tear issues.
Subaru is well-known for making vehicles that tend to survive harsh conditions like off-roading and rally racing. In that spirit, the company’s factory warranty is geared to help drivers get back on the road without spending any money out-of-pocket when certain unexpected issues arise. The warranty has a lot in common with other manufacturer’s warranties, but there are a few notable exceptions you should know about.
What IS Included
Subaru has a factory warranty that is fairly similar to many other automakers these days. The coverage lengths aren’t as long as they used to be, but the warranty still provides basic financial assistance when specific issues need to be addressed quickly.
The main warranty Subaru provides is the basic, yet comprehensive, bumper-to-bumper coverage that comes with all new cars. Lasting three years or 36,000 miles, the comprehensive coverage includes almost all of the internal parts and systems that are in the vehicle, including parts that the powertrain warranty leaves out.
Specific components include the electronics, infotainment systems, wheel bearings, water pumps, oil pans, converts, axle shafts, transaxles, flywheel, gaskets, seals, and more. Many Subaru owners find this coverage to be useful when they discover non-essential issues that don’t necessarily threaten the operation of a vehicle but still need to be fixed quickly.
The powertrain coverage of the Subaru factory warranty specifically focuses on the main drive components on a vehicle. The engine, drivetrain, transmission, and drive axles all tend to be covered under this warranty since they are necessary for keeping a vehicle running safely and efficiently.
The coverage lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. This warranty has the potential to save Subaru owners a lot of money on expensive repairs and part replacements that may be needed if defects surface in the vehicle’s fourth or fifth year of operation.
In addition to the main powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties, the Subaru coverage also comes with a couple of extra perks. These additions increase the value of the warranty overall, but they tend to apply in specific circumstances or to specific parts.
The wear item warranty, for example, addresses issues with parts that are expected to degrade over time. Brake pads, in particular, are a common part that will need attention within a vehicle’s first few years of use that can also cost a lot of money. Getting work done at a local Subaru dealership can help with those costs under the warranty plan.
There’s a safety restraint warranty that lasts the entire lifespan of the vehicle. This coverage will replace any defective parts in the seat belts and other safety restraints if they prevent the whole system from working correctly and safely.
What’s NOT Included
Most factory warranties include some kind of roadside assistance program to get a vehicle out of a bind while traveling. While Subaru does include a basic roadside assistance program (known as Subaru Roadside Assistance), it is fairly limited in use.
The issue that sidelines a vehicle needs to be the result of a factory defect. This means that random issues, mechanical wear and tear, bad weather, and other unexpected causes won’t qualify under this plan. The vehicle must also still have warranty coverage or an extended warranty in order to make use of the assistance.
Accidental Damage and Wear and Tear
The main comprehensive and powertrain warranties are limited to the types of issues they will actually address. Factory defects are mainly covered when issues come up due to poor craftsmanship. Material defects are also included in the coverage for the same reason.
Accidental damage and general wear and tear are the main issues that are left out of the factory warranty. In other words, if you experience an issue due to bad weather or mechanical failure from worn-out parts, the factory warranty isn’t likely to cover the costs of repairs and services needed to get rolling again.
The Subaru factory limited warranty is a basic warranty, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to understanding the coverage your new vehicle includes. The traditional bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty setup is straightforward in terms of knowing how long the coverage lasts and what parts are or aren’t included.
More importantly, Subaru has matched the basic factory terms a lot of popular automakers have adopted over the years. While some competitors offer longer terms, the basic three years and 36,000 miles is long enough to cover a vehicle when it’s most likely to develop issues related to factory defects.
Simplicity aside, the traditional approach Subaru has is limiting in a few key ways. First and foremost, longer warranties are always better for getting some extra peace of mind if unexpected issues come up. A comprehensive warranty that lasts for five years, for example, can cover a vehicle when lingering factory defects start to become problematic in the fourth or fifth year.
The short term will also make an extended warranty more necessary. Subaru does offer some options for extended and CPO warranties, but you may find third-party options to offer more value than just the factory coverage.
The other major limitation is one that plagues most factory warranties: the issue coverage. Factory defects aren’t as common as accidental damage or general wear and tear. If you are looking to save some money using the factory warranty, you’ll likely be out of luck if the vehicle runs like it should according to the factory.
The Subaru limited factory warranty is good as a no-frills type of coverage, meaning you get basic coverage without much else. For most drivers, this is enough to rest assured their vehicle (and wallet) is covered when repair expenses start to increase. If it’s not, however, then you’ll have to check out the extended alternatives Subaru and third-party providers have to offer.
Q. Does the Subaru warranty come with all new vehicles?
Yes. The main comprehensive and powertrain warranties are standard on all new Subaru vehicles like the Outback, WRX, Forester, and Impreza. Some models, however, have slightly different extra warranties like the CVT coverage on vehicles with the continuously variable transmission.
Q. What kind of maintenance services does the warranty cover?
Beyond basic adjustments and alignments or anything to correct a defect, not much. In fact, this isn’t the warranty to rely on for reducing the cost of things like basic oil changes.
Q. Does Subaru offer an extended warranty for when the factory coverage expires?
Yes. You can continue your coverage with Subaru or shop for a third-party warranty plan if you want different terms and services instead.