What Auto Warranties Do Not Cover

How-to-buy-an-extended-car-warranty

There are basically three levels of extended warranties or vehicle service contracts you can purchase. They are bumper to bumper, stated component and powertrain. Each level will cover a specific number of parts. However, there are certain parts that are not covered by any warranties and certain circumstances where a part is not covered.

Standard Maintenance and Consumables

Maintenance and consumable items are parts that need to be replaced on a regular basis over the normal course of owning a vehicle.

Batteries
Brake Pads
Brake Rotors and Drums
Belts
Hoses
Filters
Shock Absorbers
Exhaust System Components 
Light Bulbs
Headlights
Fuses
Wiper Blades
Spark Plugs and Wires
Tune-Ups
Distributer Cap and Rotor
Manual Clutch Pads
Fluids – oil, anti-freeze, refrigerants, grease and lubricants
Tires and Wheels (optional coverage on some policies but generally not a good value)

Note that some vehicle manufacturers will cover a small portion of the maintenance items. This is not part of the warranty. It is a maintenance program that is included with the purchase of a new vehicle.

Body Work and Interiors

These are components that technically don’t break but usually deteriorate, fade, scratch, rip or become loose over the normal course of time.

Paint
Body Panels
Trim
Moldings
Sheet Metal
Glass
Weather Striping 
Air and Water Leaks
Wind Noise
Squeaks and Rattles
Upholstery, Fabric and Carpets
Convertible Tops (mechanics are covered but not the top itself)

Circumstances Where a Part is Not Covered

Even though a part might be covered under the policy there are certain circumstances when it wouldn’t be. These are usually found in the exclusions section of the warranty contract.

Breakdowns caused by:

Rust or corrosion
Collision, fire or theft
Accidents
Acts of nature
Lack of proper maintenance
Contamination of fluids, fuels, coolants or lubricants
Non factory installed components or modifications
Abuse, racing or off-roading

Always read a warranty contract carefully to determine what parts are covered and what parts you are responsible for.

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