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Car Warranty

Cars are usually sold with at least two types of warranties and many include roadside assistance. There may also be separate warranties for rust corrosion, emissions system, restraint system, tires, and battery. You should consult the Owner's Manual that comes with your car for more details.

The first type of warranty is the 'basic’ warranty which covers just about everything on the vehicle that is not covered by another warranty (except items subject to wear and tear, such as oil filters, wiper blades, and the like) but is the first to expire – it covers the first 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever comes first. During that period, the manufacturer will pay for the repair of any flaw due to an error in manufacturing or a faulty part .

The next type of warranty that kicks in after the basic is the 'powertrain’ ('drivetrain’) warranty. It covers the engine, transmission, differential, and drive system — parts related to getting power from the engine to the drive wheels – but the failure must not be caused by owner neglect or abuse of the vehicle, such as failing to follow manufacturer maintenance servicing requirements.

The period of time that a power-train warranty remains in effect depends on the manufacturer. For less-expensive model cars the period is generally 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first, beyond the basic warranty period.

There is a warranty for rust or corrosion that protects you from rust-through problems with the sheet metal. Surface rust doesn't count. The rust must make a hole to be covered. Make sure to keep your car washed and waxed, and rust shouldn't be a problem.

Most manufacturers provide a roadside assistance – they will rescue you if your car leaves you stranded, even if it's your fault. If you have locked yourself out of the car, somebody will come and open it up. Somebody will deliver some fuel if you have run out of gas. They will even change a flat tire for you.

Vehicle repairs are expensive, inconvenient, and that most problems will typically occur after the manufacturer's warranty has expired. Manufacturers know precisely when most of their problems will occur — and they make sure that it's not while their warranty is in effect. That is why you may consider buying an extended warranty.

An extended warranty is especially important if you are leasing your car for a term that exceeds the period covered by your car's "bumper-to-bumper" general warranty coverage. You don't want to have major expenses repairing a car that doesn't belong to you.

The purpose of the extended warranty is to eliminate the risk of financial surprises after the manufacturer's warranty has expired.

Make sure you buy the extended warranty from an established warranty company with a proven customer track record and not from some third party reseller that may not be there when you need them the most and that has most likely marked up the price. Extended warranty companies are generally much easier to deal with than car manufacturers, and offer a variety of protection plans and prices. You may also get coverage for all states.

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