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Tire Service Blog

Auto Warranties

There are many misconceptions about auto warranties. But, when correctly understood and used, an auto warranty can provide peace of mind and save a car owner money during the time a vehicle is owned.
Where can a car under warranty be serviced?

Your car can receive routine maintenance and repairs at any service provider when it is under warranty. You can even service it yourself if you like.

A law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act “makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work.”  You can read the entire Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alert at  www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm.

What’s covered under an auto warranty?

There are several different kinds of warranties. The coverage you have will be determined by the type of warranty you have. You can find out specifically what is covered by looking at your warranty materials, probably found with your auto manual in the car’s glove compartment. 

 What are the different types of auto warranties?

Bumper-to-bumper – this warranty is typically provided on newer vehicles and covers components like the electrical system, air conditioner, sensors, and the fuel system. 

Power Train – this warranty usually covers the transmission and the engine and other moving parts that lead to the wheels. There may be other items bundled with a power train warranty, like seat belts and air bags. 

Warranty Extension – this warranty is sold separately by the dealership or a warranty company and can extend beyond the bumper-to-bumper or power train warranties.

Emissions – Manufacturers have been required to provide emission control coverage since 1972.  The emissions components are covered for two years or 24,000 miles; some specific components are covered for 8 years and 80,000 miles. 

Individual components  - Individual components of the car can have their own warranties or are sometimes packaged with another warranty. Seat belts, airbags, batteries, factory accessories (like an upgraded audio system), tires, and even hybrid accessories may all have individual warranties.

Used car warranties – Used car warranties are different than new car warranties. There are several kinds of used car warranties. Basic provide minimal warranty coverage for 30 days to 1 year. Extended warranties may provide more coverage for a longer period of time. Certified Pre-Owned vehicles may have longer power train coverage or have bumper-to-bumper coverage for a short time after the purchase. Used car warranties generally have deductibles and limited coverage.

How to learn the details of your auto warranty

Because warranties differ, it is important to be familiar with the warranty for your car. It is usually contained in or with the owner’s manual. Read the fine print so you know what is included and what is excluded.

The fine print of auto warranties

  • Warranties usually have limitations based on mileage and/or how old the car is. 
  • A warranty usually requires that the car is properly maintained, including regular oil and filter changes. Keep receipts or other records of this maintenance work so that you can easily prove the maintenance was completed as recommended.
  • Some warranties have deductibles.
  • Warranties on different parts of your car will probably have different time periods of coverage. 
  • Warranties do not cover routine maintenance, such as tire rotation, oil changes, or engine tune-ups.
  • Environmental damage, for instance from floods or fires, are probably not covered by your warranty. However, they may be covered under your auto insurance policy if you have comprehensive coverage.
  • Read your own warranty so that you know just what the fine print is for your vehicle.

Filing an auto warranty claim

  • Before having warranty work done, obtain a dated, written estimate from the repair shop and contact the warranty provider to make sure that the repair is covered. 
  • Take pictures of the damage, if it is visible.
  • It is best to call the warranty provider and keep dated notes of the conversation for your records.
  • In some cases, your mechanic may file the auto warranty claim for you. 
  • Some extended warranties will require that you pay for the work and then receive reimbursement from the warranty company.

Auto warranties are a valuable asset for car owners. You can make the most of them by understanding what is and isn’t covered. And remember, you can still take your car to your favorite mechanic for maintenance and repair work, whether or not the work is covered by your warranty.

At Pfefferle Tire, we can handle work covered by warranty extensions and used car warranties.    We’ll take care of all of the ins and outs of the service contract and we can even file the warranty claim for you!

 Pfefferle Tire and Automotive Service is a two-generation, family owned and operated repair shop.  Our services include quick lube service, tires and auto repair, and routine maintenance.  What sets us apart from other shops?  Our technicians do not work on commission, so there is no need for them to oversell.  We like to say, "We advise and you decide!" 
Contact Pfefferle Tire and Auto Service to schedule your preventive maintenance appointment! (513) 829-1900.

Written on Monday, January 21, 2013 by pfefferle
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