If you’ve bought a car in the last two to three years, it might be time to double-check if it’s still under warranty. New cars rarely have problems, but manufacturers provide warranties for new cars to guarantee repairs or replacement parts should any problems arise within the first few years. The coverage period and terms of cover differ between warranties, so it’s a good idea to check yours. That way, you won’t risk being without the cover you want once it expires.
We’ve put together this definitive guide on how to find out if your car is under warranty.
Does My Car Have a Warranty? Discover the Different Types
A useful place to start is understanding the different types of warranties and knowing which you have (or no longer have).
If you recently purchased a new vehicle, it most likely came with a factory warranty, also known as a manufacturer warranty. These usually cover the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, although they do vary and below we’ve included more details and information so you can check your period of cover. For drivers who own pre-owned vehicles, it may still have been under the original manufacturer warranty, or you might have purchased an extended warranty if one isn’t in place.
An extended warranty, also known as a vehicle service contract, is much like a warranty and provides protection for your car once your manufacturer warranty expires. They’re not exactly the same, and you can read more about how they differ here. A vehicle service contract provides cover for certain repairs or situations within a given period, and there may be terms you need to stick to, such as performing routine maintenance checks. You can purchase this sort of cover from the manufacturer or, more commonly, third-party providers. The term of these warranties varies and depends on what you select when you take out the cover plan.
What Type of Manufacturer Warranty Do I Have?
Factory warranties are usually one of the following:
- Bumper-to-bumper (or basic) warranty: This is a standard warranty manufacturer provide for a brand-new car to cover almost everything from bumper to bumper.
- Powertrain warranty: Cover for the basic mechanical parts your car needs to function. These warranties usually cover a longer period.
If you know which you have, look up your vehicle in the table below to find out if you’re still covered.
Is My Car Under Warranty? Common Warranty Lengths
Check the table below for your car make and warranty type.
|Manufacturer||Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty||Powertrain Warranty|
|Acura||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Audi||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|BMW||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Buick||4 years/50,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Cadillac||4 years/50,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Chevrolet||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Chrysler||3 years/36,000 miles||Lifetime Limited|
|Dodge||3 years/36,000 miles||Lifetime Limited|
|Ford||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|GMC||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Honda||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Hyundai||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles *|
|Infiniti||4 years/60,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Isuzu||3 years/50,000 miles||7 years/75,000 miles|
|Jaguar||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Jeep||3 years/36,000 miles||Lifetime Limited|
|Kia||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles *|
|Lexus||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Lincoln||4 years/50,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|Mazda||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Mercedes-Benz||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Mercury||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Mini||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Mitsubishi||5 years/60,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Nissan||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Pontiac||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Porsche||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Saab||4 years/50,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Saturn||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Scion||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Smart||2 years/24,000 miles||2 years/24,000 miles|
|Subaru||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Suzuki||3 years/36,000 miles||7 years/100,000 miles|
|Toyota||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Volvo||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Volkswagen||4 years/50,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
Source: Consumer Review Center
How Do I Know If My Car Is Under Warranty?
Here’s your step-by-step guide to how to find out when your car warranty expires.
- When did you purchase your car?
I know the purchase date—This is the date your cover began. Next check the mileage.
Not sure—If you aren’t sure, you can check this by performing a quick history check on the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System website.
- What is the car mileage?
I know the mileage—Next check the type of cover.
Not sure—You can check this on the car’s odometer.
- What kind of warranty came with the car? A basic or powertrain warranty?
Basic/bumper to bumper—Check the relevant column in the table above.
Powertrain— Check the relevant column in the table above.
Not sure—If you aren’t sure which it was, you can check by contacting the car dealership where you bought it. You’ll likely need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is usually displayed on the windshield or on the inside of the driver’s door.
- Check the table above for your manufacturer and cover type. Are you still within the number of years and miles listed?
Yes—Your car is still under warranty, but you might like to get planning for when it expires by researching extended warranties.
No— If you’re outside the number of years or miles listed here, and you haven’t taken out an extended coverage plan, you almost definitely have no warranty cover at all. If you have purchased an extended warranty, jump to the next section.
- Was the factory warranty still valid when you bought the car?
Yes—You’ll need to know how many years were left on the warranty. You can check when the car was first purchased here. Also, check the odometer to see if you’re within the covered mileage. Then follow the steps listed for new cars above.
No—Check if you purchased an extended warranty.
Not sure—Contact the car dealership and provide the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which you’ll find displayed on the windshield or on the inside of the driver’s door. They should be able to confirm this information.
- Do I have an extended warranty?
Yes—Check the terms for the number of years and mileage covered.
No—You’re no longer protected against the costs of repair if your car has a problem.
Not sure—First, have a look at the paperwork from the vehicle purchase. It might refer to the extended warranty as a vehicle service contract (VSC). If you’re still in doubt, get in touch with the dealership where you bought the car. You’ll need to know the provider and the covered period and mileage, which you can then check to see if you’re still under warranty.
What to Do When Your Factory Warranty Expires
If you find you’re outside the cover period of the manufacturer warranty, or your extended warranty has ended, you still have some effective and affordable ways to protect your vehicle and keep driving with peace of mind.
Checkout the different ways you can protect your vehicle today, and if you decide to go with an extended warranty, which is what we’d do, check out our buying guide here for a full step-by-step breakdown of what you should consider. We’ve personally tested and reviewed all the big extended warranty providers here to empower drivers like you to select the best cover.
For more information on the fundamentals and getting a good deal, you can read our introduction to extended car warranties here.