As a car owner, it’s essential to stay on top of regular maintenance and care to help you minimize your chances for any potential repairs or unexpected issues. However, sometimes you have to replace or repair a part long before you expect to because of a manufacturing defect or general wear and tear. Thankfully, there are different types of protection plans available for you to buy as add-on’s to your current coverage or after your original factory coverage expires, such as a drivetrain warranty.
What Is a Drivetrain?
Your car has several components that are essential to keeping it running correctly. Not to be confused with a powertrain, your car’s drivetrain is the mechanical system that transfers power from your engine to your wheels. It’s what decides how much power your engine will deliver to your wheels and to which wheels that power will go.
The drivetrain includes your vehicle’s transmission, clutch or torque converter, differentials, driveshafts, and constant or universal velocity joints. Without a properly functioning drivetrain and the sufficient delivery of power from your engine to your wheels, your vehicle can’t move forward or backward. If you have any issues with your drivetrain, you might hear a clunking sound as you try to accelerate or you may feel some resistance and hear odd noises when you shift gears. You might even find that your car won’t accelerate at all as you step on the gas.
As soon as a drivetrain component begins to malfunction or stops working altogether, you will need to take your vehicle to a certified technician who can thoroughly inspect your vehicle and repair or replace the failing parts. If your vehicle is currently covered by a factory warranty, any repair costs you have will be at no expense to you, including your drivetrain components. However, once your initial factory warranty expires, you would be left responsible for paying for any repairs unless you have an extended warranty or vehicle service contract.
Do Other Warranties Include Drivetrain Parts?
In short, yes. A powertrain warranty does include the parts that make your car move—the engine, transmission, and the components that transfer power from the engine to the wheels. However, the most significant difference between a powertrain warranty and a drivetrain warranty is that the powertrain’s coverage includes the engine/motor and the transmission. A drivetrain policy does not. Both powertrain and drivetrain warranties are inclusionary and only cover the components that the contract explicitly lists.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty is an exclusionary warranty, which means the contract will cover a part’s replacement cost unless it expressly excludes it in the plan’s terms. When you buy a new vehicle, you receive a factory warranty that includes bumper-to-bumper coverage with powertrain and drivetrain components, as well as various standard exclusions. Usually, the coverage you get from a bumper-to-bumper warranty expires after three years, and then your powertrain warranty will kick in for a couple more.
Therefore, if you have an active bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranty, your contract will likely cover the cost of drivetrain component repairs. But always double-check to make sure, as specific exclusions may apply.
What Does a Drivetrain Warranty Cover?
Since a drivetrain warranty is inclusionary, it will only cover the specific parts that a service contract lists. Furthermore, the coverage you get will vary depending on your car and provider. A drivetrain warranty will also differ for a hybrid or elective vehicle because its parts are distinct and unlike those found in gas vehicles.
Before you sign any contract, thoroughly review the terms and find what the warranty includes and excludes. A warranty sales representative can go over the coverage with you and give you an overview of what each plan includes. In general, a drivetrain warranty should include the parts supporting your vehicle’s function, such as the:
- Torque converter
- Transfer case
- Drive axle(s)
Do I Need Extended Drivetrain Coverage?
Without a warranty’s protection, you can expect to pay high out-of-pocket costs for a new transmission should you ever need a major repair. Because it is a vital vehicle component, it can cost you anywhere between $4,743 and $4,934 on average.
If your current plan’s expiration date is nearing, or you are currently without drivetrain coverage, investing in an extended warranty can help protect you from these types of expensive auto repairs. It can also provide extra benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and trip interruption coverage depending on the provider. Check to see when your plan will expire before you experience unanticipated repair issues.
Where Can I Get a Drivetrain Warranty?
Finding the right vehicle protection plan for you doesn’t have to be a complex process. You can take steps to narrow down your options and make sure you have reliable coverage when you need it the most. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Contact a certified mechanic or repair facility you trust or ask for a free quote from a reputable extended car warranty or vehicle service contract provider. For more help navigating extended warranty options, review our top picks to find the best policy available for your needs and budget.