New Car Auto Warranties: Is 100,000 Miles Enough Coverage?

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With 10 or more years being the new norm in vehicle life span, AutoMD.com experts weigh in with some simple A-B-Cs to get the most out of your warranty

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At AutoMD.com we believe the informed automotive consumer is an empowered consumer and that empowerment should extend to warranties.

New car sales might be booming, but car owners are holding onto those new rides longer than ever before, and improved warranties that help defray increases in new car prices as well as expensive average maintenance costs, help consumers prolong ownership. In fact, a recent survey by AutoMD.com found that one in two people surveyed drive vehicles with over 100K miles – and 81% say the appropriate vehicle lifespan is 10 or more years. As the cost of owning increases (KBB.com reports that the average price of new cars is up by $458,(1) with the cost of factory-recommended maintenance averaging $766 (AAA),(2)) the need for longer term protection becomes paramount, which makes it more important than ever for consumers to understand the ins and outs of their vehicle warranties -- and why AutoMD.com’s team of experts have put together the critical A-B-Cs of warranty coverage and care.

“Warranties are very valuable, but also really confusing,” said AutoMD.com Vice President Tracey Virtue. “Just because the headline reads 100,000 miles, that doesn’t mean all parts are covered for that length of time. And on top of that, you may not be covered at all, if you fail to read the fine print. At AutoMD.com we believe the informed automotive consumer is an empowered consumer and that empowerment should extend to warranties.”

AutoMD.com’s Warranty ABCs

A.    Know What’s Covered: It may sound obvious, but knowing exactly what’s covered isn’t very simple. The head-spinning truth is that you and your new car drove off the lot with a multitude of warranties. In general, however, there are three basic types of coverage:

  • Basic or “bumper-to-bumper” Warranty: This covers most components not protected by the powertrain warranty, such as fuel system or air conditioning components. The typical basic warranty doesn’t last as long as the powertrain warranty.
  • Powertrain Warranty: This is often the warranty that’s advertised because it offers the longest period of coverage, and it usually includes just the engine and transmission components.
  • Roadside Assistance: This coverage may be as simple as a flat tire repair or as extensive as a tow truck drive to the nearest dealership.
  • Other Warranties: Your car will also have a tire warranty from the tire manufacturer, a rust perforation warranty, and an emissions component protection. Each of these have their own time and mileage limits.

B.    Know What Voids It – and What Doesn’t: The fastest and best way to void your warranty is by not performing routine scheduled maintenance, or by having defective work done on your car. One thing that won’t void your warranty is taking your car to another shop – even an independent. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission 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.” The same goes for aftermarket or recycled parts. Just make sure they do the repair correctly!

C.    Know How to Avoid Warranty Disputes: Just because you have that golden warranty card doesn’t mean your local dealership has to like it. In fact, it can be a real fight to get warranty work done. To avoid this, make sure you keep meticulous records of service and maintenance appointments and receipts, and know your warranty fine print and areas of coverage. Also, be mindful of charges not covered by your warranty, such as diagnostic charges.

The warranty you get can provide key benefits, provide crucial savings in the event of a failure or breakdown and give you peace of mind. Like everything, however, it’s the fine print that counts – so know your A-B-Cs and remember the golden rule when it comes to warranties: keep your maintenance current, your records complete and your knowledge comprehensive.

About AutoMD.com
AutoMD.com™ (http://www.automd.com) is a leading comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD.com allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Get instant comparative quotes on repair jobs from local repair shops, 2. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue, 3. Know how much auto repairs should cost, 4. Troubleshoot car problems, 5. Get auto repair questions answered by the AutoMD.com community, and 6. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides. AutoMD.com was named Best Automotive Website in the 8th annual American Business Awards, also known as the Stevie® Awards.

Contact:
Media Relations
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie@mwebbcom.com
Elizabeth Johnson, mWEBB Communications, (213) 713-4865, elizabeth@mwebbcom.com

(1) http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-car-transaction-prices-rise-more-than-1-percent-in-october-2015-according-to-kelley-blue-book-300170911.html
(2) http://newsroom.aaa.com/2015/04/annual-cost-operate-vehicle-falls-8698-finds-aaa/

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Crystal Hartwell
mWEBB Communications
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Melanie Webber
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