Everything You Need to Know About Used Car Warranties

Used car warranties, or extended warranties, are sold with the intention of covering potentially costly repair work after the used car’s initial manufacturer or dealership warranty has elapsed or expired. These warranties come in many different sizes and shapes and may not completely cover every aspect of your used car. It is important to fully understand what type of warranty you have on your used car so let’s take a look at some of the more common warranties you may have.

Bumper to Bumper

A bumper to bumper used car warranty covers just about anything that may happen to your car from air conditioning repair to repairing the fuel system. Typically these warranties expire fast since they are so inclusive. Generally, warranties like this do not cover routine maintenance like oil changes or fluid replacement. Although, some brands will offer these routine maintenance services as part of their bumper to bumper warranty programs.


A performance warranty covers you in the event that your used car should fail an emissions test. This warranty covers big components like your catalytic converter and engine control module. This protects you from costly repairs due to design flaws or other defects in the car that could cause you to fail an emissions test. If you can’t pass an emissions test, you can’t drive your car so it is important to make sure that your performance components have protection.


Regular wear and tear to a vehicle’s interior occurs with use. A warranty plan like this will cover your paint job, damage to the interior, upholstery damage, deep cleaning, and other issues that may arise due to regular, daily usage of the used car. Wear and tear coverage is a good idea to have if you anticipate having regular passengers in your car like your kids. This coverage ensures that your used car continues to look as good as it did on the day that you bought it!

Powertrain and Drivetrain

These two warranty plans are similar in what they cover, but the difference between them is important. A powertrain warranty covers your used car’s transmission and engine and all of the moving parts that lead to the wheels, but not the wheels themselves. The drivetrain warranty covers the transmission, driveshaft, axles, wheels, but it does not cover the engine. It is important to know that while these two warranty plans are similar the big difference is engine coverage. Since the drivetrain warranty doesn’t cover the engine it typically will last for a longer period of time than a powertrain warranty.

These are the most common warranties you will find for used cars. Your dealership may offer you custom warranties too depending on what they offer in-house. The availability of certain warranties may not be available on all used cars depending on how old the used car is. Remember to carefully read through all of your warranty coverages so that you know exactly what is and isn’t covered by your used car warranty.