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Friday, June 10, 2011

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?

The bumper-to-bumper warranty is the most comprehensive portion of a car manufacturer's Factory Warranty, that covers all parts and systems, except for those specifically excluded, such as certain "wear" items like tires and wiper blades. Normally, bumper-to-bumper warranties cover everything from major mechanical repairs to even some seemingly minor details.

Essentially all new cars come with bumper-to-bumper warranties. Those warranties are for a fixed term, such as three years or 36,000 miles. That warranty will expire whenever the first threshold is met. A two year old car with 40,000 miles on it which is covered by the three year/36,000 mile warranty will be out of warranty. By the same token, a four year old car with only 25,000 miles will also be out of warranty. Warranty terms are often a selling feature promoted by vehicle manufacturers. For instance, on some new cars, you may find five year/50,000 mile warranties, or even ten year/100,000 mile warranties. New car buyers are known to shop for cars based on warranties.

By name at least, the bumper-to-bumper auto warranty provides complete and exhaustive coverage for your new car. You might think that a bumper-to-bumper warranty will cover every last feature and condition on the car. But, alas, likely it won't. Bumper-to-bumper doesn't necessarily include every square inch of a car from one bumper to the other. Bumper-to-bumper warranties are generally referred to as exclusionary in their coverage. This means they provide coverage for all breakdowns except components specifically itemized in the warranty. These warranties generally cover components like air conditioning, vehicle sensors, fuel systems, drive-trains, and major electrical components. At the same time, a bumper-to-bumper warranty may specifically exclude from coverage such issues as scheduled maintenance, adjustments, and wear items; batteries and trim; after-market equipment; noises, including rattles, squeaks and wind noise; body damage; and various miscellaneous items, such as satellite/GPS/video systems, emissions, CD changers and audio systems, and a breakdown caused by collision, fire, theft, freezing, overheating, electrical fire or meltdown, vandalism, flood, and any hazard insurable under standard damage insurance coverage. In the sense that these policies are exclusionary, generally speaking, if you don't see a condition excluded, it's covered.

Car makers may also include a number of convenience features, such as roadside assistance, hotel stays, rental car, towing, and nationwide coverage. These features are commonly called a "peace of mind" assurance.

Bumper-to-bumper warranties provide a wealth of protection against auto repair bills. As noted, not every single possible issue with a car will be covered by the warranty, but many are. They are a great feature of the new car. For the protection of the buyer, however, warranties must be read and monitored closely. Exclusions exist, and may lead to costly, unexpected repair bills which are the responsibility of the car owner.

Resource for article:
US Direct Protect
Auto Warranty 411

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