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What Does a Powertrain Warranty Cover?

What is a powertrain and what does a powertrain warranty cover? The powertrain includes the engine, transmission, and drivetrain, and a powertrain warranty covers the cost to repair or replace these components should they malfunction or be damaged. This is different than a bumper-to-bumper warranty, which often doesn’t last as long as a powertrain warranty but covers more systems and parts.

Read on to learn more about:

  • What is and isn’t covered in a powertrain warranty
  • How long a powertrain warranty lasts
  • More differences between powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties
  • Why you should consider purchasing a powertrain warranty
  • Where to find the right warranty for you

What’s Covered in a Powertrain Warranty

A powertrain is the systems and components that make a car run. Here’s what’s covered in a typical powertrain warranty:


Your engine and all of its components will be covered. That includes crankshaft, pistons, timing belt and gears, intake and exhaust valves, and the oil pump, among other items. Other internal parts may be covered in some warranties, depending on where and how the damage occurs.

Average cost to repair engine components, according to RepairPal data:

  • Timing Chain Replacement: $1,266–$1,871
  • Oil Pan Replacement: $728–$956
  • Water Pump Replacement: $301–$653


Transmission protection is standard with powertrain warranties, but you need to know the details of your contract. Usually, all internal parts like the mounts and torque converter are covered. However, a powertrain warranty often excludes cables and electrical items, so be sure to read the fine print.

Average cost to repair transmission components:

  • Engine Control Module: $919–$1,076
  • Transfer Case Replacement: $2,466–$2,884
  • Transmission Mount Replacement: $139–$267

Front and Rear Wheel Drive Systems

Axle shafts are covered in a typical powertrain warranty, as are many of the internal parts and axle housing.

Average cost to repair front and rear wheel drive systems components:

  • Axle Shaft Replacement: $485– $607
  • Constant Velocity Joint Replacement: $2,622–$2,923
  • Axle Seal Replacement: $158–$326

Seals, Gaskets, and Other Internal Parts

Your seals and gaskets may be covered, but not if they’re simply leaking. Other items such as chains, sprockets, and gears are usually covered by a powertrain warranty.

The Main Takeaway?

You won’t know what’s covered in your plan’s powertrain coverage until you look at the terms, so get a quote or a contract as soon as possible and check the list of exclusions. CARCHEX can provide a quote online or over the phone for free: call 866-261-3457 today.

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How Long Does a Powertrain Warranty Last?

Powertrain coverage is typically for 5 years or 60,000 miles—whichever comes first. That might differ slightly for different car makes or specific vehicles. For instance, heavy duty pickups with a certain kind of engine, commercial vehicles, or government fleet vehicles often receive more mileage in their coverage (5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first).

Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and a few other automakers offer some of the longest powertrain warranties: 10 years or 100,000 miles.

What’s Not Covered by a Powertrain Warranty

Keep in mind that parts covered by a powertrain warranty may vary depending on your provider, as well as your car’s make and model. In general, the powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, transfer case, and axle assemblies on light-duty vehicles but excludes parts in the following categories:

Engine Coverage Exclusions Transmission/ Transaxle Coverage Exclusions Transfer Case Coverage Exclusions Drive Systems Coverage Exclusions



Engine radiator

Coolant hoses

Coolant heater core

Starter motor

Entire pressurized fuel system

Control module and/or module programming

Transmission cooling lines





Electrical connectors

Clutch and pressure plate

Transmission control Module and/or module programming

Transfer case cooling lines





Electrical connectors

Transfer case control module and/or module programming

Wheel bearings

Drive wheel front and rear hub bearings

Locking hubs

Drive system cooling






Electrical connectors related to drive systems

Drive system control module and/or module programming

While the repairs not covered by a powertrain warranty may vary, it’s usually safe to assume that your powertrain warranty won’t cover repairs in these situations:

Powertrain warranties likely won't cover:

  • An accident or collision
  • Insufficient or improper maintenance (as defined by the contract)
  • Misuse
  • Impact, regular use, or environmental causes
  • Contaminated or poor quality fuel
  • Damage or corrosion/rust
  • Issues with other systems like air conditioning and heating

If you purchase a powertrain warranty from your dealership, they’ll add these cases to the list:

  • Damage or corrosion due to chemical treatments or “aftermarket” products (i.e. purchased elsewhere than your dealership)
  • An alteration you made that wasn’t advised by the manufacturer

To learn the specific details of your car’s powertrain warranty, refer to your contract from the dealership or third-party provider, as well as your owner’s manual.

Powertrain vs. Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage

There are a few specialty warranty plans out there, but the two most common warranty plans are the powertrain warranty and the bumper-to-bumper warranty. Here are the major differences between the two:

  • A powertrain warranty covers fewer parts of your car, but lasts a lot longer.
  • Bumper-to-bumper coverage is a more comprehensive warranty and usually includes electronics and other systems that a powertrain warranty does not.
  • Standard term lengths for powertrain plans are in the 5-year/60,000-mile ballpark, but the average term of service is only 3 years/36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper coverage. (This varies by make, of course. Buick’s warranty, for example, offers 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain coverage and 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.)

Keep in mind that the term bumper-to-bumper is industry jargon. There’s no warranty plan in the world that covers everything between the bumpers. Inevitably, some items, like tires or wear and tear items, will not be covered under the warranty.

Powertrain Warranty Example: Toyota Camry

We’ll use a 2018 Toyota Camry as our example of what’s covered in a powertrain warranty.

Engine: Cylinder block and head and all internal parts, timing gears and gaskets, timing chain/belt and cover, flywheel, valve covers, oil pan, oil pump, engine mounts, turbocharger housing and all internal parts, supercharger housing and all internal parts, engine control computer, water pump, fuel pump, seals and gaskets

Transmission: Case and all internal parts, torque converter, clutch cover, transmission mounts, transfer case and all internal parts, engine control computer, seals and gaskets

Front Wheel Drive System: Final drive housing and all internal parts, axle shafts, drive shafts, constant velocity joints, front hub and bearings, seals and gaskets.

Rear Wheel Drive System: Axle housing and all internal parts, propeller shafts, U-joints, axle shafts, drive shafts, bearings, supports, seals and gaskets.

When Should I Buy a Powertrain Warranty?

Powertrains are usually covered in your factory or manufacturer warranty when you buy a new car or a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. Once that warranty expires, you may decide to purchase an extended vehicle protection plan—which may include your powertrain—from either your dealership or third-party warranty company like CARCHEX. If you opt in, remember that many powertrain warranties last longer than bumper-to-bumper warranties, so you need to renew your bumper-to-bumper warranty sooner.

U.S. News & World Report recommends asking these key questions when considering a powertrain warranty:

  • How long do you intend to keep your car? If you plan on driving your car a long time, powertrain warranties help pay for inevitable repairs down the road. Want to sell? A powertrain warranty is transferable to the next owner and can increase the car’s resale value.
  • Is your car reliable? If your car is aging or is known to need powertrain repairs, a warranty can offset some of these costs.
  • Would you rather purchase a warranty with more coverage? You may prefer a bumper-to-bumper warranty instead.
  • Would you feel better knowing you don’t have to worry about affording costly repairs? Extended warranty coverage can provide peace of mind, especially if affording a powertrain repair would put you in a bad financial situation.

Powertrain Warranties from CARCHEX

Extended Vehicle Protection Plans from CARCHEX are designed to protect you from the most common and expensive repairs, and that includes your powertrain. All of our protection plans—from Bronze to Titanium—cover your powertrain for up to five to 10 years. Our plans also include a variety of benefits, including 24/7 roadside assistance, rental cars, towing, gas delivery, and more.

CARCHEX Vehicle Protection Plans

CARCHEX Keeps You Running

As your car ages and its original warranty expires, you may find yourself on the hook for expensive repairs. That’s when it’s time to call CARCHEX and get the peace of mind you need.

Offering powertrain warranties for Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, Jeep, and other popular brands, CARCHEX stands at the top of the car warranty industry with over 20 years of superior customer service. Along with a score of 10.0 from ThoroughlyReviewed, we also have earned an A+ customer service rating and have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2009.

In addition, you’ll enjoy these benefits when you choose CARCHEX to provide your powertrain warranty:

  • Roadside assistance, gas delivery, trip interruptions services, rental car, towing, and other benefits are included in your plan
  • Assistance from knowledgeable representatives who promise “Customer Experience About All”
  • Affordable plans and financing options, meaning your payments are more manageable than footing a repair bill up front
  • Claims are paid directly to repair shops, so you don’t have to wait to receive reimbursements
  • Our No-Haggle, Low-Price Everyday Guarantee™
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

Get a Free, Instant Quote

CARCHEX has five flexible and affordable extended warranty plans that can be tailored to fit your driving habits. If you feel good about your powertrain, you can find a CARCHEX protection plan that can cover the rest.

Finding a quote online is free, fast, and easy. Or call CARCHEX at 866-261-3457 to speak with a vehicle protection specialist today about what is covered in a powertrain warranty.

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LifeSaver: https://www.lifesafer.com/blog/what-is-and-isnt-covered-by-your-vehicles-manufacturers-warranty/

RepairPal: https://repairpal.com/estimator/engine-oil-pan-replacement-cost

Toyota Camry Warranty Guide: https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/T-MMS-18Camry/pdf/T-MMS-18Camry.pdf

Auto Trader: http://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/powertrain-warranty-vs-bumper-to-bumper-whats-the-difference-239994

Buick Warranty: https://www.buick.com/warranty-information

U.S. News & World Report: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/should-you-get-an-extended-warranty

Thoroughly Reviewed: www.thoroughlyreviewed.com/car-warranty/carchex-reviews/

BBB: https://www.bbb.org/us/md/hunt-valley/profile/extended-warranty-contract-service-companies/carchex-0011-23015869

RepairPal: https://repairpal.com/estimator/

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