How Do I Know if I’m Covered Under Warranty?

If you have a Saab you now know the answer to this question. But how do the rest of us know if we’re covered under warranty? Usually a vehicle is covered under warranty for a certain amount of time or a certain amount of miles driven, whichever one comes first. If your oxygen sensors or mass airflow sensors turn out to be defective, a base factory warranty will usually cover parts, labor and cost of towing. But what if these parts went bad due to an accident?

A part going bad due to any external damage is not going to be covered under warranty. If you’re cruising home from work, someone rear-ends you, and then you start having problems with your a/c compressor, you’re probably not going to be covered. Most manufacturers offer different warranties for different amounts of time. A bumper-to-bumper warranty usually will cover most items on your vehicle but last a shorter amount of time, while a power train warranty usually covers fewer parts but lasts longer. Whichever warranty you have on your vehicle is determined by the agreements between the dealer and the manufacturer.

Whether or not you are covered under warranty isn’t as black-and-white as we’d all probably like. When you take your car to a dealership they not only look for the problem, they look for the cause of the problem. If the failure is due to lack of maintenance, an accident, misuse, or any other fault of the driver (and they will look for reasons), you will not be covered. For this reason it is important to check your manual and online resources to find out details specific to your vehicle before taking it into the shop. And for all of you holiday & end-of-year shoppers this December read the fine print! No one likes surprises that can cost a few thousand dollars down the road. Oh, and if you own a Saab, ignore the above. Unfortunately you’re not covered.


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