7 Best Aftermarket Auto Warranty Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Sometimes called an “aftermarket car warranty” or “vehicle service contract,” an extended auto warranty kicks in after your initial warranty has expired and is intended to offset the costs of expensive repairs after your vehicle’s standard manufacturer’s warranty expires. Compare what the best-extended auto warranty companies have to offer.

Top 7 Aftermarket Auto Warranty

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R2 COB H10 9045 9145 8000LM LED Fog Driving Light, Halogen Fog Bulb Replacement, 6500K Xenon White, 1 Pair- 1 Year Warranty
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What is included in an extended car warranty?

Not all extended auto warranties cover the vehicle from bumper to bumper, so it’s important to understand what is and is not covered by different companies when buying an extended auto warranty. Brakes, cooling systems, and electronic components are just a few examples of services that may or may not be covered. Be sure to read the fine print and choose a plan with the coverage you actually need.

Most warranties do not cover damage to your car’s interior, paint or other issues resulting from normal wear and tear. Wear-and-tear plans cover the difference, often including tires. These auto protection plans may be especially appealing to those leasing a vehicle because they’ll be responsible for the cost of these repairs when the lease ends. Read the terms carefully and understand precisely what will be covered.

Part of any vehicle service contract agreement is understanding that the vehicle owner will perform routine maintenance recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Failing to do so could void your contract. Typical maintenance responsibilities required by most vehicle service contracts include:

  • Oil changes: A single delayed oil change is unlikely to void a warranty, but repeated misses could leave a car owner facing a full bill on a major system repair.
  • Changing filters: Bad filters can cause build-up that impacts the engine, transmission, intake and other important systems. It is important to change filters regularly.
  • System checks and service schedule: Regular testing and visual inspections can catch problems before they become major hazards. They are typically included in the recommended maintenance schedule.
  • Using recommended gasoline types: Every vehicle requires a certain octane rating to help its engine get its best life and performance. Using the wrong or lower octane rating than is specified can cause engine damage and a voided warranty.

Often, vehicle service contracts or extended auto warranties purchased separately from the manufacturer’s warranty cannot be used for 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes later, after they are purchased. This policy prevents people from buying a vehicle service contract only after a problem develops.

Types of car warranties

Bumper-to-bumper extended warranty
Covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems, and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top-offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions. Often called an exclusionary warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy, bumper-to-bumper or new-vehicle warranties usually expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain warranty
Typically covers the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seatbelts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don’t cover regular maintenance like engine tune-ups and tire rotations.

Drivetrain warranty
Covers transmission, driveshaft, axles, and wheels, but does not cover the engine. A drivetrain warranty will usually last for longer than a powertrain warranty.

Car maintenance warranty
Optional extended service or coverage for air filters, oil changes, tune-ups, and similar items. Make sure to read all the details if you are purchasing this package. Sometimes included with new car purchases, maintenance packages are usually available from both dealerships and as additions to a vehicle service contract.

Wear-and-tear plans
Coverage for damage to upholstery, interior, paint coverage and cleaning or other issues resulting from normal use. These auto protection plans may be especially appealing to those leasing a vehicle because they’ll be responsible for the cost of these repairs when the lease ends.

Performance warranty
Repair or adjust emission controls for at least two years or 24,000 miles if the car fails an emissions test. Design and defect warranties cover at least two years or 24,000 miles if emission controls fail independently of a test. Major components like catalytic converters and engine control modules are covered for performance and defects for eight years or 80,000 miles. On some items, California residents are eligible for additional coverage.

Factory accessories warranty
Covers everything from a high-end audio system to an engine modification from a manufacturer’s performance wing. Most automakers cover accessories for one to three years or the remainder of the bumper-to-bumper warranty, whichever is shorter. Be sure to check out all the specifics; modifying the accessories after they’ve been installed can void your coverage.

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