An auto warranty covers mechanical breakdowns, but what about routine maintenance?

When you have a car warranty, many expensive repair bills will be covered in the case of mechanical problems or breakdowns. No matter what type of warranty you own, some of your vehicle’s most important components will be protected – but does a car warranty cover routine maintenance as well?

In this article, we’ll explain what’s covered under car warranties, how to have your car serviced under warranty, and the best car warranty companies for routine maintenance. These recommendations are based on our review of the companies in the industry.

Whether car maintenance is covered or not, vehicle service contracts can give you peace of mind once your expires. It’s a good idea to get quotes from providers to see which coverage plan will work best for you.

In this article:

  • Is Routine Maintenance Covered Under Warranty?
  • What Is Covered Under A Car Warranty?
  • What Is Not Covered Under A Car Warranty?
  • How Do I Service My Car Under Warranty?
  • Best Warranty Companies For Routine Maintenance
  • FAQ: Does A Car Warranty Cover Routine Maintenance?
  • Methodology

Is Routine Maintenance Covered Under Warranty?

In most cases, a used car warranty does not cover routine maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations or replacements, and filter changes. Unless a contract specifically says otherwise, you are responsible for keeping up with scheduled maintenance. You’ll need to have your car serviced regularly to keep the warranty from being voided.

What Is Covered Under A Car Warranty?

can vary greatly, but most cover repairs for a certain period of time or number of miles. A manufacturer’s warranty on a new car will cover a wide range of parts from defects caused by mechanical failures or problems due to poor workmanship, and the term is often 3 years/36,000 miles.

For an , otherwise known as an extended warranty, coverage can be fairly similar to that of a new vehicle limited warranty. Bumper-to-bumper coverage takes care of nearly every major component of your vehicle, while powertrain coverage protects the bare minimum.

In the chart below, we list the warranty terms for popular car manufacturers and mention whether they offer maintenance coverage under separate plans.

Automaker Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Powertrain Warranty Are Maintenance Plans Offered?
Ford 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Hyundai 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
Kia 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
Subaru 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Toyota 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles

What Is Not Covered Under A Car Warranty?

Most car warranties cover certain components but exclude others. After all, your powertrain, corrosion, emissions, and new car warranties don’t cover every car part. Generally, most will not cover the following items:

  • Routine maintenance: Standard needs such as oil changes, tire rotations or replacements, and filter changes
  • Brakes: Inspections or brake pad replacements
  • Normal wear and tear: Issues such as exterior and interior scratches, breaks, or burns
  • Damage: From collisions, natural disasters, or environmental factors
  • Tampering: Issues caused by vandalism, misuse, or modifications

How Do I Service My Car Under Warranty?

If your car is under warranty and you’re performing routine maintenance yourself rather than taking it to a dealership or repair shop, make sure you’re using the proper oil and fluids so you don’t damage the engine or other major powertrain parts.

To cover routine maintenance for a car that’s under warranty, take the following steps to keep your vehicle in good shape:

  • Change oil: Checking your engine oil monthly or having it changed as directed is essential for keeping your engine intact. You can either change the oil yourself or take it to a mechanic.
  • Replace filters: Your car’s air filter needs to be changed at least once a year. If not, it can greatly affect your engine’s performance.
  • Check fluids: Check your brake, transmission, power steering, and coolant fluids for any leaks often. These fluids also must be kept at certain levels to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
  • Replace windshield wipers: Switching out damaged or worn-out windshield wiper blades is necessary to prevent potential damage to the glass or a decrease in visibility during a storm.
  • Check belts, hoses, lights, and brakes: Having these items inspected regularly can ensure your car’s systems are in good condition and working properly.

    Schedule regular tuneups: Taking your vehicle to a licensed mechanic for regular maintenance checkups will allow you to have parts and components other than the powertrain and drivetrain inspected.

Best Warranty Companies For Routine Maintenance

Even though most car warranties don’t cover routine maintenance, there are a few third-party warranty companies that offer maintenance plans for things such as oil changes, brake pad replacements, and tire coverage. Endurance, Protect My Car, , and ForeverCar are a few of the best warranty companies for dealing with routine maintenance needs.

We rated some of the industry’s best used car warranty companies based on factors including coverage, warranty costs, transparency, and customer service. To see how these companies compare, check out our reviews of each provider below.

Warranty Company Overall Rating Coverage Cost Customer Service
Endurance 4.6 4.9 4.5 4.5
Protect My Car 4.3 4.1 4.1 4.5
Olive 4.2 3.7 4.6 3.8
ForeverCar 4.1 3.6 4.2 3.9

Endurance: Best Coverage

Endurance is one of the largest third-party extended warranty companies in the market, and it offers extensive car warranty protection through six coverage levels. reflect the provider’s positive service reputation, as does the company’s gold-level certification from the Vehicle Protection Association.

The EnduranceAdvantage™ plan includes coverage for mechanical breakdowns and maintenance through three levels: Preferred, Plus, and Prime. You can save hundreds on oil changes, engine checks, and brake pad replacements, as well as get access to perks such as roadside assistance, towing, and rental car reimbursement.

Be aware that Endurance does not offer vehicle service contracts in California.

Protect My Car: Best Maintenance Benefits

show that it’s a popular choice for drivers who want car warranties that cover routine maintenance. Offering comprehensive extended warranty coverage at an affordable price point, the company holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.6-star average rating out of 5.0 from customers on Trustpilot.

The company’s Ambassador Maintenance Plans offer discounts of up to 75 percent on oil changes and tire rotations, as well as repairs for timing chains, air conditioning and heating systems, and electrical components. On top of this, Protect My Car’s Ambassador plans include perks such as rental car benefits, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Olive: Best Online Warranty

Olive car warranties don’t cover routine maintenance, but the provider is still worth consideration for its affordable extended warranty plans, which make it easy to cover routine maintenance costs on your own.

reviews reveal satisfaction with the company’s rates and online model, which helps keep prices among the industry’s lowest. With money left over due to Olive’s competitive pricing, motorists could have more to put toward routine maintenance.

ForeverCar: Strong Customer Service

holds a stellar industry reputation and a great selection of coverage options. The company has four vehicle protection plans that range from a nearly complete bumper-to-bumper new car warranty down to a basic powertrain warranty.

With ForeverCar’s Platinum Plus warranty plan, repair costs are covered for both mechanical breakdowns and wear-and-tear items such as windshield wipers, fuses, light bulbs, and brake pads. Deductibles range from $0 to $500, and you have the freedom to choose your preferred repair facility for all covered car repairs.

FAQ: Does A Car Warranty Cover Routine Maintenance?

If my car is under warranty, do I have to pay for the service?

No, you don’t have to pay for services apart from your deductible if the repair or replacement is covered under warranty. If you have a limited or exclusionary warranty, check what it covers before you take your vehicle to the repair shop.

Does a warranty cover preventive maintenance?

Extended warranties and typically don’t include preventive maintenance such as oil changes or replacements for wear-and-tear items such as tires and batteries. Warranty companies such as Endurance, Protect My Car, and ForeverCar offer coverage for routine maintenance, but you’ll have to pay more.

Can you change your own oil under warranty?

You can service your own car and still keep your warranty. Be careful while doing so since you could void the warranty if you cause damage by servicing your vehicle incorrectly.

Is it worth getting your car serviced at a dealership?

Having your vehicle serviced at a car dealership can be convenient, but you don’t have to get it done there. The technicians usually perform fast service, but it tends to cost more than at most licensed repair shops.

Are there warranty companies that cover regular maintenance costs?

There are a few third-party extended warranty companies that include maintenance coverage with certain plans. For example, Protect My Car’s Ambassador Maintenance Plans include coverage for oil changes and tire rotations, and the EnduranceAdvantage plan combines breakdown protection with your routine maintenance needs.

Methodology

In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
  • Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.

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