What Your Dealership Won’t Tell You About Your Lifetime Warranty

vehicle lifetime warranty

What Is Covered Under Powertrain Warranty?

A Powertrain warranty (also referred to as a Drivetrain or Lifetime Warranty) is designed for older or high-mileage vehicles.

It covers the problems that are most costly and common with these types of vehicles, otherwise known as “big-ticket” items. This generally means your engine and transmission, and will often also include your drive axles.

Be aware that not every Powertrain or Lifetime Warranty is created equal, and they’re also not right for every vehicle.

The Inside Scoop on Lifetime Warranties

If you’ve ever been offered one of these by your dealership when buying a new car, that was actually what’s called a Powertrain warranty. With a “Lifetime” or “Limited Lifetime Warranty” there are limitations on how many repairs they will actually pay for, and they are often not transferable to a new owner.

A Powertrain Warranty is a good choice if you’re driving an old or high-mileage vehicle, since it protects the parts that are most expensive to fix and costs less than full bumper to bumper coverage.

If You’re Driving An Older or High-Mileage Luxury Vehicle

Be aware that if you’re driving a luxury vehicle such as a Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Range Rover, etc., the cap on a Powertrain warranty may mean that you’ll still be paying a substantial amount for repairs out of pocket, since they are much more expensive to fix than your average vehicle.

Our recommendation for those driving high-mileage luxury vehicles is to either:

  • Trade it in when it’s no longer under warranty


  • Get a quality warranty that covers most or all of the vehicle. It will be costly if it’s available, but can save you thousands of dollars when you end up using it. We’ve seen major repairs on high-end cars run upwards of $7000-8000.

If you’re buying an older model luxury vehicle, or one that has over 50,000 miles, think very carefully, and know that if someone is offering you a “lifetime warranty” at that stage in the game, they’re most likely being deceptive. If you can’t afford to either pay for major repairs on your own or put a good warranty on it, that particular car might not be the best buying decision for you at this time. Consider a less costly model, or see if you can’t find one that is still under warranty.

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