Car warranties simplified

On paper, a car warranty is your best bet against big service and repair bills. In reality, however, there are loads of fine print.

Every new car, irrespective of the make or model, is sold with a standard warranty. Most new car buyers expect the warranty to ensure peace of mind and a hassle-free ownership experience. The vehicle warranty does keep you safe from any expensive bills that may arise due to any manufacturing or material defect, but that’s only the big picture. 

The warranty is basically assumed to be a written assurance that a car’s parts will work as promised for a certain period. This, however, doesn’t exactly hold true. In reality, it’s a promise to fix or repair your car, or specifically, the parts covered under the warranty. And that, of course, is only if you fulfill certain ‘obligations’. But the warranty is quite complicated and full of legal jargon. So, to make it easier to digest, we’ve got answers to some frequently asked questions here that should help.

What is a standard new car warranty?

A new car warranty is a guarantee from the company that it will repair or replace, without any charge to the vehicle owner, any part (covered) that fails prematurely owing to a manufacturing defect. So, it is the most important document that you need when something goes wrong with your car. Although this sounds good on paper, all car owners must carefully read the small print to get an understanding of the actual parts that are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. 

What parts does it cover?

Usually, all new car warranties cover the mechanical and electrical components. However, certain parts that are prone to wear like brake pads, clutch and pressure plates, bulbs and parts made from rubber like pipes are exempt from warranty as they are cited to be exposed to regular wear and tear. It basically means that these parts could have worn out prematurely due to the harsh operating conditions (driving regularly in heavy traffic or humid climate) or bad driving habits (keeping the clutch engaged while the car is stationary in traffic) and not because of any manufacturing defect.

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Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017

Check out our exclusive drive of the new BMW 5-series in India, and in a Porsche special, the 718 Boxster. There's also a shootout between the new Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Ignis and the Mahindra...
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