Certified cars are manufacturer warrantied and typically
go through a rigorous multi-point inspection.
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Powertrain warranties are usually separate from the basic (or bumper-to-bumper) warranties that cover a much broader range of components on new vehicles, and the powertrain coverage typically kicks in after the basic warranty.
For example, new gas-powered Honda and Toyota vehicles come with a three-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty (though some “wear” items, such as brake pads and other parts, have shorter coverage) and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. With both warranties, the coverage ends at either the time or mileage limit, whichever comes first.
Other manufacturers, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, provide basic warranties that include powertrain coverage for four years/50,000 miles.
What is covered by a powertrain warranty varies by manufacturer and vehicle, but they generally include parts such as the engine block and cylinder heads and internal parts; seals and gaskets; timing gears, chains and belts; engine mounts; turbochargers and superchargers; water and fuel pumps; the engine control module; transmission or transaxle cases and internal parts; drive shafts and axle shafts; universal joints; and other drive-system components.
Powertrain warranties typically cover “defects in materials or workmanship” and have exclusions for normal maintenance items and damage caused by accidents; lack of proper maintenance; improper fuels, lubricants or fluids; parts or accessories that don’t meet the manufacturer’s standards; and misuse or abuse (like, say … driving a family sedan on the Rubicon Trail).
Among items not covered by powertrain warranties are suspension and steering parts; brake components; wheels and tires; radiators and hoses; alternators; air-conditioning compressors; and accessory drive belts.
Most manufacturers allow transferring the basic and powertrain warranties to second and subsequent owners. Some, such as Hyundai and Kia, reduce the coverage limits after the first owner. Instead of 10 years/100,000 miles, the powertrain coverage for used Hyundai and Kia vehicles is five years/60,000 miles, same as the basic warranty.
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