5 Most Asked Vehicle Warranty Questions

April 29th, 2015 by


Every new car and truck sold in Canada comes with a warranty of some kind. Powertrain, bumper-to-bumper, protection plans and extended warranties … it can seem confusing. If you are like many new vehicle owners, you’ve probably wondered what these warranties cover and exactly what it all means.

Well, grab a coffee, pull up a chair and let’s talk!

In the General Motors vehicle line up, the Buick manufacturer warranty covers four years or 80,000 kms in the New Vehicle Limited Warranty and a six-year or 110,000 Powertrain Warranty. With GMC vehicles, the New Vehicle Limited Warranty is three years or 60,000 kms and five-year/160,000 Powertrain coverage. There’s more to it, but let’s start here:

1. Does a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty really include everything?

That’s easy! The answer is yes … and no.

Don’t let other dealers fool you with convincing phrases like “bumper to bumper.” There’s no such thing! Here’s the real scoop: The phrase “bumper to bumper” is a simple way of describing, in layman’s terms, how the vehicle you’ve purchased is protected by the manufacturer (it’s actually called the New Vehicle Limited Warranty) for a defined length of time and mileage, whichever comes first.

What’s Covered:

Not a comprehensive listing, but generally you’ll find these components are guaranteed:

Front or rear wheel drive: the drive and axle housing, internal parts, axle shafts and bearings, CV and universal joints, wheel bearings, and more. The coverage of drive components is also extended to the Powertrain warranty.

Steering: this encompasses parts relating to steering function like gear housing, steering shafts, couplings, hoses, seals and gaskets, among other parts.

Suspension: includes control arms, ball joints, springs and other stabilizer and suspension elements.

Heating and air conditioning (HVAC): the parts relating to your A/C unit include compressors, condenser, evaporator, switches, blower motor, hoses and seals.

Electrical: the coverage of this category can include the starter motor, alternator, instrument panel circuit boards, wiper motors, washer pump, some switches, body computer/control module, airbag module and sensors, ignition module, lamp sockets, relays and backup sensors.

Brakes: the warranty covers the brake system including cylinders, booster, hydraulic lines, disc calipers, pump motor assembly and accumulator, and ABS components, switches and sensors.

Entertainment and comfort: these more “high tech” features include factory radio/CD or music elements, speakers, power locks and windows, seat motors, power mirrors, climate control programmers, video entertainment systems, OnStar® system, keyless entry systems, heads-up display components, anti-theft systems and sunroof mechanisms, where applicable.

Body and interior: Interior features include seat belt retractors, glove box locks, seat adjusters, door handles, lock cylinders, fibre optic illumination to switches and gauges, heating and A/C duct assemblies.


What Isn’t Covered:

A vehicle can have over 13,000 parts so, as you can tell, a lot more is actually covered by your warranty than not! However, you should note that items with daily wear and tear are generally not part of the overall warranty, such as:

  • Regular, all-season or winter tires
  • Standard maintenance items like oil, filters, wiper blades, transmission fluids, sparkplugs, lightbulbs, batteries, etc.
  • Brake pads and related friction materials that wear down with use
  • Clutch wear components
  • Windshields, glass and mirrors
  • Shock absorbers and struts

And, funnily enough, your bumper may not be actually covered in a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, depending on the situation, so be sure to ask your Service Advisor!

2. What is a Powertrain, anyway?

The word “powertrain” refers to the engine and transmission system of your vehicle – the moving parts that make it “go.” The Powertrain (or Drivetrain, as it’s sometimes called) warranty is in addition the New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and includes repair to the engine, transmission and drive components.

What’s Covered:

Engine: specifically, cylinder block, internally lubricated parts, timing gears and covers, flywheel, manifolds, coolant and fuel pumps, valve covers, oil pan, engine mount, seals and gaskets.

Transmission/ transaxle: includes case, transaxle parts, torque converter, transmission mounts, seals, gaskets and shift indicator.

Front or rear wheel drive: the drive and axle housing, internal parts, axle shafts and bearings, CV and universal joints, wheel bearings, and more. The coverage of drive components is extended from the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

What Isn’t Covered:

  • Friction materials that wear down with use
  • Clutch wear components
  • Parts made from rubber materials, like hoses or cooler lines

You can ask your Service Advisor what is specifically covered for your vehicle.

3. What should I look for in a warranty?

New car warranties today can offer benefits beyond the traditional coverage. At Mills Motors, we are proud that all our new vehicles also come with these valuable programs in addition to our already great GM guarantees, including:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Courtesy transportation
  • Rust perforation coverage
  • An emission warranty that includes catalytic converters and powertrain control modules

Conditions and limitations may apply. Your Service Advisor can provide the details for your vehicle.

4. What might void my warranty?

Like anything you buy that comes with a warranty, it can be invalidated depending on the way it is treated. If you hack your smartphone with unauthorized software or take your computer apart to repair it yourself, chances are that when they doesn’t work after that, the warranty no longer applies. The same principles goes for your vehicle.

  • Keep up with regular oil changes, scheduled maintenance, and stay on top of minor repairs.
  • Don’t abuse your vehicle. Don’t drive it into the lake because the GPS told you to. Don’t try to tow something beyond its capacity. Don’t let the lions at the safari park climb onto your hood and then wonder why the subsequent dents aren’t covered. Just don’t. You know the difference between use and abuse.
  • Love monster trucks? Don’t try to create your own. Any modification of your vehicle may result in the warranty being voided. Don’t modify the suspension, but go right ahead and add those awesome pinstripes. When in doubt, check with the Parts department to be sure you’re using GM-approved parts and accessories.

Is your vehicle due for maintenance?

5. Should I upgrade my factory warranty with an extended warranty and protection plans?

That depends:

  • Is your car the means to your livelihood? Do you need a reliable vehicle every day?
  • Any vehicle is an expensive purchase; do you need yours to last as long as possible and stay in the best of condition?
  • Are you interested in a great re-sale value, eventually?
  • Do you sleep better at night knowing you are covered for many unexpected expenses?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions, then you should probably consider it.

Additionally, it makes sense to ensure that your vehicle is covered by a warranty for the duration of your terms of financing. If your manufacturer’s warranty covers you for three years but you have financed your vehicle for seven years, why not extend your coverage to give you worry-free driving by matching the length of warranty to your financing term period?

Extended Warranty

New Buick and GMC vehicles are eligible for extended coverage under the General Motors Protection Plan (GMPP) that can be purchased at the time of sale or during the New Vehicle Limited Warranty period. It allows you to extend your full New Vehicle Limited Warranty coverage up to a total period of seven years or 160,000 kms.

As well as providing peace of mind over a lengthier period, your GMPP can be transferred from your current vehicle to the next one should you choose to change vehicles before the warranty is up! This can also potentially increase your trade-in value.

Protection Plans

You’ve invested a lot in your vehicle so why not take the extra steps to keep it in top shape over the years with a selection of protection packages that can safeguard it from rust, paint and fabric damage? We also provide the option for a certified service maintenance plan, and can even offer insurance packages too. You can pick and choose the options that best suit your needs.

Still have questions about New Vehicle warranties, protection plans or just want to know if your vehicle is covered?

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