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Warranty coverage can protect your wallet from hefty repair bills, but figuring out where to get your car serviced can be a bit confusing. Depending on what kind of warranty you have, your options may be limited.

So where can you use your car warranty coverage? We’ll break down the difference between a factory warranty and an extended warranty to help you determine where to use your coverage. Our team has researched the best extended car warranty companies – like CarShield – to help you figure out which mechanics you can use under your warranty coverage.

 

In this article:


What Is A Car Warranty?

There are two main types of car warranties: a factory warranty and an extended warranty. A factory warranty comes from the manufacturer and is standard with all new cars. It covers the cost of repairs and parts replacement due to defective parts or poor workmanship for a certain time frame or vehicle mileage limit. 

Extended warranties can be purchased from a manufacturer or a third-party provider to lengthen your car’s coverage. A manufacturer extended warranty must be purchased before your factory coverage expires, and some must be bought at the same time you buy your vehicle. However, an aftermarket extended warranty can be purchased at any point.

What Repairs Does A Car Warranty Cover? 

Factory warranties usually contain both bumper-to-bumper coverage and powertrain coverage, though the term lengths may vary depending on the type of protection. On the other hand, third-party extended warranties offer tiers of coverage, allowing you to choose the plan that best suits your needs.

While factory warranties generally cover most repairs and parts replacements, extended warranties cover the repairs outlined by the level of coverage you purchase. Routine maintenance such as oil changes and wear-and-tear components such as brake pads, spark plugs, and tires are almost always excluded from both factory and extended warranty coverage.

Here’s a breakdown of what bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties cover:

Type of Warranty Warranty Coverage
Bumper-to-bumper warranty This covers almost all of your vehicle’s mechanical and electrical components.
Powertrain warranty Less comprehensive than bumper-to-bumper protection, this plan covers repairs on the parts of your car that make it move: the drivetrain, engine, and transmission.
 

Where Can I Use My Warranty Coverage?

Your options for repair shops will likely be fairly limited while your car is still under factory warranty. Factory warranties typically require you to take your car back to the dealership for service. In some cases, the factory warranty will allow you to take your car to another participating dealership and a select few repair shops.

Most aftermarket extended warranties allow you to take your car to any repair shop certified by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®), which includes about 1,500 repair facilities nationwide. You can still take your car to the dealership as well, but if your local repair shop is ASE-certified, you’ll be able to bring your vehicle to your neighborhood mechanic.

Read the fine print on your warranty contract so you’re aware of all your options when looking for a repair shop.


CarShield Extended Warranties

If you’re looking for affordably priced extended warranty coverage, CarShield is an excellent choice. The popular extended warranty company offers lengthy coverage terms at economical prices. CarShield’s plans can cover vehicles up to 300,000 miles, and many have monthly payments of around $99. In our CarShield review, our team gave the extended warranty provider the Best Value award and rated it 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.

CarShield Warranty Plans

CarShield warranties can help protect you from costly repair bills, but the covered repairs differ depending on plan. Below is a list of CarShield’s six coverage levels:

CarShield Plan What It Covers
Diamond CarShield’s most comprehensive plan covers almost all vehicle components, except what’s listed as excluded. Exclusions include wear-and-tear items, hoses, and belts.
Platinum CarShield’s highest level of inclusionary coverage protects parts of the engine, transmission, steering, and electrical system, and more.
Gold CarShield’s enhanced powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, drive axle, alternator, starter, and more.
Silver CarShield’s most affordable extended warranty, this basic powertrain plan covers your car’s transmission, drive axle, and water pump.
Aluminum This CarShield plan is designed for luxury vehicles with complex electronic systems. It covers power-seat control, voice activation control, sensors, and GPS.
Motorcycle & ATV This CarShield plan protects motorcycles and ATVs.
 

Additional Benefits Of CarShield Extended Warranties

In addition to covering the cost of auto repairs and parts replacement, CarShield warranty plans come with extra benefits, including:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Towing
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Trip interruption reimbursement
  • Choice of any ASE-certified repair shop

Finding A Repair Shop

Another benefit of a CarShield extended warranty is its Shield Repair Network, which helps you find reputable, certified repair shops in your area. The Shield Repair Network collects and publishes information about repair shops in CarShield’s network, helping customers choose the right mechanic for their needs.

Here are some of the advantages of using the Shield Repair Network:

  • Access to CarShield’s customer service team
  • Use of the repair facility locator within the CarShield app
  • Search function filters to show repair shops within a 5-, 10-, 25-, or 50-mile radius of your location
  • Faster claims processing
  • Peace of mind from knowing your repairs are done by trustworthy mechanics
 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use a car warranty?

When you experience a mechanical problem, you can take your car to a repair shop for service. If the problem is covered by your warranty, the warranty provider will pay the repair shop directly or reimburse you for the cost. Under a factory warranty, you’ll most likely be required to take your vehicle to the dealership. Under an extended warranty, you can take your car to the dealership as well as any in-network, certified mechanics.

Can I use my car warranty anywhere?

Where you can take your car for covered repairs depends on whether your car is under a factory warranty or if you’ve purchased a third-party extended warranty. Factory warranties usually restrict the use of the warranty to the dealership, whereas many aftermarket extended warranties generally cover repairs at any ASE-certified repair shop.

Does a car warranty cover accidental damage?

No, a car warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage, but your insurance policy might. Your car warranty only covers repairs and parts replacement for issues due to mechanical breakdowns or poor workmanship.

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