Nissan offers average protection across its model line.
Nissan has a long history of offering vehicles with solid value and dependability. This brand is also renowned for exciting sports cars, stylish sport sedans, rugged pickups, and versatile SUVs.
It’s easy enough to compare Nissan vehicles to competitors in terms of performance, fuel economy, and safety features. But with consumers now keeping their vehicles an average of seven years and taking an average of 69 months to pay for them, it’s also critical to look at a brand’s warranty coverage and extended warranty options. Today’s cars are generally better-built and more reliable than their predecessors, but repairs only get more expensive as cars get more sophisticated.
This is just one reason we looked into what Nissan’s factory warranty covers and what extended warranties are available. We’ll take a closer look at the Nissan warranty for 2020, as well as options the brand offers to extend coverage and what third-party extended warranties offer. If you’re seeking added peace of mind with an extended warranty, having this information before buying a car can help you make an informed decision in the dealership.
Third-party warranties can offer better value, and they cover repairs performed not only at Nissan dealers, but also at tens of thousands of repair shops around the country. We looked at the top car warranties from aftermarket providers and ranked them.
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In This Article:
- Nissan’s Warranty Coverage
- What Else Does Nissan’s New Vehicle Warranty Cover?
- What Nissan’s Factory Warranty Doesn't Cover
- Nissan Reliability
- Nissan Repair Costs
- Nissan Extended Warranties
- Recommended Nissan Extended Warranties
Nissan’s Warranty Coverage
In 2018, we studied warranties of 35 brands and ranked them in order of coverage. Nissan’s factory limited warranty ranked 33rd on this list. With 3 years/36,000 miles basic coverage and 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain coverage, it is similar to warranties offered by other mainstream brands.
Nissan offers an electric vehicle, the Leaf, but its 2020 model line has no hybrids. In addition to the Nissan New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the Leaf comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile electric powertrain warranty, while its lithium-ion battery pack is covered by its own 96-month/100,000-mile warranty.
Where Nissan’s factory warranty falls a bit short compared to some others is in roadside assistance, which runs 3 years/36,000 miles. Some mainstream brands, including Ford and Chevrolet, extend their roadside assistance to the same 5-years/60,000-miles as their powertrain warranties.
That’s not necessarily a reason to choose one brand over another, but it is something to put on your calendar as a reminder. Your insurance company may offer roadside assistance, and you can add it with a service like AAA. Nissan’s extended warranties, as well as third-party warranties, also include this useful service.
As with all other brands, there is federally mandated coverage for emission control systems and seatbelts. The emission control warranty is more extensive in California and states that follow California’s emissions regulations. In any case, the Nissan catalytic converter warranty is for 8 years/80,000 miles, and the engine control module is also covered under this term.
What Else Does Nissan’s New Vehicle Warranty Cover?
Like most new-vehicle warranties, Nissan’s 2020 warranty is pretty straightforward. The company will make repairs “needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship of all parts and components of each new Nissan.” As with other warranties, there’s a fairly short list of things that aren’t covered.
Nissan’s factory warranty includes “Adjustment Coverage” for 12 months/12,000 miles. Examples of covered operations within this period include wheel alignment and wheel balancing. Batteries for the Intelligent Key and remote-entry key fobs are covered for 12 months, and even the original windshield wiper blade inserts are covered for 6 months.
Other Nissan warranties include:
- Vehicle battery: Coverage under warranty is on a pro-rata basis. That is, Nissan will pay for a new battery if it fails within the first 24 months of service, and then lesser amounts from there, up to 84 months (7 years).
- Vehicle tires: Each of Nissan’s tire suppliers provides its own warranty, described in Nissan’s warranty booklet.
- Accessories: The drop-in bed liners for Nissan pickup trucks and hitch- and roof-mounted carriers are covered by separate warranties from their respective manufacturers.
- Corrosion protection: Nissans coverage for corrosion perforation goes for 60 months regardless of mileage, but it specifically does not cover the exhaust system. Also, any corrosion of exterior trim, such as body moldings, lasts for just 12 months/12,000 miles
What Nissan’s Factory Warranty Doesn't Cover
Like many other carmakers’ warranties, Nissan’s warranty does not cover normal maintenance items, including worn brake discs and pads. Also like most companies, Nissan also include a list of activities for which any resulting damage will not be repaired under the warranty. These are similar to what you’ll see on other brands’ warranties, but there are some interesting references in Nissan’s warranty that bear mentioning.
As one example, the 2020 Nissan Altima Owner’s Manual makes numerous references to using the car for towing but does not provide any specifications, such as a trailer weight limit. If you plan to use a Nissan vehicle to tow a trailer, check with your dealer first.
Damage caused by these activities also are not covered by the Nissan factory warranty:
- Racing and competitive driving
- Repairs performed by anyone other than a Nissan dealer
- Damage caused by any automated or manually operated car wash or by using a pressure washer
- Installation of non-Nissan approved accessories or components
In terms of vehicle reliability, and you can see how Nissan measures up against other brands in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. In the 2019 edition, which covers 3-year-old vehicles, Nissan ranked 16th out of 32 brands. Its 137 problems per vehicle falls just below the industry average of 136. It was better than Honda (146), Mazda (159), and Acura (171). Keep in mind, however, that this rating is for the entire brand. For reliability information on individual Nissan models, Consumer Reports is a good resource.
The Nissan GT-R: A Special Case
Affectionately known by its owners and fans as “Godzilla,” the Nissan GT-R is a limited-production, high-performance sports car that performs in the same league as top Porsches, but at a much lower price. That still means an MSRP of $113,540. Nissan sells about 400 per year, so this is not a big group. But owners are passionate about power and performance.
The GT-R has its own warranty booklet, and while most of the coverage is the same as for other Nissan models, there are some notable exceptions:
- Racing: Nissan is more specific and emphatic about racing in the GT-R warranty, stating that damage will not be covered if it results from “racing and/or competitive driving of any sort whatsoever, and/or use on a track or driving on any airstrip.”
- Dynamometer tests: GT-R owners like to run their cars on a dynamometer to see if the engine is putting out the 565 horsepower Nissan claims (600 hp in the NISMO edition). Any damage caused while running the car on a dynamometer will not be covered, unless the purpose was to test for emissions compliance.
- Dealer checkups: To keep the GT-R’s warranty valid, Nissan requires that owners return to a Nissan GT-R Certified dealer for free Performance Optimization Services at the first 1,000 miles, and then at the 12-, 24-, and 36-month milestones. Nissan says GT-R owners can have this service performed at a “qualified repair facility,” but at their own cost.
Nissan Repair Costs
The need for potentially expensive repairs becomes more likely as a vehicle ages. Most new car buyers are likely to still be making loan payments after the original factory warranty expires. So, it pays to consider some typical repair costs of some older Nissan models. At RepairPal, you can enter any model and view repair costs for many repairs and vehicle services. Here’s a sampling of what common Nissan repairs could run you.
|2016 Nissan Pathfinder||Replace cylinder head gasket||$1,714–$2,134|
|2016 Nissan Sentra||Replace starter||$664–$742|
|2014 Nissan Altima (V6)||Replace water pump||$489–$652|
|2013 Nissan Murano||Replace power seat control module||$562–$580|
- Steering: $1,272
- Transmission: $3,325
- Air conditioning: $915
- Brake caliper: $455
- Fuel pump: $607
Nissan Extended Warranties
You may be considering getting an extended warranty. Nissan offers its own Security+Plus Extended Protection Plans for new and pre-owned vehicles. Three plans, called Powertrain Preferred, Silver Preferred, and Gold Preferred, are offered with a choice of $0 or $100 deductibles for covered repairs. These warranty plans are transferable to future buyers, should you sell the vehicle.
The Powertrain Preferred plan covers far more than the engine and transmission and includes:
- Front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive components
- Suspension system components
- Fuel injection system
- Electrical components, including starter, alternator, ignition system parts, and more
- Air conditioning system
- Brakes (certain components)
- Roadside assistance
To that coverage, Silver Preferred adds more than 690 more items, including a long list of electrical and electronic systems and components throughout the vehicle. In addition, Silver Preferred provides additional benefits, including:
- Trip interruption reimbursement for repairs needed more than 100 miles from home
- Car rental assistance
- Towing allowance
The Gold Preferred plan, Nissan explains, covers virtually all major components, except for normal maintenance services and a few parts listed in the contract.
Once you choose your Nissan extended warranty plan, you next select from among 20 options for mileage and time intervals, ranging from 24 months/40,000 miles to 96 months/120,000 miles.
Keep in mind that with a Nissan extended warranty, you are locked in to having covered repairs performed at a Nissan dealer. In a mechanical breakdown situation, you need to have the vehicle towed to a Nissan dealership for repairs.
Recommended Nissan Extended Warranties
Fortunately, if you do want an extended warranty with your Nissan, you do not need to purchase it when you buy your car, pickup, or SUV. You can buy one of Nissan’s plans any time before the original 36-month/36,000-mile factory warranty expires.
That gives you plenty of time to evaluate your options, including third-party warranties. Benefits of such contracts include:
- Purchase an extended warranty after the Nissan factory warranty expires
- Lower cost than the factory extended warranties
- Wide choice of coverage plans
- Choice of tens of thousands of repair facilities, including Nissan dealers
- Other benefits like those of the Nissan extended warranties, including roadside assistance, trip interruption reimbursement, and towing and rental car allowances
Among companies we looked at, our top four include:
CARCHEX, for example, can offer coverage up to 10 years and 150,000 miles. Like the Nissan extended warranties, aftermarket warranties have some exclusions. CARCHEX, for one, will let you view a sample contract online before you buy, so you can see exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Before deciding on an extended warranty for a Nissan, you can get a quote from any of our recommended extended warranty providers, either by phone or online.