What does Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Not Cover? Briefly Discussed

Having a bumper-to-bumper warranty for your new or used car is peace of mind, but it is not always ideal. It can reduce your expenses for some repairs while it doesn’t cover accidents or abuse. So, before signing the documents, you will need to know what does bumper-to-bumper warranty not cover.

The coverage length and depth differ from car maker to maker and vehicle to vehicle. Generally, some items are not covered in the bumper-to-bumper warranty, like wear and tear-prone parts, the engine, batteries, entertainment systems, rust, etc.

I discussed the limitations of manufacturer defect warranty in this guide briefly. Continue reading to learn more.

What does Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Not Cover?

Bumper-to-bumper is a manufacturer-recall warranty. Although bumper-to-bumper warranties cover mechanical errors and manufacturing defects, they have a few exceptions.

Dents and damage due to collision, defects in the interior trim, turn signals, brake lights, modifications done by the owner, weather-related repairs, etc., are excluded from the vehicle service contract.

The Powertrain

The car engine is categorized as a powertrain. Vehicles come with a powertrain warranty which is entirely different from a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Warranty for engine, drivetrain, transmission, drive axles, and other elements are under the powertrain warranty and doesn’t officially include a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Normal Wear & Tear

Regular wear and tear of some car parts are common. Exclusionary coverage will only pay the replacement or repair cost if any parts get damaged before the schedule.

For example, the service life of brake pads is 25,000 – 70,000 miles based on the car model. Replacing the brake pads between this schedule is expected. The bumper-to-bumper warranty will not pay for the replacement. So, you will have to pay the cost completely.

However, if your brake pads fail just after 10,000 miles because of a manufacturer error, the carmaker will cover the cost of the new pads.

The same logic is common for wiper blades, tires, etc.

Modifications Can Void the Warranty

Makers and engineered car parts work together perfectly. So, the warranty will certainly be void if you change, replace or modify any car parts.

Modifications work in both subtle and obvious ways.

For instance, adding a lift kit to your car will definitely void the warranty. Even installing a run-flat tire in your vehicle can make the warranty null.

On the other hand, if a part that falls under the factory contract gets defective due to the modification of another component and you ask for a repair cost, the manufacturer will look for the cause of the defect first. In case they find the malfunction happens due to modification, the warranty will be canceled.

Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

Specific periodic maintenance tasks are mandatory for every car. These maintenance works are described in the car manuals.

Routine maintenance is not covered by car warranties. More importantly, if you fail to maintain the manufacturer-recommended maintenance and any parts get damaged, the bumper-to-bumper will be void.

However, a few manufacturers, like Hyundai, added regular maintenance plans upon buying a car from the recommended dealer.

But many carmakers offer factory contract coverage separately.             

Abnormal Use of the Car

The bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t cover non-standard uses like off-road or racing your car. Moreover, towing or hauling more than your car requirement is also listed under abnormal use.

In addition, some trucks and SUVs are typically manufactured off-road. But the warranty can be void if you drive in the unusual tracks. For this reason, use as your manufacturer regarding the warranty terms and regulations if you plan to buy Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, or other off-road oriented cars.

Manufacturers who sell several off-road vehicles don’t usually prefer rejecting bumper-to-bumper warranties. But defects caused by the trails won’t be covered by the warranty.

Interior Finishes

Similar to all other car warranties, trim pieces, glass, vehicle upholstery, cabin surfaces, etc., are excluded from the bumper-to-bumper warranty. The reason is this warranty covers the manufacturer’s fault only.

Let’s say if your car seat belt malfunctions, it will be covered. But, if ink or pet stains on the seat or holes in the car’s leather, there will not be considered a production fault. For such defects, a vehicle service contract is inapplicable.

But design flaws, peeling, or cracking in the finishes are under warranty. In this case, don’t be late to contact the dealership to fix the problems. 

Roadside Assistance

While having the manufacturer defect warranty, don’t expect to get roadside assistance. This warranty provides free repairs and replacement for manufacturer defects for a certain period that doesn’t mean you will get towing or hauling benefits when your car goes wrong in the middle of the road.

Entertainment Systems

Modern cars are filled with an enormous amount of technologies and features like touch screens, DVD players, stereo systems, and many more.

However, like roadside assistance, the factory contract service does not cover entertainment systems.

But some manufacturers offer bumper-to-bumper warranty for built-in factory stereo systems for a limited time. As a result, it is always best to choose a certified dealer who can refer you for a specialized repair when required.

Rust and Corrosion

Generally, the bumper-to-bumper warranty covers rust and corrosion defects. However, there is a condition. The rust mustn’t have happened because of the driver.

Rust and corrosion due to tree sap, salt, hail, or sand are out of the manufacturer’s defect warranty. Additionally, scratches or rust from gravel or stones are also excluded.


Car batteries are out of bumper-to-bumper warranty. In fact, they have their own coverage. Traditionally, the car battery’s warranty is shorter than the factory standard contract. Usually, the period is 24,000 miles or 2 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is bumper-to-bumper full coverage?

No, bumper-to-bumper doesn’t offer full coverage. This warranty covers manufacturer recalls or defects in suspension, steering, braking, electrical, heating and cooling, fuel delivery systems, etc. 
On the other hand, it doesn’t cover regular maintenance, normal wear and tear, brake pads, wiper blades, tire rotation, etc.

How do bumper-to-bumper warranties work?

The other name of the bumper-to-bumper warranty is a vehicle service contract, covering all replacement and repairs from the front bumper to the rear bumper without cost due to manufacturer faults. For instance, if your car air conditioning fails for any defective incorporated parts, the problem will be fixed at zero charges.

Is bumper-to-bumper similar to insurance?

Many car owners think that bumper-to-bumper is similar to insurance, but this is a misconception. Car Insurance covers damage to theft, weather, accidents, or other similar factors. While bumper-to-bumper covers manufacturer defects.

Are recall repairs free?

Yes, recall repairs are free with zero time limits.

Final Words

Hopefully, all your confusion regarding the question of what does bumper-to-bumper warranty not cover is eliminated.

If you want peace of mind after buying a new or used car, there is no other good warranty option than a vehicle service contract.

Although this policy has some limitations that may dishearten you, there are several positives to consider. Car makers always want to make their cars as reliable as possible, and a bumper-to-bumper warranty makes a car dependable on the road.

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