“Bumper-to-bumper warranty” is a term you often hear when purchasing a new or certified pre-owned vehicle. A bumper-to-bumper, also called a basic, a wrap-around or a front-to-back warranty, is the most comprehensive warranty available to consumers. It typically covers almost every part of the vehicle. Exclusions include regular wear and tear, and the manufacturer usually requires the buyer to comply with routine scheduled maintenance to continue to receive coverage.
Bumper-to-bumper warranties usually last, on average, up to three years or 36,000 miles--whichever comes first. However, some warranties last up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, while some only last up to three months or 3,600 miles. Always review the bumper-to-bumper warranty offer prior to purchasing any vehicle. Once it expires, you become responsible for all repairs and replacement parts your vehicle may need.
Your vehicle’s fuel-injector system is one of the key parts included in your bumper-to-bumper warranty. This covers a vehicle’s entire fuel injector, fuel pump, fuel tank and spark plugs. For vehicles that still use carburetors instead of a fuel injector, the carburetor is covered along with the pump, tank and plugs.
Electrical parts are covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This includes things such as power windows and locks, power steering, power breaks, blinkers and hazards, vehicle sensors, the sound system, the air conditioning/heat system, security system and any other part powered by the car battery.
The car’s safety equipment is also included in a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This encompasses a lot of things, such as the seat belts and/or safety harnesses, airbags and any switch or trigger that activates and deactivates them. The roll cage and/or roll bars are also covered along with any similar equipment meant to reduce or prevent injury.
If you selected additional factory options or upgrades for your vehicle--like a built-in GPS, for example--coverage for these add-ons is included in your bumper-to-bumper warranty. Things such as built-in televisions and DVD players, rear-view monitors, seat warmers, iPod or cell phone systems, USB slots and other add-ons are guaranteed and will be repaired or replaced under your warranty.
Though a bumper-to-bumper warranty is supposed to be all-inclusive, there are certain parts that are explicitly excluded from coverage. Parts that need to be replaced on a regular basis due to normal wear and tear are rarely, if ever, included in a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This includes your vehicle’s tires, brake pads, wiper blades and bulbs for your headlights or brake lights.
- “Consumer Product Guarantees;“ Christian Twigg Flesner; 2003.
Carrie Ferland is a practicing civil litigation defense attorney in the Philadelphia Area. As an author, her work has been featured in various legal publications for over 10 years. Ferland is a 2000 graduate of Pennsylvania State University and completed her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration with the Dickinson School of Law. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in English.