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Understanding Your Car’s Warranty

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Thinking of buying a car? Understand the warranty?

This year’s Lamborghini Veneno has a ticket price of $3.9 million and a maximum speed of 221 miles per hour…which makes you wonder: what’s covered when you crash it?

Figuring out what’s covered in a warranty and whether you should buy an extended one is maddening when you’re buying a car.

You may be offered a powertrain warranty. That means it covers the system that powers the car – the engine, transmission, and drive train. It will be in terms of years and miles – 3 years, 100,000 miles – and that will expire by whatever comes first, the 3 years or the 100,000 miles.

You could also hear of a bumper to bumper warranty, that covers other parts of the car, like air conditioning, power steering, etc. But the name is misleading – it doesn’t cover everything – like the things likeliest to wear out: brake pads, windshield wipers, light bulbs for example are often excluded.

If you’re thinking of getting an extended warranty, the devil is in the details. Because some may not last any longer than what you get when you buy the car. And some limit your choice of repair shops. So always ask for an explanation in plain English: when does this expire? Are brakes covered? Maintenance? And remember that you don’t have to buy it at the time you buy the car.

But if you’d like further details on the warranty, pick me up in your Lamborghini and I’ll be happy to explain.

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