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Warranties on Hybrid Cars

Jun 27, 2008
Warranties are perpetually a blessing and a pain when it comes to any major appliance, and cars these days are no different. Thankfully, with these new hybrid cars running around, the warranties on hybrids are typically better than gas-powered vehicles, and one reason is that you are paying so much more for them upfront, as well as the fact that manufacturers have enough faith in the actual value of hybrid cars, especially in the long run. To be blunt, the manufacturers don't honestly think that the car is going to need repairs during the warranty period, because the parts are meant to last. That doesn't always happen, though, and it's important to look at what exactly you're in for.

1. What's Actually Covered - Okay, so, let's figure out what's actually covered in your warranty. For most standard warranties on hybrids, the actual battery pack, as well as the hybrid's parts are under warranty for 100,000 miles or 8 years, and if you're lucky, as far as 150,000 miles or 10 years. That depends on the state where you buy the car and live in, but either way, this at least covers when parts go bad for no apparent reason, or something happens to fail in a bizarre way. Even manufacturer defects are covered. Many other hybrids also have an additional warranty which is standard, giving you much of the same warranty coverage like a conventional vehicle, which is about 3 years.

If you're lucky, you might have the power train warranty, which takes care of items like the engine, seat belts, airbags, and even the front-wheel and rear-wheel drives, and tends to last around 5 years. The major thing to look out for is that most warranties assume you'll at least travel 12,000 miles, and that is per year. If you don't actually take advantage of that, you'll lose money and will be wasting the money you spent on your warranty.

2. The Really Fine Print - Okay, so, here's the tricky and sucky part. Not everything is covered on your warranty, and so you need to be sure you actually take good car of a hybrid vehicle. Otherwise, when you suddenly forget to find a mechanic in the area, then that snowballed into forgetting to chance the oil for an entire year, well, you're probably out of luck.

3. Should I Keep Going - The last question is to figure out if you even really think it'll be worth picking up a hybrid and then getting the warranty in the first place. Thankfully, when you buy a hybrid, the extended warranty is a blessing, especially if that battery pack you're expecting to last forever happens to fail right at the 100,001 mark. The hard part is that the extended warranty may cover your battery problem, but look out at how expensive it could be up front. The dealer, the type of warranty, and even information about yourself may be incredibly important in trying to figure out which warranty to get.

Thankfully, many of the extended warranties are actually worth the money. Just make sure not to go with dealer-specific warranties, non-transferable warranties, non-refundable warranties and any program that says you need to pay them right upfront. Also, be sure that if you buy a warranty, it'll allow you to go to a licensed mechanic in your area, as the last thing you want is to find out that you don't have anywhere to repair it from.

A word to the wise, though: While a warranty is a great safety net, there is a lot of fine print on what doesn't get covered by the warranty so make sure to read it all.
About the Author
To learn more about hybrid cars visit hybridcarchat.com and check out the hybrid forums. You will receive the free guide to increasing your car's fuel efficiency once you join.
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