How to Tell if Your Car Is Under Warranty

Wes Schwengels
February 12, 2018

car under warranty

If you recently bought a new car, odds are it came with a manufacturer’s warranty. This coverage is usually good for a set amount of time or mileage, often three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Other parts of the car, such as the powertrain or certain emissions elements, may be covered for longer.

You also might have purchased an extended warranty from the dealer, or from a third party. All this information is good to have when it comes time for maintenance or repairs — no one wants to spend money when they don’t have to. Here’s how to find out if your car is covered by a warranty.

Find the VIN and mileage

This process will go much more smoothly if you can track down your vehicle identification number (VIN). Check your car insurance cards or your registration. You also might find it on the driver’s side dash, driver’s side door or on the engine block. 

You’ll also need your car’s current mileage. Check the odometer on your dash and write down the number, or take a picture of it.

Call the dealer

Once you have the VIN and mileage, call the dealership where you bought your car. Ask to speak with a service representative and explain your situation. Provide the representative with your VIN and mileage so they can look up whether you have a valid warranty.

If you’re not sure which dealership you bought the car from, you should be able to call any make-specific dealer (for instance, any Ford dealer if you bought a Ford) and have them help.

If you bought an extended warranty from a third-party company, review the contract details or call the company in question. Provide them with your information and see what they say.

Whatever the case, if your car is covered, make sure to ask whether you have to take your car to a specific repair shop, such as a dealership, in order for the warranty to be honored. Most maintenance and repairs can be done at an independent shop, as long as you keep track of your paperwork.

If you bought used

Not everyone buys new cars, of course. If you purchased a used car, there’s still a chance it came with a warranty, especially if it was a certified pre-owned vehicle. You also might have opted for an extended warranty at the time of purchase. Use the same method mentioned above to find out if you’re covered. 

Shop warranties

Many reputable shops, including all the ones certified by RepairPal, will offer a warranty on their repairs for at least 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you run into an issue you recently had fixed, check your paperwork or call the shop where you had the problem worked on last time. You may be covered by this warranty.

Wes Schwengels

About the Author

Wesley has been editing a wide range of content for nearly two decades, gaining a depth of knowledge about automotive maintenance and ownership.

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