All You Need to Know About Car Warranties in Canada

All You Need to Know About Car Warranties in Canada

September 8, 2023

A car warranty is essentially a promise from the manufacturer that they will cover certain repairs and defects within a specified period. However, understanding the ins and outs of car warranties in Canada is important. You need to be aware of the conditions under which manufacturers are willing to bear the expenses. 

To begin with, there are two types of warranties - manufacturer’s warranty and extended warranty. In this blog, we'll break down the key points you need to know to navigate car warranties with confidence.


What is a manufacturer warranty?

Referred to as a factory warranty, this kind of warranty is offered directly by the vehicle manufacturer and comes as part of buying a new car. It shields the buyer from having to bear the costs of repairs related to mechanical and electrical breakdowns. 

These manufacturer warranties can differ in terms of how long they last, the mileage they cover, and which specific components are included. For instance, the manufacturer warranty typically spans three to five years, and once a certain mileage limit is reached, mostly between 60,000 km to 100,000 km, depending on whichever condition comes first. 


Coverage under manufacturer warranty 

In Canada, when you buy a new car, it usually comes with a few kinds of guarantees from the manufacturer:

  • Basic Warranty: This covers the car for a certain number of years or miles, typically three years or up to 100,000 kilometers, whichever happens first. If something goes wrong because of a problem with how the car was made, they'll fix it for free.
  • Powertrain Warranty: The Powertrain warranty covers the most important parts of the car, like the engine and transmission. It usually lasts longer than the basic warranty, up to 10 years/100,000 miles.
  • Corrosion Warranty: This one is all about protecting your car from rust and corrosion. It can last for several years, ranging from 5 to 12 years, depending on the manufacturer.
  • Emission Warranty: This warranty ensures that your car meets pollution standards. It covers parts related to reducing emissions. Its duration varies, but it's there to make sure your car is not polluting too much.

These warranties are like promises from the car company that they'll take care of certain problems with your car for a specific period. If something covered by the warranty breaks, they'll fix it at no cost to you.


What is an extended warranty?

The extended warranty, referred to as a service contract, serves to cover repair expenses once the manufacturer's warranty expires. It acts as a shield against unexpected costs. 

This optional warranty can be obtained either from the original car manufacturer (OEM) or from third-party providers in the aftermarket. An extended warranty holds significance when budget constraints could make future costly repairs unmanageable. 


Coverage under extended warranty

An extended car warranty can be different based on many things like the brand, model, how much you've driven the car, and how old it is. You'll need to figure out what you want the warranty to pay for and how much you're willing to pay.

A good extended warranty will cover most of the important parts of the car, like the steering, electrical stuff, engine, air conditioning, transmission, and suspension. This is often called "bumper-to-bumper" coverage. But, you can also find warranties that cover just some of these parts. 

These warranties won't pay for cosmetic changes, regular check-ups, or parts that wear out over time. However, you can usually get extra coverage for these things if you want. Certain extended warranties come with extra perks like roadside assistance, coverage for renting a car, and getting reimbursed if a trip is interrupted. 


What can cancel a car warranty?

As a car owner, there are responsibilities you need to fulfill to maintain a valid warranty. Here are the most common reasons drivers lose their warranty coverage.

  • Missed Maintenance: Neglecting scheduled maintenance can lead to problems and void your warranty. If you face an engine issue and can't prove recent oil changes, your warranty might be rejected.

  • Incorrect Fluids: Manufacturers design specific fluids to optimize your car's performance and durability. Using the wrong type of oil or fluid can jeopardize your warranty claim if it's linked to car problems.

  • Accident Damage: If your car is severely damaged in an accident and declared a total loss, your entire warranty could be canceled.

  • Improper Use: Racing, off-road driving, or overloading can nullify your warranty. Anything beyond regular usage is considered misuse.

  • Car Modifications: Making performance-altering modifications can void your warranty. If a modification affects factory parts, your warranty might be nullified. Repairs and warranty decisions rest with the manufacturer.

  • Tampered Odometer: If your car's odometer is tampered with, and the exact mileage can't be confirmed, your warranty might be voided.

Maintaining your car and using it within the guidelines set by the manufacturer is essential to preserve your warranty.


Steps to make a warranty claim

  • Identify the problem: If you believe the issue is covered by your warranty, you should have it checked by an authorized repair shop. Your dealership is a good starting point. If that's not feasible due to distance or location, call your warranty provider's customer service for guidance.

  • Diagnosis by a mechanic: A mechanic will inspect the problem and determine if it's eligible for warranty coverage. This assessment is crucial in starting the claims process.

  • Register the issue: The service advisor at the repair facility will officially record the problem and communicate it to a claims adjuster.

  • Claims assessment: The claims adjuster will evaluate the issue to decide whether it falls under warranty coverage. They will inform you whether the repair is covered and if any costs need to be paid by you.

In summary, understanding car warranties in Canada is essential to safeguard your investment. Differentiating between manufacturer's and extended warranties, prioritizing maintenance, and avoiding warranty-voiding actions are key factors in maximizing your warranty's benefits and ensuring a worry-free journey with your vehicle.