How Do I Find Out if a Car Is Still Under Warranty?

How Do I Find Out if a Car Is Still Under Warranty? Knowing whether or not your vehicle is still under warranty can bring peace of mind if something goes wrong. Perhaps the most direct way to find out is to contact a dealer for this vehicle or the manufacturer itself. But there are other methods as well, which may require more steps and cost something, although they may probably provide more information.

How Do I Find Out if a Car Is Still Under Warranty?

Find the original warranty terms

No matter how you determine if your vehicle is under warranty, you will definitely need the vehicle, which is a 17-character combination of letters and numbers unique to your vehicle. It can be found either on the driver’s side of the dashboard at the base of the windshield or on a label attached to the driver’s side door jamb. (Type the VIN into a text document—carefully check it’s correct—so you can copy and paste it, as you may be asked to do so many times.)

Warranty periods have a time, usually a mileage limit. For example, a typical shock-to-shock absorber warranty might be three years/36,000 miles, generally expressed as “3/36”. It expires whenever the first limit is reached – either three years or 36,000 miles. On the other hand, many corrosion warranties have only a time limit.

While a car’s odometer should give you miles, determining “years” is a little trickier. This is because it is based on the customer’s original sale date, not the car model year, and the sale date for a particular car model year can vary significantly. For example, a 2020 model car could have been built anywhere between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020 – essentially a two-year difference – and may not have been sold to a customer for some time after that.

In addition to knowing the warranty periods and the original date of sale, you may also need to determine the portion of the warranty that is transferable to a second owner. For example, the popular 10/100 powertrain warranty offered by Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi applies only to the original owner, with subsequent owners receiving powertrain coverage for the same 5/60 as the shock absorber warranty.

If you do not have the owner’s manual that states the terms of the warranty, you may be able to find it online by Googling, “What is the manufacturer’s warranty on [year, make, model]? For example, “What is the manufacturer’s warranty for a 2020 Dodge Charger?” You should also be able to find information on the manufacturer’s website.

Illustration of a car's powertrain

How Do I Find Out if a Car Is Still Under Warranty?

Determine the date the vehicle was sold and whether it is covered

Unfortunately, it is not easy to determine when a vehicle was sold (assuming you don’t have the original papers) or whether it is still covered by warranty. Agency does not do that You have To give you this information – even if you can find people who are capable – and they are likely to get it wrong. Going directly to the manufacturer may be better.

Google search for “how do I contact [manufacturer]? (For example, “How do I contact Toyota?”) might be a good start. You can also go directly to the manufacturer’s website, although you may have to look for links to their support or contact pages. Once you reach The manufacturer’s support page, you’ll usually find a way to get to the warranties page.From there, you should at least be able to find the original warranty coverage for the year and model of your vehicle, and you may be able to copy and paste your VIN to see if it’s still under Warranty There may also be a phone number you can call.

If this proves unsuccessful – or you want more information about the vehicle – you can use the VIN to get the information online, although you may have to pay money to purchase a report. Asking for one of these reports – which usually includes a lot of other information about the vehicle in question – isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re looking at a vehicle you’re considering buying. CarFax is perhaps the most popular vehicle reporting provider, which provides a fairly detailed summary of ownership transfers, showing where the vehicle was named, most major accidents, some service work and mileage history (so you can check if the odometer has been rolled back) .

Other guarantees

If the original buyer bought an extended warranty or a previous owner bought the vehicle as used with a longer warranty—and these warranties are transferable—it could at least cover a powertrain of nearly 100,000 miles. The problem is that you will probably need paperwork from the previous owner to prove the existence of any of these warranties and whether they are transferable to the next owner, even though the dealer may be able to look it up using the vehicle’s VIN.

Some parts – usually safety related – may be covered outside the normal warranty period due to returns. To find any recalls affecting the vehicle in question, you can go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at and enter the VIN.

Sometimes there may also be a “secret warranty” on a specific part of the vehicle that has been found to fail prematurely after the warranty period has expired. This is entirely voluntary on the part of the manufacturer – usually given as a goodwill gesture – and may not cover the entire repair. As the name suggests, these guarantees are not widely advertised. But in particular if a part fails not long after the warranty has expired, it may be worth searching Google for “secret warranty on [year, make, part] (eg “Bmw Fuel Pump Secret Warranty 2007”) or call the dealer to ask.

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