Do car warranties cover batteries?

Your car warranty should cover your battery, but it depends on the type of warranty you have — and the type of battery

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Knowing what your car’s warranties cover comes in handy when vital parts like your battery die. The good news is that there are options available to cover all or part of the expense when you need a replacement for a manufacturer-related failure.

Read on to find out if your current battery is under warranty (or how to get the next one covered).


Key insights

Most new car warranties include coverage for the 12-volt battery that helps start your car. Electric vehicles (EVs) also come with extra warranties for their much more expensive traction batteries.

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Even if your car is out of warranty, a replacement starter battery might have coverage from its manufacturer.

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Some extended warranties cover car batteries, but not all. Be careful to read the fine print of your contract before you sign.

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The average cost to replace a car battery ranges from $350 to $400 if you’re paying out of pocket, but you can expect to spend thousands if you need a new EV battery.

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Battery warranty coverage

Generally speaking, batteries are covered under warranty, but the specifics are a little complicated. For example, your starter battery is usually covered under your vehicle’s bumper-to-bumper warranty. However, if you drive an EV or hybrid, the traction battery that helps move your car will likely be covered under a separate warranty.

And even if your battery is under warranty, there are exclusions as to what warrants coverage and what doesn’t. Batteries are deemed “wear-and-tear” items, which means they’re designed to eventually need replacing. Basically, the failure or defect in a battery that’s under warranty has to be related to a manufacturing problem (and not general use) if you want help paying for a replacement. Misuse or aging is typically not covered under warranty.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

What types of warranties cover batteries?

There are a few different types of warranties that can cover batteries, so it’s worth thinking about all of your options before you pay for a battery replacement out of pocket:

  • Bumper-to-bumper warranties: Most new cars come with bumper-to-bumper warranties that help cover the cost of a starter battery replacement should yours fail prematurely. These warranties usually last for three to six years or until a specified mileage cap.
  • EV warranties: While the powertrain warranty on an internal combustion vehicle typically will not cover any batteries, hybrids and electric vehicles usually have special warranties that cover their drive units and traction batteries even after their bumper-to-bumper warranties expire.
  • Extended warranties: Extended warranties, also known as vehicle service contacts, do not usually cover batteries, but some companies have battery coverage that’s either included with certain plans or available for an extra charge.
  • Battery manufacturer warranties: If you have an older car that’s totally out of warranty, you still might have some recourse if your battery dies prematurely. If you’ve ever replaced your battery before, the new battery might have come with a warranty from its manufacturer. For example, OPTIMA offers a three-year warranty on its REDTOP and YELLOWTOP batteries.

» MORE: Car warranty guide: what you need to know

Does your extended warranty cover batteries?

Although extended warranties don't normally cover starter batteries, some warranty plans do. We checked with a few popular auto warranty companies to see which did and did not offer battery coverage.

How much does it cost to fix your battery?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but the average starter battery replacement costs between $350 and $400, according to RepairPal. Your cost will likely depend on the kind of car you drive, what kind of battery you buy and where you buy it. For example, many car parts stores offer free installation, but some mechanics might charge you for the service.

If you’re paying out of pocket to replace the high-voltage traction battery in your electric vehicle or hybrid, your bill is likely going to be much larger, though. According to our research, replacing an EV battery usually costs thousands. In fact, it’s generally the most expensive single repair a car can need.

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FAQ

Does a bumper-to-bumper car warranty cover a battery?

Bumper-to-bumper warranties cover batteries — but only for a certain time frame or mileage. These warranties are typically active for at least three to six years, and they should cover all or some of the replacement cost if your battery dies due to manufacturing defects.

Are EV batteries covered under warranty?

EV batteries are usually covered under warranty on new vehicles. How long that warranty lasts will depend on the manufacturer, though. (Contrary to popular belief, there is no government-mandated minimum warranty for EV and hybrid batteries.)

» MORE: Compare EV warranties

How do you check if your car battery is under warranty?

You can check to see if your battery is under warranty by looking at the date code on your battery or using your vehicle’s VIN. Other places to check are your owners manual or original purchase documents. If all else fails, you can contact the manufacturer or dealer for information on your specific warranty.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Endurance Warranty, “Endurance Warranty.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  2. RepairPal, “Battery Replacement Cost.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy, “Electric Vehicle Benefits and Considerations.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  4. OPTIMA Batteries, “Is Car Battery Covered Under Extended Warranty?” Accessed April 18, 2024.
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