Is a transmission covered under warranty?

Car warranties often cover transmissions, but read the fine print

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Edited by:
Endurance Auto Warranty, Omega Auto Care, Concord Auto Protect, Toco Warranty and American Dream Auto Protect
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Your car’s transmission is like the heart of your ride. When it stops working, you may find yourself stranded on the side of the road and facing a hefty repair bill.

A car warranty can be your best friend when you need a transmission repair or replacement. But not all warranties are equal — and the devil is in the details.

So, what types of warranties are available, and what do they cover? How long does coverage last? And how do you know if your transmission is protected? Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of transmission warranty coverage.

Key insights

Car warranties cover transmission failure as long as it’s not due to neglect, abuse or improper maintenance.

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Powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties typically cover transmission issues.

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An extended warranty covers transmission failure after your factory warranty runs out, but not for preexisting conditions.

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Fixing a transmission can cost anywhere from $3,000 to over $9,000, depending on your car and issue.

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Transmission warranty coverage

In most cases, you can count on your car warranty to cover transmission hiccups. However, the specific coverage depends on the warranty type and your situation.

Factory warranties usually cover transmission problems due to manufacturing defects or normal wear and tear — as long as it happens within the warranty period. Your warranty may not cover repairs if the damage occurs because of neglect, abuse or poor maintenance.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

What types of warranties cover transmissions?

New cars come with two factory warranties that cover transmissions: Powertrain and bumper-to-bumper.

A powertrain warranty covers the parts that make your car move, like the engine, transmission and drivetrain. It often lasts five to 10 years or 50,000 to 100,000 miles — whichever comes first. This is longer than bumper-to-bumper warranties.

Bumper-to-bumper warranties cover more car parts, including the transmission. But they typically last only three years or 36,000 miles.

If you buy a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle, you’ll most likely get a limited powertrain warranty. This covers the transmission and other major mechanical parts, even if the car isn’t new. CPO powertrain warranties last around seven years (from the car’s model year) or up to 100,000 miles.

You can also buy an extended warranty for coverage after your factory warranty ends. Just keep in mind these don’t cover problems that already exist. So, it’s best to buy one before any issues start.

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

Does your extended warranty cover transmissions?

Yes, most extended warranty providers offer plans covering transmissions. They can give you peace of mind and financial protection if your transmission fails after your factory warranty expires.

For example, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Pascagoula, Mississippi, shared how grateful they were to have a warranty with Omega Auto Care when their transmission failed. He said: “My vehicle had a transmission problem and the claims process was easy. … The extended warranty was important because at the time I would’ve had to come out of pocket. It felt good not having to take the money out of the bank for the service.”

To help you find the right coverage for your needs, we’ve put together a list of popular extended warranty providers and their plans including transmission protection:

Don’t forget to review the terms, conditions and fine print when choosing an extended warranty.

Samuel Greenes, CEO of BLUE Insurance, an insurance broker, has seen his fair share of car owners sweating over transmission trouble. He explained, “I’ve had clients blindsided by transmission failure in older cars way past the factory warranty. One poor soul had an extended warranty, but it didn’t cover their specific problem.”

To avoid finding yourself in a similar situation, pay close attention to:

  • The specific components covered
  • The length of coverage
  • Any exclusions or limitations

Understanding what’s covered (and what’s not) ensures you get the right level of protection for your needs and budget.

How much does it cost to fix your transmission?

Unfortunately, transmission repairs are expensive — especially if you don’t have warranty coverage. In general, a transmission replacement will set you back anywhere from $3,000 to over $9,000.

The cost of fixing your transmission depends on several factors, including those listed below.

Your location

Where you live impacts how much mechanics charge per hour. Mechanics in metropolitan areas may charge more than those in small towns due to the higher costs of living and running a shop.

The severity of the issue

Simpler problems, like a transmission fluid leak, may only cost a few hundred dollars to fix. Serious issues, such as a total transmission failure, can cost thousands to repair or replace.

The make and model of your car

Luxury and high-performance cars have complex transmissions that are more expensive to repair. These vehicles require specialized parts and skilled mechanics, contributing to higher repair expenses. Also, some car brands, like BMW, design their vehicles in a way that makes it harder to access parts. This may increase labor costs depending on who you go to.

The type of transmission (manual vs. automatic)

Manual transmissions are generally simpler than automatic ones. So, they can be cheaper to repair. But some high-performance cars have tricky manual transmissions that can be just as expensive to fix as automatics.

Want an accurate estimate for your transmission repair? Get a qualified mechanic to look at your car. They can give you a detailed quote based on your vehicle, location and what needs fixing. This way, you’ll know the costs before you agree to any repairs.

Quick and easy. Find an auto warranty partner now.


    Is your transmission covered under a powertrain warranty?

    Yes, a powertrain warranty almost always covers the transmission. It also covers other critical components like the engine, drive axles and transfer case. This warranty protects you against defects in materials or workmanship that may occur under normal use and maintenance conditions.

    How long is your transmission covered under warranty?

    A powertrain warranty usually covers your transmission for five to 10 years. The exact duration of coverage varies depending on the manufacturer and the specific warranty terms.

    How do I find out if my transmission is under warranty?

    To find out if your transmission is under warranty, look at the owner’s manual or visit the manufacturer’s website. You can also contact your dealership’s service department. They’ll be able to look up your car’s warranty information based on its VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

    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. California Department of Insurance, “Guide to Automobile Service Contracts, Extended Warranties and Other Repair Agreements.” Accessed May 27, 2024.
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