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What Should Your Car Warranty Cover?

Posted in Motoring Tips

What Should Your Car Warranty Cover?

Every car, new or used, sold in Australia is covered by a warranty, either by the manufacturer or by the government to stop people getting scammed.

Do you know if you’re covered if something goes wrong in your car?


Warranties cover the repair or replacement of something that has been ‘defective from manufacture.’ It must happen in the normal operation of a product that would be seen as reasonable to a third-person

New cars have warranties approaching a decade, while second-hand vehicles sold by a licensed motor dealer in Queensland must be covered by at least a statutory warranty if the odometer reads less than 160,000km, and was manufactured less than 10 years before the sale date.Statutory warranties protect you financially if your car is faulty and expires after 3 months or 5000km.


Secondly, there are several things to consider before making a warranty claim. It’s a good idea to know what your warranty covers, but in the excitement of buying a car, it’s easy to miss the fine print on the warranty pamphlet. Not all warranties are created equal, some of the major things that your car warranty should cover:

Parts that fail under normal use

Anything that fails due to manufacturer error, as opposed to a fault caused by you or a third person through wear and tear or neglect, will generally be covered by the warranty.

For example, let’s say you buy a brand new car and then, a couple of months later, as you pull into your driveway – the engine falls out the bottom. If you’ve just been using the car to go to work, the shops and pick up the kids, you probably have a claim. If you’ve used a small hatchback to try and cross the Simpson Desert – your warranty claim may not be honored. After all, no one ever said your 3-door hatch could jump over sand dunes.

Generally, your warranty will cover major mechanical components like the engine, the transmission and major moving parts like the drive axle. Hybrid cars sometimes come with a warranty to specifically cover the hybrid power system & batteries.

Repair or replacement by an authorised service workshop

Some warranties are tricky about where you can service your car.

Depending on the terms and conditions, you may be forced to use a particular service centre or workshops clustered around the dealership you bought your car at. This can be especially inconvenient if you bought your car interstate or several hundred kilometres from where your car is usually driving around.

It’s best to ask when you’re buying the car where the most convenient service centres are for you in case of a warranty claim. This also applies for any capped price servicing schemes that require you to bring your car in to a specific service centre.

Towing, Transport & Accommodation Costs

If your car has to be towed, because it is unsafe or unable to be driven due to a warranty defect, your warranty provider should cover the cost of towing to at least the nearest service centre.

You may have an allowance for roadside assistance so that, if your car can be fixed easily so you can safely drive it again, you can have it repaired and be on your way.

If not, some warranties will even pay for the cost of transport either back to your home or up to a certain amount of kilometres, and then you pay the difference.

If alternative transport can’t be arranged, or you are not able to negotiate a reasonable form of transport – some warranties even provide for accommodation until your car is repaired or you can negotiate alternative transport.


Well, sure. If your car is under warranty, and suffers a problem that is covered – contact your dealer, who will be happy to submit a warranty claim for you.

But there are certain things that you have to do to make sure that any warranty claim made on your car is honoured. 

Keep to the regular service schedule

If you fail to properly maintain or service your car, it may be your fault that a part failed. Plus, it just makes sense to keep your car serviced for everyday running.​

Don’t unnecessarily modify your vehicle

Similarly, if your mate says that he can fix up your three-cylinder with a sick turbocharger and a super efficient fuel injection system; don’t come crying to the warranty department when it all goes south (unless your mate happens to have the manufacturers approval and is a factory-trained service technician with your car’s manufacturer using genuine parts.)

If you are considering modifying your car, contact your dealership and, if necessary, the manufacturer’s warranty department to see what options are available to you that won’t compromise your warranty claim. (Hint: they will all involve installation by a factory-approved technician using genuine or manufacturer-approved parts.)

Aftermarket parts and accessories will generally come with their own warranty, depending on how disposable they are.

Replaceable items aren’t covered either, like the battery, brake pads or tyres – keeping these in check will just make sure your car is in good shape.


Sometimes, no matter how much you think you deserve a repair under warranty; the terms and conditions just may not be in your favour. Or maybe you’ve just run out of warranty when something major fails.

Rather than have you shell out thousands of dollars for repairs, you may receive a goodwill repair from your dealer. If you’ve been exceptionally diligent with your servicing, and can show that you’ve treated your car well, they may be able to repair the problem regardless. This is at the discretion of the dealer, and as the name suggests, it’s really a goodwill gesture to thank you for buying your car with a dealer, or maintaining a strict service schedule.


Extended warranties can add some time to the clock, especially if you know you’re going to keep your car for longer than the warranty period, or you just want the added protection that an extended warranty can offer.

Often available until a certain point in your original warranty, or up to a specified amount of kilometres, extended warranties not only give you the reassurance of more time, they can add to the resale value if they are transferable.

Motorama offers a 5 Star Mechanical Cover that is one of the most comprehensive plans available, covering and guarding you against the breakdown of major mechanical components for a period 3 years. We can also provide expert advice on factory extended warranties – some of which can double the original warranty coverage. Speak with the friendly Customer Care consultants at any of our dealerships to talk about your options with warranties or anything to do with your car, and have the advice on hand if you need to make a claim on your warranty.

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