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Many new and used vehicles come with warranties that cover different things that could go wrong with your vehicle. The main thing you want to do is understand the conditions for your particular warranty. Your warranty will most likely cover some unexpected repairs for your vehicle and will be written like this, “48/50,000” which means that the coverage of that warranty will last you either 48 months or 50,000 miles, whichever one you get to first.
You can actually have many different warranty periods listed so it is good to know what is being repaired. If you have a comprehensive “bumper-to-bumper” warranty it should cover everything for you except for routine scheduled maintenance. This warranty usually ends up being the shortest warranty of any of them. What is called a powertrain warranty lasts a little bit longer and will cover engine and transmission issues and if you have an anti-corrosion warranty it will last even longer than the powertrain warranty. The last thing that might be available to you is roadside assistance that is sometimes offered to you by a manufacturer but usually only for a small amount of time.
Another fact that you might want to remember is that just because you are buying a used vehicle doesn’t mean it is not under warranty. Warranties can be transferred most of the time so as long as the vehicle hasn’t reached the limits listed in the warranty it should still be covered.
To maintain a warranty, you should look in the owner’s manual to determine when maintenance is required to be done on the vehicle. You should also fix any repairs that are obvious and keep an eye on the “check engine” light as it will usually alert you when there is a problem. As the driver, all you need to do is take the vehicle to an authorized dealer when the repairs need to be performed. Stay away from dealers that aren’t authorized as this could void the warranty.
Keep in mind that warranties don’t usually cover all of the costs. A lot of warranties will cover the parts and labor of unexpected issues but they expect you to take care of the routine maintenance costs. All of this depends on the manufacturer that the warranty is from.
When it comes to the engine you should make sure you keep up with regular oil changes. Check your manual but most vehicles need their oil changed between 5,000 and 15,000 miles. Keeping up with the oil changes will help your engine work better and make sure it doesn’t seize up on you.
Another thing that is important to the functionality of your engine is the engine coolant. It is recommended that you flush the system and replace your coolant every few years or every 30,000 to 40,000 miles.
Spark plugs usually last up to 100,000 miles nowadays but you might want to go ahead and change them every 50,000 to 60,000 miles. The air filter will need to be changed but it will depend on what type of filter you have and where you are driving. The type of air pollution will also determine when the air filter needs to be changed. The battery also depends on the type of battery you have. Just remember that if a battery completely loses its charge it will never get back to full capacity.
Hoses, belts, general pathways, light bulbs, exhaust components and emission controls should be checked during your regular maintenance visits to avoid any problems. Wipers are more obvious when they need to be replaced and you have a lot you can choose from.
Tires are generally able to last anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. It will all depend on what type of tire you get and how aggressive you are when you drive. Sometimes you will have to look at different tires for different weather but there are also all-season tires available to you. Make sure you do your research before you decide which tire is right for you. Brakes also depend on how you drive. If you brake hard you will have to replace them more often and that replacement will also require new pads and sometimes rotors.