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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm

Generally, a standard warranty automatically accompanies the purchase of a new car. A standard warranty usually covers the breakdown of any part that fails under normal usage. As long as the breakdown is not a result of misuse, accident, or lack of maintenance, the costs of both parts and labor are generally covered. Most wear items, such as tires and batteries, are normally excluded, however. Oftentimes, a car dealer may try to sell you an extended warranty to cover repairs after the standard warranty has expired. If an extended warranty offers good coverage at a reasonable price, it may be worth purchasing. One that offers limited, unnecessary coverage at a high cost is generally not a good buy. If possible, ask a person who's knowledgeable in auto repairs to review the extended warranty. He or she should make sure the most important repairs, car parts, components, and common types of breakdowns are included. Pre-owned car warranties tend to be a lot more variable. Probably the most common used car warranty is a three-month or 3,000-mile warranty that covers only major components like the engine or transmission. Remember that these warranties expire when either the time or the mileage has been surpassed, whichever occurs first. If you buy a late-model car, you may be able to inherit the remainder of the new-car factory warranty.

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