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

Warranties can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from brand to brand in terms of mileage and time limits. It's important to know what kinds of warranties are offered. The Basic Vehicle Warranty covers everything except normal wear-and-tear items like brakes, wipers, batteries, and tires. A Powertrain Warranty covers items that make the car move, such as the engine, transmission and differential. An Emissions Control Warranty covers any defective component or system that could increase the car's emissions and is mandated by the federal government for five years or 50 thousand miles. A Corrosion or Rust-Through Warranty covers rust perforation caused by the ravages of Mother Nature. An Extended Warranty extends the basic warranty beyond its original limits and is one that's often worth considering. The cost is higher and plans vary, but it's a good choice for buyers who plan to keep their cars for a long time. With any warranty you choose, be sure to ask the right questions. What is covered? How much do I pay for each claim? What is the deductible or co-payment, if any? Do I use a specific repair shop, or am I free to choose one on my own? Warranties are like health insurance for your car--you hope you never have to use them, but they're there if you need them. Read your warranty thoroughly, especially the fine print, and never sign a warranty if there's anything you don't understand

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