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

Most new vehicles carry a manufacturer's warranty generally known as a 'bumper to bumper warranty.' This warranty may cover a period of several years, or a certain number of miles. This covers all components in the car with the exception of certain wear items such as wiper blades. In addition, many dealers offer a 90-day 'adjustment warranty,' which covers such repairs of squeaks, rattles, or alignment problems. Dealers also may offer an extended warranty. When you buy a pre-owned vehicle it may still be protected by the manufacturer's warranty or by a dealer extended warranty, and the seller should provide you with the necessary documentation and warranty agreements. If the manufacturer's warranty has expired, a dealer may offer you an optional limited-time warranty on the vehicle. This should be made clear in the sales agreement, and you should fully understand your rights and options if problems develop after purchase. If the vehicle is still covered by a manufacturer's warranty, you should check in what way and for how long the additional dealer guarantee can protect you before deciding whether or not the additional warranty is good value. Some dealers have a limited-time return policy on all pre-owned vehicle purchases, and you should ask your dealer about your rights and options if problems arise. In some cases, particularly if you're buying from a private individual, pre-owned vehicles are sold 'as is'; in which case, you have no warranty or protection other than any remaining manufacturer's warranty, although a seller is obliged by law to provide a correct declaration of the odometer reading as part of the sales documentation.

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