October 6, 2014 - by
All new car manufacturers provide some type of new car warranty for their products. These warranties may provide specific coverage for three years, five years or sometimes more. Most will be similar regarding the kinds of things they cover, although some may have unique benefits that others don’t such as free roadside assistance, 24-hour customer service or other valuable perks. Most all new car warranties cover only problems that occur as a result of defects in materials or workmanship and they may be voided if the vehicle owner has failed to comply with maintenance requirements set out by the factory. Once the factory warranty has expired, most cars will be eligible for an extended warranty to lengthen the amount of time or mileage for which the vehicle is covered.
BMW Factory Warranties
Vehicles made by BMW have a long history of being well made, crafted with cutting edge technology and engineered with excellence. BMW owners expect their driving machines to be well above average and are willing to pay a premium to own one of the best rides on the road. Still, things happen. The factory warranty that comes along with every new BMW protects the owner from problems stemming from manufacturing defects and includes bumper-to-bumper protection, a specific corrosion warranty and roadside assistance. Unlike many vehicle brands, there is no separate warranty specifically covering the powertrain. It falls under the basic 4-year/50,000-mile coverage.
BMW’s standard factory warranty takes effect at the initial in-service date (the date the customer takes delivery) or the actual date the car is first used. The bumper-to-bumper portion is applicable for a period of four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. The corrosion protection lasts for 12 years, regardless of mileage, for vehicles manufactured in 2004 or later. 2003 and earlier models carry a six-year corrosion warranty, also with no limit as to mileage. For a claim to be made under the corrosion warranty the vehicle must have suffered corrosion or rust that has caused penetration all the way through the sheet metal, not just surface rust or corrosion.
The Roadside Assistance portion of the BMW factory warranty offers a variety of services such as on-site assistance for things like lock outs, running out of gas, dead batteries, flat tires, etc. It also includes towing, trip interruption protection and rental car discounts. This program is good for four years from the in-service date, regardless of the amount of mileage accrued. All of the above detailed coverage provided through a BMW factory warranty remains in effect for the stated periods of time or within the stated mileage limits regardless of whether ownership of the vehicle is subsequently transferred to another party within the time and mileage parameters. U.S. federal law stipulates that emissions equipment such as the catalytic converter be warranted for a minimum period of 50,000 miles or five years, whichever comes first.
What’s Not Covered
BMW’s basic factory warranty does not cover items that are subject to normal wear and tear during the course of vehicle use or items that are required to be replaced on a regular basis such as oil, filters, brake pads, wiper blades, etc. Items such as tires and batteries will typically include their own warranties from the manufacturer.
BMW Extended Protection
For BMW owners desiring to extend the terms of the basic factory warranty included with their new car purchase or transferred with the purchase of a used vehicle still covered under the 4-year/50,000 mile warranty, the manufacture offers a series of extended protection options. If a vehicle is still covered under the original factory warranty at the time it’s enrolled into one of the extended protection programs, the purchaser will be given three options: Powertrain Plus, Gold or Platinum. Here are the particulars:
- Powertrain Plus – this protection covers the major components of the drive train, which is what’s responsible for causing the vehicle to move. This includes the engine, transmission, drive axles and drive shaft. This coverage does not include consumable items such as belts and hoses, which are subject to wear and tear and regular replacement, but does include internal parts like bearings and pistons, which are also subject to wear and tear.
- Gold – has all benefits of the Powertrain Plus and adds additional protection for the engine, fuel and cooling systems, heating & air conditioning, transmission, final drive assembly, electrical system, steering system and ABS.
- Platinum – features all benefits of the Gold protection program and adds additional protection for the navigation, audio and entertainment systems, headlamp assemblies (including lamps and lenses), power door locks and door lock actuators, power mirror assemblies (including mirrors and motors) and car cup holders.
BMW owners whose vehicles are no longer under the original factory warranty protection and wish to purchase BMW extended protection have only one option – Powertrain Plus. To qualify, the enrolled vehicle must have less than 80,000 miles on the odometer and less than seven years of in-service time. For these buyers, three service terms are available:
- 12 months or 12,000 miles
- 24 months or 24,000 miles
- 36 months or 36,000 miles
BMW Extended Warranty enrollees whose vehicles are still covered by an original factory warranty, in addition to having three program options as explained above, also have different service terms available. These are as follows:
- 5 years or 100,000 miles
- 6 years or 100,000 miles
- 7 years or 70,000 miles
- 7 years or 100,000 miles
It should be understood that the above time and mileage parameters for vehicles still under original factory warranty are calculated from the initial in-service date and from a zero odometer reading, not from the odometer reading taken at the time of enrollment in the Extended Protection Program. As an example, a new car purchased on 1/19/2010 and enrolled in the 6-year/100,000 mile Extended Warranty Program will have a contract expiration date of 1/18/2016 or at 100,000 miles on the odometer, whichever comes first. It should also be understood that all BMW warranties, new car factory coverage or any of the Extended Protection Programs, carry with them a $50 deductible amount per service visit.
Those enrolling in an Extended BMW Protection Program are assured that any covered repairs will be accomplished by trained BMW technicians at an authorized BMW repair facility and with the use of only original BMW parts (although these parts may be either new or re-manufactured). Enrollment in an extended protection program also brings 24-hour roadside assistance. BMW is happy to sell you one of their extended protection programs, for which they charge a good amount of money, even though buyers whose cars are still covered by the original factory warranty in essence with be paying for duplicate coverage.
Third-Party Extended Warranty Companies – Cheaper?
It might be prudent to consider other options, such as going with a reliable and well known third-party provider of extended service coverage. In many cases this will save you money and may provide additional benefits such as free vehicle rental for covered repairs, free key replacement and the capability of having your vehicle repairs done at any certified repair shop of your choice. You may also be able to buy third-party coverage with a monthly payment that doesn’t include finance charges. You have several options to consider.