For better or worse, part of the new car shopping experience is diving into the dozens of pages that detail the factory warranty. If you’re a new Subaru owner, our guide to the Subaru warranty will help you understand what is covered – and what to do when that coverage expires.
What Is The Subaru Factory Warranty?
Different manufacturers offer various types of warranties, but you’ll most likely get two at no additional cost with the purchase of your car: basic and powertrain. All Subaru of America customers get a New Vehicle Limited Warranty with a term of three years or 36,000 miles, and a powertrain warranty with terms of five years or 60,000 miles. This applies to 2000 through 2020 Subaru vehicles.
Let’s take a closer look at Subaru’s warranties.
Subaru Powertrain Warranty
Your engine and transmission are likely to outlast other parts of your car, but that doesn’t mean you should go without protection. Subaru includes the following parts (and more) under its powertrain coverage:
- Axle shafts
- Water pump
- Wheel bearings
- Torque converter
- Oil pan and pump
- Oil seals and gaskets
- Cylinder heads and valve train
- Transmission seals and gaskets
- Electronic transmission control unit
- Transaxle/transmission and internal parts
- Engine, engine block, and all internal parts
Subaru Basic Warranty
Under Subaru’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty, you’ll get bumper-to-bumper (comprehensive) coverage for all parts and accessories. (See your Warranty & Maintenance booklet for exclusions).
One special perk from Subaru is its coverage for wear and tear items, such as brake pads and wiper blades, as well as tire alignment. Unfortunately, this is covered just once under the 36-month or 36,000-mile term, but it’s a benefit not all manufacturers offer.
Hybrid Vehicle Coverage
More and more brands are releasing electric and hybrid vehicles. Subaru made headlines with its announcement of its first plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Subaru 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid. Coverage and contract terms for the Subaru hybrid are the same as the basic and powertrain limited warranties for all other models.
Subaru Rust Perforation Limited Warranty
In addition to basic and powertrain warranties, Subaru offers coverage for body sheet metal that’s rusted completely through (perforation). However, scratches and cosmetic damage don’t count. Coverage lasts five years, no matter how many miles you put on the car.
Seat Belt Lifetime Limited Warranty
The Subaru warranty also includes coverage for seat belts and related components for the life of the vehicle. Other lifetime warranties may be exclusive to your local Subaru dealer.
Wear Item Limited Warranty
Brake pad/shoe linings, clutch linings, and wiper blades are covered for three years or 36,000 miles.
Subaru Emergency Benefits
A good manufacturer’s warranty shouldn’t just cover repairs. It should also help you when your car breaks down and needs to be towed.
All Subaru warranties come with additional emergency benefits:
- Towing reimbursement.
- Guaranteed Subaru OEM parts.
- Emergency repairs within 75 miles of an authorized Subaru retailer.
- 24/7 roadside assistance (jump-starts, gas delivery, etc.) for 2000 model-year Subarus and up.
Subaru Warranty Exclusions & Voiding Your Contract
Unlike recent Subaru recalls guaranteed to be fixed, not all mechanical repairs are eligible under your Subaru factory warranty. Many repairs, in fact, can void your warranty. You may find yourself paying for your own repairs if you fall under these contract exclusions:
- Cosmetic damage.
- Parts covered by separate warranties.
- Routine maintenance, such as oil changes.
- Damage caused by an accident or weather.
- Repairs made by an unauthorized, non-Subaru dealer.
- Damage caused by parts not covered by the warranty.
- Damage due to a failure to perform routine maintenance.
It’s all about common sense. If you follow your owner’s manual, maintain your Subaru vehicle properly, and avoid racing or abusing your car, then you’re already in a much better position to get free repairs under your warranty.
Is A Subaru Manufacturer’s Warranty Transferable?
If you’re thinking of selling your car, you won’t have to deal with a convoluted process or steep transfer fees. Your Subaru warranty transfers automatically to its new owner.
Extending Your Vehicle Protection Plan: Subaru Extended Warranties
Experts love to debate whether an extended warranty is worth the price once the manufacturer’s warranty expires. While it’s ultimately up to you and whether you need the extra reassurance, we think the potential cost savings are worth it.
An extended warranty can:
- Increase your vehicle’s longevity.
- Provide a financial safety net and peace of mind.
- Fit your car repairs to your monthly or annual budget.
- Increase your vehicle’s value, especially if transferring ownership.
Common Subaru Repairs
The most important function of an extended warranty is saving money on costly repairs.
You’ll often find each automobile brand has its own pattern of specific part failures. For example, piston rings have been known to cause excess oil consumption in 2013 and 2014 Subaru models. Vehicle breakdowns could cost you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars per year.
We’ve found several examples of common Subaru repairs and their average costs on RepairPal:
Whether you own a seemingly troublesome Subaru Impreza or a Subaru sport vehicle, RepairPal says you might expect to pay about $617 per year or more if multiple repairs are needed. In this case, an extended warranty can make all the difference.
Subaru Extended Service Agreements
An extended warranty, unlike a factory warranty, isn’t built into the cost of the vehicle. It’s an extra charge you pay up front or in monthly payments. This type of agreement is more aptly called a service contract.
Subaru offers two levels of coverage under its Added Security program with terms up to eight years/120,000 miles or 10 years/100,000 miles.
- Classic Coverage: This is the less-expensive option covering nearly 1,000 items.
- Gold Plus: This premium option covers everything in the Classic plan plus hundreds of more parts.
The Third-Party Warranty: Alternative Extended Protection
What are third-party warranty companies? They offer extended warranties but have no direct relationship with the car manufacturer.
The Third-Party Warranty Myth
Myth: Extended warranties from third-parties are always a scam.
Truth: Not so.
Many myths surround the third-party extended warranty. The term “scam” is perpetuated frequently, especially by dealers. However, the Vehicle Protection Association believes that aggressive or deceitful behavior is a thing of the past. Today, there are many certified companies that are required to maintain adequate cash reserves and meet stricter industry standards. Therefore, you shouldn’t eliminate third-party vendors from your extended warranty options.
No matter the provider, it’s important to read your auto warranty contract to understand exactly what’s covered and what’s not.
Why Use A Third-Party Warranty Company?
A few advantages come with a third-party vendor or broker that you won’t get with a dealer warranty. When you purchase a third-party service contract, you get:
- More coverage plans.
- More flexibility when choosing a repair facility.
- Potentially longer contract terms and higher mileage coverage.
- Competitive plans that lower overall price compared to dealer warranties.
If price and flexibility are important factors in your decision, then a third-party extended warranty may be the route to take. Below we’ll discuss two third-party options, Endurance and CARCHEX.
Endurance Extended Vehicle Protection
If you’re looking for a reputable car warranty company backed by over 14 years of industry experience, Endurance is the right provider for you.
For the most part, Endurance has received positive customer reviews. At the time of publication, the company scored 4.4 out of 5.0 stars (with over 500 reviews) on Trustpilot, and 3.3 stars (from over 1,000 reviews) on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), although it’s not BBB accredited.
Endurance currently offers six comprehensive levels of coverage, each one carefully designed to maximize coverage and value for the customer:
- Supreme plan: Referred to as bumper-to-bumper coverage, it gives maximum breakdown protection for all parts, unless specifically excluded in the plan.
- Superior plan: As the plan with the most stated-component coverage, Superior covers hundreds of specific components, including the engine, transmission, transfer case, drive axle, suspension, cooling system, and more.
- Secure Plus plan: With the shortest waiting period among all plans (30 days and 1,000 miles), this plan is a mid-level warranty with a higher level of coverage compared to the Select Premier plan.
- Select Premier plan: This plan is designed to protect the vital components of high-mileage vehicles, such as the engine, transmission, transfer case, electrical components, and more.
- Secure plan: Though a bit limited, this powertrain warranty covers components such as the engine, transmission, transfer case, drive axle, and turbocharger – all at a reasonable price.
- EnduranceAdvantage™ plan: Unique in the industry, the Advantage plan works as both an extended car warranty and a maintenance contract. Maintenance coverage includes services such as oil changes, engine diagnostic exams, and brake pad replacements.
CARCHEX Extended Vehicle Protection
CARCHEX is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited company with an A+ rating and fewer customer complaints than many of its competitors. With endorsements from Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, CARFAX, and many others, we think you can put the fear of bad behavior safely in the past.
While the Subaru extended warranty has two coverage plans offered by the dealer, CARCHEX offers five levels of coverage.
- Bronze: With plans lasting five to six years, Bronze coverage protects your engine and transmission.
- Silver: Silver plans cover powertrain components and some extras for up to seven years.
- Gold: This coverage level is perfect for vehicles with more than 60,000 miles. It covers all major systems in the vehicle. Coverage can go for five to 10 years.
- Platinum: You’ll get the highest level of stated-component coverage for five to 10 years.
- Titanium: This is the highest level of coverage offered, closest to the factory warranty. Most plans last up to 10 years.
CARCHEX offers comprehensive coverage that rivals Subaru’s Classic Plan and provides the same extra benefits as the Gold Plus plan – with flexibility and a cost-effective edge.
Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best extended auto warranty providers.
- Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team performs ongoing secret shopper analyses for different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations to give this rating.
- Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car warranty company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the number of plans offered by each provider, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
- Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, availability, and years in business when giving this score.
- Customer Service: Reputable extended car warranty companies operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We take into account customer reviews, BBB complaints, and the responsiveness of the customer service team.