Many major auto dealerships offer lifetime powertrain warranties on the cars and trucks they sell. The powertrain of a car—which includes all of the major internal components of the car that allow it to generate power and run on the road—encompasses some of the most expensive-to-replace parts of a car, including its engine and transmission. 

With that in mind, a lifetime powertrain warranty sounds great—but what exactly does it mean? Is a lifetime powertrain warranty just a marketing scheme on the part of auto dealerships? Or is it actually a useful feature that can save you money and stress throughout your ownership of a vehicle with such a warranty? 

If you’re uncertain about anything regarding lifetime powertrain warranties, keep reading to learn more about how a lifetime powertrain warranty actually works and how it can work for you. 

What is a Powertrain? 

The powertrain of a vehicle refers to its engine, transmission, and drivetrain. In other words, it encompasses all of the internal components of a car that allow the car to run. 

As previously noted, these components include some of the most important parts of the car that are incidentally some of the most expensive parts to repair or replace—which is why lifetime powertrain warranties are so appealing to many drivers. 

Powertrain vs. Drivetrain 

Don’t let yourself be fooled by auto dealerships that offer drivetrain warranties. While drivetrain warranties can be helpful, they do not cover the entire powertrain of a vehicle.

A vehicle’s drivetrain includes some of the most important internal components of a car that help it run smoothly and safely on the road. However, the drivetrain of a car excludes the car’s engine and transmission, which are two of the internal components of a car that tend to be the most expensive to repair and replace. 

What does a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty Cover? 

So what exactly does a lifetime powertrain warranty cover? How can it benefit you as a car owner? 

The engine, transmission, all-wheel drive assembly, and drivetrain assembly are the parts of a vehicle that are covered in a lifetime powertrain warranty. In the case that one or more of these parts or any of its sub-parts malfunctions and requires repairs or replacements—and the car is under a lifetime powertrain warranty, of course—the auto dealership that offered the warranty will pay up to the current market value of the vehicle per claim in order to resolve the car’s mechanical failure and get it back in safe, drivable condition. 

With that being said, most lifetime powertrain warranties do come with a little bit of fine print that is important to note. Most lifetime powertrain warranties require you to adequately keep up with your car’s scheduled maintenance services over time in order to offer coverage for your vehicle in the case that part of its powertrain malfunctions and requires repairs or replacements. 

Do Lifetime Powertrain Warranties Really Cover Your Car Forever? 

The short answer to the question of whether or not lifetime powertrain warranties really last forever is, fortunately, yes! 

Although lifetime powertrain warranties are sometimes limited and might not cover all of the costs of repairs and replacements for all parts of your car’s drivetrain, the coverage it does offer should last through your entire ownership of your car. 

How Much do Lifetime Powertrain Warranties Cost? 

Most auto dealerships that offer lifetime powertrain warranties offer them as free-of-cost incentives on the eligible vehicles they sell. 

That means that, if you find a car that comes with a lifetime powertrain warranty, you might not even have to pay any extra money above the flat cost of the car in order to reap the benefits of that warranty. 

Buying a car that comes with a lifetime powertrain warranty can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the most important parts of your car are covered for good. If you can find a car that comes with a lifetime powertrain warranty, that’s definitely a plus for that car.