Is Alternator Covered Under Warranty? [Complete Guide!]

An alternator charges the battery and powers electronic components in a vehicle. Various things are and aren’t covered under warranty. Today, I will explain if alternators are covered under warranty or not.

As a general rule, the alternator is covered under warranty. All of the top car manufacturers such as Toyota, Jeep, and Honda have a minimum of a 3-year warranty that covers the alternator. But, some brands, such as Ford and Kia, have a 5-years warranty that covers the alternator.

The overall gist of a warranty for a car is it will cover everything except consumables, negligence, or car crashes. Consumables such as the battery, windshield wipers, and brake pads have a shorter warranty cover or none at all.

Below I will cover what the length of the warranty is for each of the most popular car brands and how they differ in length.

How Does the Warranty for Alternators Work?

Overall, the alternator will be repaired or replaced if it fails before the warranty period ends. In general, you should contact the car manufacturer before getting it repaired. Some car manufacturers require your car to be repaired by a registered mechanic and covered under warranty. But, it does vary.

Therefore, it’s best to chat with the mechanic that has identified the alternator has failed. They may know how to get it repaired under warranty for your specific car manufacturer. Otherwise, if you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer directly.

The warranty for virtually all cars covers the cost of labor and the part, provided it occurs during the warranty period. Here are two tables that show if the alternator is covered under warranty and how long the warranty length is for the most well-known car brands:

Car BrandIs the alternator covered under a warrantyLength of warranty for the alternator
ToyotaYes3 years or 36,000 miles
HyundaiYes5 years or 60,000 mile
FordYes5 years or 60,000 miles
KiaYes5 years or up to 60,000 miles
HondaYes3 years 36,000 miles
SubaruYes3 years or 36,000 miles
JeepYes3 years or 36,000 miles
LexusYes4 years or 50,000 miles
MazdaYes3 years or 36,000 miles
NissanYes3 years or 36,000 miles

Here’s a table that shows how long the warranty that covers the alternator is for each of some of the most well-known car brands.

Interestingly, Hyundai, Ford, and Kia have the longest warranty out of all the car brands. Their warranty which includes the alternator, is 5 years or 60,000 miles. Lexus is fairly close to the brands that have the longest warranty. However, all of the rest of the brands have a 3-year, 36,000 miles warranty.

Related Article – Can a Car Start Without an Alternator? [Everything You Need to Know!]

There are a few different names for standard warranties, and many car manufacturers offer different types of warranties after the standard warranties are shown above have ended. These can be called powertrain warranties or bumper-to-bumper warranties. Below, I’ve mentioned what these are and what they cover.

Is an Alternator Covered Under a Powertrain Warranty

The warranties listed above are the standard warranty and cover virtually everything. But, many car providers include a warranty that is longer but only covers what is called the powertrain. It’s a bit confusing whether the powertrain covers the alternator, so here’s whether the powertrain warranty covers it.

As a general rule, the powertrain warranty does not cover the alternator. The powertrain warranty is reasonably limited in coverage. In general, it does not include the alternator, as well as, the suspension, radiator and hoses, and drive belts. But, the coverage differs by car manufacturer.

Is an Alternator Covered Under Bumper to Bumper Warranty

A bumper-to-bumper warranty is a term used for a car warranty that does differ based on the specific car manufacturer. It’s typically the same name as the standard warranty provided with all new cards that are shown above. Here’s whether the alternator is covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

In general, the alternator is covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty. A bumper-to-bumper warranty is another name for the standard warranty that comes with virtually all cars. Some car manufacturers don’t call it a bumper-to-bumper warranty, whereas others do.

It’s different from a powertrain warranty because it covers virtually everything to do with the car, except for consumable parts. A bumper-to-bumper or standard warranty can be extended in most cases directly from the manufacturer or a licensed 3rd party dealer. Or, purchased with a second-hand car.

However, it does differ based on the car manufacturer, and you should know the exact terms for a specific car make you’re considering buying.

Parts that aren’t covered under warranty

Some parts have a longer and shorter warranty. Whereas some parts aren’t covered under warranty at all (source). For most car manufacturers, the parts of a car that aren’t covered under warranty are:

  • Battery
  • Lightbulbs
  • Fluids
  • Windshield wiper blades
  • Brake pads
  • Brake rotors
  • Hoses
  • Air filters
  • Oil filters

Some car manufacturers have certain terms and conditions. For example, they require that a service and oil change be performed at certain times such as every 6 months. And state that if this has not been done, it can void the warranty. The reason is if a car is not regularly serviced, it can cause parts to fail sooner.

Car manufacturers can also be more strict and require that a service be done at an authorized repair shop. This is to ensure that the quality of the service is consistent. And therefore, there is less chance that a service that has missed out on something critical has caused a part to fail.

For these reasons, it’s best to get very familiar with the exact terms and conditions so that you don’t accidentally void the warranty. Which could end up costing you $500 or more to repair.

Is an Alternator a Wear and Tear Item?

Certain components on a car are considered wear and tear items or consumables. This is because they don’t last very long before needing to be replaced, or they tend to break or need replacing more often. This is whether an alternator is considered to be a wear and tear item.

Generally, an alternator is not a wear and tear item. Therefore, it is covered under the new vehicle warranty for virtually all vehicle brands. An alternator is considered part of the engine and is treated the same under warranty as components like the transmission.

Based on this info, it’s clear that alternators should last a very long time – 3 years to 5 years – before they are at risk of breaking. Otherwise, they would not be covered under warranty.

After the warranty period is finished, the alternator will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. The average cost to have an alternator swapped out for a new one, including the cost of parts and labor, is about $500.

How Long Are Alternators Guaranteed

Many components in a car are covered under warranty and are guaranteed for a minimum amount of time. During this time, the car manufacturer will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it. Here’s a summary of how long the guarantee on an alternator is.

On average, an alternator is guaranteed for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. All of the top car manufacturers, such as Toyota and Lexus, have a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers the alternator. Some brands, such as Honda, have a 5-year warranty.

Sometimes, this initial warranty, typically called a new vehicle warranty, can be extended for more time for a small cost. For example, a 5-year warranty can be extended to 8 years. This varies from one car manufacturer to another.

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