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Are Doors Covered Under My Car Warranty?

BY: David Goldberg
Smiling young man texting on mobile phone leaning on car

Car owners have a lot on their minds. From fundamental safe driving to keeping track of maintenance and repairs, there’s a lot to focus on. One critical system that usually gets overlooked is the doors. Think about that for a moment. When was the last time you inspected the seals, latches, and alignment of your car’s door? Chances are, never.

Yet a vehicle’s doors do a lot. They safeguard the occupants and interior from the elements, provide a barrier during a collision, and keep the cabin secure. However, these protections can disappear if there’s a malfunction or faulty component. Understanding what a warranty does and doesn’t cover when it comes to doors can save you from headaches and unexpected repair bills down the road.

Keep reading as we explore door coverage under a factory warranty and an extended warranty, which is sometimes called an auto protection plan or vehicle service contract. You’ll learn about common door problems and which ones are covered by a warranty. In addition, this is an opportunity to become more familiar with warranty terms and terminology, so you’ll be prepared should you need door repairs in the future. Lastly, we’ll review tips on how to keep your car’s doors in top shape, which prevents service work in the first place.

Door Coverage Under Standard Car Warranties

One advantage to buying a new car is that it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, also known as a factory warranty. In simple terms, this is a promise that the automaker will repair or replace a faulty component on the new vehicle. Typically, this occurs if there’s a defect in materials or workmanship. The manufacturer’s warranty lasts for a specific timeframe or mileage limit, usually three to five years or 36,000 to 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.

So, what does this mean for your car doors? Generally, the factory warranty applies if the problem is due to a manufacturing defect. Examples include:

  • Faulty hinge
  • Malfunctioning lock or latch
  • Broken handle
  • Defective window
  • Misaligned door

It’s important to understand that the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t apply if the issue is due to an accident, abuse, neglect, or normal wear and tear. If your car’s door gets damaged in a fender bender or you’ve allowed rust to accumulate on a hinge or latch, the repairs are your responsibility.

Remember, factory coverage has time and mileage limits. That’s why catching door issues early is essential. Otherwise, post-warranty door trouble will be your problem.

Extended Warranties: Expanding Your Door Protection

As mentioned, factory warranties don’t last forever, so countless car owners turn to extended car warranties for added peace of mind. This aftermarket protection steps in when the manufacturer’s coverage expires.

Companies like Endurance offer a range of extended car warranties or auto protection plans. Depending on the plan, there can be protection for door components and related issues.

For example, Endurance’s Supreme plan has exclusionary coverage, meaning that unless a component is expressly excluded, it’s protected based on overall coverage terms. Only bushings, bearings, and handles are exempt in the case of doors. An exclusionary plan is similar to a factory bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Other Endurance options are known as stated coverage plans, which specify precisely what is protected. Endurance’s Supreme and Advantage plans are among the programs that cover power window motors and power door lock actuators, essential components for proper door operation.

Endurance extended warranties stand out because they often exceed the manufacturer’s coverage. All Endurance customers receive 24/7 roadside assistance, which includes towing, jump starts, and lock service. On the other hand, Toyota only provides roadside assistance for two years, even though its warranty lasts for three years (or 36,000 miles). Endurance also includes trip interruption protection and rental car support.

Car owners who sign up for the Advantage vehicle protection plan receive up to $3,500 in covered maintenance services, like oil changes and tire rotations. Most mainstream automakers don’t include these types of services with their warranties.

Endurance also includes a free year of Elite Benefits worth up to $2,000. Plan holders pay a small activation fee to access tire repair and replacement services, key fob replacement, collision repair discounts, and total loss protection.

Common Door Problems and Warranty Eligibility

After taking a big-picture look at door problems and warranties, let’s review some specific examples of how door troubles are resolved through different types of coverage.

One of the most infamous examples involves the Honda Odyssey. Its problematic power sliding doors date back more than twenty years ago. The issue involves malfunctioning door mechanisms,  causing the doors to get stuck or not secure properly. Sometimes, the doors fail when they are automatically opened and closed. More recently, Honda issued a recall for 2018 and 2019 Odyssey, again, involving troublesome sliding doors. In this instance, however, the issue was the doors opening unintentionally.

Odyssey owners with malfunctioning side doors should always check to see if a recall covers their vehicles. A Honda dealership can also check for technical services bulletins (TSBs) involving the side doors. TSBs are manufacturer-issued advisories that advise dealership service departments about specific model-related issues. Often, the solution involves no-cost repairs.

Warranties can also come into play. An unexpired factory warranty or an applicable extended warranty would cover these Odyssey door troubles. For instance, an extended warranty with exclusionary coverage is likely to help.

Another notorious example of door troubles involves Ford Escapes from 2020 and 2021. According to an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 500,000 units are susceptible to bad welds, causing Escape doors to make noise or suddenly open when the vehicle is in motion. While the company didn’t issue a recall, it agreed to repair the problem at no cost for all affected owners. Here’s another case where the manufacturer covers door repairs, although this one is outside any warranty or recall.

Power window motors are vulnerable to failure, especially in older cars. This component moves a window up and down, so its failure will leave it stuck in an open or closed position. A bad power window switch can also be to blame. Outside of a factory warranty, an extended warranty with expanded electric component coverage or exclusionary coverage (like Endurance Supreme) would be of service in this situation.

Every repair situation, including those involving car doors, is unique. Ultimately, eligibility for warranty (factory or extended) protection depends on the cause of the problem and warranty coverage terms. Coverage can be affected by:

  • The vehicle’s age and mileage
  • Cause of the problem (like a manufacturing defect or other reason)
  • Warranty terms (is the affected component expressly excluded or included)
  • If the vehicle has been properly maintained
  • If the car has been damaged (in an accident or another incident) or modified

Reading Between the Lines: Understanding Your Warranty Terms

Determining whether car door repairs are covered under an extended warranty involves reviewing the documentation. Ideally, you should do this before securing coverage so there are no surprises later.

Review a sample contract and ask the warranty company representative questions. Focus on the section that details what’s covered or excluded. While an exclusionary plan like Endurance Supreme covers most major systems, some exemptions exist.

Some door exclusions involve “body sheet metal and panels” and “glass.” This makes sense because these parts aren’t mechanical. Any issues with them will likely stem from an outside force (an accident or vandalism, for example) rather than a manufacturing defect.

Even if you already have an extended warranty, learning more about what protection is available if door problems arise never hurts. Read the contract to determine precisely what door repairs are covered. If you’re unsure, contact the warranty company. This is also an excellent time to confirm if warranty coverage is conditional on following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

Warranty Coverage in Action

Here are a few scenarios demonstrating how door coverage works in the real world.

Scenario #1

The power lock on the front passenger door of a two-year-old sedan that’s still under warranty suddenly stops working. A trip to the dealer service department reveals a bad door lock actuator, the component that controls door locking and unlocking via a switch. Because of the existing manufacturer’s warranty, there’s no repair bill. You’re only out of your time.

Scenario #2

The driver’s side window on a nine-year-old SUV is stuck in the closed position. Although the owner has an extended warranty, they’re uncertain if this repair is eligible. A review of the contract shows that a power window motor and a power window switch, the likely trouble, are covered. The owner takes the car to an authorized repair center where the faulty window motor is replaced. Because this is a zero-deductible warranty, there are no out-of-pocket repair costs to the owner. Otherwise, an applicable deductible would apply.

Scenario #3

An owner of a 12-year-old hatchback with an extended warranty notices that the rear driver’s side door is misaligned when closed and difficult to open. They take their car to the same repair shop that handles other warranty work. An inspection uncovers a deteriorated door hinge due to significant corrosion. In this case, the warranty doesn’t cover the repair because the problem results from neglect, not a defect in manufacturing.

5 Ways to Maximize Your Warranty Coverage for Doors

Dealing with door issues or any car problem is a hassle at best and cost at worst. However, a few proactive steps can reduce the likelihood of needing to make an extended warranty claim and better prepare you for when a claim is required.

1. Perform Regular Inspections

At a minimum, take a few minutes every three months to check your door inside and out. Look for damage, corrosion, loose parts, and misaligned panels. Inspect that the seals are in good condition. Test that all locks, latches, handles, and windows operate smoothly. This is equally important for doors that aren’t used often.

2. Address Minor Issues Promptly

Don’t ignore any problems uncovered during an inspection or through regular driving. A small problem like a slow power window or troublesome door lock can quickly become a significant and more expensive repair. Plus, stuck windows always seem to happen when the weather is less kind.

3. Follow Maintenance Requirements

Most factory and extended warranties require that covered vehicles receive proper maintenance. Failure to do so can void coverage. While most car owners know the requirements for oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks, doors also need attention. At a minimum, hinges and latches should be lubricated periodically, and seals should be treated with silicone to preserve flexibility. Consult the vehicle owner’s manual or contact a dealer to confirm what’s needed.

4. Be Familiar with the Claims Process

Every extended warranty company has a specific process for filing a claim. Knowing these details in advance can speed up the claim and repairs. Failure to follow the correct steps can lead to delays or a denied claim.

5. Keep Detailed Records

Keep your vehicle warranty documents and service records in a safe place. This makes tracking service and claims history easier. Plus, there’s no guessing if something has already been worked on.

Car Warranty FAQs

What car parts are not covered under warranty?

Covered parts vary by manufacturer, auto warranty plan, and situation. Typically, wear-and-tear items like brake pads, tires, wiper blades, and light bulbs aren’t covered. In addition, extended warranties usually bypass cosmetic damage, interior and exterior trim, and aftermarket equipment.

Is a broken car door handle covered under warranty?

If the door handle breaks due to a manufacturing defect or mechanical failure, it should be covered under an active factory warranty. An extended warranty may or may not cover a broken door handle. Your car insurance provider may cover this type of situation. Consult your warranty contract for more details.

Does a car warranty cover door locks?

A factory warranty usually covers door lock components. The same may apply to an extended warranty offering exclusionary coverage or specifically covering parts like a power door lock actuator or switch.

Are door seals and gaskets included in car warranty coverage?

Door seals and gaskets are usually considered wear-and-tear items, so they aren’t protected by a factory or extended warranty.

Endurance Protection Opens Doors to Peace of Mind

An Endurance car warranty, more accurately called a vehicle service contract, can protect your new or used car against breakdowns and surprise repair bills. Learn all your coverage options by requesting a FREE quote or visiting the Endurance online store for instant price and plan information. You can also call (800) 253-8203 to speak with an Endurance plan advisor.

Check out our blog for detailed articles on car repairs, maintenance advice, warranty insights, car reviews, and more.

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