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Does My Extended Warranty Cover My Car’s Brakes?

BY: Chris Brown
Mechanic checking car tire and brakes

Many car components are crucial for your safety, but most people would agree that your brakes top the list. If they aren’t working properly when you’re on the road, slowing down becomes almost impossible, leading to collisions that are often fatal.

With brakes being so important, you might have wondered if you can protect them somehow. Many car owners invest in extended warranties to ensure their parts are repaired without charge should they unexpectedly fail — but are brakes included? We’re here to help you get to grips with extended warranties, what they do and don’t cover, plus what you can do to look out for your brakes specifically.

Understanding Extended Warranties

So, what exactly is an extended warranty? And why should you get one? Put simply, having auto warranty coverage can save you serious money in the event of unexpected component failure. But to give you the full picture, we should start at the beginning.

Every new vehicle that rolls off a factory production line has what’s known as a factory warranty or manufacturer warranty. This effectively acts as the manufacturer’s promise to replace any mechanical components that fail due to fault within a number of years or miles traveled on your new car.

How long this lasts will depend on your manufacturer, with some being much more generous than others. One thing is for certain, however: when it expires, you, as the owner, are responsible for any future repair bills.

To continue enjoying the coverage that you’re used to, you have two options:

The first is a traditional extended warranty, which can usually be purchased via your dealership or directly from the automaker. This does pretty much exactly what you’d expect in that it extends your factory warranty beyond its expiry date. While this might sound great in principle, this route has a few major downsides.

First of all, it’s more expensive to get coverage this way. You’re also restricted to car dealerships for repairs, which isn’t ideal if you break down hundreds of miles from home. Finally, you must purchase an extended warranty while your factory warranty is still active. Leave it just a day late, and you’ll no longer qualify.

The second (almost universally preferred) option is a vehicle service contract (VSC) or aftermarket warranty from a third-party provider. Third parties are incentivized to offer almost like-for-like coverage at a much better price, usually throwing in some great bonus perks to sweeten the deal. You’re also free to have car repairs carried out at any certified auto shop, and as long as you meet the provider’s eligibility criteria, almost anyone can qualify regardless of factory warranty status.

We should also point out that extended warranties/vehicle service contracts and auto insurance are completely different things. Sure, they’re both designed to save you money, but a warranty protects you specifically from the cost of repair bills in the event of unexpected component failure, and car insurance protects you from repair costs in the event of a collision or other such incident. The two work great in tandem, though — so you may want to invest in both.

Extended Warranties and Brake Coverage

Typically, an extended car warranty covers components that are not “wear and tear” parts. These parts of your vehicle are expected to wear out and be replaced fairly regularly, such as tires, windshield wipers, and your car battery. Your brake pads and rotors are also considered wear and tear parts and won’t be covered by your extended warranty.

The good news is that normal wear and tear parts are usually covered by a separate manufacturer warranty should they fail due to fault, and even if they wear down naturally, brake pads and rotors aren’t unreasonably expensive to replace. Repairpal estimates that brake pads should cost between $259 and $300, with rotors at $290 and $393 — somewhere around the $600 mark.

That said, your brakes are much more than just pads and rotors. Other components include the master cylinder, disc brake calipers, hydraulic control unit, and many others that aren’t considered wear and tear. Depending on how comprehensive your extended warranty is, these other parts of your braking system could be covered by it. What’s covered specifically will depend on your provider and the package you’ve taken with them.

Take a look at your contract for full details, but to give you an example, Endurance’s Secure Plus and Supreme plans can include coverage for your:

  • Master Cylinder
  • Power Brake Cylinder
  • Vacuum/Hydro Assist Booster
  • Disc Brake Caliper
  • Wheel Cylinders
  • Compensating Valve
  • Brake Hydraulic Lines and Fittings
  • Hydraulic Control Unit
  • Hydraulic Trailer Brake Assembly
  • ABS Electronic Control Processor
  • ABS Wheel Speed Sensors
  • ABS Hydraulic Pump/Motor Assembly
  • ABS Pressure Modulator Valve/Isolation Dump Valve
  • ABS Accumulator

Advantages of Extended Warranties for Brake Components

Not only are your braking systems important, but they’re also quite complex — and complex can be pricey to repair. By investing in an extended warranty, you can be certain that should anything break down, it will be repaired at no cost to you. Opt for a quality third-party provider with added benefits, and you can also rest assured that you’ll be towed to the automotive shop of your choice, reimbursed for trip-interruption costs, and provided with a replacement vehicle until yours is back on the road.

As covered repairs are only ever carried out by a certified auto shop, they’ll be completed to the highest standard with original manufacturer parts. Not only does this mean they’ll last a long time before they fail again, but they’ll also keep the parts around them in better shape by running smoothly and efficiently and preventing further problems.

Reading the Fine Print

An extended warranty is just like any contract: you need to read the fine print before you put pen to paper. Whether you’ve taken out an exclusionary or stated component plan, it’s essential that you know exactly what you’re signing up for so that you aren’t stung with any nasty surprises later down the line. Go through your contract with a fine-tooth comb and fully get to grips with the components you’re covering and the ones you aren’t.

When it comes to brakes specifically, you can be almost certain that those wear and tear parts will be excluded, but take a closer look at whether any wider braking system components are protected. If you have questions or don’t quite understand what you’re reading, any warranty provider worth their salt will have a customer care team available to help you. The Endurance team is available, or you can access all of the most important information about your contract via the handy Endurance Mobile app.

Consider an Extended Auto Warranty for Your Vehicle

The AAA recently found that the average annual cost of car ownership recently passed $12,000, and unfortunately, that number will only ever increase. This cost is mostly made up of repair bills, which often land on you unexpectedly and sometimes cost thousands of dollars.

With an extended warranty watching your back, you can rest assured that your car won’t be off the road for too long when the worst inevitably happens, and your wallet won’t be impacted. So, an extended warranty is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to drive without worry and save some serious money.

Brake Coverage FAQs

If you still have questions about brakes and warranties, you should find the answers right here:

Are brakes covered under an extended warranty?

Your braking system’s “wear and tear” components (e.g., brake pads and rotors) and routine maintenance (like oil changes) are almost universally not covered under an extended warranty. This is because they are expected to wear down and be replaced relatively frequently. Depending on your coverage level, some providers will cover key components of your wider braking system, such as the master cylinder, disc brake calipers, and hydraulic control unit.

Are brakes covered under a bumper-to-bumper warranty?

Like an extended warranty, a bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t cover wear and tear parts like brake pads and rotors. Bumper-to-bumper coverage would most likely protect your wider braking system, but this would completely depend on your contract. Read through your specific terms to be totally sure.

Are brakes part of the powertrain?

No, brakes aren’t part of the powertrain. The powertrain can loosely be described as the components that power your vehicle forward: engine, transmission, driveshaft, axles, and differential.

What is the cost of brake pads?

How much a component costs will depend on your vehicle, but RepairPal estimates that brake pads should be between $169 and $188. With labor between $87 and $109, the average total cost for brake pad replacement is between $256 and $297.

The Only Way to Drive with Total Confidence

There’s no doubt that brakes can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping you safe, but without an extended warranty, you’re at risk of paying for expensive repairs. Unfortunately, all components fail eventually, and when they do, you could be hit with hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars in unexpected repair bills. However, you won’t have to pay a penny with auto protection. Endurance offers you the ultimate peace of mind.

Founded in Northbrook, Illinois, we’ve operated for almost two decades, helping thousands of American drivers and earning the title of the country’s most trusted auto protection provider. We have a wide range of auto protection plans designed to cater to an even wider range of drivers, with something for casual commuters, roadtrippers, rideshare drivers, and even select luxury vehicle owners.

We pride ourselves on our unrivaled eligibility and customization, so if our basic vehicle protection plans aren’t quite right for your needs or budget, we’ll be more than happy to tailor a package that ticks all the right boxes.

Better yet, we also throw in some great added benefits. Our plans come with standard 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, trip interruption costs, and rental car reimbursement. If that wasn’t enough, all new Endurance customers receive a year of our Elite Benefits suite, adding on tire repair/replacement, key fob replacement, total loss protection, and much more. Just pay a small activation fee, and it’s all yours.

Not only are we rated by experts across the web as the best auto warranty provider in the U.S., but we also have thousands of five-star reviews from happy customers on sites like Trustpilot. Make sure to check them out, and when you’re ready to find out more, our award-winning customer service team will be more than happy to help. Contact (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote, or shop online to see your price now.

If you’re not done reading just yet, you can find more helpful articles like this one on our extended warranty blog. Head on over and take a look!

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