From deep forests to white peaks, a Subaru can take you far. Of course, even the most rugged vehicles need repairs over time, so how long does the Subaru warranty last? The bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 3 years/36,000 miles, which isn’t very long compared to other manufacturers.
With the time limit being so short, it’s a good idea to think about how to extend coverage for your Subaru. We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended warranty providers – check out our recommendations and compare quotes to find the best deal.
Subaru Warranty Summary
Compared to other factory warranties on the market, Subaru’s offering is somewhat average. Subaru’s warranty is actually made up of many warranties on different parts and services.
Here are all the different parts of the Subaru warranty for 2020 vehicles:
|Subaru Warranty||Coverage Terms|
|New Vehicle Limited Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Hybrid System Warranty||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Seat Belt Lifetime Warranty||Unlimited time and mileage|
|Wear Items Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Rust Perforation Warranty||5 years/unlimited miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Single Adjustment Service||3 years/36,000 miles|
Subaru’s Bumper-To-Bumper and Powertrain Warranties
When judging car warranties, the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties are two important parts to consider. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is another name for Subaru’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty. It covers repairs for defective materials and workmanship on most mechanical parts and it has a short list of excluded items.
Subaru’s bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 3 years/36,000 miles, whichever comes first. This is actually the shortest bumper-to-bumper coverage period offered by any mass-market manufacturer. In comparison, Kia’s bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 5/60,000 miles.
Subaru’s powertrain coverage repairs the engine, transaxle and drivetrain to fix defects in materials or workmanship. In short, it covers the heart of the car. These parts are expensive to repair and usually only break down after many miles, so it makes sense that this warranty covers a longer period. In Subaru’s case, the powertrain warranty lasts for 5 years/60,000 miles.
This warranty also isn’t very long, though some manufacturers offer even shorter powertrain warranties. Brands like Kia, Hyundai and Mitsubishi offer the industry’s longest coverage terms of 10 years/100,000 miles.
Hybrid System Limited Warranty
Subaru covers certain hybrid components for 8 years/100,000 miles, and this is comparable to other factory hybrid warranties. You can think of this as covering the electric powertrain. The hybrid system warranty covers things like the high voltage battery, power control unit, onboard charger and hybrid system control unit.
Lifetime Seat Belt Warranty
Subaru’s seat belt lifetime warranty covers seat belts and related parts that malfunction or stop working properly during normal use. However, the warranty won’t replace a seat belt that has been cut after an accident.
Wear Item Limited Warranty
One thing that stands out as a feature of Subaru’s warranty is it covers some wear items. Not many other warranties include wear items, so this is a nice perk. Here’s what this warranty covers:
- Brake pad/shoe linings
- Clutch linings
- Wiper blades
It’s certainly nice to have this coverage, but remember that it’s only available for 3 years/36,000 miles. Out of these three parts, wiper blades need to be replaced most often. But are you really going to need to replace your brake pads or clutch linings before the time period is up?
According to RepairPal, most brake pads need to be replaced at around 50,000 miles, though some might wear out before that. Clutch linings are also designed to last tens of thousands of miles.
You might replace these parts if you drive your car hard or if you live in a hilly area. Subaru’s warranty doesn’t specify the amount of wear that would be required before the part could be replaced under warranty, either. Would the company replace your brake pads if the pads had 60% of life left?
Rust Perforation Limited Warranty
The rust perforation warranty covers exactly that: perforation. It doesn’t cover surface or cosmetic rust. A piece of sheet metal has to be rusted through with a hole for the warranty to kick in and replace the metal.
This warranty lasts for 5 years/unlimited miles. That means you’ll get five years of coverage even if you drive 20,000 miles per year.
Subaru Roadside Assistance
All Subarus come with 3 years/36,000 miles of roadside assistance, which covers:
- Fuel delivery
- Spare tire installation
- Lockout services
- Phone service to locate nearest Subaru dealer
Single Adjustment Service
Subaru’s adjustment warranty allows for one adjustment visit within 3 years/36,000 miles. It covers wheel alignment and minor adjustments that don’t require replacement parts.
Subaru’s adjustment warranty period is longer than the standard period of 12 months/12,000 miles that most manufacturers offer. However, you can only go in for one visit. That means it would be a good idea to have your dealer reset your alignment toward the end of that period, unless it was misaligned before that.
What’s Not Covered by a Subaru Warranty?
Beyond the specific wear items listed, the Subaru warranty doesn’t cover any other items expected to wear out over time. The warranty also doesn’t cover any scheduled maintenance, and it doesn’t cover normal deterioration of things like paint, soft trim and cosmetic items.
Here are a few more things the warranty doesn’t cover:
- Damage caused by misuse or neglect
- Malfunction due to lack of maintenance
- Damage caused by a non-covered part
- Damage caused by car accidents
- Cosmetic corrosion of sheet metal
Be aware that you can only receive coverage at Subaru dealerships. If it has been a while since your car has had a service, you can do a quick Subaru warranty check online to see which warranties are still in effect.
Does Subaru Have a Good Warranty?
Considering all the information, we’d say that Subaru’s warranty is average for the industry. Some of the coverage terms are very short, but it also offers a couple of perks that other brands don’t offer.
It’s also good to know that the warranty is completely transferable. If you’re selling your car (or buying a used one), you can transfer the Subaru warranty for free just by contacting the company.
Why Should You Extend Coverage for Your Subaru?
The Subaru factory warranty doesn’t last very long, which is why it’s a good idea to think about a Subaru warranty extension. This is especially true if you just purchased a new Subaru and plan to keep your car longer than three years. Extended warranties can also be helpful for covering repairs on used cars.
iSeeCars found that Subarus are popular with people who like to get outdoors and experience nature, especially in states like Vermont, Colorado and Oregon. These cars can last for hundreds of trips to hiking trails and hot springs, but they still need care. As Subaru vehicles get older, repair costs can add up.
J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM ranks Subaru vehicles in the bottom third compared to all other brands. The study looked at the number of problems that drivers encountered with three-year-old Subaru models in the past 12 months. That’s actually a downgrade from the 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM, which placed Subaru in the middle of the pack.
Subaru Repair Costs
According to RepairPal, Subaru drivers spend about $617 on repair cost annually. Compared to other brands, this is an average amount. Here are a few repairs that Subaru drivers might encounter:
|Subaru Impreza tire pressure monitoring System Relearn||$35 to $45|
|Subaru Loyale brake bleed||$61 to $73|
|Strut assembly replacement||$549 to $618|
|Head gasket replacement||$1,170 to $1,496|
The main thing to decide is if you want to save up your own money to cover repairs or to pay a small monthly bill each month for an extended warranty.
Subaru Extended Warranty Coverage Options
Subaru offers two Added Security® Extended Service Agreements: Gold Plus and Classic. The Gold Plus plan covers the following:
- Over 1,000 parts on most systems of the car
- Trip interruption of up to $500 per occurrence
- 24-hour roadside assistance
- Towing reimbursement
- Rental car reimbursement
- Wear and tear items like tires and wiper blades optional
The Classic plan covers the following:
- Almost 1,000 parts including powertrain, A/C and electrical systems
- Towing reimbursement
- Rental car reimbursement
- Wear items like tires and wiper blades optional
Both plans allow maximum coverage limits of either 8 years/120,000 miles or 10 years/100,000 miles. These limits are measured from the in-service date. Be aware that you can only add a Gold Plus or Classic Added Security® plan before basic factory warranty coverage expires (3 years/36,000 miles).
So, should you buy Subaru’s extended warranty? Well, you have a few years to decide after you buy a new Subaru. But we think it’s worth taking a look at third-party vehicle service contracts to compare plans and pricing. You might find that you can get a longer plan for the same cost through another provider.
Comparing Subaru’s Extended Warranty to CARCHEX and CarShield
Here, we’ll compare Subaru’s Added Security® side-by-side to plans from CARCHEX and CarShield, two of the most popular third-party warranty companies.
|Subaru Added Security®||CARCHEX||CarShield|
|Number of coverage level options||2||5||6|
|Eligibility||Can only be added before basic limited warranty expires||Can be added before or after basic limited warranty expires||Can be added before or after basic limited warranty expires|
|Deductible||$0 to $100||$0+||$0+|
|Plan is accepted at||Dealerships preferred unless emergency repair||Any ASE-certified mechanic||Any ASE-certified mechanic|
|Maximum mileage for coverage||120,000||250,000||300,000|
|Roadside assistance||Included in Gold Plus only||✓||✓|
|Rental car||✓||✓||On most plans|
|Trip interruption||Included in Gold Plus only||✓||On most plans|
Third-party companies give you much more time to decide if you want to add an extended warranty plan. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait until your car has 100,000 miles.
As cars age, the likelihood of expensive repairs increases. That means a warranty plan for an older car will be more expensive than the same coverage for a newer car. If you purchase a plan early, you can usually lock in a better price along with a longer coverage period.
Third-party plans in general offer more flexibility than extended manufacturer warranties. For example, CARCHEX has five types of plans that can cover cars up to 250,000 miles, while CarShield has six plans that can cover up to 300,000 miles.
Many of the best extended warranty providers also let drivers go to any ASE-certified mechanic for repairs, which gives drivers more freedom. At the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes from different types of extended warranty providers. That way, you have the peace of mind knowing you’re getting the best deal.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car warranty provider to formulate rankings of the best warranty companies. Our in-depth rating system takes into account coverage, pricing, transparency, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each provider is given a weighted score in five categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto warranty companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.