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Semi Truck Warranties Have Hilarious Coverage Lengths

The other day, I was sitting around, eating Doritos and watching “Gilmore Girls” — this is my default position — when I started thinking about semi truck warranties. Have you ever thought about this? New car warranties typically cover the powertrain for 3 to 5 years, but that’s easily a half-million miles in a semi truck. Would any manufacturer actually cover a vehicle for a half-million miles of use?

So I looked it up, and I discovered something hilarious: the coverage lengths of semi truck warranties. Take, for example, International. While most truck warranties seem to be about the same, it’s spelled out in especially simple terms on the International website.

And just what is that coverage? Well, in a normal new car, bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage usually lasts for 3 years or 36,000 miles. In a new International semi truck, it’s 1 year… or 100,000 miles. Meanwhile, in a normal new car, powertrain coverage typically lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles. In an International truck, it’s 3 years… or 300,000 miles. Now seriously, sit back and imagine driving 300,000 miles in 3 years. That’s an average of 275 miles a day, every day, for 3 years. And you’re still covered under warranty!

Although anyone who has spent time around semi trucks likely won’t find this whole warranty situation as funny as I do, car buyers will probably laugh at the idea of a warranty that lasts for one year or 100,000 miles — or one that covers a vehicle for up to 300,000 miles but only lasts for 3 years. But apparently, that’s life in the world of heavy trucks. Find a truck for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. We’ve got a Kenworth that’s getting close to 2 million kilometers and it’s still got the original bottom end on the engine

  2. Engine certification for the biggest heavy duty engines requires testing of the engine emissions as far out as 435,000 miles.  From an engineering standpoint, that requires a significant investment in time just to age engines to an equivalent point.

  3. As far as I can tell, they don’t ever seem to shut the engines off once they’re started. They’re either hauling freight or idling at a rest stop.

  4. Truck drivetrains are hilariously overbuilt to handle the constant abuse— most can make it to a million miles on original components with proper maintenance.

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