As a Lemon Law attorney in California, I often receive calls from individuals frustrated with car troubles, particularly those who have crossed the 100,000-mile mark and have post-warranty repairs. It’s crucial for consumers to have realistic expectations about their vehicles and comprehend the nuances of manufacturer warranties. Here’s a guide to help you understand when repairs may be expected and when they could signal an issue worth exploring.

1. Warranty Time and Mileage as Benchmarks

Manufacturer warranties are designed to cover repairs and defects within a specified timeframe or mileage. Typically, this coverage extends for three to five years or around 36,000 to 60,000, sometimes 100,000, miles. During this period, consumers can reasonably expect the manufacturer to pick up the tab for necessary repairs.

2. Manufacturer Responsibility During Warranty Period

Within the warranty period, manufacturers are responsible for addressing defects and ensuring that the vehicle operates as intended. If problems arise, the cost of repairs should fall on the manufacturer, not the consumer. This period is a crucial time for identifying and rectifying issues that may arise due to manufacturing defects.

3. Post-Warranty Repairs

Once a vehicle surpasses the warranty period or mileage, it enters a phase where certain repairs can be considered normal wear and tear. A car with over 100,000 miles is essentially an older vehicle, and some degree of maintenance and repair is to be expected. These costs are considered a part of the natural aging process of any vehicle.

4. Managing Expectations for Older Vehicles

As vehicles age, various components, from the transmission to the suspension, may require attention. Regular maintenance, including oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections, becomes increasingly critical. Understanding and budgeting for these expected costs is vital for responsible vehicle ownership.

5. Identifying Lemon Law Cases

While post-warranty repairs are a normal part of vehicle ownership, it’s essential to differentiate between routine maintenance and persistent issues that may qualify under Lemon Law. If a relatively new vehicle experiences recurring problems within the warranty period, it could be indicative of a manufacturing defect, warranting legal attention.

6. Consultation with a Lemon Law Attorney

For consumers experiencing persistent issues within the warranty period or if unsure about the nature of their vehicle problems, consulting a Lemon Law attorney is advisable. Attorneys can assess the situation, determine if the Lemon Law applies, and guide consumers on their rights and potential courses of action.


Owning a vehicle beyond the warranty mileage brings with it a reasonable expectation of regular maintenance and repairs. As a responsible consumer, understanding this distinction is crucial for managing expectations and budgeting appropriately. If you find yourself facing persistent issues within the warranty period, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice. A Lemon Law attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your situation and ensure your rights are protected.



If you’re facing car problems and suspect your vehicle may be a lemon, contact our experienced Lemon Law attorneys today for a free consultation. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you seek justice in your lemon law case.

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Disclaimer: This blog article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. For accurate and up-to-date information regarding the lemon law in your jurisdiction, consult with a qualified attorney.