Reliability and longevity are two of the most important considerations when you buy a new side-by-side, which is why knowing what your factory warranty looks like is important.
We’ve scoured each major brands warranty info to be able to compile exactly what each company covers straight from the factory. So read on to learn more about what’s available when it comes to warranties.
It’s important to not that every single brand offers a more in-depth warranty for a longer period of time, if you’re willing to pay. We’re not looking at extended warranty coverage here though, just what comes along with the purchase price of a new side-by-side.
Polaris offers a six-month limited warranty, which covers against “defects in material or workmanship,” on new machines. This exact wording is found at just about every brand as well.
The warranty takes effect from the date you take delivery of the vehicle and it is transferable to a new owner within that six-month time frame.
So what doesn’t it cover? Polaris lists acts of God, accidental damage, wear and tear, abuse, improper maintenance or neglect, modifications and using the unit for racing or competition as things that will not be covered. The warranty also specifically says that snow, water, dirt or other foreign substances contaminating or ingested into the vehicle will also not be covered.
Finally, the brand lists the wear & tear parts they won’t cover, and describes them as parts exposed to friction surfaces, stresses, environmental conditions and/or contamination. These include wheels and tires, suspension components, brakes, seats, clutches, belts, light bulbs, filters, spark plugs, steering components, batteries, carburetor/throttle body components, hydraulic components, circuit breakers/fuses, electronic components, coolant and bearings.
From the owner’s manual of the Can-Am Maverick X3, we can see that Can-Am, like Polaris, offers a six-month limited warranty on defects in materials or workmanship. The warranty is transferrable for that time. When it comes time to claim, Can-Am lays out the process, saying you must contact your local dealer within three days of noticing the issue.
So what isn’t covered?
This list is also very similar between brands, though each company outlines different specific things that will not be covered. Here’s what Can-Am says isn’t covered: normal wear and tear, tune ups, damage caused by improper storage, damage caused by modifications, damage caused by abuse or abnormal use, damage cause by using the wrong fuel or oil, damage from rust, damage caused by snow or water ingestion and any issue caused by an act of god.
Yamaha follows suit with the two big North American brands by offering a six-month limited warranty, though one addition is that the battery is also covered for 30 days after purchase. Of course, the brand claims it will only replace “parts adjusted federative by Yamaha but to faulty workmanship or materials.”
Yamaha says you have 10 days after finding the issue to make your dealer aware of the problem. This warranty can also be transferred to a new owner.
Exclusions to the warranty include race or competition, installing foreign parts, abnormal strain, neglect or abuse, lack of proper maintenance, and damage due to improper transportation. Yamaha doesn’t go as in-depth in what its specific exclusions are, saying that it won’t replace parts due to normal wear or routine maintenance like spark plugs, oil, oil filters, air filters and brakes.
Yamaha does goes one step further in explaining what conditions will void the warranty though, including sustained high rpm, running the machine out of oil, full-throttle operation, running the machine with a broken or damaged part, or damage due to careless transportation or tie downs.
Textron, which actually just changed its name back to Arctic Cat off-road, follows suit with the big brands, offering a six-month limited warranty. The warranty if transferable as well, just like the rest, and offers to repair or replace any parts that are found to be “warrantable in material or workmanship.”
And like everyone else, there is a long list of things that aren’t covered as they suffer from normal wear, abuse, and corrosion. Things like tires, CV boots, punctured upholstery, oil filter, drive belts, air filters, brakes and spark plugs.
Arctic Cat does have one interesting distinction though. The brand will cover your shock absorbers for a full year of what they describe as “normal” riding conditions. The shocks will be replaced for leaking, corroded or pitted shaft or peeling chrome.
Things that will void your Arctic Cat warranty include failing to properly break in the machine, repairs done by a non-authorized dealer, improper fuel, any accident subject to abuse or neglect, any modification, racing, removing the engine, transportation damages and the use of starting fluid like ether.
So how about Honda? Well this is the first brand on this list that goes beyond the six-month limited warranty, doubling it up to one year with unlimited use in that time. Like everyone else, Honda says that that it will replace defects that are attributable to faulty workmanship or material at the time of manufacture.
What’s also the same, no surprise here, is that Honda won’t replace parts damaged by owner abuse, neglect or improper maintenance. Any unauthorized alterations to the machine will also void the warranty.
One of the interesting things that Honda lists in its warranty that I didn’t see anywhere else is coverage for the seatbelts. Honda offers a standard 5-year warranty on its seatbelts and will replace them if they fail to function during “normal” use. Of course, Honda won’t fix them for you for cosmetic reasons, and they also won’t fix them if their damaged in an accident or thanks to abuse.
So if you’re looking at a John Deere Gator, how does the large agriculture focused company stack up? They offer nearly the same deal as Honda, a 12-month limited warranty, though the stipulation with John Deere is coverage lasts for one year or 1000 hours, whichever comes first.
The warranty itself is pretty standard, though John Deere specifically lists the things it will replace within the engine, parts like the cylinder block, cylinder head, valve covers, oil pan, timing gear covered, flywheel houses, transmission, transmission case, differentiation and axle housings and more.
So what’s not covered? Any vehicle that has been modified, any damaged cause by normal wear and tear or lack of reasonable maintanece. Racing also voids the warranty.
And now Kawasaki, and when it comes to warranty, we saved the best for last. Starting back in 2014, Kawasaki began offering a standard three-year limited warranty on Teryx on all flavours of the Mule.
Like everyone, Kawasaki’s warranty covers any material or workmanship that is found to be defective. Transporting the vehicle to the dealership for warranty work is not covered, but not a single brand on this list offers free transport.
Of course, normal wear and tear isn’t covered by Kawasaki either, applying to things like tires, brake pads, transmission drive belts, chains, sprockets and more.