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My warranty has expired. Now what?

tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
edited March 15 in Saturn
I keep reading about folks who have just experienced a major mechanical problem with their car and, oh, by the way, the warranty has expired. The stress can be overwhelming when the replacement or repair is a big ticket item - like a broken transmission or cracked engine block.

Let's use this space to vent, share coping skills and commiserate and, especially, I'd like to hear about success stories and strategies that work in minimizing the damage to your finances.

tidester, host
SUVs and Smart Shopper
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Comments

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,678
    I'm not a big fan of warranties. Just the fact that manufacturers offer them indicated that they think you will never get your money's worth out of them. I mean, if they thought they would have to pay out anywhere near the amount they charge they would have no incentive, right? The fact that they are willing to discount them proves my point.

    Then there are the exclusions and deductibles. Most of these things have so many conditions on them that unless you are a lawyer you can't tell what is covered. Who needs that?

    When I recently bought a new car they tried to sell me all the extras. To be polite I let the F & I woman give her pitch but really wasn't listening. Then as she finished up she ends with "And after the $1500 deductible you don't have to pay a penny".
    My head spun around like in the Exorcist. I thanked her for her time and declined her offer. :cry:

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • isellitisellit Posts: 15
    Warranty on a car is similar to good health.

    You do regular maintenance on a car and it should last 100k-125k miles without any major breakdowns if you have a fairly dependable model.
    If you smoke, drink, have multiple partners and live life on the edge and avoid yearly checkups your body with fall apart and you will have poor health/dealth at an early age.
    Many people buy life insurance because of their life style just like many people buy extended warranty for their lack of car maintenance.
    Personally Id say if a car has been kept up and did not give you fits while in warranty there should be no need to buy an extended warranty when the factory warranty runs out. I would never buy an extended warranty on a new car, thats what the factory "free" warranty is for.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    You do regular maintenance on a car and it should last 100k-125k miles without any major breakdowns ...

    Of course, the operative word is "should." People who do take great care of their cars often experience warranty expired woes with serious problems.

    If you smoke, drink, have multiple partners and live life on the edge and avoid yearly checkups your body with fall apart and you will have poor health/dealth at an early age.

    Jim Fixx was the epitome of fitness and health and even he succumbed to clogged arteries at the ripe young age of 52. Nor did the exemplary diet and lifestyle save Euell Gibbons. :(

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    You do regular maintenance on a car and it should last 100k-125k miles without any major breakdowns ...

    Of course, the operative word is "should." People who do take great care of their cars often experience warranty expired woes with serious problems.


    Tell me about it. In November of 2002 I bought a new 2003 Saturn L300. I elected not to get an extended warranty.

    I have had all service performed by the dealer. Unfortunately, that hasn't prevented me from having to spend close to $3000 on repairs after the 3 year / 36K standard warranty expired:

    2 Body Control Modules within 16 months of each other
    Transmission axle seal
    New rotors and calipers for the front brakes

    The car now has almost 70,000 miles on it and is paid for. It's been over a year (knock on wood!) since anything has needed repair. I'm just hoping that I can nurse it along for another 2 or 3 years before I get something new.
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    Excluding extended or extra coverage from the equation, would you buy a new car if it did not have any new car warranty coverage?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Michael,

    I'm curious. How soon after your warranty expired did you get hit with those expenses?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I'd have to review the receipts, but I think that the problems started about 6 months after the warranty expired - spring of 2006.

    The first BCM replacement and brakes were done within a couple of months of one another. The axle seal and the second BCM were last year (2007).

    Not much sympathy from the Saturn dealer, either.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Not much sympathy from the Saturn dealer, either.

    I'm sorry, why should the dealer give you any sympathy??

    YOU elected NOT to get the extended warranty.
    That is a you problem, not the dealers fault.

    The ONLY reason you shouldn't get an extended warranty is if you don't plan on keeping a car after the new car warranty period.

    I don't care whop makes it. Modern cars are so complex that NONE of them will last like the old ones.
    There are too many computers, relays and gadgets anymore.
    Plus, all the same suppliers make components for everyone.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    I'm sorry, why should the dealer give you any sympathy??

    I believe it was an observation and not a statement of expectation. I am curious to know what proportion of components have "mean time between failures" just beyond the duration of the basic manufacturer's warranty.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    volvo - as tidester points out, I didn't expect Saturn to cover my out of warranty expenses. I will, however, give my Saturn dealer props for splitting the cost (nearly $600 total) with me on the second BCM replacement as it failed within 16 months of the first one - had it failed within 12 months, they would have covered it 100%. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I have 3 Saturns in the family and all of them get nothing but dealer service.

    I realize that I had the choice when I bought the car to purchase an extended warranty and did not do so. My wife's 2008 VUE, however, does have an extended warranty (even though GM warranties the powertrain for 5 years or 100K miles). My daughter's 2006 ION does not have an extended warranty - but, since she drives about 7K a year, we decided that it was a gamble worth taking.

    tidester - I have since learned that the BCM failures are pretty common with the L-series. Not quite sure why that is, but the Saturn boards are full of folks who have had the same problem as I did.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Even as an observation, it's pointless.
    Dealers are businesses, not Santa Claus.

    I am curious to know what proportion of components have "mean time between failures" just beyond the duration of the basic manufacturer's warranty.

    Probably quite a high proportion.
    Remember, cars are designed to a price point.
    You use the cheapest components you can to get the job done.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    volvo - as tidester points out, I didn't expect Saturn to cover my out of warranty expenses. I will, however, give my Saturn dealer props for splitting the cost (nearly $600 total) with me on the second BCM replacement as it failed within 16 months of the first one

    Well, then you got something MUCH more valuable then sympathy.
    And, you should have mentioned this in your initial post.
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    Gulp....3 years ago today, I bought by subie.

    Everything seems ok right now.

    But I did have a warranty repair just under a month ago (o2 sensor). They assured me that had it been 1 month later, I would have been taken car of gratis. (They do all of the maintenance).
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,672
    1995 BMW 3 Series w/114K, purchased new- out of warranty repairs: Serpentine belt tensioners-$122, Timing Chain Tensioner-$45, Battery-$75
    1999 Jeep Wrangler w/106K, purchased used in 2002- repairs: two batteries-$150, exhaust manifold-$650(Banks Torque Tube), radiator/T-stat-$271
    2004 BMW X3 w/60K, purchased used w/CPO warranty and 16K- no repairs since new car warranty expired 10K miles ago. CPO goes to 100K
    I would have lost money buying a warranty on the 3er and TJ; the jury is still out on the truck. The CPO warranty adds @$1000 to the price. We'll see if I incur over $1000 in repairs over the next 2 years/40K miles. I doubt it...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Dealers are businesses, not Santa Claus.

    Sorry, but Santa Claus IS a business. A very large business. And pity the poor kid who's newly unwrapped toys break even before the New Year's celebrations commence. :P

    You use the cheapest components you can to get the job done.

    Which raises the question "What, exactly, is the job?" Is it "the job" to give the illusion of quality and reliability - but only until the warranty expires? "Quality" is commonly defined as "conformance to customer requirements" and I have a hard time accepting the notion that customers require serious system failures just after the warranty expires. It seems to me that a good way to guarantee the future bottom line would be to provide real quality in today's offerings.

    In any case, I'd like to hear from others about their experiences with problems that popped up after the warranty ran out. Business models and philosophy can be discussed elsewhere.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,678
    "...would you buy a new car if it did not have any new car warranty?..."

    Well, nothing in life is free. I'm sure the car companies charge you more to cover the manufacturer's warranty. So you're paying for it weather you want it or not.

    So I guess I'd have to say that if they lowered the price by a couple of grand I'd still buy the car without any warranty.

    Having said that I do feel the original warranty has some value. Most defects in new cars show up pretty quickly. After the first year or so most problems are due to bad owner care.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,678
    "...Modern cars are so complex that NONE of them will last like the old ones..."

    You mean we can't expect them to give us that stellar performance of those beauties from the 70's and 80's? Man if the new one aren't up to those standards I don't see how they could make it to the showroom without breaking down. :P

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    You use the cheapest components you can to get the job done

    Reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes by Steve Buscemi in Armagedon when he is talking about the ship they are taking into space.

    You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    You mean we can't expect them to give us that stellar performance of those beauties from the 70's and 80's?

    Actually, there were a lot of cars made in that era that lasted a long time and are still on the road today.
    Honda's, Volvo's, Mercedes,Subaru.
    What they had in common was they had low hp unstressed engines, were made mostly of steel, not plastic and had virtually no power equipment or computers.
    In short, there wasn't much that could go wrong.
    There isn't a car made today that is likely to be on the road 20 yrs from now, and the vast majority will die before 10 yrs on the road.
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    Yeah, that's kinda the point. Warranties have some value, and yes manufacturers charge for that value. The value comes as a hedge against repair costs, the image of the manufacturer, the perception of reliability of the car, peace of mind, etc. As volvomax aptly points out, that value has a limit.

    An extended warranty is something of a gamble. As with all gambling the advantage goes to the house.

    My story. Warranty on Saturn LW2 ran out last February. Since then I have spent about $4k on repairs. BCM, replaced radiator and water pump, O2 sensor, replaced ignition switch, among various other smaller items. Oil cooler assembly sprung a leak, but refused repair, a little bars leak plugged the leak. Car is worth about $2-3k, so I definitely lost out. Car just had a plethora of components subject to failure unknown to us when we bought the car. Oh well, it's running ok right now and gets me to where I need to get. Fingers crossed. ;)
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,678
    "...Actually, there were a lot of cars made in that era that lasted a long time..."

    I do agree with you a bit here. In my driveway there is a 1988 Plymouth K car with 140K and a 1985 Ford F-150 with almost 250K on them. Trouble is, they both look like junk yard escapees. The drive trains seem OK but the rest of the vehicles are toast. I'm not sure if an extended warranty would cover the rust spots or the faded paint.

    "...There isn't a car made today that is likely to be on the road 20 years from now..."

    Wow, that's a pessimistic outlook. I've often wondered that myself. With all the gadgets they put on cars for pollution and such, there's that much more to go wrong. Still I look at my 1997 domestic with 102K on the clock and it is running better than I had ever hoped. I bought it used in 2002 and have put less than $1000 in repairs since.

    For my car an extended warranty would have been a waste of money.

    But now you've got me worried. As I type I'm looking at my new 2008 and waiting for parts to start falling off. :cry:

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    My warranty expires in 3 months. If it's not against the law... I'll wait until something goes wrong then buy an extended warranty. Seems to be the financially prudent way to do it.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    It'll be against any contract you buy. There'll be a clause in there to the effect of 'this car is presumed to have no defects at time of purchase. any preexisting conditions are not covered.' If you have a problem, buy a contract, then try to collect, you're engaging in fraud.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    My warranty expires in 3 months. If it's not against the law... I'll wait until something goes wrong then buy an extended warranty. Seems to be the financially prudent way to do it.

    I like that idea. I think I am going to tell HR in the morning to cancel my health insurance and I will only pay it the months I am sick. Then cancel my car insurance and tell them I will pay the premium for a month if I have a wreck. :D :D :D

    Nice try Jipster but like I am sure you already knew, that dog won't hunt.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The Consumer Reports advertisement here (in right hand column) say's I don't need an extended warranty. You know what... I believe them. Just saved myself two grand. Thanks Consumer Reports!!!
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,678
    "...Thanks Consumer Reports..."

    But will CR come fix your busted ride if they're wrong? :confuse:

    P.S. Where do you see a CR ad? All I see on my page is expensive Buick and Caddy advertisements.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Consumer reports launched a big add campaign this week against Extended Warranties. I think it is funny that sites like this, and a few others will take there $$ for the advertising yet have a sponsored link on there front page to buy a warranty. Which is it?
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    P.S. Where do you see a CR ad? All I see on my page is expensive Buick and Caddy advertisements.

    Try a different channel. Or, it may have been displayed only during a select time period. It was kind of a bland ad, which is why you missed it.
  • dirtmoverdirtmover Posts: 14
    No, you will, with all the money you've saved on by not buying extended warranties on other products. I've never bought extended warranties on anything and only buy insurance because it's compulsory for the vehicles and the risk is too high on my house. Yeah, sure, I've had to fix things on a small number of occasions but over the years I'm waaaaay ahead of the game by many thousands.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    The day after my son bought his new Mustang Convertible, he returned to the dealer and returned the Extended Warranty Insurance policy for cancellation. The F & I guy tried to block his move by saying they couldn't cancel because the premium for it was tied up in his loan contract with the bank. :P Upon reciting the RCW statues on Insurance and showing his business card (Insurance Agent), the dealership gave him a return premium check. Later, when he took the car in for Warranty work, somebody, in the shop, threw a lighted cigarette butt on the top. They replaced the top. :mad:

    Extended Warranties have been very profitable for the dealers and that is why when I bought our new car, I passed on the EW and have saved the cost for when it was needed 10 years later. ;)
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