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Extended Warranties

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Comments

  • raa1raa1 Posts: 16
    Suggest you email or call about 5 or 6 Nissan Stores and compare notes. First do it over email then after they reply call and negotiate. One of them will most likely tell you the truth. Just ask them to show you the cost book.
    As another suggestion you can wait until you are about 5 months away from the original factory warranty then shop around. Do a comparison and see what works best for you. Nissan does make great vehicles, but like anything else nothing is ever trouble free.
  • Just got a 3 yr, 36K extended Infinity warranty for a 2007 G35X. Car was 5 days and 500 miles from end of 60K, 4 year warranty. Waranty list price was ~$2400, 1st dealer would give 10% discount ($2160), but I waited until end of December and got from another dealer for $1600. So - don't spend the money until right before the factory warranty runs out and (as everyone else said) shop around!
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    Thank you so much. This information is so helpful! The dealer tried to tell me that if I waited the warranty would cost a whole lot more because it would be on a used car. Glad to hear that is not true.

    Wow, a 1,000 price difference! So I think you are saying that the best prices are at the end of the year for warranties, just as they are for cars. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
  • zambaqzambaq Posts: 14
    edited February 2011
    Hello to all from yet another thoroughly befuddled and over-extended extended warranty shopper! :confuse:

    At the moment I'm trying to decide whether ANY extended "warranty"/service contract is worth the paper it's printed on. I've been diligently researching/surfing the net and I've found countless warnings against buying from a "third-party" provider. The "wisdom of the crowd" appears to be strongly in favor of buying a plan "direct from the manufacturer". In reality, of course, that means buying from the dealers who control the marketing of their company's warranty products (and whom, of course, we all love and trust so much...).

    OK, sounds like good advice, maybe, assuming the manufacturer is concerned enough about protecting its brand's good name to live up to the terms of the contract. (Any suggestion that they might try to weasel out of something is, of course, utterly preposterous!)

    But here's my situation -- I own a 2009 VW Jetta TDI, which I love driving and would like to keep driving as long as I (and it) can. Volkswagen, via its dealers, offers drivers an extended service contract (called the "Drive Easy Program") that has the VW logo emblazoned on top. By reading the fine print at the bottom, however, one discovers that the contract is "administered" by "Fidelity Warranty Services, Inc.", nominally located in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Now to me, that sounds like a 3rd Party! And if you Google that company's name, you can find the same kind of horror stories from outraged and frustrated customers as you'll find regarding Warranty Direct and other after-marketers. (I know that some of you say that Warranty Direct is the best of a bad lot, but still...)

    So my first question is, given these facts, does anyone have any anecdotes to recount regarding "Drive Easy" and/or Fidelity Warranty? (Please don't tell me that "Fidelity Warranty" is just another name for "U.S. Fidelis"!) Second, does anyone have reason to believe I'd be any better off going with VW's own "company plan" than I would be with some other? And lastly, out of curiosity, is VW unique in outsourcing the "extended warranty" it offers its customers, or has this become the norm in the auto business?

    I'd appreciate any tidbits of your collective wisdom. :D :D
  • What does this mean? Maybe you made a mistake in your post....
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    I can't answer questions about specific third-party warranty products, as I have never purchased one. I will say, however, that if you scan back through posts in this discussion and others about extended warranties, members who DO have experience strongly recommend that, if available, you purchase the manufacturer-backed extended contract.

    It's a very rare instance in which a member has recommended a third-party extended contract.

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    That post appears to have been made during a time when our Forums were experiencing a technical issue that caused some posts to not appear.

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  • zambaqzambaq Posts: 14
    Yes, I've been hearing/reading the same recommendation. But my question is whether that recommendation still applies when, as in the case of VW, the "manufacturer's" warranty is actually administered by a "third-party". Or is that standard across the board these days, that there's really no such thing as an OEM extended warranty?

    I've never shopped for one before, so I'm just trying to understand what the term "manufacturer's" means, and how it differentiates itself in practice. Is the assumption that dealers' service depts. are more likely to try to accommodate customers who have purchased a service contract through the dealer?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Good question, and sorry I didn't read thoroughly enough to get the entire gist of your question. I'll see if I can't rustle up any members who have a better answer for you.

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  • The answer can be "Yes" or "No" depending on how liberally you define "Manufacturer". I work at a Chevy Dealership where we sell GM's warranty product and JM&A's third party offering. The Chevy "factory" service contract is from a company called MIC or Motors Insurance Co. Now the are certainly affiliated with Chevy, but they are a seperate company, not part of any of the "manufacturer" ie. Chevrolet. This question comes up a lot and is usually related to: "Which is better?" Once again the answer comes in shades of grey. Our general criteria for which might be better is; who is going to repair the vehicle? If for someone who only uses dealership service departments the GM product is OK. If for someone without access to a dealership, the "third party" JM&A service contract is not limiting as to where the repairs are done. Differences in coverages and pricing are beyond the scope of your original question.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,722
    edited February 2011
    Legally, I think you would be better protected in going thru with the manufacturers warranty, even if that warranty is held by a 3rd party warranty company... like Motors Insurance Co. used in your example.

    Which is more likely to happen... GM going bankrupt or Motors Insurance? And if Motors Insurance would be to fail, GM would be legally responsible in picking up and continuing your extended warranty for the full duration stated in your contract with them.

    A friend of mine bought his new GM car at their dealership, along with a 3rd party warranty they sold him. The 3rd party warranty company went bankrupt, but his dealership still honored the warranty.

    Unless you're willing to go with another manufacturer (buying a different car) that holds their own extended warranty contracts, you're stuck with the above scenario.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    The critical issue isn't who administer's it but who backs it. In your case I'd say unequivocally, go with the manufacturer backed warranty. The same holds true with my company's medical health plan, Aetna administers it, but my company is on the hook for the actual costs.
  • unless you're a complete worry wart, just say no to the extended warranty. If you're buying a car with a poor reputation for reliability then you probably should be buying a different car. If you're buying a car with good reliability then it's just not necessary. Consumer Reports is an excellent resource for reviewing the repair history of used cars. And Consumer Reports suggests avoiding the extended warranty.

    I've purchased over 12 cars in my life and with the exception of one ('04 F150 transmission failure), I would of never been able to take advantage of the warranty. Waste of money imo
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    Thanks for that advise. I have heard varied opinions regarding how reliable Nissan Altimas are as they age. I do not seem to see a lot of older ones driving around. I would really like to hear more opinions about whether warranties have actually saved people money and also about longterm Altima reliability. Thanks so much Steve. I may not buy a warranty...not sure yet.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I agree with Steve. Over the past 37 years, I've owned Hondas, Toyotas & Nissans. Not one of them was a bad car. Had I bought an extended warranty on any one of them, I would have lost money.

    You'll do fine with the Altima. But if you want something extra in the way of "peace of mind", just toss $50 or $100 each month into a separate savings account. That way, you'll have a few thousand on hand when the car gets older & the factory warranty runs out.
  • I used the extended warranty on my 94 Jeep to replace the AC compression after 6 + years. Financially, it was a wash.

    My question is, as cars have become more sophisticated electronically (especially hybrids, but not only those) and have more and more actuators, have the risks of costly repairs risen enough to make an extended warranty worthwhile -- even if the engines and the power trains are increasingly bombproof?
  • I think most cars have become more reliable. Toyota may be having more than it's share of problems, but most are covered by the manufacturers warranty.

    The electronics in cars today may make it more difficult for the average guy to do their own repairs, but I think in the end the cars today require less maintenance.

    For the Nissan Altima, Consumer Reports gives it high marks for reliability and a host of other qualities.

    There's alot of fine print with the extended warranty - if you opt for one, make sure you know what you're getting, if it's transferable, refundable, what it covers - and never buy one through a third party not backed by the OEM. If you can't take your time to shop around for something and your being pressured to buy it there at the time of purchase - it's probably marked up beyond it's value.
  • zambaqzambaq Posts: 14
    I'm with you on this one, if the implicit answer to your rhetorical question is "yes". New model cars are like computers on wheels, and even experienced DIYers are stymied when it comes to repairs by the built-in firewall of electronic wizardry. So for a mechanically-challenged guy like me, it makes perfect sense to get an extended warranty on a car you want to keep for more than 3 yrs., assuming you can get the best coverage available at an affordable price.
    I think of it as catastrophic mechanical-breakdown insurance -- insurance against having to pay $1000s to have my car fixed if it breaks down. Of course there's no guarantee that the investment will pay off: like any form of insurance, the odds favor the provider, who is working off of actuarial tables. But I'm willing to pay an affordable bill today to avoid facing an unaffordable one tomorrow.
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    You are all making sense. However, so far, I have talked with many people about this, and not one has ever felt that an extended warranty saved them money in the longrun. I know that the warranty favors the seller, but I am starting to wonder if it ever favors the buyer...kind of like gambling in a casino where no one ever wins more than they have gambled.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Count me in the skip the EW crowd. I suppose it depends on the track record of the vehicle you purchase although any car can have issues.

    I'm far ahead financially by NOT buying an EW on my cars and I keep them for at least 10 years. I totally understand the desire to have the peace of mind though.
  • vanaldervanalder Posts: 29
    I bought an EW in '01 on a new VW Cabrio. In '09 it saved me
    ~$ 500. This is the only EW I have ever bought.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat WVPosts: 197
    Well - my extended warranty certainly saved me money on my last car. I had it under warranty till 100K miles. At about 72 K, I had a transmission leak that cost about $2000 to fix. Then at 74k miles, the car lost its heater control valve and burned out the circuit board that controls the heating/AC. Cost about $3000 to fix that. My out-of-pocket was $0. The OEM extended warranty cost me about $2000. When I replaced the car just after Christmas you best believe I negotiated with the dealer and bought an OEM extended warranty on the new car. I have an aversion to expensive surprises.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    Thanks oldbearcat. That is the first story I have heard where the EW was actually worth it. What kind of car did you have?
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    During the past 30+ years, I've owned only one car that would have justified the purchase of an EW, & I got rid of that car in '87.

    If you buy an EW for each of your next 6 or 8 cars, you might recover the purchase price once, but you'll lose money the rest of the time.

    IMO, the best EW is money in the bank.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat WVPosts: 197
    It was a Jaguar S Type VDP. It was a lease turn in at the local dealer, and, I bought it with the extended warranty.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat WVPosts: 197
    I don't buy the extended warranties on the cars I drive for business. Not worth it because I run the mileage up so fast, and, I'm required by my company to replace them every four years. However, on my personal car, I think its worth it.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    If you buy an EW for each of your next 6 or 8 cars, you might recover the purchase price once, but you'll lose money the rest of the time.

    I agree. It might work once but in the long run, most people would be way ahead if they took the money they would spend on an EW and put it in the bank for repairs. It would be a tidy sum after several cars.

    Of course, if you buy Jags, all bets are off. ;)
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    I am finding everyone's comments really interesting. Considering how long I like to keep cars, I will not have anything like 6 to more cars. The Mitsubishi Galant I just got rid of was about 17 years old (that was maybe a little too old). Is there anyone else out there who thinks that overall they saved money by purchasing an EW? Thanks so much!
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    FWIW, I keep my cars a long time too.... at least 10 years. I'm still money ahead w/o EWs.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat WVPosts: 197
    Actually, the used Jag I bought wasn't that bad - the warranty extention didn't cost me that much, and, when I traded it off, the car still being under warranty, I got top dollar for it. Anyway, far worse was a 2005 Chrysler Sebring that I drove for business. The blasted thing blew its transmission 3 times under warranty. The car ate about $12K in warranty work while I owned it. As soon as it went out of warranty, I dumped it. I did the same thing with a new Honda Accord that I was driving for business. It had a bunch of problems early on, and, I dumped it at 20K miles. Both of my nephews got burned with big repair bills of late. One had a Toyota Matrix that ate a $4000 manual transmission just past factory warranty. The other one lost the electric power steering in his Mazda 3 - out of orignial warranty. It cost him $1800 to have it fixed.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
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