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Extended Warranties



  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,746
    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • nceencee Posts: 419
    So is the cost, will say, of $2200.00 for a 4 year 125,000 mile policy for a Lexus LS, the cost for the policy or per year?

    For the policy, that seems cheap compared to what MIGHT go wrong, but pre year, then I agree, money in the bank, and if you don't use it, it's a great down payment on your next car.

    I'm looking at a 2008 LS 460 L with 44,000 miles on it. I MIGHT keep this car longer then the last 2 (A 2007 Camry (38,000 miles on it and current 2008 Avalon with 65,000 miles on it), because it's a Lexus, but I'm a bit concerned as I put on about 35,000 miles per year, and well, if I keep it longer, I will have 150,000+ miles on it before I trade it.

    Piece of mind says for $2200.00 it might be worth it. Now that's not to say, saving $1,000.00 per year in the bank would give me $4,000.00 at the end of 4 years, and should cover damn near any repair that should come along, and if I didn't need it, it would be there as a down payment towards a new car, just not sure if I had an extra 2,3 or $4,000.00 in the bank, I might not use it whenever I saw the need.

  • crossfire9crossfire9 Posts: 1
    I'm considering purchasing a 2008 Audi A4. There are two that I am interested in. One is ce rtified pre-owned under warranty to 100,000 miles. But the price is 7 thousand dollars more than the other. Does that seem like a really big difference to anyone else or is it worth it in the long run? :confuse:
  • boyzmomboyzmom Posts: 1
    I have been shopping around for a ESP plan for my 2008 Taurus before it hits 36k. I've been burned by a plan after the company was shut down by the State of Florida (they-FL-covered claims as promised). But in trying to avoid that situation I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what it's like dealing with the claims process with the Ford ESP plan? If you have a wear & tear plan do they still make life miserable? Thanks for any help! :)
  • doidaredoidare Posts: 3
    Since I never purchase a new vehicle and only pre-owned vehicles, for peace of mind, I have always purchased an extended warranty. The first vehicle I purchased an extended warranty on was a 2000 Corvette, which I purchased on e-bay. The vehicle still had the remainder of the factory warranty, but I still purchased the extended warranty. That paid off generously. The next vehicle I purchased was a 2005 Kia Amanti, which I still have. The warranty more than paid for itself and it is still covered until February 2012. I love the Amanti so much that when the current warranty expires, I will purchase another one since it only has 60K miles on it. My recent purchase is a 2004 Touareg and I also purchased the warranty for that vehicle. In my experience, I've always come out ahead. I strongly believe in them. A few things I consider when purchasing a warranty are. 1) Rating of the company with the BBB. 2) What is the maximum payout for repairs for the length of the warranty. 3) 0 to $100 deductible. 4) Where are repairs allowed (I like to take it to the actual dealers) 5) Trip interruptions (when taking road trips) 6) Rental car allowance 7) How long the company has been in business. 8) Ease of approval for breakdown repairs. Sorry it so long winded, but I hope this helps.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 249
    Buy a vehicle with a solid reliability record and an extended warranty will not be needed. Older Kias and all VWs do not have solid reliability. Since the 90s, I have only purchased vehicles with solid reliabilty and I have not encountered a situation where an extended warranty was needed. Perhaps I have been lucky but I really believe the key is to buy smart and stay away from vehicles with spotty reliability.

    I always love it when a dealer tries to sell me an extended warranty. My response is always the same "you just spent hours explaining the virtues of the vehicle I am about to buy, now you are telling me I will need an extended warranty (or service plan) to cover the vehicle. Now, please tell me why I should buy a vehicle which is so bad I will need to pay you thousands to cover all the repairs you are now telling me I can expect if I purchase this vehicle from you!" Rarely do they have a response.
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    So I have a Nissan Altima about one year old now. I hope to keep it about 10 years. Do you consider this a car of solid reliability that would not need an extended warranty? I have not made up my mind about it yet.
  • emcguireemcguire Posts: 7
    yeah... i agree... get a reliable car from the get-go and if you really need some assurance in case your vehicle breaks down, go open up a money market acct at your bank have pay into the account like your paying for an extended warranty. most of these policies have limits on repairs of $7,000, $10,000 or $15,000... when they quit paying for repairs after the 15k mark, they tell you to call your insurance company and total the vehicle. if you think your getting an extended warranty for repairs with an open check book, your mistaken.
  • We recently purchased a 2005 Subaru Impreza Sport with 57,000+ miles. Did NOT purchase it at a Subaru dealer. We're looking into extended warranties (I know, I know...) and could use some clarity. Subaru Customer Service emailed in response to a question and said that the car is NOT eligible for a Subaru warranty because a) it's beyond the 3 year/36,000 mile warranty and b) we didn't get it at a Subaru dealer. However... the local Subaru dealer says the car IS eligible for Subaru's Classic warranty and that they can sell it to us.

    What's real here? Can you get a Subaru extended warranty for a Subaru that's beyond warranty date and miles and that you didn't purchase from a dealer?

    Many thanks.
  • agtanagtan Posts: 1
    It certainlly is not a manufacturer warranty, i would get more details on it first before overpaying
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,996
    Remeber all those ads for 'US Fidelis'? Here's the real story!
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 249
    Why wasn't that clown Rusty Wallace also indicted? Certainly, his fame caused many folks to fall for the Fidelis sales pitch! Undoubtedly Wallace knew what he was doing and he got paid for doing it! Must be some crime in there!
  • altimagaltimag Posts: 2
    Hi! I just purchased a CPO 2011 Altima 2.5s and would like to add an extended warranty plan before the car hits 10K miles. I live in AZ, found an online quote from a Nissan dealer in CA for a 84 months/120K Gold Preferred for about $1200.00. Questions: 1) Does the quote sound reasonable? 2) Anybody has experience using service contracts purchased online and using it at the local dealers? Thanks much.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,996
    Is this a Nissan-backed warranty? Are you absolutely sure? No other warranty is worth getting. If it is a Nissan warranty, at least it will have a better chance of paying. But you have a very reliable vehicle, you're likely to get less than $1200 in value out of it. But it may be worth the peace of mind...
  • juleofbcjuleofbc Posts: 2
    I took extended warranty on my 2003 chevy silverado.Drive train) The wheel bearing went,they are telling me it is not covered.The bearing is in the hub.Also it says all internal lubricated parts are covered. So covered or not ???? help
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    You may have only "drive train" coverage which is just the engine and transmission. What does your policy say? There should be a list of covered parts as well as not covered parts.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,996
    edited July 2011
    Sorry to hear about this very common problem with extended warranties. Was it a GM warranty, or somebody else?
  • holtgrjholtgrj Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2012 Focus. (Great car by the way, My first American car in 20 years.) Since it is a new design, with a lot of new electronics, during my research, I asked the salesman for a warranty and a copy of the contract. He disappeared long enough for me to think about something else, then returned with a coupon for $150 off on their warranty. Later, at closing, I asked about the warrenty, and the business manager told be about their "Ford warranty". There was much to distract me, so I went ahead with the warrenty purchase, which was a good price, and I was told the $150 off was only good at that time. (silly me - I should know better.). Now that I've had time to read the contract, I see the warranty was from Fidelity (Deerfield Beach). I'm going to cancel it and buy a FORD ESD premium care for more money, but better coverage, because of the these clauses in the contract:

    "Mechanical Breakdown means (2) The failure of a Covered Part due to a gradual reduction in operation performance as a result of normal wear and tear, prior to 50,000 miles. (Don't most of the parts fail this way?)

    "Covered part is replaced only when it's failure is not caused by failure of a non-covered part". (e.g. oil pump fails - see exclusion for correction of oil consumption below - ; engine dies; not covered because due to oil consumption.)
    "Use in Canada" (I might travel there someday).
    "Haz waste disposal, env fees, freight changes (like for a part), adjustments (after replacing a part), water leaks, rattles / noises. (These elements in a repair bill continue to grow)
    "Air bags, hinges, lenses, body parts and panels, door handles, upholstery, paint, freeze plugs, hoses, exhaust system, shocks, constant velocity joint boots, seatbelts, Appliances?, back up protection.

    "Valves, piston rings, correction of oil consumption, correction for loss of engine efficiency"
  • dc_area_mcsedc_area_mcse Posts: 1
    edited August 2011
    Has anyone had experience buying a warranty from them and getting any work done? They say on their site: "They say on their site:"Ford ESP – The Only Ford Extended Warranty Backed by the Strength and Stability of Ford Motor Company". I got a quote from them much cheaper than at or, but the guy at one of those sites say they are the only offical ESP from Ford and that ESP is not from Ford.
  • Three weeks ago we bought an 07 Camry with only a 60 day limited warranty because it was over 3 years old and had 57000+ miles. It was purchased from an independent car dealership and they offered an extended warranty that I could purchase within 30 days. The most inclusive one was $1100. From what I read here, I think to purchase a Toyota Extended Warranty, I would have to have done so before the original warranty ran out. Because the original warranty has expired, is purchasing the third party warranty offered by this dealership my only option?
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,996
    No, there are many 3rd-party warranty companies. Some may be OK, but many are not. I would not (and have not) buy one, especially from a used car dealer. The Camry is very reliable.

    Have you checked with a Toyota dealer about a warranty?
  • Am buying an '08 X5. Dealer is trying to sell me a bumper to bumper for $2700. I am covered until May, so have time to buy...but want best deal. Please advise! Thank you!
  • I bought my GTO less than 2 months ago, the finance guy talked me into the GMPP 48mo 48k bumper to bumper. While this may be a good thing to have, im not sure. I know i cannot mod the car aside from very minor bolt ons, which i guess i can deal with.

    My problem is, everyone i know with a GTO is basically saying that any extended "warranty" on a sports car is basically useless. They will deny any major claim i ever have due to "abuse". Is this true? Am i better off getting that money for the warranty sent back to the bank and lowering my payments a bit, or should i keep it and hope for the best?

  • raa1raa1 Posts: 16
    I got the GMPP on my 2007 Corvette, which is much superior than a Pontiac GTO. Glad that I have it, yet hope I never have to use it. Got it for $1025.00
  • You might be able to buy a Toyota warranty, but since the car is out of the 3/36 the price might be rather high.

    Truthfully, for what a good warranty would cost, you're better off with $1100 in the bank on a Camry, what tends to break on them is rarely covered by a warranty and they're quite reliable cars.
  • I purchased a 2009 Dodge Journey and bought an extended warranty from Olympicare. My husband hit a deer our regular warranty just expired (due to mileage - 3 yrs or 36,000 miles) and our extended warranty was supposed to still be good. However, Olympicare refused to pay any of the expense because we took the vehicle to get repaired at a 5 star certified repair shop instead of the repair center where we purchased the Dodge. We have been fighting this since June, with the help of the 5 star repair customer service manager - but Olympicare will not honor the warranty agreement which does not state anywhere to return the vehicle to the dealership where purchased. This is the first time I have ever purchased extended warranty coverage - and would be very leary about doing it again. And I would NEVER purchase any warranty through Olympicare and would not recommend it to anybody!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    I'm confused. Why would an extended warranty cover accident damage??
  • alookmanalookman Posts: 141
    Hi, Can you name the dealership that offered the Nissan's Gold Preferred warrant for 1200? Thanks.
  • Should I purchase a 6 year extended warranty on my 2010 Toyota Corolla? It is costs about $800, has no deductible, and is from a reputable company.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Take the $800 and put it in to a savings account. If you have an unexpected repair, use that to pay for it.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,996
    The only 'reputable company' I know of for that would be Toyota. And I agree, you have one of the most reliable cars made, save your money.
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