- Car Care & Maintenance
Vehicle Warranties (Part 3 Of 3)
How To Buy A Car Warranty
When it comes to vehicle warranties do you get what you pay for? Are you going to be out money in the long run? Should it matter? Does peace of mind matter more?
Now the big question here, is it worth it? If you have a vehicle with 150,000 miles on it, is it really worth putting $2000 to $3000 into it for a warranty? And remember, much of what goes wrong will not be covered by a warranty so you may end up putting hundred's maybe even thousands of dollars into it for repairs that the warranty company won't pay one cent for. In my opinion, that's not a real good deal. However, if something major goes wrong such as the transmission or engine then it probably will pay for itself but only if these things go wrong and who wants transmission and/or engine problems? Also, you must take into consideration that if you do experience engine failure you will need a second backup car because engine work can take weeks especially when you factor in that an inspector will come out to see the engine problem for himself. And decide what the warranty will cover and what they won't. In my case, they refused to do a full valve job but instead only paid for a partial valve replacement and it had nothing to do with oil changes being done on time, etc. It simply boiled down to the fact that the inspector didn't feel the other set of valves warranted repair. My mechanic tried to get him to authorize it as most shops will only do a full valve replacement but he wouldn't budge. And some shops will only do a full valve replacement leaving you to pay the overage which can be $600-$700 or more depending on the shop. And if they will do it they don't like to. Because down the road if another valve replacement has to be done you will more than likely end up doing a full valve job at that time. You've just lost money. You've paid the warranty company $2000 then you pay the shop $1500 when you could have just paid the $1500 to begin with and saved that $2000.
In my case: To pay for the extra valves to be replaced it would have been an extra $700 out of my pocket. This is on top of the $2000 I already paid the warranty company. And it doesn't matter who you choose or how much money you pay for that warranty it is still the same. Now that my car is out of warranty, should the other valves need to be done I will be paying for it myself.
Remember, warranty companies are out to make a profit, not lose money and when it comes time for a repair they will do everything in their power to keep from paying for it or the full amount. If you missed a couple of oil changes by a few hundred miles they can refuse the repair citing you didn't keep up your end of deal.
The next big question is whether to buy a warranty when you buy a new car. My answer to that one is, do not buy an extended warranty until the car reaches it's 36,000 mile mark or whatever mileage the car manufacturer specifies. In a Hyundai I believe it is 60,000. Before it reaches the mark start trying to find a warranty company or see if you can still buy one from the dealer. You should be able to and I recommend that over finding it yourself. The reason: Car dealers sell alot of warranties. If suddenly a warranty company isn't performing up to snuff and are refusing covered repairs or the dealer is having to beg for payment they will promptly drop them and find someone new to handle their warranties. In fact, this happened at my local Ford dealer.
Whether you feel it's necessary to buy one is up to you. Usually up to 100,000 you can get bumper to bumper or comprehensive coverage which covers most everything. Of course you are still responsible for maintenance and in a low mileage car maintance should be all you're paying for.
My Ford's have all given me good service and I've done very few repairs under 100,000 miles and the ones I did do didn't pay for the warranties I bought.
Buying a warranty is much like playing blackjack at a casino table. Most of the time you're going to be on the short end of the stick(the losing end).