Is a car warranty worth it

"Is a car warranty worth it?" is a common question car buyers ask when purchasing a vehicle.  Whether you're buying a new car or used car an extended warranty can be purchased for either.  Think of an extended warranty like insurance you purchase on other items you buy.  People commonly insure items they buy:  electronics, jewelery, cell phones, and houses just to name a few.  You purchase insurance on these items hoping to never use it.  The same thing can be said of a car warranty.  People purchase an extended warranty on vehicles hoping to never have to use it, but having the peace of mind it provides if they ever need it.

Some people have money saved to take care of any issues that could arise on their vehicle.  For them an extended warranty is not worth spending the money on, but fo reveryone else who doesn't have a few hundred or thousands of dollars that they could spend all of a sudden it is worth purchasing an extended warranty on a vehicle.

What Is A Car Warranty?

Manufacturer Warranty

There are a few different types of warranties on a vehicle.  A manufacturer's warranty comes on New vehicles and is a manufacturer's guarantee to cover certain problems that could happen with the vehicle.  A manufacturer's warranty on a New vehicle is valid for a certain period of time or a certain number of miles driven from the day of purchase.  The warranty covers what is covered in the event something breaks down on the car.  Not all manyfacturers provide warranties that cover the same components, last for the same period of time or mileage, and can also vary based on the type of vehicle.  In short, a manufacturer's warranty is a promise to stand behind the product and correct certain problems - often through repair, replaceement, or refund.

Certified Pre-owned Warranty

The second type of warranty we'll cover is a Certified Pre-owned WarrantyCertified Pre-owned Warranties are provided by the manufacturer of the vehicle when it is being sold at a manufacturer's dealership.  For example, a pre-owned Toyota that falls under the manufacturer guidelines for a Certified Pre-owned vehicle must be being sold at a Toyota dealership.  The manufacturer determines the maximum  number of years a vehicle can be old and the maximum number of mileage a vehicle can have for it to qualify as a Certified Pre-ownd Vehicle.  Each manufacturer also has an inspection process the vehicle must go through and pass for it to be sold as a Certified Pre-owned as well.  A certified Pre-owned Warranty usually is not as comprehensive as the original manufacturer warranty, but will still provied bumper-to-bumper coverage and powertrain coverage to the vehicle.  Certified Pre-owned Warranties also generally begin when the manufacturer waranty expires.  All Certified Pre-owned Warranties are different based on the manufacturer so you should always read through the coverages to know what your getting.

Extended Warranty

An Extended Warranty is often referred to as a "Service Contract".  It allows you to pre pay for maintenance like repairs and often covers things that a manufacturer warranty will not.  Unlike the original manufacturer warranty that came on the vehicle when it was new you'll have to pay extra for an extended warranty.  An extended warranty can be aded to a New Vehicle to extend coverages when the Manufacturer Warranty expires or it can be added to a pre-owned vehicle to provide coverage that you no longer have.  There's also some flexibility with an extened warranty that allows you to customize the coverage to fit your driving habits and the coverage it provides.

Comprehensive Car Warranty

What Is Covered By An Extended Warranty?

Some Extended Warranties cover just the vehicle's powertrain while others offer bumper-to-bumper coverage as well.  With the flexibility of the coverages that can offered it's easier to just list what can be covered.  Al extended warranty companies offer different coverages, but here is a list of items that can be covered with an Extended Warranty.  Always be sure to check the coverage you are looking at purchasing so you know exactly what you are getting.

  • Powertrain:

Includes essential powertrain components such as: Engine and water pump, Transmission and Transaxle, Drive Axle, Sales and Gaskets, Power Steering, and Fluids.

  • Primary Electrical:

Alternator/generator, voltage regulator, starter motor, starter solenoid, front and rear windshield wiper motors.

  • Primary Brakes:

Master Cylender, Brake Calipers, Wheel Cylenders.  (Can be upgraded for more comprehensive brake coverage.)

  • Air Conditioning:

Compressor, Compressor Clutch and Drive Pulley, Expansion Valve, Avaporator, Condenser, Receiver Drier, and Blower Motor

  • Front and Rear Suspension:

Upper and Lower Control Arms, Control Arm Shafts and Bushing, Upper and Lower Ball Joints, Strut Bearing Plates, Spindle and Spindle Support, Wheel Bearings, Hub Bearings, Stabilizer Bar, etc.

  • Cooling and Ventilation:

Radiator, Engine Cooling Fan and Fan Clutch, Electric Cooling Fan Motor and Condensor Fan Motor, Serpentine Belt Tensioner, Heater Core, Heater Control Valve, Thermostat, Temperature Control Programmer.

  • Fuel:

Fuel Pump, Fuel Sending Unit, Fuel Tank.

Most Extended Warranties will also contain benefits like Towing Asssitance, Rental Assistance, Roadside Assistance, and Agreement Transferability.  In addition some warranty companies will allow you to enhance some coverages to cover your vehicle for special use or components such as:  Commercia Use, Mobility Coverage, Lift Kit-Oversized Tires, Enhanced Technology, and other modifications and features.

How Much Does an Extended Car Warranty Cost?

Prices of an Extended Warranty varies depending on the year, make and mdel of the vehicle, how many miles it currently has and for how many and for how long you would like to be covered, and the type of coverages you are purchasing.  An Extended Warranty can cost any where from a few hundred to a few thousand epending on these factors.

Tire and Wheel Warranty Coverage

What Can Void an Extended Warranty?

A Warranty Provider can void your extended warranty if you break any of the terms laid out in your contract.  Some instances may void the warranty on a particular part while others may void your entire warranty.  Always be sure to verify tha items stipulated in the warranty contract to know what will cause your warranty to void.

Here are a few occurances that can void a vehicles warranty.

  • Misuse of Vehicle:  If your vehicle is being used in a way other than what it is intended for, generally everyday driving your warranty could be voided if any damage or broken parts are directly connected to the improper use.  Improper use could include but is not limited to off-roading or racing.

  • Total Loss:  If your vehicle is in an accident resulting in the total loss of the vehicle and it is issued a Salvage Title your warranty will be voided.

  • Severe Enviromental Damage:  Your warranty will be voided if your vehicle is damaged by natural disaster such as fire, flood, or tornado.

  • Altered Odometer:  If the odometer has been tampered with causing incorrect mileage to read your warranty would be voided.

  • Aftermarket Alterations:  Most warranties will be voided if you modify powertrain and ther components on your vehicle that could effect the performance uness otherwise specified by your warranty.

  • Improper Maintenance:  If you do not regularly maintain the vehicle following manufacturer recommended maintenance your warranty can be voided if any resulting damage is caused by improper maintenance.

Is an Extended Warranty Transferrable?

Most extended warranties are transferrable in the instance that the vehicle is sold when there is remaining warranty coverage left on the car.  Be sure to check with your extended warranty provider or New car Dealership to verify that the warranty provided to you or that you are purchasing is transferrable.  Being able to say that the vehicle has covreage remaining is a selling point and can get you a few more dollars during the sale of your vehicle.

Bottom Line:  Is a Car Warranty Worth It?

Car warranties are worth it if you don't have the money available to all of a sudden spend a couple hundred to a couple thousand if something were to go wrong with your vehicle.  Putting repairs on a credit card when you could have a warranty cover it is also a bad idea because you end up spending even more money on a repair than would be necessary.  Always read through any warranty carefully and take the time to shop around for warranty coverage on your vehicle.  Different providers offer a variety of coverages at different prices, and also make sure you research the provider, some providers are definitely more reputable than others.

OKC Auto Direct  

5600 S. Shields Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Phone (405)724-9147

Store Hours

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OKC Auto Direct