What you need to know about Vehicle Extended Warranties?

Rather you are purchasing a used vehicle or just looking to have extra protection to help pay for breakdowns on a higher mileage vehicle, there are a few things you should be aware of

If purchasing a vehicle with low miles and adding an extended warranty make sure the vehicle is out of the manufacture warranty or the coverage starts at the mileage it stops, we have came across a few that the customer already has coverage with the manufacturer for the 1st 30,000 miles but the extended coverage was up to 35,000 miles. So they paid for coverage they already had. Some manufacturer powertrain warranties are in place for 60,000-100,000 miles, check with your manufacture for the details for coverage.

Read the contract, don’t just go off what someone says is covered. Most extended warranty companies have specific coverage, and even though it says covers all but it is usually verbiage specific so if it isn’t in writing it is not covered. Powertrain coverage is only the internals of an engine, transmission, differentials and transfer cases. Nothing else is covered. Other stipulations we see are if the warranty is purchased at or above 75,000 miles no steering/suspension components are covered, such as ball joints, tie rods, control arms, shocks or struts these items are considered wear items just like hoses and brakes. Knowing this will help to ensure you are not overpaying for coverage and upset if you thought the coverage was for everything.

Please be cautious of scams, infomercials, phone calls or pop-up ads are not always what they say they are. If you are paying a monthly fee for extended warranty outside of a financial institution such as a bank or auto loan, there may be a lot of stipulations and the coverage may only be what is written in the contract so please before you purchase have someone that works with extended warranty companies review the forms to help you be aware of what coverage you really have.

Verify the shop you currently go to works with the extended warranty company. Some shops do not accept extended coverage. Claims take longer to process and details are important so shops do not want the hassle. When working with extended warranty companies there are specific details requested for claims to be approved. This requires additional time for testing, contacting the warranty company, and sometimes they send out an inspector to verify the testing, documentation or that the vehicle does not have any modifications. It is best you do not contact the warranty company yourself. Every phone call is documented and can be used against you in the event of a claim by date and time. When a shop works with different extended warranty companies you can ask about the warranty company before and get some recommendations to verify the company you are looking at is one of the better-extended warranty companies that will cover what you are looking for in coverage.

Some contracts state you must go back to the dealership you purchased the warranty from. Dealerships often partner with extended warranty companies. There is a way you can change the place you take your vehicle for services or repairs. You will have to do an extra step. You will have to contact the extended warranty company and advise them why you do not wish to take your vehicle back to the dealership purchased from and name the shop you do want to work with. They will note the file and accept calls for claims from the new requested shop.

You do not have to purchase an extended warranty from the dealership you are purchasing the vehicle from, check with your bank, they have partnerships with companies and will advocate for the customer in the event of a major repair. You can even purchase an extended warranty if you do not owe on the vehicle. If you are looking for a bank to contact please give us a call. We have a couple credit union contacts we can send you to help guide you through the process.

I know there are a lot of DIY (do it yourselfers) out there, if you have extended warranty coverage and you change your oil and all fluids yourself be sure to keep all receipts with dates and mileage when completed. In the event you have a major repair that you must take it to a shop to file a claim with the extended warranty coverage, one of the 1st questions they ask is for the maintenance records. If these are not provided the claim could be declined and you must pay for all testing completed at that time. It is good to have your vehicle taken to a shop at least once a year for a full evaluation or inspection, there may be something starting to present itself that would be a covered item allowing you to take advantage of your coverage and this also will give you something to fall back on for the documentation needed to prove maintenance history.

We work with several different extended warranty companies and can tell you the down time for a repair with extended warranty can take a little longer to process, with the steps that must be taken, after the testing and documentation is completed, the extended warranty company must be contacted for approvals and then customers are typically responsible for taxes, fees, fluids, testing or there is a deductible for the claim. This means after the warranty company is called, the claim is approved, there is another call to the customer to go over the amount that is customer responsibility. Just to name a few extended warranty companies we work with Route 66 Warranty, Auto Service Company, Endurance, Carshield, American Auto Shield, Zurich and Ethos Group. If you have any questions give us a call at Affinity Automotive Services 316-425-8684.

Written by Affinity Automotive Services