“Lifetime” Warranty? Know What You’re Guaranteed

Posted on: August 14th, 2013 by Accurate Auto Body Repair No Comments

Aurora collision, Colorado car repair, Denver bumper repair

Congratulations, you just bought a new car! Feels good, doesn’t it? It’s fast, comfortable, shiny…you wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to it, would you? You would do anything to keep it safe? Well that’s great, just sign this, this, this, and this…

No, STOP! Be warned: never get conned into buying overpriced and ineffective warranties just because your car dealership told you it’s the responsible thing to do. No car salesman will let you drive away from the dealership before trying to sell you an extended warranty or “lifetime” warranty for your new ride, and while a warranty might be the right choice, make sure what you’re buying is comprehensive, reliable, and appropriate for your needs.

Warranties come in many different shapes and sizes, all with a hefty sum of fine print. Virtually all new vehicles come with two manufacturer’s warranties: a powertrain car warranty, which covers the engine, transmission, and divetrain, and a bumper-to-bumper warranty, which covers some (rarely all) other parts of the car. These warranties do not repair or replace parts like brake pads, which suffer inevitable wear and tear. The extent of these warranties varies depending on the model and manufacturer, so make sure to read the fine print. They tend to have something like a 3-year/36,000 mile or 5-year/60,000 mile guarantee, expiring at whichever point the car hits first.

Once you understand what protection comes with the car itself, then evaluate whether you need additional protection. Consider your driving record: if you have a history of flat tires, chipped paint, or engine failure, you should consider an extended warranty that covers these problems. If you are a chronic worrier, peace of mind might be a good enough reason to consider an extended warranty. If you have a habit of trading in cars after a few years, then forget about it. Be aware that extended warranties usually take effect once the manufacturers’ warranties expire, and that if there are any disparities between the two policies’ coverage, you may have to pay the difference from your own pocket.

Also, while powertrain warranties and bumper-to-bumper warranties are covered by the manufacturer, most extended warranties and lifetime warranties are covered by the car dealership or an external third party. Keeping all warranty paperwork is always a must, but it might not protect you from company fraud or changes in company policy or ownership. Extended warranties’ heavy price tags lend them some legitimacy. But the oftentimes-cheaper lifetime warranties are particularly sketchy, almost always provided by third parties, intentionally vague—whose lifetime, the owner’s, company’s, car’s? —and with a reputation of bad business conduct. Don’t let the appealing language deceive you; it sometimes masks a scandal.

Some experts even say that the age of warranties is over. Modern cars are so reliable that the best thing to do is to take the money you would spend on a warranty and set it aside for future repairs. A warranty doesn’t end your car spending anyway; you’re still paying for many wear-and-tear repairs and usually a set fee or percentage of the warranty-covered repairs, not to mention gas. So next time you buy a car, don’t get fooled again!

How to use this Information

Stop by Accurate Auto Body to see how much your car repairs and upkeep should really cost. Your Colorado car repair shop, Accurate knows the meaning of integrity, honesty, and customer service. Our Aurora collision center is here to help you with everything from Denver bumper repair to window tinting. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Tell us your experience—either good or bad—with car warranties.

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