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Well Do You Know the Warranty on Your Car?
comparing, researching, test driving, and endless discussions with
your family and friends, youíve just bought the car of your
dreams. Driving it out of the lot, your head is in the clouds, but
your mind is at peace. Youíre sure youíve asked all the right
questions and are now driving the perfect car.
But there may be some very important
questions you have overlooked. What do you know about your new
carís warranty (besides the fact that it is with the other papers
in the glove compartment)? Ideally, you should know about the
coverage before you buy your car, but, as they say, better late than
So pull over RIGHT NOW and dig out your
warranty. First of all, find out if you have a standard or an
A standard warranty usually covers 36 months
or 36,000 miles. In general, these warranties will cover any part
that breaks down under normal conditions, but tires and batteries
are usually excluded. Parts and labor are covered, but only as long
as the problem did not result from misuse, an accident, or lack of
If you were savvy enough to ask about the
warranty BEFORE you bought the car, your salesperson will inevitably
ask you if you want to buy an extended warranty. In order to answer
that question, you will need to ask a few questions.
aHOW LONG DOES IT LAST? What is the time limit, and how long does it
cover your car beyond the standard warranty?
aWHAT IS THE MILEAGE LIMIT? Many extended
warranties end at 100,000 miles.
aWHEN DOES IT GO INTO EFFECT? Many people do
not realize that most extended warranties go into effect the same
time as the factory warranty. So, you should try to negotiate with
your dealer to make an exception by offering an extended warranty
that goes into effect after you have owned the car for 12 months or
aWHAT DOES IT COVER? Find out what repairs are covered and what
repairs are excluded. Does the warranty cover wear and tear in
addition to mechanical failure? There are parts that need to be
replaced because of wear, and parts that need to be replaced because
they break. Does your warranty cover both these situations?
aWHAT IS THE DEDUCTIBLE? Find out what
you must pay out before your warranty kicks in. Deductibles range
from $50 to $200 or more. Is the deductible charged per repair or
per visit? This is a huge difference. Say you have a $100 deductible
per repair and your car needs 3 repairs in a single visit. That will
cost you $300. However, if your deductible is per visit, you only
have to shell out $100 bucks no matter how many repairs are
aWHO DOES THE REPAIRS? A manufacturer-backed warranty is honored at
dealerships around the country. But a dealer-backed warranty may be
limited to a single dealership. If you have what is called an
aftermarket warranty, you may be able to pick your mechanic, but
will it be difficult to get approval for your repairs?
aWHO PAYS THE BILL? Will you have to pay the bill upfront and
wait to be reimbursed? If it is the company who pays the bill, what
is involved with authorization? And how long will you have to wait
to find out if a repair is covered by your contract?
aWHAT ARE THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS? What kinds of
routine maintenance are you required to pay for yourself? If you
have a manufacturer-backed extended warranty, all maintenance work
must be performed at the dealership.
aCAN YOU CANCEL? Some extended warranties require a
cancellation fee, and some cannot be cancelled at all. Other
contracts can be cancelled during an introductory period.
aHOW SOUND IS THE COMPANY BACKING THE CONTRACT? Check out the
rating of the company with Standard & Poorís. You can also
check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints
have been filed against this company.
you plan to keep your car for a long time, itís a good idea to
look into an extended warranty, especially if the car is equipped
with high-priced electronic features. Prices can be exorbitant for
repairing this type of equipment.
Just make sure to ask all the right
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