Vehicle Warranties – A Very Important Part of Your Buying Decision!

car-warrantiesManufacturer’s warranties provided with the purchase of a new or used car should be a crucial facet of your decision to purchase a car.  Initial warranties can also be a selling point that buyers must consider when looking for a new car.  However, the question always comes up when you’ve made the decision to purchase a car.  “Are you interested in purchasing an extended warranty on your new car?”  Whether you are buying a new or used car, you are faced with the decision to purchase an extended warranty.  Since extended warranties can be costly, this is almost as important as the decision you’re making to purchase a new car.  And by “new car,” I mean that whether brand new or used, this is a new car to you!

Car warranties, in their basic form, are insurance policies on the future functioning of your new car.  As such, they provide great benefit and comfort to the buyer.  An extended warranty provides the car owner with the assurance that they won’t have high out-of-pocket expenses for replacement of major parts and labor when their new car has finished the manufacturer’s warranty or for something not covered in that initial warranty.  Speaking of the initial manufacturer’s warranty on your vehicle, have you ever wondered what’s not covered under the initial warranty?   Parts/labor not covered in some standard manufacturer’s warranties include:

1. Standard Maintenance and Wear
Maintenance and wear items are parts that are replaced and/or maintained on a regular basis due to normal wear-and-tear. These are considered common expenses over the course of owning an automobile. A few examples are batteries, brake pads, rotors and drums, belts and hoses, filters, wipers, fluids, spark plugs and wires. Changing your oil, replacing your brake pads and putting on a clean filter will extend the life of your vehicle, but these are usually not covered on your initial warranty because they are considered part of the owner’s responsibility.

2. Tires
Tires are items that are not covered under a standard manufacturer’s warranty, because tire wear is considered a normal occurrence and not a defect. However, a tire’s tread is expected to last a certain number of miles and so are typically covered under a separate warranty through the tire manufacturer when a new car is purchased.  Be sure to keep copies of the warranty information you receive when you take delivery of your car.

3. Interiors and Paint
Technically, these items fall under wear-and-tear as they don’t normally break, but deteriorate over time and use. Examples of some of these items are paint, glass, upholstery, fabric and carpets. These items can scratch, chip, crack, rip and/or fade, but since this is considered normal wear-and-tear, are usually not covered.  Regular cleaning, polishing and/or conditioning can extend the longevity of these items.

4. Aftermarket Items and Modifications
Aftermarket items, items installed after the automobile has left the factory, are not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. This includes modifications to the body, chassis and/or components. In addition, damage caused by modifications and/or the installation of aftermarket items to a part normally covered under the warranty will not be covered. So, consider this before you decide to alter your vehicle. However, if you have items installed at a dealer of the manufacturer, usually the installation and parts are warrantied for specific periods of time.

5. Damage and Tampering
A manufacturer’s warranty will not cover damages that are the result of an accident/collision, theft, vandalism, misuse of a vehicle, improper maintenance and/or weather.  Did you know that it is illegal to tamper with your car odometer?  Not only can this activity land you in some legal trouble, most manufacturers will void the warranty if the odometer of the covered vehicle has been tampered with or disconnected.

All-in-all, warranties are a must-have. When shopping for a new car, consider the initial manufacturer’s warranty and the purchase of an extended warranty a part of your investment in your new vehicle.

Have you had an experience that made you glad for your initial warranty and/or that you purchased an extended warranty?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.  As always, your feedback is important to us!