Important Shortcuts for Auto Service and Repairs

Questions You Want to Ask About an Extended Car Warranty

by Emilia Latvala

An extended car warranty can be a good choice when buying a new car, as it can mean more coverage for the cost of repairs and possibly having more parts of your car covered than with the warranty that comes standard. Before you do agree to the extended warranty, however, you want to ensure you know everything involved and especially anything that might void the warranty itself. Note a few questions to ask a dealer about a possible extended car warranty.

1. Ask about deductibles

As with your car insurance, your car warranty may include a deductible, or an amount you need to pay out of your own pocket before that warranty then covers the cost of repairs. Be sure you ask about this so you can figure the risk of having to pay that amount against the amount your warranty would cover if your car needed repairs.

2. Note if you need to take your car to a certain shop

Some warranties allow you to take your car to any licensed mechanic for repairs, whereas some might require you to take the car to the dealer or to a list of their approved repair shops. If you have a favorite mechanic you've been using for years, you need to remember this condition of your warranty so it doesn't get voided and will actually cover those repair costs.

3. Ask if you need to always use name brand parts

In some cases, you may need to use only name brand parts for repairs even if you're repairing something that isn't covered under the warranty. This is because car manufacturers know that poor-quality parts can affect many systems and parts under the hood; for example, poor-quality brake pads might wear down rotors more quickly, so that tires begin to show uneven wear and, in turn, your steering system suffers more wear and tear. The dealer may require you to use only name brand parts for any repair in order to keep the warranty valid for this reason, so be sure you ask about that.

4. Ask about cancellation fees and policies, and transferring 

Note if you can cancel the extended warrant and whether there is a fee for doing this early. Also note if there is a certain time given to cancel. You might also ask if the warranty can be transferred if you should sell your car, as this can make it a better deal to potential buyers.