Extended Warranty Top Questions

It is no wonder that in today’s world of car sales there is a big disconnect when it comes to car warranties. Often times these legal agreements between the consumer and the car manufacturer are misinterpreted as a privilege when they are not. The dealers and salespeople will tell you not to worry about damages, promising that “It will be covered by the warranty!” But when something breaks, we automatically think that its the manufacturers turn to pay up and when they don’t we think THEY are cheating us. If that’s not bad enough, sometimes the dealerships will even try to slip warranty repair under the radar, classifying them as something else. It’s not the manufacturer that’s lying to us it’s the salespeople. Abuse like this is why car manufacturers so heavily investigate and scrutinize every little claim that comes through their office, like the consumer one is the person who is not to be trusted. They tell us that everything is covered, when in actuality the lack of warranty coverage can be caused by anything from abuse and expiration of warranty to an uncovered part.

I’ve been in the car business for over three decades and I can tell you the delight I see on the car owners face when he or she sees the words its covered under warranty in their bill when paying for a repair. I can also tell you how unhappy the owner gets when a repair is not included in that same warranty. To clear up any confusion, you must understand that it is up to the car owner to read their original contract. The owner must follow the maintenance schedule as written in their car manual. If the owner does so, then he or she has a car that is currently under warranty for any repairs that are caused by shoddy workmanship, or a faulty part, as long as it falls under the purview of the time limit and mileage restrictions in their original contract.

Here’s an overview of the covered parts and services. If they come from the car maker, they’re covered by the auto manufacturers warranty. There will probably be varying coverage based on time or mileage. Anything that comes from an aftermarket manufacturer – tires, additional stereo or conversion components – are covered by the aftermarket manufacturers warranty. This will be in with the documents you get when you buy a new car. Remember to read these papers, since they tell you what is covered by who and for how long. You can avoid warranty headaches by keeping yourself informed. Maintenance products like filters wouldn’t be covered, nor would things like belts and hoses, as they are expected to wear out.

$40 for a $400 job? Don’t be afraid to ask and you too may receive the service I did when the paint on my Plymouth minivan had de-laminated (gone dull). Often conversion vehicles such as vans or limousines are covered under separate warranties for things not installed by the manufacturer. It is imperative both buyer and dealer understand the ins and outs of conversion vehicle warranties and to obtain a written warranty disclosure when making the purchase. Often dealers or field reps will opt to make goodwill-adjustments after the warranty is out of time or above the mileage limits. Time in service, maintenance records, mileage, whether any service contracts are in effect, and even customer loyalty are all taken into account. A situation which could sometimes result in a nightmare outcome can result in the customer only having to pay for a small portion of the repair as long as great care has been taken to understand the warranty, keep great records, have loyalty to the manufacturer and just ask for help!

Warranty items differ with each manufacturer, so check the warranty card or refer to your vehicle’s dealer for specifics. Bumper to Bumper Warranty covers all components of the vehicle over a specified period, declared by the manufacturer. Corrosion Warranty covers all rust-through on sheet metal, but does not include surface damage, such as nicks, dents and scratches. Safety Campaigns or Recalls are declared by the manufacturer and are performed at no charge to the owners. These campaigns may occur at any time, regardless of how old the vehicle is, or the specific vehicle’s mileage. The campaign notices are sent out by the manufacturer or dealer and tell owners to bring their vehicles into the dealer. The dealer will look up the VIN number of each vehicle in the database to see if the specific vehicle is included in the campaign.

There is more to discuss about warranties. I may perhaps deal with it when I write about this later. I recommend that you take the effort to learn more about this. Meet the manager of your dealership and ask him to explain to you every thing that you need to know. Let me assure you that hidden warranty does not exist. Dealers earn money from the factory for the warranty campaigns they perform. It is therefore useless to blame the local dealer for not covering certain operations under hidden warranty. They would gladly oblige you if such a thing existed because warranty campaigns bring in money for them. I hope I have made this clear to you.

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