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2 part question

I have a 2003 Toyota corolla. About 4 months ago I had my brake pads replaced. They seemed fine but I noticed a lot of squeaking of the brakes that i purchased from Advanced auto parts. Fast forward to now. Not only I have squeaking but if I am braking after driving a fast speed my steering wheel begins to shake. What could that be the alignment or my brakes?

Also, all those commercials I see about the extended warranties for the cars are those real? I find that too good to be true… Granted I had something very similar to those when I purchased my certified used toyota and it was great because I needed my O2 sensors and cat converter done and it only cost me $50 bucks. But that was through Toyota. Are these extended plans worth looking in to?

The shaking steering wheel is most likely due to warped brake rotors.

Extended warranties generally cost about twice what the average buyer gets back from them. Third-party warranties (as opposed to ones offered by the manufacturer) are often harder to collect on due to exclusions and limitations written into the policy, plus those companies do go out of business sometimes. There’s lots of discussion here about extended warranties, so please search for it.

The rotors should have been serviced at the same time as the pad replacement and I agree that extended warranties should be avoided; especially non-factory warranties.

I’m not a gambling man at all but I’d bet that within a couple of years most of those companies that are glutting TV with ads promising to pay for everything will disappear completely or will resurface under another corporate name after folding up shop under their old one.

Your shaking is caused by warped brake discs. In the old days we used to ‘cut’ them which would make them true again but nowadays brake discs are usualy so cheap that it’s worth doing a replacement. They are very easy to fit, If you managed to do the brake pads yourself you can probably manage the discs although you may need a ‘TORX’ socket bit depending on the car… I’m not too familiar with Toyotas. In any case if you do the discs you should do the pads as well and this ‘might’ solve your squeeling brakes. Stopping brakes from squeeling can be dificult and some cars just seem to do it… it can be pretty frustrating.

Squeaks can be a failure on the part of the installer or the choice of brake pad material etc.

The shaking as noted is a warped rotor or rotors. In modern cars like yours it is generally best to replace the rotors at every brake job.

  Well any car can have major expensive repairs.  

The profit to the salesman and company is usually over 50%. So for every $1,000 you spend the insurance company has less than $500 to pay for repairs or they will loose money, something insurance companies do not do. Some peop;le will get nothing back and some will get a lot more than they pay.  Most will get far less. In addition you need to keep in mind that the insurer has worded it to eliminate as many expensive things as they can.

Remember that the seller is out to make money and they get to write the rules and set the price.  They are not going to sell them at a loss so one way or another they are going to have you pay more than they will pay out.  

Would you gamble with a car dealer who gets to set all the rules and knows all the odds?   

Your decision has to do with the value of the piece of mind it gives you. If that is worth the cost then buy it. Don't expect it to cover everything however, most are written to keep cost down and exempt what they know will cost them money. 

Good Luck

A Corolla is the last car I’d buy an extended warranty for, and I would not buy from advertisers, only Toyota, if I somehow thought it worthwhile (it’s not).

Extended warranties generally cost about twice what the average buyer gets back from them.

It’s closer to 20 times not twice.

Right Mike; I’ve analyzed those in consumer durables and I would have received about $50 in compensation for about $1100 paid in extended warranties, had I bought them. And this assumed that the repair would definitely be covered.