Aftermarket Car Warranty - Worth It?

I’m thinking of buying a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder with 65K miles and a seperate car warranty from AAA (which offers a warranty through Route 66). The will sell a 5 year 100K mile warranty for around $2300. Has anyone had negative or positive experiences with aftermarket car warranties? And is there away to investigate companies and complaints?

A recent Car & Driver article highlighted the problems with many of these. It didn’t mention AAA. At best, you get about half value, the markups are huge. At worst, they’re worthless.

Those things are the pyramid scheme of the new baloneyum. I think it is usually better to buy $2,300 in instant winner tickets. You might make $400 that way. Money is a lot safer in the bank. Many people have had negative and positive experience. Consumer Reports is still publishing their own evaluations of the worth of warranties. And, I don’t know. Got that covered.

As a mechanic I liked it when the customer had them because you could upsell the heck out of things and the customers were happy you found everything on one trip so they only paid one deductible.

Speaking strictly as a mechanic those warrantys kept the shop busy,some paid better than factory warranty time.

Sure it would have been better to have all the work at customer pay rate but something is better than standing around.

Generally, auto extended warranties are not a good investment, but I would tend to trust AAA before I would trust other firms in that business.

A friend bought an extended warranty on a high-end Jeep and got his money back many times over. For a Pathfinder with 65k miles, however, I would rate it a poor investment.

Put the $2,300 in the bank and don’t touch it. If you need it for a major repair (NOT maintenance) it will be there. If you never need it the money will still be in your bank.

If you give the money to AAA or Route 66 it will be in their bank. Where would you rather have your money?

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 small percentage of people who buy extended warranties (from reputable companies) do get their moneys worth. But the odds are greatly against you.

As others have noted, I would put the $2300 in the bank.

From what I’ve read in a number of places over time, the average person will collect roughly half of what they pay. The odds are against you saving money with an extended warranty.

#1…I’d check the writing on that warranty. I’ll bet it says UP TO 100K miles…NOT another 100k miles.

#2…I’ve owned 2 Pathfinders. Both driven past the 300k mile mark with very few repairs…Original Engine and Tranny. These are very very durable vehicles. IMHO you’d be wasting your money. Find something else to spend it on or put it in a bank.

#3…I don’t care what vehicle it is…or what company you buy from…extended warranties are a waste of money. They are nothing more then a very very expensive insurance policy. I’ve NEVER bought one and NEVER will.

Thanks for the info - the $2300 warranty is considered “exclusionary” bumper to bumper - so in theory they cover more than “stated” warrenties - and if you finance through AAA they knock $200 off the price - but I’m sure there’s loopholes to avoud payment on repairs.

The Pathfinders I’m looking at are 2003’s one with 48K and one with around 60K. Would you mind telling me what your experience was with your Pathfinders. If you don’t mind what did you nned to repair around the 50K to 70K mile mark. I’heard CV boots and knock and O2 sensors are an issue. And if you don’t mind the dealers say below 93 octane fuel is OK even though 93 octane is recommended because the engine will adjust to it - any opinion? Thanks.

the $2300 warranty is considered “exclusionary” bumper to bumper -
so in theory they cover more than “stated” warrenties

Is that what you were told or is that what the find print in the contract says? There is often a big difference. Read the contract’s fine print before doing anything. Many of them are written in ways to make it legal for the company to weasel out of paying you for the more costly repairs.

If you don’t mind what did you nned to repair around the 50K to 70K mile mark.

My first repair (besides normal maintenance) wasn’t until well past 150k on either Pathfinder. Never had a problem with the O2 sensors or knock sensors. The first repair on my 90 was a radiator…The only other repairs were…I had to replace the radio…some rust around the outside tire carrier…and a fan clutch. I sold it with about 310k miles…The tranny was starting to make some noise (input shaft bearing). My 98 Pathfinder…That year had some issues with the rear-control arm bushings…Replaced them at 100k miles…along with new shocks…used upgraded bushings and never had the problem again. Replaced the antenna mast. Radiator at about 200k miles. And had the radio serviced.

As I said the trucks were very very reliable. Mine also had timing belts which had to be replaced every 100k miles. The 03 has a chain so that’s a less expense. I did replaced mine so the cost was minimal.

Octane…not sure what the 03 required…but my 90 and 98 only required regular. My 05 4runner requires 91 octane though.

Thanks a lot - I plan to go over each contract in detail.

Was wondering if you ever towed with either of your Pathfinders?