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Buying a new Acura

I am buying a new Acura MDX. One of the reasons I chose it is for its reliability. Its warranty is 4 years/50,000 miles. I normally drive around 15,000 miles a year. Does it make sense for me to buy the 8 year/120,000 mile warranty for $3,330? My thinking is that if one of the highly technical/computer-related parts breaks in eight years, it could be very costly to fix, therefore making the initial outlay of $3,330 a wise investment. On the other hand, I usually think that extended warranties have to benefit the company and not the consumer; otherwise, the company would not offer them.

Our Acura Integra was extremely reliable and we never would have used an extended warranty. The car worked great until the day it was stolen. That engine is probably still working well for some tuner criminal in the Atlanta area. The extended warranty on our 2009 VW GTI has already paid for itself because the turbo and the ABS have both failed.

I’m on my second Acura. Last one I traded at 60K before the 70K drive train warranty went. Only had a couple issues around 40K. I’ve got 40K on this one and no problems. I do like to have a warranty but you have to remember you have the drive train and emmissions anyway up to 70K, so you really don’t get much value with the extended. Up to you though but I think it sounds a little high.

Those warranties are almost pure profit for the companies selling them. They probably know that very few MDXs develop serious problems that will cost them much. Nowhere near what you’ve paid them. Put the money somewhere safe and enjoy your reliable Acura.

Yes, buy the warranty because it costs about $400 a year. On a $49,000 vehicle, $400 a year is a big nothing to worry about. If you were interested in being thrifty, you would buy a much cheaper and less comfortable vehicle. The $26,000 car is in my range.

Extended warranties from a company other than Acura would be a total waste of money. The extended warranties from Acura are not much better. I used to work at a large RV dealership and my boss called extended warranties…free money. A third of the money went to the salesman…a third went to the dealership and the rest went to the warranty company.

This question is asked here over and over. Please search for the previous threads and read them.

The short answer is that the average payout might be somewhere around half of the cost. Some buyers do come out ahead (sometimes even substantially), but far more buyers lose in the end. If you buy one, you’re playing the odds with the odds stacked against you. If you want one anyway, most people recommend getting only one from the manufacturer, as many of the third-party companies have a history of denying claims and even going out of business.

I put a dollar I the slot machine and got nothing. The guy next to me put a dollar in and got $1000. On average we both made $500 but he was happier than I. We both knew what we were doing though and it could have been the other way around. If it is from Acura, its just insurance. Maybe expensive insurance, but if you are the one in 5000 that needs to put in an $8000 trans mission at 80,000, you win. If it makes you feel better to guarantee your losses, expensive or not, its up to you.

Put the $3330 in the bank and only use it for repairs. Do not use it for planned maintenance. After 8 years, take the balance and go on a nice vacation.

Make up a list of things you think might break, and ask the warranty company to what extent they are covered. Some of those you think are covered may not be. Or only partially. Or there may be restrictions on when they are covered and aren’t. That might help your decision.

Me, I’d be inclined to trust that the Acura is a well-made and well-designed car and skip the warranty expense. But you never know, especially as car’s complexity increases the repair costs go sky high, with the various computer modules and 8 or 9 speed automatic transmissions.

I won’t buy it. Acura’s are reliable. If yours ends up being lemon, you’ll figure it out in the 1st 3 years (way before) and might want to just get rid of it then. If it turns out to be decent, then the chances of needing the warranty is very low. Not zero, but low. The warranty might pay itself off for one particular car, but over your lifetime of car ownership, you are better off putting the money in a savings account and reek the profits.

We bought a new Toyotas and a new Mazda recently. In both cases the salesmen pushed extended warranties. I told the guys we would put this money in the bank an draw from it if anything happened beyond the warranty. They simply did not understand.

For the Toyota the end of the optional “extended warranty” period has come and gone and we have not had a single repair or breakdown. So we’re that much ahead.

As far as the Mazda is concerned, our son has a 2004 Mazda3 and with 131,000 miles on it he has yet to have a repair that would qualify under this “warranty” program. Hope our Mazda is that good.

Get 'em to throw in a clear bra for $1 if you buy the warranty. Then it’s worth it. Paint chips suck, and Acuras use thin-ish paint and are very prone to them.

It’s true that when you buy the extended warranty coverage, even the “platinum” or whatever the highest level of coverage is, your car’s problem still might not be covered. We had that problem with our VW extended warranty. Even though the warranty has paid for itself with 2 repairs, there was at least one pricey repair that was not covered.

The EW also usually requires going back to the same dealer, which for us is a bit of a drive because we purchased from a dealership about 45 minutes away.

Also, the car has to show a code for the repair to be covered. In most cases this is probably not an issue, but in our case the ABS was failing AND it was also failing to put out a code, so the dealer and the warranty company refused to do anything. The code had probably cleared when the car was turned off & restarted and the shop said they couldn’t reproduce it. They actually let us leave the shop with a car that had a failing ABS system… makes me mad just thinking about it. My husband immediately drove the car to a safe location, applied the brakes in a simulated emergency stop & reproduced the problem & drove it right back to them so they could get their code & sure enough the car’s ABS module was failing. To this day it makes me angry that the VW folks let us leave in a car without properly functioning ABS. I shudder at the thought of what might have happened if we had been involved in an accident (and I kept a lot of information showing exactly what VW knew in the event we got into trouble). Sorry for getting side-tracked…

For an Acura, unless maybe if it’s the first model year of a new design, I’d not purchase the extended warranty.

I dunno, I drove cars for 50 years without ABS and always managed to stop. Maybe we have come to rely on features too much so that in a real situation we don’t know what to do.

Assuming the vehicle is properly maintained and not abused, the probability of something costing more than the cost of the warranty failing approaches zero.

In a car’s early years, when it’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any design and/or manufacturing defects (if there are any) are likely to expose themselves. In the car’s later years, past the 200,000 mile mark, peripheral components like alternators and A/C compressors tend to wear out. Past 250,000 miles, age and wear begin to catch up with the car. That period between the manufacturer’s warranty and the two latter “earmarks” is a period when the likelihood of breaking down is extremely low… and the likelihood of having a repair costing thousands is almost zip.

Put the money in a separate back account and call it “my warranty account”. Then, if something breaks, you’ll have a “warranty” to cover the cost. If not, you’ll still have the money. If you give it to them up front and nothing breaks, you’ll never see it again. If something costing less than the warranty cost breaks, you’ll never see the balance again. And, if something does break, you may have to fight them to get your money… you may have to at least prove to them that you’ve done everything right in order to get your money. You’ll be, in a sense, the “defendant”.

@Bing if the ABS system fails the wrong way, though, it might engage when it shouldn’t and lengthen stopping distances.

I’ve long believed that ABS is highly overrated at best. Any system can fail, and introducing a system to the brake hydraulics the function of which is to prevent the brakes from fully engaging is, IMHO, a bad idea. I have personally experienced the tendency of ABS to greatly lengthen stopping distances on ice in order that I be able to retain steering control when there was no place to steer to. Introduce a malfunction and the situation becomes untenable even on dry pavement.

Huh ? The warranty is only for four years or 70k miles. . It doesn’t make sense. The first four are all ready covered by the manufacturer for the expensive repairs.

@dagosa the extra purchase extends the warranty by 4 years to a total of 8 years.