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Buying a new Acura

That makes the warranty for 4 years. New cars on average are kept for 6 years. So now, there is a possibility the warranty will only be for two years. There are a lot of factors that make this a big profit making scam for the manufacturer of one of the most reliable cars on the market. Just not realizing that it’s only a four year warranty is one of the biggest. Am I missing something. It’s already covered for the first four years and the cost of the additional warranty has no financial bearing on any repairs done in this time. If she doesn’t buy the warranty, I am sure the manufacturer will reminded the owner of an extension at that time…

In all products, including cars, there is a life cycle. During that life cycle, there is a high incidence of repairs early in the products life, mostly due to manufacturing defects. This gets sorted out in the first 10% of the life cycle.

Then the product enters the middle phase that runs from 10% to about 70% of the life cycle where the product is most reliable. Most repairs in this portion are due to misuse, accidents or failure to maintain. The last 30% of the life cycle is where most of the repairs occur, and the repair frequency increases exponentially as the end of service life is reached.

The end of service life is usually when the cost of repairs exceeds a defined percentage of the cost of replacement.

Most cars today if maintained according tot he service schedule and not overly abused or wrecked can expect to last 200k miles. Some will go way beyond but this is a ballpark figure. 70% of that is 140k miles. So from 20k to 140k, you can expect almost no unexpected repairs. You still will need brakes, tires and a battery, plus all the scheduled maintenance items, but it should never leave you stranded.

After 140k, most people still find the vehicle more economical to own than trade. These extended warrantees cover the period of ownership where few repairs are ever needed.

The unknown here is all the new electronics, but when you look at the reliability of the rest of the electronics in your home, TV, DVD, surround sound, computers, appliances and all the remotes that go with them, I think the new electronics are a safe bet.

@dagosa First, to be clear, I’m not advocating that OP get the warranty (unless they throw in the clear bra for free, in which case it’s worth it because the clear bra usually costs as much as a warranty and is pretty much a necessity on modern cars with paint all the way down to the ground).

Acura did not contact me and attempt to get me to extend my warranty when my original factory warranty was about to expire. Plenty of fly-by-night “warranty” service plan scams did, but nothing from Acura itself. As far as I know, I would have been ineligible to extend the factory warranty at that point.

The argument for the extended warranty is one of peace of mind. If it’s worth a grand to you to know that if the transmission blows up at 80,000 miles you won’t have to pay to replace it, then maybe it’s worth it. The likelihood is that if you use it at all, it will be for minor crap that costs less than the warranty cost in the first place, but some people sleep better knowing they’re covered, even if the coverage is unnecessary. If someone’s going to be worried for 8 years because they didn’t get the extended warranty and what if something breaks (I’ve actually seen this happen - my mom is that way, and will literally lose sleep worrying that the car will break despite having plenty of money to fix anything that goes wrong up to and including paying cash for a brand new replacement high-end car) then getting the warranty is probably worth it, especially if you get them to throw in other stuff for free in exchange for getting the warranty.

Correction. They need only be worried for 4 years. It is $3300 for 4 years piece of mind, that doesn’t start for four years on a car that has a very low probability that it will have a major problem before the mileage is up. Do anyone of us know our situation in four years ? I would have less piece of mind knowing I had $3300 less money given I had a high chance nothing would go wrong. I would beat my self up knowing I could have four years of free cover and $3300 in the bank and the freedom to trade it in. It’s still a steal…by Honda.
Btw, why is it only a grand now ?

“I drove cars for 50 years without ABS and always managed to stop”

While I can agree with that statement, @Bing, the actual purpose of ABS is to be able to steer your car while exerting maximum braking force. If you are in a panic stop situation, I defy you to be able to steer around an obstacle unless you release the brake, and that can be a…dicey…proposition.

Should I stop exerting maximum brake force in order to steer, or should I just keep the brakes jammed on in the hope that the obstacle in front of me will…somehow…move before I hit it? And, of course, all of that thought process is taking place in milliseconds as you rapidly close in on a vehicle, animal, person, or other obstacle in your path.

All too often, I hear people complain about ABS, but–apparently–they don’t understand why it has become commonplace. The purpose of ABS is to allow you to steer around an obstacle while simultaneously exerting maximum braking.

I too have felt that ABS is an “add on” to regular brakes which on their own should work to stop the car. The problem is, when the ABS failed to engage on dry roads, the car went into a skid and started to spin and we almost slid off the road - the opposite side of the road after traveling through the lane of oncoming traffic. Properly working ABS keeps you from skidding & spinning so that you stop in a straight line and it can help keep you out of the line of oncoming traffic & out of the ditches.

When we tested the car after the ABS was fixed, the car stopped in a straight line without leaving skid marks. “Extra” or not, I feel the car is safer with a properly functioning ABS system.

I’m not going to get into it but of course if your wheels are locked and you need to steer, you simply let up on the brakes enough to regain control. I’m not against ABS, only having to rely on it so much.

"…the actual purpose is to be able to steer your car…"

Exactly right ! While it’s a given that on some surfaces your cars stopping distances can increase, there are others, notably dry pavement, where the distance decreases with ABS. In all cases where the front wheels lock, you cannot steer. Stopping in time helps avoid collisions but turning does as well. It 's best to have two components, stopping and turning then just stopping alone.

Another very big reason though is NOT THE EMERGENCY stop where stopping alone is the issue. It’s instances for example, where you have started to turn and in the effort to avoid a dog or an animal or obstacle , you inadvertently lock the brake. Just an instance of brake lock can send the car into a spin, especially if all the brakes lock and the rear looses traction because of centrifugal force in the turn. You are now, totally out of control.

There are a very large number of accidents where brake lock, for a variety of reasons, caused loss of control when stopping distance alone would not have been an issue. Many head collisions on undivided highways had been caused by brake lock causing an uncontrollable skid. Too many cars have poor tire wear problems, poor weight balance and where poor handlers in general driven by inexperienced drivers in slippery and normal conditions not to be helped by ABs and ABS related braking action.

Even the satellite components like traction and stability control help vehicles maintain control by both using ABs and cutting power. It has and will continue to save a lot of lives. ABS related components have become an awesome off road traction device that has simplified off road components as well by pulsating brake intervention to give the driver a quasi limited slip on both axles. It has made 4wd more effect without the expensive and hard to control and maintain mechanical limited slip and lock differentials. Drivers in general will never want to return to uncontrolled acceleration and braking. The computer is too powerful an ally not to use.


If you’re “slamming” the brakes in an emergency, you’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to employ “threshold” braking, then gently increase pressure to lock, then release just enough to get wheels turning. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The actual point of threshold braking is to be in your muscle memory from frequent practice prior to emergency

@dagosa Trust me, my mother would be worried for all 8. She’d be worried that after year 4, and before year 8, it will break and she COULD have gotten the repair covered if she’d only bought the warranty. Some people are more neurotic about new car purchases than others. I remember one brand new vehicle we had when I was growing up - she was worried about it the whole 9 years we had it because the brake rotors had a little bit of rust on them on the lot, because it hadn’t been driven since it was delivered. It was the best vehicle she ever had from a maintenance perspective - the whole time she had it, it only needed routine maintenance, and never broke, but she fretted about it at least once a week, absolutely convinced the thing was probably a rust bucket that would break in half on her some day.

@keith Yes, you are describing the so-called “bathtub curve” of wear-out which is typical of mechanical equipment. The extended warranty usually covers that flat part of the curve where the incidence of failure is very low. The initial failures are call “infant mortalities” and usually occur in the first year or so. Smart used car buyers buy well depreciated vehicles that are at this flat part of the curve and sell the car when the repair frequency starts climbing rapidly.

I have kept track of a number of household appliances and electronics over the years. The extended warranties offered came to over $1200 total. There was only one failure during that covered timespan and the repair was $110. So the “payout” of these programs to the user is about 10 cents on every dollar paid into the programs.

In other words, put your money in the bank and call it your repair account.

‘You’re supposed to employ “threshold” braking, then gently increase pressure to lock, then release just enough to get wheels turning’

Yes, that is correct…if you are driving a vehicle sans ABS.
I haven’t had one of that variety for…many years.
Are you still driving a car w/o ABS?

Not to slightly alter the discussion, but met with the appliance dealer today to discuss updating the kitchen and replacing our 22 year old appliances that have been flawless-still the flat part of the bathtub curve. Said the new ones would maybe go 10 or 12 years instead due to the energy efficiency changes. New ones run more and faster with smaller compressors to save me $100 a year but only last half as long. When you consider the energy and other costs of building new in relation to the energy savings, you’ve got to think what is really being saved?

So when you talk about planned obsolescence, its really not the manufacturer but the other forces causing the manufacturer to design products that meet the new federal and other requirements. Maybe just leasing is indeed going to become the new normal as we continue to churn new products that don’t last.

Just replaced my 12 year old (now dead) garage door opener.
In all my many years as an engineer, I’ve never seen any designer intentionally create obsolescence, but there are definitely constraints that designers face that limit the life expectancy of the products.

Well, except for software guys… I’m starting to suspect that they design in obsolescence… no offense meant to my good friend Mike… I just spent an inordinate amount of time waiting for my computer to perform unrequested “updates”. By the time it finished I was getting pissed… {:smiley:

PostScript: apologies for the slightly offensive adjective.

I hear you about car owners like this and I understand your feelings. But at the very least, I will continue preaching the alternative. You know and I know they are just as much useless schemes as nitrogen in your tires.

You may be the exceptional driver who never makes a braking mistake but I have and was glad ABs saved my butt. If you eliminate ABs, you also eliminate traction and stability control because they are integrated safety devices for those who occasionally make poor decisions. I have a friend who I guess, believes in natural selection at it’s ultimate for poor drivers. . I am sure he was kidding when he said something to this effect, but I just wonder what would happen if a loved one were injured while doing nothing wrong in their car while this selection process was going on with someone else.

I am much more at ease when my wife takes my truck out on our ice and snow covered road because it doesn’t kick out and spin like my old pre ABs ones did. We are able to keep living in this desolate area in relative safety as we approach seventy because of the help of technology like this.

It’s not even necessarily about you yourself making poor decisions. It’s often about someone else making a poor decision or having a mechanical failure or something else that is beyond a driver’s control creating an emergency braking situation. Unless you go out and practice them, emergency stops are rare, so few of us get to regularly practice and refine our emergency braking techniques to develop any muscle memory around emergency stops. The need arises without warning, you might be terrified, and you have to react immediately. The reflex action is typically to apply the brakes fast & hard, without the nuance of just applying threshold braking and then gently increasing pressure & releasing just enough to get the wheels turning in a completely calm, controlled, orderly fashion. In an ideal world that would be effective for everyone all the time, and it used to be the best we could all hope for, but in the real world of today ABS offers a much better level of protection than the old techniques.

I don’t understand the controversy,… yes, a car can be driven and stopped successfully without ABS, for 50 years even, but these days we pay a lot for safety enhancements in our new cars and those improvements are pretty darn effective when needed, so why defend their failure by saying they are unnecessary?

Sure, people can get by without safety features like airbags & ABS, with a little luck they might even survive an accident like some people used to, but in no way is that advisable & no way is it OK if those systems fail.

Cctax, you missed my point. In my experience and opinion, the inherent weaknesses of ABS make it less effective in real world conditions than brakes without ABS, and in some cases dangerous. ABS dramatically increases stopping distances on gravel, washboard surfaces, and sheer ice. It’s designed solely to retain steering control, however in emergency stops there very often is nowhere to steer to. I’d much rather stop shorter.

There’s a hill by my house off of which I make a left to get to my place. Without ABS I can always make the turn in bad weather. With ABS, the car just keeps going right past the turn. In anticipation of your questions, yes, it is operating correctly. And yes, I do know how to use it. And I’ve been diving for 54++ years, all in the upper states where snow is part of life, without incident, so I think I know how to drive.

Like all technology, ABS makes trade offs. IMHO the trade offs ABS makes make ABS a detriment.


With all due respect, everything I have read says that ABS does increase stopping distance minimally not substantially on granular surfaces, like gravel, sand etc. On ice and packed snow conditions which can vary, locking the wheels is akin to ice skating where the ice melt layer creates a lubricated surface that can increase stopping distance much more when locked and out of control. Nothing I have read has ever said anything about dramatic increases on all the surfaces stated. In wet snow where turning wheels are needed to keep treads clear for gripping, there is NO comparison on the part of ABS and the deeper the snow, the greater the advantage.

So advantageous is it off road, some of the better off road vehicles including my last two, use ABS braking for down hill assistance mode both to keep the vehicle traveling as slowly as possible and with steerage. Locking brakes in many conditions, enough to convince those who legislatively advocated for it…like automotive engineers and scientists, are an absolute killer more times then not.People who do accident investigations have seen the results of locked brakes vs ABS in vehicles involved for years now. It works. It has been around long enough for insurance companies to advocate for it as well as all the accompanying technologies like traction and stability control. Yes, in many instances, the computer does a better job deciding then the driver.

The one exception to ABs working improperly is with poor tires. The better the tires, the more benefit you get over non ABs systems…Now, if you have ill suited tires and are attempting to control your car going down hill with all season tires on ice, ABS is of little help, it can’t do the impossible. Neither can traction control help you going up much. Btw, how can you turn your ABS on or off on the same car ?

I guess I wasn’t saying at least that ABS wasn’t helpful or an improvement, only a reaction to the idea that the dealer had put the person’s life and limb in danger by sending them out with ABS malfunctioning. It just suggested an unrealistic fear of having to deal with what to some of us is a simple life issue. Heaven help us if we can’t cope with something like this and end up with a real life threatening issue-name your poison-flood, grid, virus, terrorist, storm, etc. In other words put your big boy pants on.

Static friction between a rolling wheel and the surface it travels over is greater then the kinetic friction between the locked wheel and the surface it slides over. This added friction not only helps decrease stopping distance as the ABs tries to maintain this static friction, but it helps the car turn when the driver turns the wheel. The exception, is granular surfaces where “plowing” and the build up material in front of a locked wheel helps slow the car. Steering though is lost while this is going on and granular surfaces like gravel, and very deep dry snow is often where cars are traveling theoretically their slowest to begin with. Dry pavement, wet pavement and the like are where cars are traveling the fastest and ABs works the best. Snow conditions can vary so much, there can be changes while braking. Like wise, being able to apply more force to a wheel that is on pavement while allowing turning of a wheel for static friction that is on ice is completely in the domain of ABS. When wheels are on different surfaces at the same time and require different approaches to maximize stopping power and retain steerage, only computer controlled ABS has a hope of doing this.