CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Extended Car Warranty

I am considering purchasing an extended warranty for our 2007 Infinity G35s. The warranty will cost $2171 with a $100 deductible. The warranty will cover every thing except normal maintenance items and last for 36 months or 36000 miles. The car now has about 52,000 miles an it and has not had any major problems. My husband thinks we are being suckered because he doesn’t think that it is likely that anything costing more than $2000 will happen to the car by 96000 miles when the extended warranty will expire. But I would like the comfort of not worrying about a major repair The car is much too fast for us but is really fun to drive

Put the $2171 in a savings account. Use this as your car repair(not maintenance) fund for the next 3yrs/36,000 miles. Odds you will have nearly all if not 3/4 the money in your account at the end of 3yrs/36000 miles. This is what warranty companies bet on and stay in business with. Remember the dealer is marking up your warranty by at least 50% of cost. These are huge profit makers for a dealer.

Much has been written in this forum about extended warranties. The search key is your friend.

While you can always find someone who says they know someone who came out ahead with one of these warranties, the truth is most do not. The wording in these warranties is carefully written to enable them to legally not pay you for many repairs.

The odds are heavily in your favor that you’ll benefit financially if you put the $2717 in a bank account and use it for any needed repairs vs buying the warranty.

Put the $2171 in the bank. Murphy’s Law states that stuff starts to fall apart after the warranty is void. Keep the maintenance going and your Infiniti will last for quite a long time. I put $15 a week in to a separate savings account for unexpected car expenses, it adds up quick! I would put more like $25 a week in but im just a college student so I don’t make a lot of $ right now.

These warranties are generally major ripoffs. They play on your fears to charge you prices WELL above what the average vehicle will ever see in repair costs. They’re well known to provide the companies with 50% profit margins or greater.

Good evidence of this can be found if you ask for a quote for a warranty for a Pontiac Vibe and for a Toyota Matrix. I tried that once and got a quote of ~$1700 for the Matrix and ~$3500 for the Vibe. That $1800 difference is guaranteed to be pure profit, as the cars are the same vehicle… But the owners don’t often realize this and the Pontiac owners are more likely to be afraid of the reliability of their vehicle, and are therefore willing to pay more.

I’ve known MANY people who bought these things. The ONLY person I know who ever saved a single cent was a relative who had to have their A/C system in their Accord completely replaced - even then, between that and a couple other repairs, they ended up saving less than $100.

Simply not worth it.

You think it will cover all repairs, a recent poster destroyed her engine when a serpentine belt broke and her car overheated. Since the destroyed engine was the result of a belt failure and the belt was not covered, the engine was not covered.If you engine or transmission or engine fail the will try to blame low oil levels, lack of frequent enough changes, or failure of a non covered component. Consumer Reports said some years ago that the average recovery on all extended warranties is 12 cents on a dollar.

They are just a very very very expensive insurance policy…and a very very very high-profit policy for the insurance companies. When I was consulting to the insurance companies…some 10 years ago…at the time this was by far the highest profit insurance policy EVER. They pay out far less then 5% of every dime paid.

The other thing to look at…is how long these policies are for…which is the real reason these are such huge money makers for them…They only insure UP TO 100K miles. I have to go back 30 years before I owned a vehicle that had the slightest problem under 150k miles. Most vehicles sold today will be 99% trouble free it’s first 100k miles.

The math on these is that the dealer gets about half of your money, and insurance company gets about half of the rest for operating costs, and about a quarter of the premium gets paid out in claims.

It is difficult to put a price tag on your peace of mind, so if you really want to do this, do your homework and only deal with a company with good reviews. See if your car insurance company handles repair insurance. Those are usually better deals because the company is reputable and the sales commission for your agent is a bit lower.

If I owned your car, I would not even consider it. Nice car, by the way.

I agree with the others, the odds are you’ll be $$ ahead putting the money in savings.

One MAJOR warning - do not buy the warranty from anyone except Inifiniti. The ‘3rd-party’ warranties you hear advertised on the radio and TV can be worse than nothing, in that you’ll spend your money and then spend lots of time arguing with the warranty firm over whether something is covered or not. Many sob stories out there.

I agree with the above posters that this is a poor “investment”. You have one of the best luxury cars on the market, and with good care, very little will go wrong, other than normal wear and tear, during the coverage period.

The term “maintenance” and “normal wear and tear” will be used very loosely when a claim arises. If you happen to have a friend who is a fraud lawyer, let him go over the fine print, as you will have endless hassles collecting if anything actually breaks! Things like cooling system service, belts, wipers, timing belts, transmission service, brakes, muffler and exhaust parts, etc, etc, will alll be called “normal wear and tear” or maintenance, and not be covered.

We just got a new puppy, and yes, there is puppy insurance; accidental and “illness”, excluding pre-existing conditions of course.

The insurance is for the life of the dog, and costs $47 per month, and escalates in price in accordance with “the cost of living”. If our dog lives to age 14, which is not unsusal with us, we would theoretically pay 47x12x14=$7896 for accidental and illnes coverage. Plus the 14 year escalation, of course, which could double the cost. If the dog dies of “natural causes”, i.e. old age, the policy does not pay.

It is possible of course to have these charges, but my wife is putting $50 per month in a high interest savings “doggie” account to meet any expensive treatment, which normally occurs during the latter part of the animal’s life. This outfit is not a ripoff organization but a regional animal association, which provides for veterinary services when the owner’s can’t afford it.

If the above posts do not convince your husband, we have kept track of 11 different major appliances and electronic equipment that offered extended warranties for 4 years after the normal 1 year period expires. The total cost of all these would have come to $1150 for 11 items for 4 years. The total repairs that would have qualified for payment came to…$112.

So, if your husband is a betting man, tell him he is betting a a very slow and sick horse that may not finish the race. A very large number of these warranty companies go out of business. A lot like fitness salons that sell lifetime memberships and 3 years later fold up.

P.S. I got you and your husband mixed up as to who wanted the warranty. The answer does not change.

I cannot add anything else of value here…All the answers above are spot on. Your husbands hunch is also spot on.

I do buy extended warranties on my sons XBox disks. Only costs $1…good for one year…well worth the investment. Used it once…I’m still not ahead on the deal…but at most I’m $6 in the rears…Now if extended warranties on cars were something like $100 then it would be worth it.

I have to admit buying an extended factory warranty on my high efficiency gas furnace. It adds 5 years to the basic 5 year warranty and adds $332 to the cost.

The manufacturer is a large and reputable firm, but the machine has nighmarishly complex controls. The company offered this service since many people are still very sceptical about high efficiency furnaces, which they can’t fix themselves.

This is unrelated to my above posts on appliances and electrical stuff, where the payout is very poor.

Extended warranties on vehicles is not a good idea. Put the money in the bank and draw interest on it. You will come out far better in the long run.

I purchase the accidental/extended coverage on small digital camera’s. I get one to two digital camera’s before the warranty expires and usually a newer model. My wife has no hestitation pulling a camera out at the beach and getting sand in it. Best Buy takes care of it.

When TIMEX first started out selling watches they had an unconditional 1 year warranty. A guy I worked with turned his in about 3 days before the warranty expired, stating it did not keep good time, and did do for a number of years. In retrospect, the Timex Ironman I have still have, works great after 10 years and 3 batteries.

For items that get rough use, and are subjet to damage for that reason those combined failure/accident warranties are good. I travel a great deal and when I bought my Dell laptop 5 years ago I took the 3 year comprehensive accident/failure warranty.

The guy at the order desk told me if an elephant in India stepped on my Notebook or the driver dropped it in the Ganges river, it would be covered. Non of this has happened, but could very well have. It’s been on offshore platforms in the Persion gulf, blown full of sand in the Sahara, traipsed through the jungles of Colombia and swamps of Tampico, Mexico. It has also been brutally handled by US customs & immigration officers and security personnel.

Normal maintenance items:
-brakes
-belts
-hoses
-fluid changes(transmission, oil, brake, windshield washer, and coolant)
-batteries
-tires
-suspension components

So, after removing those items that they DON’T cover, what’s left that they DO cover?

Ususally it’s a cracked block NOT CAUSED by maintenance negligence or mishandling, a radator bursting for no good reason (not caused by lack of maintenance), a gear box casting cracking, power steering pump failign not due to lack of maintenance, transmission failure not due to lack of maintenance or rough use, and a number of other things that hardly EVER happen.

All thse things would have to be proven, before any consideration of payment would be made. All Acts of God,such as a tree falling across the road and you driving over it before you could stop, would be excuded, but would be picked up by your car insurance.

If this post sounds tongue in cheek, that’s exactly what is is.

I made the post showing just what is considered maintenance items, not repair items. You know how some people get when they’re told that their oil changes aren’t covered by the factory warranty, they decide to never change the oil, then blame the car company for making a shoddy product when their engine seizes up on them.
So, if the damaged part is shown to never have had any maintenance done on it(i.e. the post about the 88 Rover that never got a transmission fluid change), they’ll deny the coverage.