Is a warranty worth it?

toyota
camry

#1

CarMax is trying to sell us a warranty for its 2017 Camry. They say electrical problems are always a danger. Do you advise getting a warranty?


#2

Tough question.
But first find out if factory warrantee is transferable to you.
I do not put much faith in aftermarket or extended warrantee products, but that is just me.
Camry’s are a highly reliable car, so I would question the need, but would google “electrical issues, 2017 Camry”.

Having said that, have it checked out by a mechanic. I also wonder why a one year old car is on a used car lot.


#3

Thanks so much for responding. We would have the Toyota warranty til Dec. of 2019. I also feel Camrys are highly reliable, but the salesman said nowadays cars are so complicated electronically that something always goes wrong. This Camry we had transferred from a Dayton CarMax – it was a leased car. In terms of the seating, we have owned the same Camry for 15 years and that’s one of the best features, the lumbar control. So I feel confident about that. Thanks again!!


#4

I’d want to see a copy of the warranty and read it carefully. Unfortunately you may need to hire a lawyer to read it also, as these are carefully worded to seem like they cover a lot of problems, while actually covering very little.

Is it a Toyota warranty, a dealer warranty, or a third party one? those are in decreasing order of reliability


#5

Thanks so much for responding. It’s a MaxCare warranty (3rd party). I’ve read online of both horror stories and pleased stories. I would still have til Dec. 2019 left on the Toyota warranty.


#6

Warranties are a form of legalized gambling in which the warranty provider knows all the odds. They are written so that the average warranty buyer will never get their money back. Anything that the finance guy spews about repairs and the like is designed to elicit fear to push you to purchase the extended warranty; on average, they’re money-makers. That being said, the comfort they provide to some people is worth it to them, just typically not from a purely financial standpoint.

So here’s another option - figure out how much the warranty costs, per week, per month, or whatever. Put that money into a savings account regularly and do not touch it. You’ll have money that will most likely cover any repairs that will be needed. And if you don’t have any repairs, you still have the money.

To be fair, a majority of people (myself included) do not have the discipline to put a little money away regularly for unexpected repairs or replacements. Human nature is to think mostly of what you want/need today and leave the future to chance. Hence, the market for extended warranties, maintenance contracts and the like.


#7

Take the money you would put into the warranty and put it into savings just in case you need it for repairs. You probably won’t. If you must buy an extended warranty, only buy one from Toyota, not an aftermarket product.


#8

Great idea! Thanks so much for writing!


#9

Thanks so much for your answer. I think that’s a great idea to put the money away for future car bills! I greatly appreciate your advice!


#10

A Camry is just about the most reliable car made. I’d do as recommended above, put that money aside, I bet you’ll have most all of it left. Only if it was super cheap would it be worth it.

So how much $$, and what does it cover, for how long?


#11

Don’t worry, Toyotas are extremely reliable. I own a 1999 Corolla and a 2012 Corolla that never needed warranty repairs. Save the money for regular maintenance and pet yourself in the back that you made one hell of a purchase.


#12

I have been doing that with appliances and electronics. So far after 6 years my account has $1150 in it and the outlay for actual repairs on those items has been about $120!!

Similar odds prevail on car “warranties” from what I read. Even Consumer Reports says they are a bad investment.

P.S. I was offered an extended warranty on my 2007 Toyota for “only $1500”. I turned it down telling the salesman that if the car was the least suspect I would not have bought it!

Since I consult to industry on reliability engineering and failure analysis, It’s relatively easy to predict of an extended warranty makes sense.

However, if you buy a car with new technology from a manufacturer with a spotty reliability reputation, and you are a careless driver and do only the minimal maintenance, you may profit from an extended warranty!!!

If you read Consumer Reports and avoid new technology in its first year, you will likely end up with a car that does not need an “extended Warranty”.

In another post I mentioned Steinway’s lifetime warranty of their pianos. All you have to do is ship it prepaid to their New York Factory! They will then fix it for free and even tune it up for you!


#13

Lots of posts on the internet regarding Carmax extended warranty on exotic cars and those with known problems; such as Land Rovers. Carmax usually has high prices. Have you shopped Toyota and Lexus dealers for CPO Camry’s?

I would ask for a Carfax.I would not buy a Carmax extended warranty on a Toyota. Question: If Carmax does not buy damaged cars, why do they have a full body shop with a downdraft paintbooth at some, if not all locations? I asked a salesperson when I got a lowball offer to buy my car, and she ducked the question.


#14

Thanks - very reassuring. I won’t consider the warranty!


#15

Thanks for answering. The only reason I considered Carmax was that they had the year and low miles (3000) I wanted. All the research I’ve done on area Toyota dealers brings up nothing. I hadn’t tried Lexus – I will. I appreciate it!


#16

3000 miles? wow. That means you don’t have to worry about the previous owner skipping maintenance, as there is no maintenance due at 3k. But I’d still get the oil changed as soon as you can.


#17

Thanks. I appreciate it.


#18

If there was a single car that I would say is unlikely to need an extended warranty the Camry is it. I have had them on a number of vehicles. The most critical thing is to ensure you buy one directly from the manufacturer (not CarMax). I’m almost certain the one you are buying would qualify for a Toyota extended warranty. I suggest you call Toyota. The salesperson is F.O.S. Cars have been electrical-intensive for decades and the overall rate of owner-reported defects has declined in recent years, not gone up. (based on my coverage of J.D. Power ratings). You may find this story helpful. I did it for our partner site and I actually used Toyota as the examples.


#19

Thanks so much. Your comments are very reassuring! I appreciate the advice!


#20

I owned a 2011 Toyota Sienna and has to have the water pump replaced at a cost of $975. Even paying this expense out of my pocket was a lot less than the cost of an extended warranty. The Sienna had 92000 miles at the time. Repairs are part of owning a car. We budget for these expenses.
Like the gambling tables with the odds being in favor of the House, the extended warranties are in favor of the companies that issue them. One thing I have learned in my 57 years of automobile ownership is that there will be repairs eventually no matter what the make. I have learned to set aside money to pay for repairs. Being my own warranty company has saved me money.