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

Subaru Extended Warranty

I am buying a 2004 Subaru Forester 2.5XT with 55,000 miles. It was a Certified used car but the 6 year warranty ran out while the car was for sale. The Subaru dealer selling me the car has offered to sell me a Subaru $1,800 extended warranty, backed by Subaru, for $1,300. This is the “Classic” Subaru extended warranty for 36 months or 36,000 miles. Should I buy the discounted warranty or just save the money? Third party warranty companies want more than $2,000 for a typical warranty on this car.

I am not generally a fan of extended warranties, and I spent the last few years kicking myself for sucumming to sales pressure when I bought mine. That said, I just got about $900 worth of warranty service on my 2005 Outback 2.5XT.

I drive the s*!t out of my car and maybe that should be a consideration for you. How hard will your car have to work for you? Hot? cold? Off-road driving (e.g., How often does your spouse say 'your car has skid plates, right?)?

One more thought - have they done the 60k service on the car? Perhaps you could negotiate this into your purchase.

Good luck!

p.s. If you do purchase the extended warranty, it definitely doesn’t cover everything, so prepare to hear “oh, that’s considered normal wear.”

Not a fan. I have owned two Subaru Legacies, and neither would have required any covered repairs under an extended warranty. Both went well past 100K miles before any issues that might have been covered came up. I would expect the Forester to do the same performance-wise. Put the $1300 into a savings account for future repairs (not maintenance) and see how it goes.

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

I personally would not go by the dealers “Certified Used Car” declaration…take it to an independent mechanic for an inspection…I agree No need to buy a warantee…even if it is discounted (from what).

I would personally pass. However if it makes your ownership more comfortable it may be a fit especially if you drive 12k miles/year or less. If you drive more go without.

I would still bargain more on it and see what happens.

Alternatively stick the $1300 in a bank account for repair. The likely case a good portion if not all will be there in 3yrs/36k miles. That is what the warranty company bets and wins the majority of the time.

I would test the car with a good mechanic. Certified means they allowed a high school dropout to look at the car for problems. Then hope your state has a 90 day lemon law. If you want to give someone $1300 I personally would give it to habitat for humanity, or Hiefer international. That is a tax deduction.
Like Virtually all the money in my life that was spent on insurance After 35 years I got nothing except a hole in the budget where the insurance goes.
Also take the VIN for this car to CARFAX for a free or low cost report on its history. Also If there is a problem before the state time limit runs out document it and hold the dealer to the letter of the law. So report any little thing and document it.

euryale1 said “Then hope your state has a 90 day lemon law.

What states have a 90 day “lemon law” for used vehicles? The federal lemon law only applies to new vehicles, and then only if certain conditions are met. AFAIK it’s caveat emptor on used cars.

Put the $1300 in the bank. Chances are you won’t use all of it on repairs in the next 36 months or 36,000 miles. It is a Subaru we’re talkiing about here.

As far as the extended warranties go, I’d take a pass. My customers’ experiences with aftermarket extended warrnaties has never been good. The Company is SCM of Wilkes-Barre PA.

Example one: Contour blew a head gasket. The waranty company was wiling to pay for the head gasket and its installation. They would not pay to have the cylinder head planed so that it wouldn’t blow again (until after the warranty expired). The Customer opted to buy a new timing belt as the labor to install it had to be performed to R&R the head.

Example two: 2000 Mitsubishi Galant blew a head gasket. The warranty company’s “adjuster” determined that the electric radiator cooling fan was not working causing the engine to overheat. Never mind that it was January and the gasket blew during a long highway trip when the fan was NOT needed to keep the engine cool. They offered to pay for a new fan motor.

Example three: Chevy Venture van. Blew a headgasket and lost all coolant very quickly. The company offered to pay for new headgaskets, but that didn’t fix the problem as the engine was toast. They blamed the owner for continuing to drive when it was overheating. The owner paid for a used engine to be installed and threatend to sue the insurance company. (That’s what these warranties are is insurance policies.) The company has an army of lawyers. The individual would have had to spend more to bring a lawsuit than the engine replacement was worth.

I could go on. I know of several others.

I’d be more worried about mismatched tires than getting an extended warranty. Mismatched tread type/depth can lead to an expensive fix down the road.

What states have a 90 day “lemon law” for used vehicles?

It is an optional insurance policy. You have the choice to decline it. Sure insurance policies are priced to profit the company, not you, but by the same token, do you have house insuransce, car insurance, health insurance, an umbrella policy etc. etc. It is like playing at vegas, the house has the odds, but do you feel comfortable without it. The Suburau warranty is the only one I would consider.

How much extra are they asking for this car compared to a similar one without the Certified checkout? I would not pay anything extra if there is no warranty. It seems to me that Subaru should offer at least a 1 year/12,000 mile warranty for a certified car. Or remove it from the plan. I would not pay extra for any warranty on this car.

Definitely NOT. Despite Subaru claiming that just about everything is covered, the Subaru dealer in Hurst has charged me several times for things that should have been covered. They keep claiming that “Oh, this isn’t covered under the warranty”. I’ve complained to Subaru of America, but they have done nothing.

So, the extended warranty has been a waste of my money.

I just had to reply to this post. I just bought a 2005 Forester from a Subaru dealer. As soon as I agreed to buy it I was ushered into the windowless office and greeted warmly by “Bill” (not his real name). Bill said he was obliged to tell us about the warranty would could purchase for this car. I said “I have a 60 day lemon law warranty, won’t that cover anything found to be seriously wrong with the car in that time”? “Hmmmmm, I don’t think so” said Bill. I could be safe by purchasing this awesome package for $2700. It covers all these things." He showed me a laminated copy of the list of things it covered. I asked him for a copy of the list and I would think it over. Oh, he didn’t have copies of that but if I bought the warranty today he could discount it to $2400. Still I resisted telling him I would not make a decision without studying what was covered and consulting my mechanic. He left the room and came back announcing that he had “mis-spoke”. The price would be $1700. So it went from $2700 to $1700 in the space of 10 minutes. When I still insisted on waiting he told me he could not guarantee this discount beyond today. When I still said no, he suddenly became much less friendly. Not UN-friendly mind you. Just less friendly. What BS!!! It makes my stomach turn. It’s like they think customers are morons.