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To purchase or not to purchase

I am purchasing a 2009 altima sedan. should I buy the “total care” extended warrenty?

I wouldn’t, it’s at least 50% profit to the dealer, and Altimas are pretty reliable.


What is the cost?

How long is the coverage?

What does it cover?

What does it not cover?

Would you be restricted as to who can do the work, or can you choose the repair facility?

What is the claim process? Will you have to pay up front and file for reimbursement, or will your car sit there for days as you await approval for the repair?

My first impulse is to say “no,” but it really depends on these IMPORTANT details.

the cost is $1254, which can be paid at no interest for 18 months ~ $62.50/month.
It is for 48 months/ 100,000 miles.
It appears pretty much everything is covered, hense the name “total care”.
Not sure what is NOT covered.
All work would be done at dealership.
I didn’t even think to ask about the claim process. Great point!
Right now I am avg. 20-25k miles per year. Though that is very likely to change by fall.
Does this information change your opinion? I appreciate your advise!

What is the base warranty for? 48 months total is pretty short.

Most Of These Policies Buy You “Peace Of MInd”.

If you are a worrier then maybe it’s for you. However, you didn’t say whether or not this is a Nissan Corp. Policy or aftermarket. Personally I wouldn’t even consider a policy not from the Nissan Corporation. If it’s aftermarket then ask about the “Nissan” extended warranty. The brochure should identify it as officially Nissan.

Is there a deductible per repair visit? How much?
Is a diagnosis covered?
When does the 48 months begin, now or at factory warranty end?
What are the terms of the car’s included factory warranty?

It appears pretty much everything is covered, hense the name “total care”.” All these policies are designed to look like that.

Not sure what is NOT covered.” This is very important to understand.

Find out how much it will cost if you wait a while to purchase it. Then you can think it over. Call the phone number on the brochure.


You probably won’t need it, so I’ll say no.

The OP wrote:

It appears pretty much everything is covered, hense the name “total care”.
Not sure what is NOT covered.

Unfortunately, with many of these policies, you only find out when you try to collect on them what isn’t covered. These contracts are worded very carefully to give the warranty company the legal ability to back out of claims.

Add my vote to the “just say no - not worth it” column.

your math is a bit off. $62.50 x 18 = $1125, a difference of $129 from what you’re saying the original price is.

Take that money(whichever sum you want) and go buy something meaningful with it. Do you need a new fridge, or maybe a washer and dryer? A bicycle for everyone in the family, a new air conditioner for the house, new furniture or carpet, a new plasma TV and Blu-Ray player

 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 people 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

Many Of These “Factory” (Manufacturer) Offered Extended Warranties Are Not A Rip-Off.

They often extend the original factory warranty, which has good coverage. However, the manufacturer is betting that you won’t have many problems between the time that your included warranty gets all the bugs worked out and you hit 100,000 miles. They realize most expensive problems will occur later than that.

This is a fairly expensive gamble. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The odds are stacked in favor of the manufacturer, of course. They offer these contracts to make money. Car insurance works the same way. I have paid in far more in insurance premiums than I have received in loss settlements over the years, but who knows what the future holds? I consider all 15 of my insurance policies (homes, cars, life, boats, etcetera) to be expensive gambles, but not a rip-off.

I have found that many (most, all?) of the warranties offered by vendors other than the manufacturer are rip-offs. They seem to exclude whatever problems you encounter. These are pure gravy for the sales staff, right in there with paint sealant and fabric protection.