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What should I do?

We own a 2002 Sable and the extended warranty just ran out. It has 60K miles and has been a good car but we just when through a headack with the A/C unit and my wife is freking out becuase she thinks the next time something goes wrong it will be out of pocket, which could be expensive. She thinks we should sell the car and buy a used car that still has it’s warranty and then we would be able to buy an extended warranty after that. What would you do and what would you buy if you think we should get a used car.

The Sable (basically a Ford Taurus) is a very popular and solid car. If you have taken care of it with regular recommended maintenance then there is no reason to “freak out.” If the Sable meets your practical needs then there is no real reason to do anything with it other than normal maintenance. Presumably the car is paid for. Why not start making a small, comfortable “car payment” to you savings account that is earmarked for repairs? I’ll bet you’ll come out ahead over picking up a newer car that comes with a new loan payment along with higher insurance payments (and maybe taxes depending on your state’s laws), and also might need repairs outside of warranty etc. If something really disastrous happens, you can always decide not to do it and get a different car then. But, if the car has been taken care of 60K miles is nothing.

You can also shop for warranty companies for the Sable. I have never looked for one and I don’t know if any of them are worth their weight but you can always check into it - and read a lot of fine print.

You are aware that the average payout of extended warranties is significantly less than the cost, right? In other words, if you think that an extended warranty is a way to save money, the odds are definitely against you on that.

Your car is only worth about $3000 at best in trade in. So if you trade in to get an equivalent car with warranty spend at least $10k - $3k trade. That $7k buys a significant amount of repairs.

Is the problem she likes payments distributed equally out monthly instead of the occasionally hit of a repair?

How much did you pay for the extended warranty? (don't answer) and how much did it pay for repairs?  (don't answer)  

OK we know you paid more than the insurance paid back unless you had much more than average cost. Guess what. If you buy an extended warranty (really an insurance plan), then the insurance company will want to make profit again so they know how much to charge you to make sure you pay more than they pay back plus they will add in profit for the sales people who sell it to you, so you will again pay more.

Frankly I don't expect that Sable to be any better or worse than any other car may.  

Now lets look at the option your wife likes.  She wants to sell the car you have because it may need more repairs , and she wants to buy another used car that, may be being sold by someone who feels the same way, or worse.  

The smart money is on keeping what you have.  That said it may be even smarter to go along with your wife.  A good wife is worth a lot more than a car.

Keep the car. Did I really say that? Forget about the extended warranty. People lived without them for 15,000 years. Come to think of it; I could have used one on that certified wooly mammoth that I bought sometime around 13,000 BC. Yup, it went the way of the Oldsmobile. It was a creature that was ahead of our time.

Joseph, This Is Possibly The Best “Rock Solid” Advice You’ve Given To Date,
especially the last paragraph. The rhetorical questions were brilliant, too.

I hope Rock Solid is considering it.


It sounds to me like your wife is letting fear influence her judgement instead of being impartial. With only 60,000 miles, you can buy another extended warranty if you want to, but I think it would be a waste of money. Just drive the car and start a savings account where you make regular deposits equal to the amount you would spend on a warranty and you will have more than enough money to pay for repairs when the time comes.

Paying for repairs out of pocket isn’t the end of the world. In my opinion, it beats wasting money on an extended warranty.

Now that the warranty is up, it is time to find a reputable, independent mechanic. Ask friends, associates and coworkers. If you are lucky, you will find one close to home or work, but is is worth it to drive a way to get to one with a good reputation.

Owning the car you drive and being “self-insured” results in the lowest cost per mile for transportation. The next big “worry” is the tranny in your sable. At around 120,000 miles it might fail, THAT’S when you start looking for another car. Having the transmission serviced NOW will extend its life…

Your extended warranty was out of pocket and expensive. Gone and vaporized whether you used it ir not. It’s the purchase of extended warrantys that she should be freking [sic] out at.

From now on, whenever you’re offered an extended warranty, put the quoted cost in a seperate bank account and call it the “extended warranty account”. Then if something breaks you’ll have it covered and if not you’ll still have your money. I guarantee you’ll come out ahead.

Now keep enjoying your Taurus, keep it well maintained, and when it eventually becomes unreliable you can consider trading. Stop throwing your money away on extended warrantys.