Question about extended warranties

Ok this is my first thread so be gentle with me.I just purchased my first new car.A Ford Escape. And was just wondering what everyones opinion of extended warranties ? Are they worth the money ? I plan on keeping this car for atleast 5 years.

Extended warranties can be ok, depending on the warranty and the car, but rule number one:
Don’t buy 'em if they won’t let you read the actual terms and conditions BEFORE you buy it. Many (not all) car extended warranties have huge, expensive loopholes in them and the pamphlets always lie.

Ask your dealer to see the actual terms and conditions that you’re buying and then plan on spending an hour or so to read them. (Best bet: Take 'em home and take your time. If the dealer objects, the dealer is hiding something). The T&Cs are boring, they’re tedious, and about half-way through, you’ll consider gnawing your arm off to get away from them. They’re intentionally written that way. But it’s worth it to find out that (for instance) the warranty that the pamphlet claimed would cover the entire car from bumper-to-bumper, excludes the transmission, electrical system and fuel system.

If a dealer won’t let you look at the actual contract (the pamphlet doesn’t count regardless of what the dealer says) DON’T buy it. And many dealers try the “Oh, we don’t have a copy of the T&Cs, but you’ll get them mailed to you 4-6 weeks after you buy it” scam. Don’t fall for this.


I have to second that for reasons which will only come to light if you pull up a chair & listen to the following anecdote.

I have a prelude which I bought from CarMax. I took the EW (expended warranty) because it covered pretty mich everything, even minor things like loose door handles & power antenna motors. Things like this aren’t usually covered on normal EWs.‡

Anywho, a year or two later the radiator exploded, and took a good part of the car’s innards with it. A portion of the front body cosmetics was also damaged (most of this I wasn’t aware of until after the shop had made its diagnosis).

When the dealership called me to give me the bad news, I told them that I had an extended warranty & to call 1-800-something to get the claim processed. He said that the warranty would cover the major parts like the radiator & surrounding components & hoses that were damaged but not the cosmetic stuff.

I told him to call the warranty people & find out what wasn’t covered & call me back. He called me back about an hour later and seemed genuinely amazed at how much of the damage my EW covered. All of it, it turned out. Even the cosmetic stuff, because it was a direct result of the force of the explosion. He said he’d have the car fixed by the end of the next day.

Next day: The dealership guy calls me and says he discovered that both headlights had been damaged by the explosion (I didn’t ask how) and that the EW certainly wouldn’t cover that, so I had better be prepared to fork out a few hundred bucks for new headlight assemblies. I told him to call the EW company just to make sure.

He called me back, clearly flabbergasted that my EW company was going to cover that as well. He said something to the effect of “that is one hell of a warranty you’ve got there- all that work would have costed you over a thousand dollars on most EWs”.

The EW company paid for the towing, too (~$125.00).

I’m glad I got mine. Read the terms & conditions of your carefully before you buy it.

‡[sub]Having spoken to a couple of people to whom I have recently recommended CarMax, they tell me that there is some new condition of the EW like you have to furnish proof that you’ve had all your recommended service & oil changes before they cover you. I would have been screwed if that had been in effect for me, cuz I’ve never kept every receipt & work order from every oil change I’ve ever had.[/sub]