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Tips When Seeking A 1-7 Year Extended Warranty

Sep 16, 2008
As you may have heard, companies like GM, Honda and Kia have extended their manufacturer new car warranties to 7 years or 100,000 miles. But you may be wondering, "Am I really covered?" Car companies are quick to load up on the deals to entice new buyers, but there is also an after-market extended warranty program available directly to consumers via the internet. Read on if you're trying to decide whether you should cough up a couple grand for the 1-7 year extended warranty and priceless peace of mind.

With the GM 5 year extended warranty, you'll have "bumper-to-bumper" coverage, as well as roadside assistance, with a $0 - $200 deductible. There are three types to choose from, with varying coverage: the Major Guard, the Value Guard and the Basic Guard. The Major Guard warranty purchase will protect you from every mechanical, electrical, electronic and "wear and tear" failure.

The Value Guard automobile warranty will provide you with mechanical failure and wear/tear damage protection for your engine, transmission, front/rear drive assemblies, fuel system, air conditioning systems, electrical system, brake system components, front suspension and steering system.

The Basic Guard warranty offers mechanical and wear/tear protection for the engine, transmission, front/rear wheel drive assemblies and fuel system only. With all the new and used car warranties, you'll get free roadside assistance, which includes towing up to $100, lockout service, 5-day rental car reimbursement up to $175 and $500 meal/lodging travel reimbursement if you encounter a breakdown 100+ miles from home.

There are also some things you won't get with your GM 5 year extended warranty. You won't be able to take your car to just any mechanic. There are 7,000 GM-certified dealerships you can go to, and most legitimate mechanics aim to be GM-certified; yet, if you have a favorite local repair man who's not certified, then you can't take your car there.

The engine cooling system, seals and gaskets also aren't covered unless you buy the top-of-the-line Master Guard plan. Like most other plans, you won't have the following parts covered with your extended warranty coverage: glass, lights, tires, bumpers, metal, body panels, carpet, hinges, trim, upholstery, air/water leaks, odors, wind noise, squeaks, rust, rattles, carburetor, contaminated fuel system, catalytic converter, brake drums/pads/rotors, shock absorbers, batteries, spark plugs or manual clutch disc.

The best way to get a sensible deal is to do your homework! Look for "wear and tear" coverage options, and not just "mechanical breakdown" coverage. If you travel, then be sure you have an emergency roadside assistance/travel reimbursement plan. Ask what repair shops you are able to take your vehicle to and be sure that the warranty company handles the claim via corporate credit card over the phone.

Whether you need a 1 or 7 year extended warranty, it's generally best to buy early to get the lowest rates, and if you buy a secondary warranty, then it may overlap with the manufacturer's warranty (rather than beginning when the other one ends), so be sure to ask about that!
About the Author
We offer a free extended warranty audio gift. Learn more about the year extended warranty at our portal, and drop us a note at our wholesale extended warranty coverage blog.
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