What is an Extended Warranty

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An extended car warranty is essentially the same as a regular warranty, except it is generally purchased by a vehicle owner after the regular warranty has expired, or when a buyer is purchasing a used car that has no warranty left on it. Extended warranties can also be referred to as service contracts or maintenance agreements. Extended warranties differ from new car or factory warranties because they cost extra money and they are sold separately. 

Factory Warranties

Unlike an extended warranty, a factory warranty is given to the owner of the car and comes with the car. This type of warranty does not cost extra money, as it comes with the purchase price of the vehicle. Factory warranties can extend to used cars, with whatever time or mileage is left on the car when it is purchased used. Factory warranties may also be offered to vehicles that are classified and sold as certified pre-owned. Factory warranties are a guarantee to the consumer that their vehicle is not defective, and if it is, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to repair or replace the vehicle. 

Typically, factory warranties last anywhere from three to five years, or 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Different car manufacturers offer different warranty lengths. So the extent of a BMW warranty is different from that of a Lexus warranty. 

Extended Warranties

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An extended warranty is bought and sold separately from a vehicle and its typical warranty that it comes with. The purpose of the extension is that many car owners feel more at ease having the protection, rather than risk defects in the future, after the factory warranty has expired. Many car owners that purchase extended warranties are those that have already dealt with car defects, and know that they would rather pay for added protection, than shell out money for defects in the future. Unfortunately, many consumers feel that extended warranties are not worth it because they never used it, and it turned out to be a waste of money. Essentially, the factory warranty is provided to each and every buyer of a new car, and in some cases, used cars and certified pre-owned cars, and an extended warranty is optional for those that want it. 

What Does a Warranty Protect?

Whether a car owner has a warranty or extended warranty protection on their car, they are not protected from all issues that arise in a car. Typically, warranties do not cover maintenance of the car. Regular maintenance includes things like tire rotation and replacement, oil changes, and other routine maintenance. This is the responsibility of the car owner, unless the owner seeks out specialized coverage. The owner is also responsible for maintenance of parts that break down or need replacement due to normal wear and tear of the car. These parts usually include the brakes and brake pads, windshield wipers, and headlights. This coverage also does not include damage to the car because of accidents like hitting animals, collisions with other vehicles, and falling objects. 

A vehicle owner has the option to purchase an extended warranty, whether that be from the car manufacturer, or a third-party company. There are usually different options that vary in price and coverage. Some examples of extended warranties include: 

  • Major vehicle systems, including most parts of the car, even air conditioning 
  • Corrosion, which extends to damage caused by rust and water damage
  • Powertrain coverage that extends to the engine and the transmission
  • Normal wear and tear, which is sometimes an option or included and can cover not only defects, but also replacements and repairs from normal wear and tear of the vehicle

Getting Help

If you believe that your car is defective and it is covered by a warranty or extended warranty, you may be entitled to relief from your dealer or manufacturer. To learn more about warranties or extended warranties, contact our office today to speak with an attorney. 

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