Topics:Repair and Maintenance Budget Safety Voided Warranty Mileage Car Value Car Trouble Car Resale Money Saver Buying Tips Winter
By Riley Clark
March 15th, 2021
By Riley Clark
March 15th, 2021
Here at Best Company, we are determined to help consumers feel confident in their purchasing decision by bringing unbiased reviews and summaries of companies. In order to provide an even more in depth and complete review of available car warranty companies, we are offering a compiled list of the top five rated companies on our site: Omega Autocare autopom! CARCHEX CarShield Liberty Bell Auto Protect We delve into each company's prices and plans available, as well as a comprehensive breakdown of hundreds of verified reviews for each company, making the reviews easily digestible so you can know what consumers really think of the company and what their experiences with the company were like. Before looking into specific companies, make sure that you know exactly what a car warranty is, how it can help you, and if you need it. 5. Liberty Bell Auto Protect Plans offered Liberty Bell Auto Protects offers three car warranty plans. It has plans available for cars dating to the year 2000 and its mileage limit is 150,000. Platinum — Platinum is the most affordable plan that Liberty Bell Auto Protect offers. The platinum plan provides the most limited coverage compared to the other plans. This plan covers the engine, transmission, cooling system, electrical system, drive axle, brake system, 4X4 AWD, 24-7 road side assistance, rental car reimbursement, out of gas, dead battery, trip interruption, and towing. Platinum Plus — Platinum plus covers the engine, transmission, cooling system, electrical system, drive axle, brake system, 4X4 AWD, 24-7 road side assistance, rental car reimbursement, out of gas, dead battery, trip interruption, towing, and the steering system. Platinum Prime — Platinum prime covers the engine, transmission, cooling system, electrical system, drive axle, brake system, 4X4 AWD, 24-7 road side assistance, rental car reimbursement, out of gas, dead battery, trip interruption, towing, the steering system, air conditioning, fuel system, abs-brakes, suspension, turbo/super charger, seals, gaskets, and GPS navigation. General pricing We did not receive a response from Liberty Bell Auto Protect on its pricing, nor was any pricing information available on its website. However, many of the customer reviews on our site said Liberty Bell Auto Protect offered affordable pricing. Get in touch with Liberty Bell Auto Protect for more pricing information Review information from Best Company Our takeaway Overall, the experiences that customer have had with Liberty Bell Auto Protect varied. The percentage of customers reporting a negative car repair experience where their claim was not accepted or their wait time was longer than expected was about the same as the number of customers who had a positive car repair experience. Liberty Bell Auto Protect also offers some of the lowest prices for their available plans and has high-rated customer service. Our advice, make sure you know exactly what you want covered going into the purchasing process so you're not surprised if your maintenance claim on your car gets rejected when it comes time to use your car warranty. 4. CarShield Plans offered New car diamond — This plan is similar to the factory warranty. The coverage includes everything from engine and transmission failure to service for starter and fuel pump breakdowns. Comprehensive — This plan is best suited for a vehicle with higher miles. The coverage includes your vehicle's engine, transmission, AC, electrical system, starter, water pump, fuel pump, and more. Powertrain — This plan is CarShield's most affordable policy. The coverage includes the most important parts of a vehicle, including all lubricated parts on your engine, transmission, and water pump. Specialty coverage — This plan is designed to cover most electrical and computer related repair costs problems, including Engine Control Module, Starter, Alternator, Navigation/GPS, Electrical System and more. Hightech — This vehicle service contract is great for covering most electrical and computer related repair costs problems including Engine Control Module, Starter, Alternator, Navigation/GPS, Electrical System and more. Specialty — CarShield also offers a variety of different types of coverage that cover motorcycles and other special circumstances. General pricing We did not receive a response from CarShield on its pricing, nor was any pricing information available on its website. However, we are aware that its most affordable coverage plan is its Powertrain policy. Review information from Best Company Our takeaway Here, at Best Company, we would suggest exercising caution when considering purchasing a car warranty from CarShield. A much larger percentage of the reviews received at Best Company were negative comments compared to other car warranty companies on our site. Consumers reported confusion about what was actually covered within their contract and long wait times when it came to filing a claim. Some consumers shared experiences of their repair not being covered by CarShield in the end. Others stated that customer service was easy to work with during the process of actually setting up their plan with CarShield. We advise those looking into purchasing a car warranty with CarShield to ensure that they have a detailed written contract to go along with their purchase so they know everything that they are signing up for. 3. CARCHEX Plans Offered At CARCHEX, every plan includes roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and towing benefits. Titanium Coverage — This is the highest level of coverage offered that is often referred to as "bumper to bumper" coverage. This plan covers many parts of your vehicle but does have some limitations. Examples of what is not covered are; car paint, carpeting, upholstery, toro, wheels, seat belts, seat heaters, headlights, taillights, and more. This plan covers new and pre-owned vehicles. Platinum Coverage — This is the highest level of stated-component coverage that CARCHEX offers. This plan covers new and pre-owned vehicles. It does not cover brake pads, rotors, batteries, air filters, coolants, wheels, etc. The standard deductible on this plan is $100 per claim. Gold Coverage — This includes components from all the major systems of the vehicle and is compatible for vehicles that have 90,000 miles or more. The standard deductible on this plan is $100 per claim. This plan covers new and pre-owned vehicles. Silver Coverage — This plan covers the essentials of the major systems in the vehicle and is available for vehicles that have higher mileage. The exact mileage was not available on CARCHEX's website. This plan does not cover brake pads, batteries, air filers, oil filters, wheels, rust, corrosion, and more. This plan covers new and pre-owned vehicles. Bronze Coverage — This plan covers the major systems in your car and covers many of the most expensive repairs that would be needed for your engine and transmission. This plan covers pre-owned vehicles only. General Pricing CARCHEX is unique in the sense that they are more of a marketplace where other coverage providers compete for your business. This method can sometimes help with finding lower price levels for the coverage that you are seeking. Get in touch with CARCHEX for more pricing information Review Information from Best Company Our Takeaway In their reviews, many people cited that their customer service is very knowledgeable and easy to work with. The customers shared that they were able to find the right amount of coverage for their needs and that they were helped in understanding their policies. Others mentioned a fair pricing model and positive experiences when they had to file a claim. However, others mentioned that they had to endure long waits to get their claims approved. Overall, it seems that CARCHEX has many positive qualities but we advise you to ensure you know exactly what is included in your contract so you know what will be covered and what will not. 2. autopom! Plans Offered Exclusionary — This plan extends coverage to virtually all mechanical and electrical components in the vehicle unless a part is specifically listed as not covered. An exclusionary-type policy is the most comprehensive vehicle protection plan you can purchase, and is most comparable to the manufacturer’s original warranty. High Level Stated Component — This plan provides coverage for an extensive list of named components within the following major systems: Engine, Transmission, Transfer Case, Drive Axle, Steering, Electrical, Air Conditioning, Braking, Cooling, Fuel System and Seals and Gaskets. The High Level Stated Component plan is a cost-effective alternative to an exclusionary plan. Mid Level Stated Component — This plan includes the coverage provided in its Powertrain Plus plans, as well as named additional components within the Steering, Suspension, Fuel Delivery, Cooling and Braking systems. Mid Level Stated Component plan is designed for older, higher mileage vehicles that might not be eligible for the High Level or Exclusionary coverage plans. Powertrain Stated Component — This plan provides named-component coverage for the essential, major systems including: Engine, Transmission, Transfer Case, Drive Axle, and Differential Assembly. It also has plan options that cover additional components for the Electrical, Air Conditioning and Fuel Systems. The Powertrain Stated Component plan is designed for older, higher mileage vehicles that might not be eligible for the High Level or Exclusionary coverage plans. General Pricing Pricing varies widely by year/make/model/mileage and state of residence. Best way to illustrate pricing is to give a few examples of recent actual sales from a couple of popular states where pricing is fixed (no discounting allowed). Exclusionary Coverage 2013 Subaru Outback with 25,400 miles: $3,346.96, $0 deductible, 5 yrs / 50,000 miles 2016 GMC Sierra with 36800 miles: $1,824, $100 deductible, 4 yrs / 40,000 miles 2009 Cadillac DTS with 41,000 miles: $4,022.00, $100 deductible 5 yrs / 34,000 miles High Level Stated Component Coverage 2017 Dodge Challenger with 29,300 miles: $2,001.00, $100 deductible, 4 yrs / 40,000 miles 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with 66,000 miles: $2958.00, $100 deductible, 4 yrs / 34,000 miles 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche with 26,400 miles: 2,990.00, $50 deductible, 4 yrs / 60,000 miles Powertrain Stated Component Coverage 2010 Mazda CX-7 with 138,000 miles: $2,675.00, $100 deductible, 4 yrs / 48,000 miles 2008 BMW 550i, with 139,600 miles: $4,170.00, $100 deductible, 4 yrs / 48,000 miles Get in touch with autopom! for more pricing information Review Information from Best Company Our Takeaway The reviews left by verified autopom! customers are overwhelmingly positive. The largest majority of the reviews mentioned how helpful and easy to work with their customer service was. Many cited their competitive pricing and that they were satisfied with the pricing deal that they were getting. A much larger percentage of autopom! customers shared positive review experiences than negative. Many shared experiences of quick responses by autopom! and ease of getting the claim processed. Overall, we would recommend autopom! 1. Omega Auto Care Plans Offered When you have a contract with Omega Auto Care, you will be protected by 24-hour Roadside Assistance for the following: Towing Jump starts Flat tire changes Vehicle fluid delivery Concierge services Lockout services Tire Hazard protection: Tire repair up to $20, or $100 towards replacement of an irreparable qualified tire. Rental Benefits All policies provide rental assistance benefits, which vary based on level of coverage. Trip Interruption It will reimburse up to $250 for food and lodging if stranded more than 100 miles from home. Its coverage plans offer a variety of benefits for vehicle owners so they don’t have to worry when something goes wrong. Plan prices vary based on the year, make, and model of the vehicle. About Omega Auto Care Coverage Plans Omega Auto Care wants its customers to be covered no matter what kind of vehicle they have. Because of that, it offers five coverage options for our customers. Coverage plans start as low as $59.99. The New Exclusionary — This option is for vehicles that are current model year + 7 model years with less than 100,000 odometer miles at point of purchase. This option covers repairs on almost all component systems. The Used Stated Coverage — This option is for vehicles that are current model + 10 model years with less than 150,000 odometer miles. This plan covers most of the component systems. The Powertrain Protection — This option is available at 3 levels and is for vehicles that are current models + 15 model years and less than 250,000 odometer miles. This option covers systems such as engine, transmission, transfer case, and drive axles. General Pricing Coverage plans start as low as $59.99. Breakdown of Consumer Reviews Our Takeaway Overall, it seems that consumers had a positive experience using Omega Auto Care. More than anything, its consumers reported a positive repair experience where Omega Auto Care’s customer service was quick to respond to their claim and ultimately paid for the repair. Many customers also reported that its customer service was helpful and knowledgeable and that they felt they gave them all the necessary information they needed to understand what was included in their agreement with Omega Auto Care. We would recommend considering Omega Auto Care when considering a car warranty company because of their overwhelmingly positive reviews. Next Steps As with any large purchase, we advise that you ensure that you know exactly what is included and not included in your car warranty contract. Before talking with any of the customer support representatives, have a detailed list of things that you want included in your car warranty plan and also a few things that you feel are not necessary. This will help you get the best car warranty plan for you. Read Reviews from Other Top-Rated Car Warranty Companies
Here at Best Company, we want you to be prepared for all of life's biggest decisions and purchases. For that reason, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you decide if a car warranty is right for you. This e-book walks you through what an extended car warranty is, if your car is already covered, what to ask before purchasing, what voids an extended car warranty. It also provides you with useful next steps as well as a list of top-rated car warranty companies. In this e-book, we partner with the following industry experts: Jenni Newman of Cars.com Ethan Lichtenberg of CarInsurance.org Tony Arevalo of Carsurance Jake Lane of NuBrakes Mobile Brake Repair Lauren Fix the Car Coach Laura Gonzalez of Audi Peoria Melanie Musson of AutoinsuranceEZ Jared Weitz of United Capital Source Inc. Other reading options For even more detail than is provided in the e-book, check out the links below for an expanded version of each chapter. What is an extended car warranty? Is my car already under warranty? Is a car warranty right for me? What voids a car warranty? Next Steps Top-Ranking Car Warranty Companies with Verified Customer Reviews What is an extended car warranty? An extended car warranty is a type of insurance policy on your vehicle that is designed to safeguard you against unforeseen and expensive repairs. Basically, you pay a monthly fee to an extended car warranty company, and they agree to pay for certain services that might be necessary for the maintenance on your vehicle. An extended car warranty is sold separately from your vehicle and the various types differ in their scope and coverage. Other names for an extended car warranty are service agreement, service contract, maintenance agreement, or vehicle service contract. Next steps Once you know the kind of warranty you want, compare plans from several companies. Most plans will be similar, but some companies have more variety. For example, some companies offer very basic powertrain warranty plans, while others offer more comprehensive powertrain warranty plans. The more comprehensive plans will cover more parts and will usually be more expensive. Evaluating plans from multiple companies can help you find the best plan for what you want. As you’re researching companies, consider the benefits included with many extended service contracts. For example, 24/7 roadside assistance has become standard in the industry. Many companies also offer rental car and trip interruption reimbursement. The reimbursement is only available if the car needs covered repairs. In addition to comparing plans and benefits, read customer reviews to be sure that you’re purchasing an extended warranty from a reliable and trusted provider. Reviews will give you insight to the level of customer service and quality of the extended warranty. About the experts Jake Lane lives in Austin, TX and is a local service expert and Director of Growth for NuBrakes, an on-demand mobile brake repair service. For over six years, he's tackled growth and marketing for local on-demand services, and now primarily spends time educating vehicle owners on cost-effective auto repairs and preventive maintenance. Jared Weitz is the CEO and founder of United Capital Source, one of the fastest-growing business financing brokerages in the nation. Through his years as a business owner, Jared gained a great deal of knowledge that he is committed to sharing with young entrepreneurs and business owners. Jared has since been featured in an extensive list of publications, including Forbes and Inc, providing financial and business advice. Jared now lives on Long Island with his wife Allison and their 2-year-old son Maxwell. Jenni Newman Jenni leads the Cars.com editorial team as the company’s first female editor-in-chief. She is also a certified child passenger safety technician – she focuses on delivering content to help parents and caretakers determine which vehicles will best fit cars seats, and she will talk your ear off about family cars and car seat safety. When she’s not working with car seats and managing editorial deadlines, she can be found navigating the streets of Chicago in her Subaru Outback while shuttling her kids to their daily activities Melanie Musson is an insurance expert and writer for AutoInsuranceEZ.com. Her goal is to help others find the best insurance for their situation and not overpay for it. She lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and their four children. Ethan Lichtenberg is a writer for CarInsurance.org who specializes in marketing and travel writing. Ethan hopes to leave a positive impact in a world that sees too much negativity. He lives on the beaches of Tarpon Springs, Florida and reads Paulo Coelho every chance he can.
Guest Post By Lawrence Dorman Similar to the way that maintaining your home or lawn can improve your property's market value, maintaining your vehicle can increase its resale value once you choose to sell. Like any asset, your car's value depreciates over time. But that doesn't mean your used car has to sell for the same price as a tired clunker. Here are six ways that you can increase your used car's valuation, including the importance of an extended car warranty for reassuring potential buyers. 1. Consider your new car carefully before purchasing Yes, you should be thinking about resale value even before you purchase a new car. This factor is often overlooked because buyers are concerned about style, price, safety, fuel efficiency, and other features. A manufacturer's reputation for reliability and longevity should also be taken into account. Certain vehicle models may hold up better over time. A study by iSeeCars.com found that consumers are most likely to reach 200,000 miles with a full-size SUV. Toyota, more specifically, was reported as the most reliable manufacturer, with its Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, and Avalon models ranking in the Top 14. Honda, Chevrolet, and Ford also ranked. So, whether you buy foreign or American, a long-lasting car will be easier to sell. 2. Make a good first impression with a clean exterior and interior First impressions matter. Scratches, dents, and dirty carpets will immediately catch the eye of potential buyers and dissuade their decision. Wash your car regularly, especially during the winter months when roads are salted, to prevent rust buildup and corrosion. Some manufacturer warranties will cover specific types of corrosion, but you may need to pay for repairs out-of-pocket. Next, don't forget the interior. Clean and vacuum the carpet, wash all windows, and check for any off-putting smells or stains caused by kids and pets. Check under the seats for forgotten or fallen items, as well. 3. Monitor your mileage A researcher from the University of Michigan found a steady rise in both vehicle ownership and miles driven per year. The average American drives nearly 9,000 miles annually, according to the report. That means you may be putting more mileage on your car than ever before. It's not always possible, but limiting the miles you put on your car can make it more attractive for buyers. Keep this average in mind as you drive your vehicle, so you can gauge where your car falls compared to other used cars on the market. Your mileage will also dictate your qualification for an extended car warranty, which protects older vehicles up to a certain number of miles or years. Compare extended car warranty plans to see if your car is eligible under the requirements. 4. Reduce unnecessary wear and tear If you want your car to remain in mint―or even good―condition, then you'll need to kick those bad maintenance and driving habits. Maybe you change your oil infrequently or wait to get gas at the very last minute. Perhaps you ride your brakes down hills. Do you live in a cold climate? Cold starts can put undue stress on your engine. These are all examples of common, yet damaging, habits that can affect the longevity and efficiency of your vehicle. Another reason to avoid unnecessary wear and tear is because warranties don't cover repairs caused by everyday use and poor habits. If you leave your car out in hail storms or put excessive weight on the drivetrain, that makes it more costly for a new owner to repair. 5. Take care of maintenance that warranties don't cover Most extended car warranties, whether provided by a manufacturer or third-party, don't cover routine maintenance, such as oil changes, new tires, brake pads, and wiper blades. While you own the vehicle, you should keep up with preventative maintenance so that the car works well while you're the owner, as well as runs properly on a test drive. 6. Get an extended warranty An extended car warranty is a valuable tool for covering costly repairs on an older car, and its benefits become more apparent when your car is properly maintained. Purchasing an extended warranty also reassures buyers that they have a guaranteed level of protection when they purchase a car that's no longer under its factory warranty. You can find different levels of coverage, from basic powertrain (transmission, engine, and drivetrain) to comprehensive bumper-to-bumper plans, using a third-party provider, such as CARCHEX. A CARCHEX used car extended warranty is useful for an older car after its manufacturer warranty has expired, and it's also transferable to a new owner. Though the warranty may not increase the actual price of the car, your used car's value will still improve with regard to peace of mind. In addition to repair coverage, an extended warranty provides 24-hour roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, and a host of other bonus reimbursements. For buyers evaluating a used car's value, the fear of a breakdown is a major concern. However, repair coverage and roadside assistance can be comforting selling points and set you apart from other sellers. In a nutshell, increasing your used car's value is not about tricking the seller into buying an old car. It's about keeping a new car feeling and looking good-as-new over time. Lawrence Dorman is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Operations for CARCHEX.
Purchasing an extended warranty has three steps:1. Evaluate whether or not an extended warranty is right for you.2. Decide what kind of extended warranty to buy.3. Choose an extended warranty provider.We’ll focus on steps two and three in this article. Choosing an extended warranty Extended warranties fall into three main categories: powertrain, stated-component, and exclusionary. Each kind of extended warranty or service contract has different eligibility requirements and a different level of coverage. If you are unsure of what a car warranty or extended warranty is in general, check out our complete guide to car warranties for a simple run-down.There may be some slight variability company to company in eligibility requirements and specific coverage. However, the general coverage offered by each kind of warranty will be about the same. While most companies make general coverage information easily accessible online, some companies don’t. Instead, potential clients must input their car information to see options tailored to their situation. autopom! includes general coverage and some eligibility information on its website and offers a wide selection of extended vehicle service contracts. CARCHEX also offers general coverage information on its website in addition to sample service contracts. The information from both companies is a helpful reference. Powertrain extended warranty Coverage Powertrain warranties typically cover the car’s engine, transmission, transfer case, and drive axle. Some companies include additional coverage for things like the supercharger, differential assembly, and air conditioning in their powertrain warranty plans. Powertrain warranties cover the most essential parts of a car, which offers peace of mind and can save car owners money on expensive repairs. Because the powertrain warranties only cover the essentials, they tend to be less expensive than warranties that offer more coverage. Eligibility Eligibility requirements are trickier to pin-down for powertrain warranties. However, this kind of coverage can be purchased for low-mileage and higher-mileage vehicles. Most car warranty companies have a maximum mileage that they will service, so it’s important to check with each company directly to see what’s available for your car.autopom!’s powertrain warranties offer coverage for an additional 36,000 to 100,000 miles (three to six years).CARCHEX’s extended powertrain warranties can last as long as five to seven years. "The powertrain usually becomes an issue in older and higher mileage vehicles. So if a powertrain warranty is offered, it is only with considering if you are buying an older car that has racked up plenty of mileage," says Jake McKenzie, Auto Accessories Garage Content Manager. Stated-component extended warranty Coverage Stated-component warranties cover the car’s powertrain and other parts specifically listed in the service agreement. These plans offer more coverage than a powertrain warranty and less coverage than the car’s factory warranty, so it’s a nice middle level of coverage. There is also more variety available with these named-component plans, which makes it easier for car owners to find affordable coverage to meet their needs. Eligibility Stated-component warranties are available for newer cars with lower mileage. For example, autopom!’s stated-component warranties end coverage at 100,000 or 125,000 miles (five to seven years). CARCHEX’s stated-component warranties are recommended for cars with over 60,000 miles and can last as long as five, seven, or ten years, depending on the plan and client’s situation.If your car has fewer than 100,000 or 125,000 miles, a stated-component extended warranty could be a good option, especially if you want more coverage than a powertrain warranty. "While most extended warranties do not cover general wear and tear, some stated-component coverage options do. If insuring your vehicle against standard wear and tear is important to you, a stated-component plan could be the best for you," says McKenzie Exclusionary extended warranty Coverage Exclusionary coverage is the most comprehensive coverage available once the original warranty expires. It covers most car parts, except for the parts listed in the contract. Parts not covered include things like lights, paint, and bumpers. Eligibility Exclusionary coverage is only available to newer cars with low mileage. For example, autopom!’s exclusionary warranty plans end after 100,000 or 150,000 miles (six to eight years). CARCHEX’s exclusionary warranties can last up to seven or ten years.If you want comprehensive coverage and your car has under 100,000 or 150,000 miles, an exclusionary warranty is a nice option. "Exclusionary coverage is best if you spend a lot of time driving or commuting and any interruption in your vehicle’s reliability would be detrimental to your life or business," says McKenzie. Choosing an extended warranty provider Once you know the kind of warranty you want, compare plans from several companies, including our number one ranked car warranty company, autopom!. Most plans will be similar, but some companies have more variety. For example, some companies offer very basic powertrain warranty plans while others offer more comprehensive powertrain warranty plans. The more comprehensive plans will cover more parts and will usually be more expensive. Evaluating plans from multiple companies can help you find the best plan for what you want.As you’re researching companies, consider the benefits included with many extended service contracts. 24/7 roadside assistance has become standard in the industry. Many companies also offer rental car and trip interruption reimbursement. The reimbursement is only available if the car needs covered repairs.In addition to comparing plans and benefits, read customer reviews to be sure that you’re purchasing an extended warranty from a reliable and trusted provider. Reviews will give you insight to the level of customer service and quality of the extended warranty. "Before purchasing insurance through a third-party be sure to know if they have a deductible and what the process would look like if damage occurred. Many third-party warranties will have you pay out of pocket and then file a reimbursement claim, this process can take months to complete. If you don’t have the funds on hand for this, consider the dealership warranty as a better option," says Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc. CEO and Founder. An extended warranty is a financial commitment. It can protect your finances if your car needs a covered repair. Car repairs can be expensive, so an extended vehicle service contract can be an investment in your car’s continued function.Purchasing a car warranty from a trusted warranty provider is also important. If you make a claim, you’ll want to be confident that your warranty company will pay.Understanding your coverage needs, what your budget is, and finding a good extended warranty company will ensure that you purchase the right extended warranty for your car.View Best Company’s Top-ranked Extended Warranty Companies
Car salespeople and car warranty companies always talk about the value brought by purchasing an extended car warranty. Are they trying to make a sale or are car warranties really worth it?Before you purchase a car warranty for your new car or new-to-you car, you should ask yourself the following questions: What is your car’s service and repair history? What is the year, make, model, and mileage of your car? Do you have savings? How frequently do you roadtrip? What kind of coverage do you actually need? If you are unsure of what a car warranty or extended warranty is in general, check out our complete guide to car warranties for a simple run-down. What is your car’s service and repair history? If you bought a new car, then your car should have a clean slate and be reliable.If you bought a used car, it’s a good idea to review the CarFax to learn about any difficulties experienced by previous owners. In addition to accidents and damage reports, look for notes about systems malfunctioning or not working properly. These notes can indicate the potential for future problems.If you’re considering purchasing a car warranty, be sure to understand if any modifications have been made and if the car has been well-maintained. If there have been modifications or if the car has not had regular oil changes, it may not qualify for an extended warranty.It’s also a good idea to have a trusted mechanic take a look at your car. Your mechanic can tell you if the car is in good shape and what repairs to anticipate in the future. Car warranties only provide coverage for some car parts when they fail. If your car is pretty reliable, an extended warranty may not be worth the expense. What’s the year, make, model, and mileage of your car? "If you are shopping for an extended warranty, look into the reliability of the car make and model purchased to know what the likely damage will be and how long into the car life they tend to break," says Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc. CEO and Founder. Car warranty companies have certain requirements associated with each of their plans. For example, some car warranty companies do not offer warranties for foreign cars. It’s also fairly common for car warranty companies to offer several vehicle protection plans with different levels of coverage at different price points.Most plans have mileage restrictions. The plans with the most comprehensive coverage often have the lowest maximum mileage covered. The plans with the least coverage are cheaper and have more flexible mileage restrictions.View autopom!’s plans and mileage requirements. How frequently do you roadtrip? Many car warranty companies include additional benefits in their plans, like roadside assistance, trip interruption, and car rental reimbursement.These benefits add value to a car warranty. Roadside assistance is very useful for emergencies like running out of gas, local towing, and jumpstarts.If you live in a rural area or away from family and friends, roadside assistance is valuable because you have someone you can call for help.If you’re on the road a lot and roadtrip through remote areas, trip interruption benefits are great. Trip interruption benefits reimburse hotel and meal expenses while your car is having covered repairs.For people who have long commutes or rely heavily on their car for daily tasks, the rental car benefit is great. You won’t have to bother with public transportation, figure out rides, or change your routine. Do you have savings? It’s good practice to have savings set aside for unexpected expenses. If you don’t have a lot of savings set aside and aren’t actively saving, it’s a good idea to start making that a priority in your budget.The major benefit that a car warranty offers is reducing repair costs and other associated costs for covered parts that stop functioning properly. Be cautious when choosing between savings and an extended warranty. "Extended car warranties are often costlier than the typical repairs themselves tend to cost. Instead of a car warranty, consider dedicating the money that would go to the warranty into an emergency fund for any potential damages that may come up," says Weitz. While car repairs can be quite expensive, but how likely is your car going to need these repairs? Is your money better spent on an extended warranty or put in your savings? What kind of coverage do you actually need? The three main kinds of extended car warranty include the following: Exclusionary Stated-component Powertrain Exclusionary extended warranties are typically for newer cars whose factory warranties have expired. Exclusionary coverage is very similar to factory warranty coverage. It covers everything in the car except those listed in the service agreement. They are also known as bumper-to-bumper warranties. These are ideal for people looking for coverage to replace the factory warranty.Stated-component warranties offer a mid-level of coverage. These service agreements only cover the parts listed in the agreement. These extended service agreements are ideal for car owners looking for comprehensive coverage but not the same kind of coverage as a bumper-to-bumper warranty.Powertrain warranties cover a car’s powertrain. These parts typically include the engine, drivetrain, and transmission. These are the most essential components of a car. "Before making the purchase, look at your standard car insurance to see if it covers any mechanical damages prior to investing in additional warranties," says Weitz. To buy or not to buy "An extended warranty is always a gamble and, in most cases, what you’re actually paying for is peace of mind. A 2013 survey from Consumer Reports showed that 55 percent of extended warranty holders never ended up using the warranty at all. Of the 45 percent that did take advantage of extended warranty coverage, most survey takers still saw a net loss when comparing the cost of repairs versus the cost of the warranty," says Jake McKenzie, Auto Accessories Garage Content Manager. If you found a great car that’s reliable, purchasing an extended service agreement may not be the best investment.If you’re on the road a lot or would benefit from a car warranty’s included features like roadside assistance, car rental reimbursement, or trip interruption, an extended service agreement may also be worthwhile. However, it’s worth comparing pricing of an auto warranty with the pricing of roadside assistance service subscriptions. You may be able to find a better deal.An extended auto warranty may be a worthwhile investment if you’re worried about your car’s reliability.View Best Car Warranty Companies
Guest Post by Mike Jones There's nothing more exciting than visiting a car dealership and seeing your dream car on the lot. However, before you make the vehicle yours, you want to take it for a test drive. You wouldn't buy a house without getting it inspected. And you wouldn't buy a bed without trying it out. You shouldn't buy a car without taking it for a quick drive. When you're making such a large purchase, there's no turning back, so it's important to make the right decision. A vehicle's appearance is important but it takes a backseat when it comes to a vehicle's driving capabilities, its comfort, and its safety. 1. Look for a vehicle's drivability When you're out on the road, pay special attention to the way the vehicle feels. Listen for strange noises. Feel for any vibrations or bumps. Take a look at the buttons and gears. Can you get used to them? Ask yourself a few questions: Does the transmission shift smoothly? How does the vehicle respond to bumpy or unpaved roads? Does the steering respond properly? Does it vibrate? Do you feel the car being pulled to the left or right? How does it accelerate? How do the brakes feel? Do they respond quickly? Chances are, you'll be driving this car for tens of thousands of miles, so make sure it drives how you want it to. Moving from a small car to a large SUV or vice versa brings quite a noticeable difference. Make sure you're comfortable with this change. 2. Consider your comfort Long road trips. Commuting to work during rush hour. Visits to your family. You'll be spending a lot of time in your car. Research estimates that you'll spend just under 300 hours in your vehicle each year. You want to make sure you're comfortable. As you drive, ask yourself the following questions: Is there enough head or leg room? Can seats be adjusted? Is the driver's seat comfortable? How is the quality of the material? Are there controls for warming the seats, cooling the back, etc.? Can the steering wheel be adjusted? If you have a family, is there enough room for passengers? 3. Take safety features for a spin More so than appearance, more so than comfort, and more so than cost, safety should be the most important consideration during your test drive. Today's vehicles feature more safety measures than ever before. Consider the following basic safety features: Do seatbelts work properly? Are the windshield wipers in good condition? Is there a back wiper? Can you easily adjust the mirrors? How is visibility? Do you have large blind spots? Do the dashboard warning lights illuminate properly? Do locks work properly? Do turn signals work? Is there four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive for the snow? Over the years, there have been considerable improvements in the safety features available in vehicles. Therefore, there are also some more advanced safety features you'll want to consider: Is there a backup camera or blind spot detection? Is there crash detection or emergency braking? Does the vehicle come equipped with emergency services, like OnStar? Is there a GPS? Are there childproof locks or Safety Exist Assist? You may end up paying extra for some advanced safety features. Carefully evaluate the safety features you prioritize. If you have children, you may require drastically different safety features than someone who's not a parent. If you drive highways, you may want different safety features than someone who frequently drives backroads. 4. Get a mechanic's advice Sometimes it's best to take a test drive straight to your mechanic, especially if you're buying a used car. Ask the dealership or seller if your mechanic can inspect the car. They may ask to go with you, but them being there during the inspection may give you some added bargaining leverage. Mechanics may be able to spot things that you didn't notice during your test drive. They may also be able to explain any weird noises, check engine lights, or bumps/vibrations you experienced. You should also request a vehicle history report to make sure the car poses no hidden dangers or vulnerabilities. Make sure the vehicle has a clean title, no odometer irregularities, no major accidents, and has received regular maintenance.Before purchasing your vehicle, ask questions. Do research. If you need to, go for a second test drive. Do what you need to do in order to guarantee automotive peace of mind with your new car. Mike Jones is the president and CEO of autopom!, a BBB Accredited A+ rated provider of vehicle protection plans for both new and used cars. Click here to learn more about autopom!
Guest Post by Richard Reina Many of us rely on our cars to get around every day, and whether it’s a quick trip to run errands or multi-day road trip during summer vacation, driving takes a toll on our vehicles. External factors such as road conditions, weather and your driving habits, can also impact the health of your vehicle. Of course, sudden or unpredictable events such as fender benders or encounters with potholes are often hard to avoid and can damage your vehicle. However, other damage happens due to wear and tear; when a car’s systems are worn down and not properly maintained, they are more likely to experience problems that can result in costly repairs. The good news is all drivers can keep up with some simple maintenance tasks to help avoid wear and tear damage. Generally, these tasks can be divided into one of two categories: prevention of mechanical damage and prevention of cosmetic damage. Mechanical damage This is by far the more serious of the two categories. Damage to your car’s mechanical systems, tires and lights can result in roadside breakdowns or even accidents. Keeping up with basic maintenance can help prevent this from happening. This includes the following: Oil changes — Oil is crucial to keep your engine running smoothly, and driving for too long without changing your oil can lead to major issues. Modern vehicles no longer require oil changes every 3,000 miles, like cars of the past did. However, you should be keeping track of how long it’s been since your last change. Check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended schedule: many cars can go about 10,000 miles between changes these days. If you know the proper quality and viscosity of oil to use, you can even perform a DIY oil change to save money. Tire pressure — Driving with tires that aren’t adequately inflated can have a domino effect on other areas of your vehicle. Tires with low pressure don’t grip the road as well and can negatively impact your car’s handling, particularly if one tire is drastically less inflated than the rest. This is an easy fix, however. Use a tire pressure gauge to assess each tire and then compare it against your manufacturer’s recommendations, usually located on the inside of your driver’s door jamb. A variety of reasonably-priced, portable tire pressure gauges and pumps are available. Consider keeping one in your trunk so you’re always prepared. One disclaimer to note — if you refill a tire and its pressure drops again within a short time, you might have a leak and should consult your mechanic. Brake pad changes — If you routinely let your brake pads wear very thin before changing them, you can cause damage to other areas of the vehicle, such as your rotors, and even risk a collision due to unreliable braking. Pad wear varies too much to state a replacement interval. However, a good rule of thumb for checking pad thickness is to do it at every oil change. Cosmetic damage This category includes damage to your vehicle that isn’t going to cause immediate danger or risk a breakdown. However, it’s still something most drivers will want to take care of eventually, for aesthetics and to preserve the car’s resale value. Examples of cosmetic damage include paint chips, fading, dents and interior stains. Similar to mechanical damage, you can do the following things to minimize your risk of cosmetic damage: Visit the car wash regularly — This is incredibly important during the harsh winter months. Salt and sand from road surfaces can settle on your vehicle’s exterior. You might think, “what’s the point of going in for a car wash when it’ll only get dirty again?” This may be true but allowing these materials to build up for months can lead to dull and fading paint and the start of corrosion. A regular wash and wax will help preserve your vehicle’s finish and get ahead of minor damage. Additionally, if you live in an urban area and frequently park outside, consider investing in a washable car cover to protect your exterior from road dust, salt, and debris. Guard your exterior — If you frequently park on narrow streets, making your vehicle vulnerable to scratches and dings, it might be a good idea to purchase add-ons which protect your exterior from cosmetic damage. While they may look clunky, bodyside moldings and bumper protectors are easy to find online for all vehicle sizes and do wonders to keep your vehicle looking new and preserve its resale value. Protect your interior — Keeping your seats and floor mats clean might not be as much of a priority for some drivers. However, if your car is used to transport children, school projects, and sports equipment during all seasons, it can be easy for dirt, slush, and spills to cause ground-in stains that are hard to remove. If you have plans to trade in or sell your car, a dirty interior can decrease the vehicle’s value. To mitigate the build-up of debris, make sure you opt for the interior vacuum when you visit the car wash. If you and your passengers are prone to spills, it might make sense to keep some multipurpose cleaning wipes in your car to address stains quickly or take it a step further by investing in seat covers and removable, washable floormats. All drivers want to keep their cars looking and running well, a goal which is sometimes easier said than done. However, by keeping up with basic maintenance and investing in the proper accessories, you can get ahead of damage and your car will look its best all year round. Richard Reina is the Product Training Director at CARiD.com and an auto enthusiast and expert with over 30 years of experience working with cars.