Extended car warranties aren’t half bad. I’ve actually used the one I bought for my van a couple of times now and it’s basically paid for itself. Most advice is to shun said warranties because of their cost and maybe you won’t use it so you’re out some money but it’s like insurance, you pay a ton of cash for a service you may or may not use. To date I’ve had the timing belt tensioner replaced (my most recent repair) and the engine mounts replaced. All told that would have set me back $2K which was about the price I paid for the warranty.
So why a warranty for my van? For one thing it’s a Touring Elite so it is jam packed with every electronic device that Honda could put into it in 2012. Also I had read that there might be engine or transmission troubles based on some past models that concerned me and since I knew the van would be used a lot it made sense to me to get the extended warranty for the power train. The warranty covered all the electronics too and from my experience with my older Acura, that can cause all types of headaches but so far so good on that front (knock on wood). The process itself was simple enough, just give Honda (yes I go to the dealer for repairs but only those that aren’t routine) the phone number for claims and they do all the paper work to get paid and I just drive away after signing that the work is complete.
Now I didn’t get an extended warranty for my Accord because it is just an airport car. I’ve owned it for almost 4 years and I’m still under 12K miles and the Accord has been solid except for the radio but that’s pervasive with the car and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. Also since it’s an airport car it just drives on the highway so it’s not subject to a lot of stop and go daily driving and I bought a lower model so it doesn’t have all the nice electronic goodies my van has (can you tell that I love my van?).
The particular warranty that I got for the van was from a place called Warranty Direct which is a third party provider. This is helpful to me since I can go anywhere for repairs and I can use Warranty Direct rather than having to go to a specific dealership. Rick Case Honda which is where I normally get service has their own free 10 year 100K mile warranty but you have to get the work done at their dealership. I also didn’t buy my car from there and Autonation Honda of Hollywood didn’t offer such an awesome extended warranty. Not to mention its really far away from my home and I don’t want to go there just for service. My car might not make it in the event of a bad defect. Depending on the next car I get, I might get another extended warranty but thats what research is for or unless I get a really awesome deal, then I’m getting it anyway with the savings.