Extended warranties are a great way to protect your car from major mechanical repairs, but they don't cover everything. Pre-existing damage, normal wear and tear, and abuse are not covered by most basic extended warranties. Additionally, routine maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations are not included. An extended warranty is similar to the manufacturer's warranty in that it usually covers faults in major systems, such as the powertrain.
Comprehensive warranties can cover more systems, including heating and air conditioning, steering and safety technology, and more. Some extended car warranties may also cover repairs for typical car wear and tear. Some extended warranties are based on certain areas of the car, such as the powertrain. An extended car warranty can be useful if the car has high mileage or is beyond the manufacturer's warranty.
Manufacturer warranties are usually limited by how long they can be purchased, while third-party warranties can be purchased at any time. A Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) offers repair coverage for your vehicle after the manufacturer's warranty has expired. Powertrain warranty is the most basic form of coverage, whether from an auto manufacturer or from an outside car warranty company. However, extended warranties typically cover major components of the car, such as the engine, transmission and electrical system.
While there are some cases where it might make sense to extend the warranty, it may make more sense to save money each month so that you can cover the cost of repairs yourself in case something breaks. If you have an extended warranty and one of the parts or systems in your car breaks down, you can take it to an authorized dealer or mechanic to have it repaired at no or very low cost. That's why, while insurance covers damage caused by accidents, extreme weather conditions, or even if your car is stolen, extended warranties specifically help cover the costs of covered repairs caused by normal wear and tear, in addition to applicable deductibles. With an extended warranty, you know that you won't have to pay for repairs if something goes wrong with your car.
In addition, with Good Sam mechanical breakdown insurance available through Progressive, a mechanical repair plan covers the repair of a sudden and unexpected breakdown in your car. A Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) is often referred to as a “car warranty” or “extended car warranty” but it is not a warranty. Most providers offer some type of roadside assistance and towing service so you can get help if your car breaks down while you're away from home. For most car manufacturers, you should buy any extended warranty coverage for cars while the factory warranty is still active.