Q: I keep getting phone calls with a recorded message saying that my vehicle warranty is about to run out and that I need to renew it immediately. It sounds urgent; do I need to respond in some way?
A: The simple answer is No!
Any telephone calls or mail solicitations that you receive about this are from questionable sources. They do not know anything about your current warranty coverage or even if you have a current warranty. The calls and mailings are made randomly and often include people who either do not have a warranty on their vehicle(s) or, in some cases, do not even own a vehicle!
The value of these and other extended service/repair contracts that are offered to the consumer are also questionable. For instance, they often do not cover pre-existing conditions. Proof of maintenance records may be required, and there may be restrictions on how much they will pay for a repair, as well as which repair facility you can use.
The Bay Area we live in is one of the most expensive places to do business. The labor rate that many of the warranty companies are willing to pay equals only half of what if costs to repair a vehicle in the Bay Area, leaving the vehicle owner to make up the difference.
There are many different maintenance and repair contracts sold by many different entities. Some are o.k., and some are worth next to nothing when it comes time to use them. In the last few years, maintenance contracts have been sold or given away with new vehicles. These only provide the very minimum services needed to get the vehicle through the manufacturer’s warranty period. Anyone expecting to keep a vehicle for more than 5 years would do better to pay for the maintenance services themselves and receive a more complete service that will help prolong their vehicle’s life span.
Remember that any repair or maintenance contract is a contract. Before you sign, make sure that what you are actually getting is what you think you are getting.
Warren McCord/ASE Certified Master Tech
Owner, Dean's Automotive, Inc.
2037 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View, CA 94043