When you go to buy a new car, looks, fuel economy and performance are certainly a part of the car-buying criteria. But there's something more that we all expect from our car, and that is peace of mind. Nobody likes to make frequent visits to the service stations. Unlike older cars, it is sporadically possible to repair or refurbish a broken part in modern cars and hence replacement is the last resort. The fact is that no matter how reliable modern cars are, the spares are still expensive to replace. More importantly, you surely don’t want to have a hard time getting your car fixed, especially after the manufacturer warranty has lapsed. The only solution that you are left with to address the plethora of issues is extended warranty, which is basically a repair coverage after the manufacturer’s warranty is expired. This concept, where, for a minimal investment, you can save your pockets and your car from the hassles, has not been unheard before. Most car manufacturers offer extended warranty, and some would even notify you to purchase it, before the standard warranty gets lapsed. You must be wondering whether these extended warranties are really worthwhile.
But before going any further and purchasing the warranty, it is important to make up your mind on which type of warranty you need for your car. So, let’s dig deep in this and know more about the types of extended warranties.
Types of Extended WarrantiesPrimarily, there are two types of extended warranties – the one offered by the car manufacturers or their authorized dealerships and the after-market warranty offered by third-party vendors (third party would be an insurance or a warranty company).
Manufacturer’s Extended Warranty
Don’t get confused between the manufacturer's warranty and the extended warranty, as they are entirely different. Buying an extended warranty at the time of purchase of the vehicle is the right thing to do, as the price of the package may vary with time passing. This is because most manufacturers have after-sale support for cars till a particular time (for a defined period starting from the date of purchase or for certain kilometres run, whichever comes first).
Just like any other service contracts, different extended warranties can vary in what they cover. Make sure that you are aware of what portion of the vehicle is covered under the extended warranty package.
Third-Party Extended Warranty
A third-party extended warranty is often referred to as an after-market warranty, which is a service contract from an independent retailer that has no direct business relationship with the auto manufacturer. Although it can be purchased at any time, it is best to purchase these warranties before the manufacturer's warranty gets expired, to get a cheaper quote. These warranty packages offer different coverages starting from the basic coverage, like major engine components, transmission, and front and rear drive axles to the highest protection option, which is not the same as the manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper coverage, yet similar. This means that some parts will be left, so don’t forget to go through the contract. In case of crash tests, the worthiness of a structure is generally tested by colliding it with a stationary object. In real, a car may undergo collision with a bigger and even heavier car, in such a case, chances are that a car with more weight may prove to be safer than a car with lighter construction. So, in general, a recently launched car, that has more weight would be comparatively safer than a car that’s comparatively light.
The most important thing to be noted is that both of these types of warranties may vary in terms of parts they cover. So below we have listed some detailed auto parts for your general understanding that are covered under these warranties. However, it should be noted that the list is only for reference; not all manufacturers or third-party vendors would cover these spares and it may also vary according to the package you opt for.
Internal components of the engine include oil pump, crankshaft and pulley, connecting rods, gudgeon pins, piston and rings, inlet and exhaust valves, springs and guides, cylinder block and cylinder head, cylinder head gasket, camshaft, rocker arm, etc.
Components in the manual gearbox include gears, shafts, hubs and rings, etc., whereas in the automatics, you can think of brake bands, oil pump, bearings and bushes, valve, drive plate, and transmission gears as well.
Parts of suspension and steering system covered are rack and pinion, steering column, steering box, and power steering pump.
The braking system includes master cylinder, brake booster and vacuum pump.
Parts of fuel system covered are mechanical and electrical fuel pumps, injectors, air flow meter, fuel accumulator, fuel distributor, warm-up regulator, cold start valve, pressure damper, auxiliary air regulator, deceleration valve, engine speed sensor, ECU and throttle body.
Diesel Injection System parts include injection pump, injectors, glow plugs and electromagnetic cut-off.
Air conditioning and cooling system parts like compressor, condenser, evaporator reservoir, thermostat switch and fan motor, heater core, and AC switch are included.
Electrical components like starter motor and solenoid switch, alternator, rectifier, regulator, ignition coil, cooling fan motor, power window motors, ignition switch, relay, thermostat switch, speedometer, oil pressure switch, temperature gauge, and fuel gauge and horns (if dual tone) are covered. Oil seal parts like crankshaft seal, camshaft oil seal, auxiliary shaft oil seal, gear box oil seal and drive shaft seal are covered.
All this sounds great, yet we would strongly advise you to read the terms and conditions before applying for a warranty. There could be clauses that might nullify the warranty; so it's better to read the documents first and make sure that the warranty stays intact.
Also read: How to perform a quick car safety check
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