Car dealerships offering a free "lifetime warranty".

zanemoseley

Senior member
Feb 27, 2011
513
22
76
#1
Have you guys noticed the trend of car dealerships advertising free lifetime powertrain warranties with a new car purchase. I read up on them a bit and a lot of the time its as secondary company that offers this warranty. Sometimes its the dealer. From what I can gather they make it incredibly difficult if not impossible to actually use the warranty when you need it.

Not that it surprises me much after all the other schemes dealers pull like telling people 2 weeks after the bought a car that the paperwork was done incorrectly asking them to come in and sign new bloated contracts.
 
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phucheneh

Diamond Member
Jun 30, 2012
7,309
3
0
#2
Even if it wasn't hard to use the warranty when you needed it...it's unlikely anyone will ever even try. Engines and transmissions nowadays, aside from the odd exception (because the part is simply known to be problematic), will go for hundreds of thousands of miles.

And if it doesn't? Well, it probably still doesn't matter, as I'm sure it's a non-transferable warranty. So they're betting against someone even keeping the car long enough to have issues that might be covered.

Like any warranty, you have to pay attention to detail. What's covered? Is it purely mechanical, or are the electronics covered? How about things that some may call 'maintenance items'? You would assume spark plugs aren't covered, but what about, say, ignition coils? How about fluid leaks? Ect.
 

someone16

Senior member
Dec 18, 2003
489
3
81
#4
I think its a way of getting you to use the dealership for service. Our local Mazda dealership has lifetime warranty on the engine if you do all the service with them.
 
Aug 30, 2000
25,765
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#5
My Honda has a "lifetime" power train warranty the dealer gives everyone. I could give two shits about it. I even tried asking if I would get a discount if I didn't take it. When I asked if it covered the hybrid battery they didn't know. Complete bs to lure uninformed buyers.
 

Jimzz

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2012
4,191
53
91
#6
Even if it wasn't hard to use the warranty when you needed it...it's unlikely anyone will ever even try. Engines and transmissions nowadays, aside from the odd exception (because the part is simply known to be problematic), will go for hundreds of thousands of miles.

And if it doesn't? Well, it probably still doesn't matter, as I'm sure it's a non-transferable warranty. So they're betting against someone even keeping the car long enough to have issues that might be covered.

Like any warranty, you have to pay attention to detail. What's covered? Is it purely mechanical, or are the electronics covered? How about things that some may call 'maintenance items'? You would assume spark plugs aren't covered, but what about, say, ignition coils? How about fluid leaks? Ect.

This plus a lot of them REQUIRE you to only have your car serviced at their shop and you can't turn down anything or it "could" void the warranty.
 
Mar 10, 2004
27,721
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#7
I have the Chrysler factory lifetime powertrain warranty, I presume it's a good warranty...
 
Aug 30, 2000
25,765
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#8
That's different as it is a manufacturer warranty. We're discussing no-name 3rd party crap some dealers are handing out.
 
Mar 10, 2004
27,721
1,391
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#9
That's different as it is a manufacturer warranty. We're discussing no-name 3rd party crap some dealers are handing out.
Yeah, I see quite a few car commercials touting the warranties.

There is also usually a push to buy some sort of "extra" warranty when you buy a car.
 
Aug 30, 2000
25,765
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#10
I bought a warranty for my SUV but that's through GM. You'd have a hard time convincing me to buy a 3rd party car warranty.
 

phucheneh

Diamond Member
Jun 30, 2012
7,309
3
0
#11
I believe the lifetime Chrysler warranty was also non-transferable. As are Hyundai/Kia 100k warranties.

It's all basically just a case of 'if it seems too good to be true...'

People who buy brand new cars, and people who keep cars for 100k or more, are just not usually part of the same group. And the people offering the warranties, factory or otherwise, know this.
 

Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
8,351
1,064
126
#12
I believe the lifetime Chrysler warranty was also non-transferable. As are Hyundai/Kia 100k warranties.

It's all basically just a case of 'if it seems too good to be true...'

People who buy brand new cars, and people who keep cars for 100k or more, are just not usually part of the same group. And the people offering the warranties, factory or otherwise, know this.

Chrysler used to allow transfer of the lifetime warranty, but ended it in 2010. Chrysler claims they're just following the lead of Hyundai/Kia/Mitsu.
 
Jun 12, 2005
13,985
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#13
I think its a way of getting you to use the dealership for service. Our local Mazda dealership has lifetime warranty on the engine if you do all the service with them.
This is usually the main sticking part: All of the service has to be performed by the dealer. That is expensive!
 

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