More About Warranties

Dave sent me this link last night and it got me thinking.  I’ve spoken about this before, but feel it’s something you can never have too much information on.  It’s a pretty safe assumption that we all know that one person who thinks warranties are a scam, and that they can fix “most” issues that arise in a vehicle.  I know I thought like that for a long time. But that was also a long time ago. When cars were simple.

Nowadays, the multitude of advances in safety, emissions, and efficiency have made all modern cars extremely complex.  Sure, it’s no secret that European vehicles are more expensive to service–not that they are inherently more prone to issues–but because they are the cars pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a road going vehicle.  Whether it’s the uncompromising blend of comfort, amenities, and mind-blowing off-road capabilities of a Range Rover, or the also uncompromising luxury, safety, and neck-destroying performance of an Audi S6, European vehicles have a goal: to do as many thing as perfectly as possible.

But even Japanese marques of absolute reliability like the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord are now loaded with safety, performance, and efficiency features that, while still built incredibly well, will never be as indestructible as their older siblings from the ‘80s and ‘90s.  And the reason for the decline in lifespan is not due to less stringent quality standards. Quite the opposite.

This may be the most competitive time in automotive history.  If you need any proof of that, just look at the ever increasing varieties of models amongst manufacturers.  One company makes a niche model, and everyone else has to follow suit. And while it may seem like a big, well… pissing contest, it’s actually a really good thing.  Most models in a manufacturer’s lineup are basically the same vehicle, with just some minor changes to the body. All of the bits that make it a car are the same. That means, higher production volumes for engines and transmissions, etc.

Even with this high volume approach to building cars, they are still incredibly complex machines.  Anyone remember the struggles of driving cars from the ‘90s in the snow? The traction control was basically just a sensor that pumped the brakes–not much help if you weren’t using snow tires.  Now though, cars are self-monitoring almost every aspect of every component in the car, and those components are monitoring things like wheel slip, yaw, torque, steering angle, and more, and they’re doing it 100’s of times a second.  And if one of the 10,000-plus components fail, it’s going to require work.

So, yes, I 100% believe in the value of an extended warranty, but because not all warranties are the same, it’s important for any consumer to do their homework.  Granted, that’s not always the easiest thing to do, so we’ve tried to help as much as possible by being 100% transparent about the details of any policy we sell.  But, rather than ask you to just trust us because we say we’re honest and transparent, we absolutely encourage you to deep dive into our online review. And not just the good one, but the bad reviews too.  Because, while nobody can be perfect all the time, how they deal with a mistake is a telling sign of who they really are.