Last post on Apr 14, 2010 at 2:36 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
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Subaru Forester, Wagon
#1 of 6 Should I cancel extended warranty?
Apr 10, 2010 (10:06 am)
Hi everyone, looking for some advice on my recently purchased 2003 Subaru Forester XS with 85,000 miles.
I bought the 3rd party extended warranty the dealer was pitching, mostly because they were doing a hard sale and offering a lower price on the car if I bought it, and when I asked to see the contract I saw that I had 30 days to cancel with a full refund, so I figured that gave me time to research and think it over.
So now I'm debating it. I know that despite Subaru's claims otherwise, the 2003 and up models still seem to exhibit a higher rate of head gasket failure. The dealer claimed that this could cost up to $3600 to repair which made the warranty a good deal, but from the searching I've done it seems like if this costs more than $1200 I'm getting ripped off...
The actual warranty I purchased is surprisingly good coverage. Full powertrain and electrical with wear and tear. The wear and tear means that should the headgasket start leaking I don't have to wait until it breaks down for repair. The starter and alternator are covered as well as A/C, ABS, etc etc.
The warranty was $2200, for 3 years/36,000 miles. It is through National Warranty Corporation who, amazingly, is based in my town. They have a B- with the BBB, 17 complaints, one unresolved. The policy is backed by an insurance company so theoretically has some protection from them defaulting.
Overall the policy seems solid, except the price. The car has 85,000 miles on it and I drive about 6,000 miles a year. So at the time the warranty expires I'm going to be just ready for the 105,000 timing belt service.
My gut feeling is, there is very little chance I would spend more than $2,200 on repairs over the next 3 years/18,000 miles. Sure, the starter or alternator could go, but either of those would be < $1,000 (and probably significantly less, since I'd probably replace it myself). If the head gaskets start to leak, $1,200 if the information I have about that repair cost is accurate. The only thing I can think that would be likely to cause over $2,200 of repairs in the next 3 years would be the timing belt breaking prematurely, but really if I'm worried about that it'd be cheaper to just replace the timing belt now. Overall I'm pretty sure I'm going to cancel it, but I just want to verify that I'm probably correct in assuming that it's very unlikely to have more than $2,200 worth of repairs in the next 3 years. Oh, and for the record, I have shopped around and for similar coverage levels this one is actually cheaper than any other warranty I can find independently. Also, anyone know how much I'm going to get beat up trying to cancel if I do? Can I just send a certified letter and then ignore the phone calls? I'm pretty sure the dealer is going to pressure me to not cancel it, giving me the good old we lowered the price of the car for you to get it bit, which I'd rather not deal with. I don't know how it all works, if I cancel presumably the dealer loses their cut.
#2 of 6 Re: Should I cancel extended warranty? [gnarfle]
Apr 12, 2010 (6:31 am)
It's at 85k, so by the end of it you could have as many as 121,000 miles, which is a lot.
Thing is, the price seems high.
It's hard to say, because extended warranties for new cars run anywhere from $800 or so all the way up to $2400, and that's for a low mileage car, with one owner.
My guess is you'll either never use it at all, or use it and more than get your money back.
Ask if you get a partial refund if it's never used. Then it may be worth keeping.
#3 of 6 Re: Should I cancel extended warranty? [ateixeira]
Apr 12, 2010 (8:52 am)
Yeah, pro rated refund any time during the contract.
It is expensive but to their credit I've searched around and cannot find a cheaper warranty from a reputable company.
Of course the other thing that has happened is that over the weekend the sunroof stuck open (can't close it with the button OR the manual crank). Looking through the details of the warranty I see that the sunroof motor is covered, but nothing else. From some searching it sounds like a lot of people have been quoted around $1500 to replace the whole kit once something is out of a alignment or rails are warped, etc.
So I'm a little less than thrilled that I purchased a warranty which is unlikely to cover this if it's a $1500 repair, less than two weeks after buying it. I'm going in today to see what they think, and on the plus side I think having bought the warranty gives me some leverage. When I bought it the woman sat there and told me it covers everything like on a new car, which the fine print says was a lie (as I figured). So, if I get hit with a $1500 repair on this I'm going to point out they sold me a warranty claiming it covered everything just like on a new car, and since they apparently lied about that I'll give them the choice to either eat the repair cost, or cancel the warranty. I mean if two weeks into owning it I have to shell out $1500 for repairs that aren't covered by the warranty, suddenly that warranty is a very bad deal...
#4 of 6 Re: Should I cancel extended warranty? [gnarfle]
Apr 12, 2010 (11:03 am)
Yeah, with 85k now even Subaru would not sell you a warranty.
#5 of 6 Re: Should I cancel extended warranty? [gnarfle]
Apr 14, 2010 (2:36 pm)
"... So, if I get hit with a $1500 repair on this I'm going to point out they sold me a warranty claiming it covered everything just like on a new car, and since they apparently lied about that I'll give them the choice to either eat the repair cost, or cancel the warranty. I mean if two weeks into owning it I have to shell out $1500 for repairs that aren't covered by the warranty, suddenly that warranty is a very bad deal...
Rethink that. A moon roof is a main reason for buying a Subaru Gold Extended Warranty, next to head gasket leaks. It will apparently cover the removal the head liner to access the replacement of the old motor, which is 90% of the cost. The moon roofs fail because they are left open under trees etc and get debris in the tracks. As the debris is swept back and compacted by the mechanism, it causes jams and resistance. This resistance breaks the flimsy plastic parts that attach the chain drive, and/or wears out the little motor.
The Gold Warranty excludes cable or linkage adjustments (or breakage), which are often part of the problem from the resistance.