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Extended Maintenanence Contracts

3976 Views 25 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  KES
We have covered this topic on an ad hoc basis throughout the site. But I thought a separate thread would be beneficial to future buyers like myself. My B/B MDX is due in next is on the train (thanks to those who provided that website!). an extended service contract worth the money. If so, how long and how much should one expect to pay.

Thanks in advance for your advice and counsel.

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I will probably get an extended service contract ...

... for both the MDX and the TL-S. We waited because we had already spent enough money at the time of purchase and wanted to postpone the warrant expenditure til later, which of course is easy to do.

As I recall on the old threads there was talk of a group purchase thru Tim. Did that ever go thru? If not perhaps we can reconsider and do it again. If it did perhaps sometime soon we can do it again?

Another reason we waited is because there are alternative plans to the one Acura offers. In fact our dealer recommends an alternative plan. So we wanted some time to research/study which plan to get.

I guess from the above three paragraphs it is apparent that I believe that an extended warranty is worth it. If you plan on keeping the car for many years and driving well past 50K miles then a warranty has a good chance of paying for itself. The VTM-4 is unproven in reliablity, and in Houston's heat A/C problems could happen, etc., etc.
Thanks, you have any price points that I should be looking over how many years? E.G., 3 years (after the 4 year warranty expires) at $995 or 4 years @ $1295?

I have never been a big fan of extended warranties. They are a huge profit maker for the mfg. Plus, if you go with an independent service provider, are they going to be in business 7 years from now?

Still, I am open to the idea and welcome any additional comments.
Not to mention that if folks go crazy over thuds, what is going to happen in five or six years when there is no more factory warranty, and then the thud returns?
Lately we have been putting ...

... a lot of miles per year on our primary vehicle. So I would be more interested in total miles than total years. At least 75K miles for me. But if the price was right I'd go to 100K. I doubt I would spend more than about $1200 for the warranty w/ no more than a $50 deductible.

The old threads had a lot of pricing info that should still be a valid starting point.
Take the money you will spend on the extended warranty and put it in a Money Market account at a Brokerage Firm. Then you will have the money to pay for those repairs if they do come up. Any manufacurer defects are bound to show up within 4 years or 50k miles. Extended warranties are a huge profit item for Dealerships. If you feel you must have one only buy it from the manufacturer or your own insurance company. Just my 2 cents worth!!

Greg in Atlanta used to have online pricing along with copies of the actual contract. As I recall it was $1275 with a $50 deductible, 7 yr/100k (or $1450 no ded). However, they've pulled all warranty details and pricing from their site. You have to fill out a request form and give up your email address to get it.

If you search for those old threads, the actual prices were quoted. I know Tim looked into a "group buy" with his finance guy, too.

FWIW the cost goes up the longer you have the car -- but I believe that $ ramp doesn't occur until after the 2nd year.
Yes, if you start a group buy, please count me in. The price differential between Acura and third parties is not big enough to warrant consideration (based upon earlier price quote from I prefer a factory warranty since there will be no questions asked when repairs are needed. It will be more timely repair too. I would suggest 7 years/100K miles with $50 deductible.
When I do eventually buy a vehicle, I think I'll opt for an extended warranty.

I know - you could save the money, and break even (or even come ahead). What with the amounts some of these dealers are charging for repairs this day, maybe not. I was quoted $700 for a damn muffler and tailpipe on my Accord - God only knows what an MDX VTM-4 would go for.

I think that Worm raises a good point - most don't ramp up in price until after the 2nd year. Which means you basically get an extra free year of coverage, and extend the warranty out by another year. Since years 7-10 are what I'm interested in, I would even go so far as to pay the premium, knowing I got my 3/4 years of free warranty coverage done, and I'm covered in years 7-10, the ones most likely to produce some failures.
John -- I'm sorry to tell you that the AcuraCare extended warranty only extends to seven years, 100k miles after the original vehicle purchase. Most extended warranties from manufacturers have this funny wording (MB's goes to 8 years but I think the same 100k miles, again after original purchase). So buying in years 2 or 3 or 4 won't extend the contract beyond the vehicle's 7th year.

Every extended warranty I'm familiar with words itself in this manner, whether it's VW or Lexus or whatever.

The extended warranty ratcheting up in price is just a gimmick to get you to commit earlier since there's no other reason to buy earlier. Some manufacturers require you buy the warranty within a certain amount of time for the vehicle. I didn't buy an extended warranty for our Integra until there were four weeks left for the original warranty. Nice part about that is that you can then decide how much longer you're going to keep the vehicle and consider its previous repair history.

I agree that, while an extended warranty may never "pay off", if one intends to keep the vehicle to 7/100, you are exposed in years 5, 6, 7 to some unexpected and nasty surprise$. This isn't even a Civic or Accord sedan we're talking about. Acura labor isn't cheap, and I'd bet that a failed rear differential, rear clutch pack, or other VTM componentry will cost a heck of a lot more than the extended warranty. It's peace of mind for those who need it.
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William's right -- it's over at 7yrs/100k from the car's purchase date -- regardless of when you buy the warranty. FYI here are a couple of old threads/discussions on the extended warranties. I'm actually inclined to do it @ the end of Year 2 (first ramp of price increase) since we are, afterall, in a first-year model, we plan (at least at this point) for keeping the car awhile, and the VTM4 and other stuff (NAV) aren't things our local guy is going to be able to fix like he did (or could have) on our old Accord or Heep.
I'm very much in agreement with getting an extended warranty, but waiting until the original is close to expiring.

My own experience was with a Land Rover Discovery, which although a great off-road vehicle, had more than its share of items to fix to keep it running. I bought an extended for about $1200, and it paid for itself many times over in the 93,000 miles I owned it. It was one expensive SUV to fix, and true to its British origins, had lots of fluid leaks and other items. I had a Warranty Gold policy (an independent warranty company) which was great in the beginning, and extremely balky at the end. The last time I tried to use the warranty, it took a week to get an approval, detailed faxes, and about a dozen phone calls. I would NOT recommend them to anyone.

I'm sure the MDX will be reliable.. but in its later years, all that technology we love now (the nav system, 4 wheel drive system, etc.) will be pretty costly to repair if it goes out.

01 GG / nav / newly installed U-Haul hitch
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I should have been more specific - I wasn't looking into the Acura warranty - I was going aftermarket. Those warranties are effective from the date of purchase, and usually, buying in the second (or even third) year doesn't ramp up the cost considerably (warrantygold was supposed to be a grand total of $50 more expensive for another vehicle I checked this year, which was a 99 MY).

I wouldn't buy the extended Acura warranty for that reason - the chances of stuff going wrong between years 4-7 don't really concern me. It's 6-9 that really have me scared.

Doesn't the WarrantyGold contract only extend the length in years from the date in purchase, and not the mileage?

E.g. if your vehicle is four years old with 60k miles, and you buy a seven year contract for 100,000 miles, the contract only covers the vehicle to eleven years old or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first?

If so, it's still useful (and better than AcuraCare) if the vehicle is a low-mileage one (we used to have such a car since we lived in an apartment and didn't drive the vehicle every day).

On the other hand, it's obviously much less useful for those who put normal mileage on their vehicle. They would typically hit 100k in year 7.

From WarrantyGold's website:

For New Vehicles (still under factory warranty), the term of coverage expires according to the time and/or mileage of the plan selected, whichever occurs first. For example, if you purchase a 7 year / 100,000 mile vehicle service contract from Warranty Gold today, it will expire 7 years from today, or when the vehicle's odometer reaches 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. This will give you more time than with other vehicle service contracts, which determine expiration based upon the vehicle's in-service date. (Only valid for contracts purchased on or after March 1, 2000.)

On the plus side, you can just buy a 5/100k plan if you think you'll hit 100k in less than five years after you purchase the contract.

WarrantyGold does say on their website:

High mileage terms available on some models. Call for details.

Wonder if they have one for the MDX; that indeed may be more useful than their normal +7/100k plan.
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Okay, now I see what you may be talking about. Very interesting. On the WarrantyGold web site, they quote a "Platinum" plan for the MDX for 5 years, 150k miles for $1,254 (subject to discounts). I guess then if you buy this at the end of year 4, with, say, 60k miles on your vehicle, then your vehicle is covered through year 9 and 150k miles. That's not bad at all, thanks for bringing it up.

They also have a "Diamond" version of this plan.

I'm waiting until year 4; I don't care if the Acura warranty goes up in price, since I always want the option of trading out of the vehicle. At that point, maybe WarrantyGold will still be around and be an attractive option.

Thanks John!

P.S. Just for giggles I entered in a comparable quote request for an RX300 and an ML320. The RX300 quote was $1,504.

The ML320's quote was a whopping $2,225 premium (vs. $1,254 for the MDX)!
In case I didn't make this clear enough before: Warranty Gold was terrible on my last experience with them. Detail: they wanted ALL service records for the last 40,000 miles - to document that I had done the routine maintenance; of course they were entitled to it, but the timing was strange because it was at the end of my contract; they would not pay the full rate at my dealer, only 75% of it, saying they would pay only "reasonable" rates. This was totally contrary to all of my previous experiences at the same dealer; attempts to straighten it out did not get my calls returned. I paid the difference.

Again - Warranty Gold was very uncooperative and difficult toward the end of my contract - just when I needed it. That rate won't be worth the hassle of dealing with them when your MDX is stuck in the dealership waiting for authorization.

Warranty Gold is Warranty Aggravation
4mel....didn't you read????

"Earn Cash through our Affiliate Program!"....WarrantyPlus website

I am sorry you had a bad experience with these guys...just for fun, I checked out their website. Boy, they sure made feel secure that my money is safe. ;)

I even learned how to make money thru their affiliate program.......are you SURE I can't talk you into using them again???? Hmmmm??? Big bucks for me!!!

WarrantyGold....use your head and hyperlink your sales lead stuff to a separate site for dealers/repair shops....don't display your sales pitch for potential customers.

Oh, I definitely noticed your post and have made a mental note of it. That's what always makes me nervous about the third-party warranties. What you mentioned with your late experiences makes it sound like medical insurance that will cover "customary and reasonable charges." And of course you never find a doctor or dentist who charges that low a fee, and end up paying a lot out of pocket!

I figure that by the time it comes for me to buy an extended warranty, I'll see if they've improved at all. I think the Acura warranty is the safest way to go, but not if you want it to go beyond 7 years.

Their site didn't give prices for their "Platinum" coverage either, I'd imagine the one that adds 5 years and goes to 150k miles could be ugly-expensive.
The dealer coaxed me into a 7yr/100k $0 ded warranty when I picked up the mdx. It's a Touring w/Nav, and I was quoted at about $2400. After I complained loudly, he reduced the price to about $2100 and throw in a road-hazard plan for the tires/wheels. I'm wondering if I am paying way too much. They told me they only honor Acura extended warranty and nothing else, not even from Warranty Direct. I talked to a Warranty Direct's representative and they said they did business with the dealer (which is Sterling McCall Acura in Houston, TX). So, who is lying? The Warranty Direct's quote is a lot cheaper than Acura's though it does not cover the Nav while Acura's cover the Nav. Please help to determine if I should switch plan. Thanks!
Ouch! There are many schools of thought on extended warranties. I have yet to figure out the benefit of signing up Day 1 for a benefit that begins 1460 days after I take delivery of my vehicle. (Acura has a 4 year warranty).

One school of thought suggests waiting until the last year of your warranty. Then, assuming you still own the vehicle, you can decide, based on your last 4 years of driving experience, whether an extended warranty covering the remaining 3 years is worth it.

Oh, I know, you may pay more 3 years from now than paying today. But I hate tying up my money for 3 years with so many unknowns and what ifs.

Another school of thought suggests buying today and having the peace of mind of knowing that you are covered.

Bottom line, you have plenty of time to make a decision. Don't get rushed into paying for something without taking the time to research it.

You researched the MDX for a while, now didn't you? Making a $2400 decision should also take some thought and time and advice from other members of this forum.

I picked my MDX up 8/31 and am still thinking about it. Ah, the peace of mind of being in control......

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