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Spring Savings: Managing Car Maintenance Costs in 2024 with an Extended Warranty

BY: Dario DiGiuseppe
Man washing his car in the springtime

Winter driving can be tough on your car and its components. Subzero temperatures and inclement weather push vehicles to their limits, so when spring rolls around, it couldn’t be a better time to carry out some maintenance. Unfortunately, though, maintenance and repairs can be extremely expensive. AAA announced that the annual cost of car ownership and average maintenance cost for cars exceeds the $12,000 mark.

Thankfully, there are some ways to keep expensive repairs to a minimum, whether it’s by carrying out maintenance tasks regularly or with the help of an extended warranty. In this comprehensive guide, we look at why spring maintenance is so essential and how investing in extended auto protection can save you some serious money.

The Role of Yearly Car Maintenance: 9 Tips for Spring

A calmer period between the harsher conditions of winter and summer, spring is the perfect time to take stock and bring your car back to top working condition. Maintenance should be carried out at regular intervals in line with your manufacturer’s guidelines, but our spring recommendations include:

  1. Inspect under the hood for any corrosion that winter weather may have caused
  2. Inspect all belts and hoses for cracks and damage
  3. Inspect the undercarriage of your vehicle for dirt, rocks, or damage
  4. Check your tire pressure is at the correct PSI
  5. Test your car battery is working efficiently
  6. Replace windshield wiper fluid
  7. Replace windshield wiper blades
  8. Test the air conditioner to see if it’s operational
  9. Replace the air cabin filter if necessary

Any component that isn’t running at 100% efficiency not only strains itself, but the components around it too. So by spotting any issues and addressing them promptly, you can potentially prevent multiple repairs (and the accompanying car repair bills).

Understanding Extended Warranties

If you aren’t totally sure what an extended warranty plan is and why you should invest in one, we’re here to help. Put simply, having one in place protects you from unexpected repair costs. But to give you the full picture, we need to go right back to the beginning of a car’s life cycle.

Every new car rolls off the production line with what’s known as a factory warranty or a manufacturer’s warranty. This is effectively the manufacturer’s promise to repair or replace any components that fail due to fault within a predetermined number of years or miles traveled (whichever comes first). How long it lasts will completely depend on your manufacturer, but one thing’s for certain: as soon as it expires, you, as the owner, are fully responsible for any future repair bills.

If you’d like to continue enjoying the peace of mind that you’re used to, there are two key options. The first is what’s known as a more traditional extended warranty, which can usually be purchased via your dealership or directly from your manufacturer. This does exactly what the name implies and extends your factory warranty coverage beyond the expiry date. While it might sound great on paper, there are actually some pretty significant drawbacks.

For example, extended warranties stipulate that all work must be carried out at an authorized dealership, which isn’t ideal if you suffer a mechanical breakdown hundreds of miles from one. To make matters worse, an extended warranty must be purchased while your factory warranty is still active. Leave it just one day late, and you’ll no longer qualify for coverage — so used car owners are excluded completely.

Because of this, a vehicle service contract (or auto protection plan) from a third-party provider is the universally preferred alternative. Third parties, like Endurance, are incentivized to offer almost like-for-like coverage at an even better price point, usually throwing in some additional perks to give you even better value for money. Covered repairs can be carried out at the certified auto shop of your choice, and you don’t need an active factory warranty to purchase one. When you put the two side-by-side, a vehicle service contract really is a no-brainer.

While we’re on the topic, it’s worth pointing out that an extended warranty or vehicle service contract and auto insurance are not one and the same. More specifically, an extended warranty or vehicle service contract protects you from repair bills incurred as a result of unexpected component failure, while car insurance protects you from repair bills incurred as a result of a collision, severe weather, or other such incident. The two work great in tandem, so it’s highly recommended that you invest in both and cover yourself from all angles.

Benefits of Extended Warranties for Spring Maintenance

During your spring maintenance checks, there’s a high probability that you’ll find some components are on the brink of failure, or they could have even failed already. With an extended warranty watching out for you, you’ll be able to get them repaired instantly without spending a penny. Having a vehicle protection plan in place will also free up more cash to spend on routine maintenance when you need to, as you’ll have saved on repairs throughout the year. Depending on your plan, you might even find that some maintenance tasks are covered under the terms of your contract. For example, Endurance’s industry-leading Advantage plan includes up to $3,500 in annual maintenance fees and covers regular services like oil changes.

In general, an extended warranty means you can keep your car in the best shape possible without having to worry about the financial implications. When your car runs more smoothly, its components have an even longer lifespan — meaning an easier maintenance schedule, fewer trips to the repair shop, and a much more enjoyable ownership experience.

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Extended Car Warranty Plan

There are plenty of extended warranty providers out there, and each of them will offer multiple levels of coverage options. Even if it’s something you’ve done before, it can be a daunting experience, but it helps if you know what you should be looking out for. There are a number of key factors to consider, such as:

  • Provider reputation: You might have found the most comprehensive plan imaginable, but if the provider can’t be trusted to make good on their promises, it’s a total waste of time and money. Start by finding the most reputable car warranty companies in your area and make a shortlist. Do your research by reading automotive publications and checking out customer reviews.
  • Consider your vehicle: Do you have an older vehicle with high mileage? Or perhaps you’re lucky enough to drive a luxury car? Think about your vehicle and what you might require from coverage, then search your shortlisted providers for something suitable.
  • Consider your driving habits: Similarly, think about your driving habits. For example, you might be a rideshare driver or use your car for commercial purposes. If you’ve found a provider or plan that you’re interested in, you’ll need to ensure that how you intend to drive the car won’t void any coverage.
  • Understand the terms: Before you put pen to paper, always make sure you fully understand the terms of your contract. The number one reason that claims are denied by providers is that the auto repair isn’t covered by the plan in question, so ask for a copy of your contract and read it thoroughly (including any fine print).

Endurance Warranty: Your Partner for Spring Savings

If you want to save on spring maintenance, you want Endurance Warranty. Since opening our HQ in Northbrook, Illinois, in 2006, we’ve protected thousands of drivers from the rising cost of car ownership — and we’re ready to protect you, too. We pride ourselves on our unrivaled eligibility, offering a wide range of plans designed to cater to an even wider range of drivers. Whether you’re a casual commuter, a rideshare driver, own a high-mileage vehicle, or even a luxury car, we have you covered. And if our base plans don’t quite meet your individual needs and budget, we’ll be more than happy to tailor a bespoke plan that does.

It doesn’t stop at top-quality coverage: we also offer some of the best added benefits in the business. 24/7 roadside assistance (including towing, fuel delivery, and lockout services), rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage are included as standard with every Endurance plan. On top of that, new Endurance customers receive a year’s access to our Elite Benefits package, piling on up to four tire repairs or replacements annually, key fob replacement, up to $500 in collision discounts, and up to $1,000 in total loss protection. Just pay the small activation fee, and they’re all yours to enjoy.

Better yet, we’re also the direct administrator of most of our plans, meaning no pesky middlemen to deal with when you want to make a claim. Our award-winning customer service team is always on hand via phone or email if you have any queries. Plus, the Endurance smartphone app puts all of the most important information right in the palm of your hand. If that wasn’t enough, Endurance plans are also fully transferable to subsequent owners, giving you extra selling power should you decide to part ways with your vehicle, and potentially increasing its value.

Maximizing Your Extended Auto Warranty

Once you’ve invested in extended warranty coverage, you’ll want to get the most out of it. To ensure that things go smoothly when you want to make a claim, there are a number of basic rules you should follow. For example, every provider will stipulate that your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is followed to the letter in order to keep coverage active. You should also keep detailed records of this and any other work that has been carried out on your vehicle so that proof is available should it be required during the claims process.

When it comes to making a claim, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the process ahead of time. If your coverage is with Endurance, making a claim looks something like this:

  1. Prevent further damage. Immediately pull over in a safe spot and call roadside assistance to avoid causing further damage to your vehicle.
  2. Take your vehicle to a licensed repair facility. With Endurance, you’re free to have your vehicle towed to any certified auto shop.
  3. The service manager obtains authorization from the administrator prior to making any repairs. Let the service manager know you’re with Endurance and they’ll contact us.
  4. Authorize tear-down and/or inspection. They may need to tear down or inspect your vehicle to confirm the issue.
  5. Review your warranty coverage. The service manager will go over your warranty coverage with you to review what’s covered.
  6. Pay any applicable deductible. If your car warranty cost includes a deductible, now is the time to pay it. It can range anywhere from $0 to $500, depending on your contract terms.
  7. Keep all forms of documentation during this time. You may need to produce them later in the process.
  8. Sit back and relax while your car is getting repaired. Should your car be in the shop for a longer period of time, your replacement vehicle reimbursement and trip-interruption perks will come in handy.

Get Total Driving Confidence with Endurance

Modern car components can cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to maintain and repair. An extended auto warranty is one of the best ways to protect yourself from unexpected repair bills, but no matter how comprehensive your vehicle coverage is, it isn’t worth a dime if you can’t rely on your provider. You need a vehicle service contract you can trust — and Endurance is America’s top choice.

Wherever you look online, automotive experts agree that we have the best coverage in the country. To find out more, call (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote, or shop online to see your price now!

If you’d like to keep reading about all things automotive, we also have plenty more helpful articles, just like this one, on our extended warranty blog.

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