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How to Find a Mechanic for Your Extended Car Warranty

BY: Larry Witherspoon Jr.
Two certified mechanics, Keith Benline and Andrew Giorgi, at a repair shop.

With spring in the air and the weather warming up, drivers are excited to get back out on the road after a long, cold winter. But, while rising temperatures may melt the snow and you’ve put away your winter hats and gloves, winter problems don’t just go away overnight. In fact, the problem with cold weather is that it can cause a wide variety of issues with your car once spring comes around. Once this happens, the price of repairs to get it back in shape for your next road trip can quickly add up.  

Instead, you can look to avoid these types of unexpected issues and costly auto repair bills with the help of an extended warranty, especially if you’ve recently purchased a used car or have had your vehicle for years. But while having an extended warranty or another type of vehicle protection plan can help you save when it comes to expensive repairs, it’ll mean nothing without a skilled mechanic to do the repairs. 

By knowing how to find the right mechanic for your extended warranty, you can get your car back in good working order after winter to help keep you safe on the road throughout the spring and summer ahead. 

Why Should I Have an Extended Car Warranty? 

When purchasing a brand new vehicle directly from an automaker’s dealership, you will get what is known as a “manufacturer’s warranty” or “factory warranty” to help you cover the cost of repairs and issues for a certain number of years or miles driven after your purchase. Most manufacturer’s warranties, which will often include bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, will typically last for 3 years/36,000 miles to 5 years/60,000 miles. But once you hit either the number of years or your mileage limit, that manufacturer’s warranty coverage will expire, leaving you financially responsible for any unexpected repairs, breakdowns, or other issues. Even your average auto insurance contract or mechanical breakdown insurance (aka MBI or car repair insurance) policy can’t help with everything. Instead, the best way to cover yourself and your vehicle from costly trips to the repair shop is with an extended warranty which you can purchase directly from your automaker (as they can only really “extend” your warranty). 

You can also look to find various and comprehensive levels of coverage with the help of a vehicle service contract (VSC) from a third-party provider. However, you may sometimes hear these plans referred to as “extended warranties” or the providers as “extended warranty” companies, though they are technically not. But, like your manufacturer’s warranty or any extended auto warranty coverage your automaker can provide, a vehicle service contract can help pay for the same kinds of vehicle repairs that can pop up on any car, including even the most reliable vehicles. And unlike some warranty coverages provided by automakers, you can also get access to extra benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance and towing, routine maintenance benefits and more. You won’t find yourself potentially limited to using either a dealership or specific repairs shops for your covered repairs as most automakers may require. But while helpful, why exactly are extended warranties or vehicle service contracts needed?

Well, for starters, repair costs can vary widely depending on the make or model of your vehicle. If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle or a high-end luxury vehicle like a BMW or Land Rover, the cost for repairs could begin to add up compared to the same types of car repairs needed for a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. But even still, these kinds of vehicles can have costs that vary. 

For example, the cost of a fuel injector replacement has a wide range of costs depending on the vehicle, such as: 

As you can see, the cost of this relatively common repair varies quite a bit, and some of the less expensive cars can even cost much more when repairs are needed. Instead, don’t get caught paying these expensive car repairs out-of-pocket with the help of an Endurance vehicle protection plan, including finding coverage for a select number of luxury vehicles, including those from automakers like BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and more with the Highline protection plan.

A chart listing off eligible makes of vehicles for Endurance's Supreme for Highline Vehicles coverage plan, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

You can even find extra coverage with a full year of Endurance Elite Benefits, including key fob replacements, collision discounts, total loss coverage and up to two tire repairs or replacements. Simply find the Endurance plan that’s right for you, pay a small activation fee and enjoy your year’s worth of extra perks and savings. 

Why Having the Right Mechanic Matters

Purchasing a reliable vehicle can be a great way to help cover yourself and your wallet from potentially costly car repairs. But, even the most reliable or well-maintained vehicles will have a breakdown or need a repair from time to time. So when the time comes to have repairs done on your car, finding the right mechanic is incredibly important. 

A good mechanic will be able to diagnose your problem and get it fixed quickly and professionally so you can get back on the road and feel confident that your car is safe and functioning correctly. And while it can be tempting to try and do repairs yourself or have a friend who claims to be a mechanic do them to help you save a few bucks, this is almost always a bad idea. Depending on the type of repair needed, you could make it worse or potentially void your vehicle protection plan or warranty, so going to a certified repair shop or mechanic is always your best bet. And unlike extended car warranties directly from automakers, which may only let you go to your car’s dealership or to mechanics or repair shops that they have exclusive deals with, third-party providers can give you more options. 

For example, with Endurance, you can take your vehicle to any certified repair facility or ASE Certified mechanic of your choice for repairs no matter where you are in the country, thanks to our expansive partnership with RepairPal. This can be crucial in helping you get peace of mind and repairs done right away, especially if you find yourself on the road and away from home. And suppose your repairs do happen to take longer than expected. With Endurance, we’ll work to help you by giving you coverage for repairs but including 24/7 roadside assistance and towing to get you to the shop of your choice, trip interruption coverage and rental car reimbursements. Not only that, but with the right mechanic, you can rest easy knowing your car will be fixed correctly, helping you save both money and time while never worrying about potentially voiding your coverage.

How to Find the Right Mechanic

Choosing the right mechanic can make all the difference in car repairs. You should feel confident whenever you bring in your vehicle that they will take care of it and do the work correctly the first time. Knowing how to find the right mechanic can help you make the best decision for you and your car. 

To help you find the right mechanic for your vehicle, be sure to consider the following tips:

Choose a Certified Mechanic 

The best thing you can do for your vehicle is to take it to an ASE Certified mechanic. This certification is issued by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and can help you distinguish between a mechanic at the top of their craft and those who are not. To get this certification, technicians must pass a series of tests before being called an ASE Master Automotive Technician and have at least two years of hands-on experience in the industry or one year of experience and a two-year degree. On top of that, the certification has to be renewed every five years, so you can be sure that any ASE Certified mechanic will be up-to-date with all the latest innovations in automotive technology to ensure your vehicle is taken care of.

Ask Family & Friends 

While having your family and friends work on your vehicle for extensive repairs is a no-no (unless they happen to be ASE Certified mechanics), they can still help. Reach out to those family members, friends or acquaintances who are passionate about keeping their cars in good condition and ask them about the mechanics they personally take their cars’ to. Once people find a good technician, they will be more than happy to recommend them to anyone who asks. This will give you a good idea of the process at the shop and what you can expect before you even go there. 

Ask for a Free Estimate 

Before you agree to have a mechanic work on your car, ask them for an estimate on the specific kinds of car repairs you need. Any reputable shop will gladly give you an estimate in writing before they start work so you can feel comfortable knowing what the price will end up being. If a shop does not want to provide this, it’s a good indication that they are not a good choice and that you should best look at another auto repair shop or mechanic to get your covered repairs done. 

Bring Your Car in for a Test 

Along with asking for an estimate, one of the best ways to determine if a mechanic will be right for you is to take your car in for a minor procedure. For example, look at getting a small part of your car’s recommended maintenance schedule done at the shop, such as an oil change or transmission fluid change. These low-commitment services are a great way to see how the shop works and deal with customers without worrying too much about something going wrong. This will also be a good opportunity for you to look at the shop itself and ask any questions you might have before bringing your car in for something more serious and time-consuming. 

Get an Explanation of Equipment & a Tour

A good mechanic will have the most up-to-date and top-of-the-line equipment available to work on your car. And with vehicles getting more and more complicated and relying on computerized diagnostic equipment, a shop needs to have the best possible tools at its disposal. Ask for a tour of the facility and explain what kind of equipment they have available to fix your vehicle. 

Look for Good Communication 

The cornerstone of any good relationship with your mechanic is communication. A technician should be willing to answer any questions you might have with patience and civility while not trying to give you the run-around on getting potentially unnecessary (and costly) repairs done. Choosing a mechanic with good communication skills can help ensure that you feel confident every time you leave your car with them for a repair. 

Get the Best Care For Your Car with Endurance 

No matter the make or model of your car, truck or SUV, having a good mechanic you can rely on can make owning your car much more manageable and help you feel confident when you are out on the road. But unlike extended warranty coverage from your automaker or other third-party providers, with Endurance and RepairPal, you can rest easy when it comes to finding a certified mechanic. You can be certain that the car repairs you need won’t void your warranty or VSC coverage with a certified technician. Not only that, but with an Endurance protection plan, you can also enjoy various perks and benefits that most extended warranty or VSC providers might not have, including 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage and rental car reimbursements. 

With the Advantage plan, you can even get help staying up-to-date on your car’s essential maintenance needs, which includes up to $3,500 in regular maintenance benefits on top of breakdown protection. This includes services such as up to three oil and filter changes, tire rotations, engine diagnostic exams and more, including getting help with your vehicle’s next state safety inspection. You’ll even have access to several other special, one-time services like a battery replacement, a front or rear wiper set replacement and more with Advantage. As an Endurance customer, you’ll be automatically eligible for a full year of Elite Benefits whenever you purchase any plan and pay a small activation fee, including up to two tire replacements or repairs, key fob replacements and other great perks and savings.

To learn more about how Endurance can help protect you and your vehicle any time of the year, give our award-winning customer care team a call directly at (800) 253-8203 or request a free quote. You can also find more articles on topics such as expert auto tips, DIY maintenance how-tos, vehicle buying guides and more automotive topics by visiting the Endurance blog.  

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