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Start the New Year with Confidence: Why January is the Perfect Time to Get an Extended Car Warranty

BY: Adam Karner
Father and child play outside in snow winter time near red vintage car

The arrival of January and the new year is a chance for a fresh start. This is the time to focus on personal goals and make plans for what the future might bring. Yet, these New Year’s resolutions often don’t include fundamental steps like properly protecting your car. Will the factory warranty expire in the months ahead, or are you driving your used vehicle without any warranty coverage?

Getting an extended warranty in January provides long-term peace of mind throughout the year and allows you to focus on something other than breakdowns and expensive repair bills.

Post-Holiday Financial Planning and Car Care

With the holiday celebrations and gift-giving over, January is an ideal time to get your financial matters in order. With a solid idea of how the holidays have impacted your budget, this is the month to more closely examine how an extended car warranty can keep unplanned repair costs in check. Protecting your car now safeguards against unexpected repairs down the road. Adding an extended warranty doesn’t have to involve a large outlay.

For instance, Endurance offers coverage through a manageable monthly payment program, making budgeting a breeze. High-cost car repairs are a surefire way of disrupting financial plans. “Before I had Endurance, I was always afraid something would happen to my truck,” remarked Kerri, an Endurance customer since 2016.

Car Care Essentials for the New Year

While your attention may have been focused elsewhere during the holidays, January is an ideal time to ensure your car operates in peak condition. This is also an opportunity to address any lingering issues before additional wear and tear occurs. Unfortunately, car troubles never go away on their own; they only get worse.

Here are some ways to get your car ready for January and beyond:

  • Change the Oil and Filter: An oil and filter change is one of the most vital routine maintenance tasks to perform regularly. Stick to the recommended intervals to keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Inspect and Replace Worn Belts/Hoses: Visually check engine belts and hoses for cracks or deterioration. Replace as needed so they don’t fail when you least expect it.
  • Check the Battery: Cold winter weather can drain the car’s battery. Have it tested to ensure it has full starting power, and replace the battery proactively to prevent being stranded. At best, a battery will last five years.
  • Examine and Rotate the Tires: Check the tires for adequate tread depth and proper pressure while looking for damage or uneven wear. Rotate the tires according to the manufacturer’s specifications to promote longevity.
  • Check the Brakes: Keeping an eye on brake pad thickness ensures safer stopping while preventing damage to more expensive components (the rotors and calipers).
  • Wash and Wax the Exterior: Winter can wreak havoc on a car’s paint and exterior. Regular washing and a protective coat of wax can ward off the effects of contaminants like dirt buildup and road salt.
  • Check Lighting: There’s less daylight during winter, so checking vehicle lighting is essential for safety. Inspect the headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and hazard lights and replace the bulbs as needed.
  • Inspect the Windshield Wipers: Hardened and cracked windshield wiper blades can impact visibility. Replace damaged units to ensure optimal performance during rainy or snowy conditions.
  • Check Fluid Levels: Ensure the brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and washer fluid levels are at optimum levels. Top off as needed.

Benefits of an Extended Car Warranty in January

Every car owner should understand a fundamental fact about extended warranties: the longer you wait to get coverage, the more it costs. A vehicle’s age and mileage are critical factors determining the cost of an extended warranty (also called an auto protection plan or vehicle service contract). The idea is no different than buying life insurance; the older you are, the higher the premiums.

Getting coverage for your car sooner rather than later also gets a jump on any possible rate increases. This approach provides greater flexibility because you can choose between the least expensive option or a plan with more benefits or lower deductibles. Waiting can lead to higher coverage costs, limiting your choices if you’re set on a particular budget.

Further, extended car warranties have mileage caps, so continued driving without coverage may mean the vehicle is no longer eligible for protection. It’s important to read the fine print. For instance, Endurance offers a vehicle service contract for select luxury models, but the car can’t have over 80,000 miles or be older than eight years.

New Year, New Mileage: Preparing for the Year Ahead

Each new year brings fresh adventures and added mileage to your vehicle. With an extended car warranty, you can embrace travel plans and daily commutes with the comfort of knowing you have coverage. From family road trips to solo Sunday drives to daily work commutes, you never know what vehicle surprises may await in the year ahead.

An extended warranty serves as a hedge against unexpected issues cropping up at the most inconvenient times. A car breakdown can derail vacation plans or disrupt work productivity. And costly repairs like transmissions or electronics can drain savings accounts fast. Having the peace of mind of a warranty makes any issues less stressful.

Consider what the year may hold and how an extended warranty can provide value and confidence in the months ahead. Maybe you’ll finally take that long road trip you’ve been wanting or let your teenager start using the car more. Perhaps you expect added mileage from a move or job change. Get ahead of those extra miles with extended protection.

Addressing Post-Warranty Concerns Early in the Year

One unpleasant aspect of car ownership is that the older an automobile gets, the greater the risk of breakdowns and repairs. The typical new vehicle warranty or dealership warranty lasts only three years or 36,000 miles (the powertrain warranty may add additional coverage), a brief warranty period for modern vehicles that can last 150,000-200,000 miles.

Without protection, you’re on the hook anytime something breaks. Minor repairs costing a few hundred dollars may be manageable, but work on major components can run into the thousands in out-of-pocket costs. The covered repairs paid for by an extended warranty can save money.

RepairPal reports that replacing a transmission costs an average of $5,469. Meanwhile, new cylinder heads run as much as $3,928. Today’s cars are also loaded with expensive-to-fix electronics. Replacing a defective engine control module costs $1,000; that’s only the beginning for potential wallet drainers.

If your car’s manufacturer’s warranty is nearing the end or you’re driving without any protection, getting aftermarket coverage in January is a smart idea. You’ll eliminate gaps in protection and can lock in safeguards before any unwelcome check engine lights appear. Remember that most extended warranties have a waiting period before coverage applies.

Long-Term Financial Security and Peace of Mind

The new year brings an opportunity to shore up your finances while securing priceless peace of mind. With an extended warranty, costly potential auto repairs won’t derail your financial goals for the year ahead. An extended warranty lets you build a budget around what’s known (the cost for coverage), not surprise repair bills that can sabotage your goals.

Locking in an extended warranty also protects against uncertainty in the broader auto industry. Supply chain challenges, inflation, and other factors have led to larger repair shop bills. A 2023 CNBC report reveals that fixing a car costs 20% more than the previous year.

Those thinking that buying a new vehicle is an option will be in for a rude awakening as purchasing costs have also increased. Kelley Blue Book reports that the average price for a new car is over $48,000. Add in high interest rates, and the average buyer faces a monthly payment of $736 to drive something new and shiny, according to Edmunds.

The picture isn’t much prettier with used cars. At the end of 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic), the average used car sold for about $21,500, according to CarGurus. At the end of 2023, that number stands at $28,300, a 32% increase. Data from Edmunds shows that the typical payment for a used car purchased now is $567.

Seeing the costs of switching to a different car makes adding extra protection to what you’re already driving a savvy alternative.

Start the Year with Confidence and Enhanced Car Protection

As you turn the calendar to January, resolve to start the year out right by securing your vehicle with an extended car warranty. Not only is buying a plan financially wise early in the year, but it also maximizes coverage longevity and provides comfort knowing you’ve dealt with looming post-warranty concerns.

Endurance has several extended warranty options, more accurately known as vehicle service contracts, ranging from primary powertrain coverage to comprehensive protection similar to a new car warranty. There are programs for vehicles over 20 years old, select luxury models, commercial-use vehicles, and even hybrids and Teslas. All Endurance customers benefit from 24/7 roadside assistance (with towing coverage and lockout assistance), rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption support.

In addition, we also provide a 30-day free-look period. If you are dissatisfied with your mechanical breakdown coverage or the customer service we offer, you can cancel for a refund of your payment. After that period, we also allow for cancellation at any time with a prorated refund (see plan terms for full details).

Learn more about Endurance by requesting a FREE online quote and visiting our online store for instant warranty costs. Or call (800) 253-8203 for personalized help from a plan advisor.

Read the Endurance blog for expert-written articles covering maintenance, dealership repairs, bumper-to-bumper coverage, car reviews, comparisons of warranty companies, and more.

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