#auto extended warranty
Be very careful about purchasing an extended warranty. I did so with 43,000 miles on my 2001 A8L, and had the expectation that since the car not sold until January, 2002, the “7 year, 100,000 mile” would give me protection until Jan. 2009. Since I did not thoroughly read the contract (it was the “Platinum” variety), there was a clause that stated if a car had more than 6,000 miles on it, the warranty period commenced on “January 1st of the model year”! This means the 7 years started on Jan. 1, 2001 and expires Dec. 31, 2007. Thus, I paid $2,795 for a little more than 2 years of coverage, and have been lost a year of protection.
In 2006, I purchased a certified pre-owned 2004 Audi A6 with 42,000 miles. The car has been good to me despite the bad reviews. Like a good car owner, I stay current on the scheduled maintenance that the dealer advised per 50k miles, 75k miles, etc. The car now has 84k miles. During my 75K maintenance, the dealer recommended that I replace the timing belt ($2500) at some point. Then my check engine light came on and wouldn’t go out. So, I took the car in for a diagnostic exam and the dealer informed me that if the check engine light keeps coming back on then, the car will have to have the catalytic converter ($1460) replaced.
I have heard that the dealer charges more for service and maintenance than other mechanics, so I am hesitant to just go along with what they are telling me. Just because things seem warn doesn’t mean, in my opinion, that they need replacing. I am aware that the maintenance on such a car was expensive but I want to know:
1) What should I do to get a second opinion on the costs of the timing belt and catalytic converter? Can another mechanic see when I will need these items replaced? And do I really need a new timing belt since it seems to be a big ticket item?
2) Does the Audi Extended Warranty coverage “cover” the timing belt and catalytic converter?
3) Is extended warranty insurance a hoax? Does it help or hinder?
4) Has anyone ever experienced what I have mentioned above?