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Thread: Car Maintenance Contracts

  1. #11
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    1st review your service manual. What is recommended each year and/or every 7500 miles? I don't know about you but I follow my manual. My annual maintenance runs average $400/year. Your contract offer is now $300/year.

    If you drive higher miles it could really be a bargain. Only you can decide what's best for you.

  2. #12
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    It sounds expensive since it is not an extended warranty--Steve, I think you are thinking of extended warranty and she says it is maintenance only. If it is only that dealer, then it will not help you if you move or need oil change elsewhere.

    In 2009 I paid 1200 for a ten year extended warranty. I think I might have had one repair on it that totaled 700 dollars, so the dealer made money on me. It gave me peace of mind. I probably would not do it again, though. But that could be used anywhere.

    I also found I loved my Toyota dealer in South Carolina and hate the one up here. So I would not go there anymore, anyway. I'd be wary of getting hooked up with that dealer for 1500 dollars worth of service, but I get you have to do the warranty work and it's expensive.

  3. #13
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Steve, I think you are thinking of extended warranty and she says it is maintenance only. If it is only that dealer, then it will not help you if you move or need oil change elsewhere.
    You're right, Tybee, I was thinking more "extended warranty". But many of the same questions (and caveats) apply to a maintenance contract. I still wouldn’t go for it. I like the flexibility of choosing who maintains my car (sometimes it's even me!). But that's my preference and not everyone's.
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  4. #14
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    It would be worth it, if a maintenance part they covered was fuel. (filling up the tank every time it is low)
    Otherwise, pull out your owners manual and look at the maintenance section in the back and tell us what is needed and when, and what is covered by the contract, and where do you go for your work (always a dealer, small mom and pop shop, etc). Then do a quick search on Youtube to see how the stuff is done.

    Another option, is to put that $1500 in a separate car fund account and see how often and how much you hit.

    To some it may be worth it (I know one case where when the person bought the car, they were told it wouldn't need anything for the first 100K miles and they blew the motor at 30K due to no oil changes/not understanding), to others, your prepaying for services, that means you will be going back for everything to the dealer, and that just gives them more opportunities to say you need this which isn't covered. (those of us who do our own oil changes, check our tires once a month, replace our own wipers, etc)

    As to the quick lube places, I have horror stories from both a friend who worked there, and customers I dealt with, after there.
    There oil come in drums, so if they were out of fresh, using the old oil drum to refill.
    Forgetting to put in oil.
    Overtightening the plug or forgetting the plug gasket.
    Charging in two cases for services not performed, one of which we still had the old part (husband had us do it, the wife paid for the just done thing to be done at the quick lube). The second instance was for a radiator fluid flush and fill on an old VW (air cooled, no radiator).

  5. #15
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    This is what the program covers:

    Every 6 months or 7,500 miles:
    Lube, oil and filter changes (with synthetic oil)
    Tire rotation
    Multi-point inspection

    Every 15,000 miles:
    Cabin air filter replacement
    Engine Air filter replacement
    Wheel balance

    Front wiper blade replacement every 12 months

    Wheel alignment every 30k miles
    Front Brake Pad replacement one time during the term of the contract


    I always thought tires had to be aligned every time they got rotated. I guess we've been getting ripped off all this time. Whenever we take Dh's car to the Honda dealership to have the oil changed and tires rotated (every 6 months), they always say that they ran the diagnostics and that the alignment needs to be done, which I think is about $100. How often do you guys do the alignment?

    ETA: I was surprised that 7,500 miles is the new standard for oil changes. That's what my owner's manual recommends. Actually it's 12 months or 7.5k miles. I guess it's the new synthetic oil.
    Last edited by Geila; 12-29-18 at 8:11pm.

  6. #16
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post

    Another option, is to put that $1500 in a separate car fund account and see how often and how much you hit.
    That's a good idea. I have $400 a month taken out and put in a "car sinking fund" (Dave Ramsey term) for maintenance and also savings for the next car and I love it. It's amazing how quickly at adds up. I think that a $1500 fund would be a good way to see how much you actually spend on maintenance
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Yes, the $1500 fund is a good idea. I think my credit union will let me setup a sub-account for it. It would also be a good way to budget for car expenses. I'm sure at some point the repairs will start coming in.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Oh, I believe that by law they have to refund you the balance if you move and/or no longer use them for maintenance. They cannot charge you for a service that they have not performed. Not in California anyway.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Steve - The program covers $35 per day of rental car expense for a max of 5 days if your car is in the shop. It also covers a loaner car while your car is being serviced for maintenance. I don't know how it would be handled if traveling out of state. Maybe you contact the local Mazda dealership to make arrangements? The car itself comes with 24 hour roadside assistance automatically.

    I wouldn't take my car to a Jiffy Lube type of place but might take it to one of the AAA Auto Repair Centers, there is one not far from us. But I think for the first 3 years while it's still under warranty I would like to take it to the dealership, just for some peace of mind. Even if it's not justified, I guess.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    This is what the program covers:

    Every 7,500 miles:
    Lube, oil and filter changes (with synthetic oil)
    Tire rotation
    Multi-point inspection

    Every 15,000 miles:
    Cabin air filter replacement
    Engine Air filter replacement
    Wheel balance

    Front wiper blade replacement every 12 months

    Wheel alignment every 30k miles
    Front Brake Pad replacement one time during the term of the contract


    I always thought tires had to be aligned every time they got rotated. I guess we've been getting ripped off all this time. Whenever we take Dh's car to the Honda dealership to have the oil changed and tires rotated (every 6 months), they always say that they ran the diagnostics and that the alignment needs to be done, which I think is about $100. How often do you guys do the alignment?

    ETA: I was surprised that 7,500 miles is the new standard for oil changes. That's what my owner's manual recommends. Actually it's 12 months or 7.5k miles. I guess it's the new synthetic oil.
    Oil and motors have improved. As for alignments, that depends on road conditions (potholes/tire damage, etc), and vehicle issues (broken tie rods, etc). I know of a vehicle that received its first alignment around 100K.
    Multipoint inspection is a keyword for they look at your car and see if there are other things they can recommend or charge you for. (general look around)
    That seems often for an air filter, but they are $15-$40 roughly at Walmart.

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