OT: buying cars

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I don't recall the exact numbers but the spread of the Jd powers "quality" ratings is something like 70 to 230. Sounds like a big spread. But it's per hundred cars. So for the ONE car YOU will buy the difference in "quality" between them is the difference of having perhaps only 0.7 problems in the first year versus having maybe 2.3 problems in the first year. And the "problems" being compared could be anything from the engine blew up to "I don't like the way the radio knob feels and the dealer can't fix it". The JD power numbers are nearly worthless for retail buyers. If, OTOH, lots of Fiat owners are actually finding that the engines are blowing up, that's a different story.

I wouldn't doubt it. Between 1972 and up till a few years ago I drove a lot of gvt fleet cars. There was a major change right around the late 70s where things went from me having a list of things for the shop to fix every time I sent a car in for it's scheduled service to the cars almost never needing anything fixed. It was pretty much across teh board, didn't much matter what make they were buying, GM, MoPar, AMC, Ford. By 1980 the old "here's a list of things to have the shop fix" was a thing of the past. And most of the stuff that did go wrong was really pretty minor, a lock motor would go bad or something like that OR rarely a major issue fixed for free like transmissions in Dodge Diesel 4x4s that couldn't take the torque of the engine. And that kind of stuff isn't going to show up in the JD Powers numbers that get all the airplay.
I'd say look at consumers reports info but it's often crap too but at least it tracks things for real life cars for several years. Unfortunately it suffers the same deficiency, now that everythihg is really quite good stuff that's on the lower end of "quite good" winds up with a black dot as if it's junk. Some of the cars CU rates are good are crap to actually live with and drive whereas some of the "bad" ones are quite nice to live with and drive.
I guess there's no perfect system.

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On 8/5/2015 5:41 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Just about everyone I talk to recommends buying an extended warranty, so if/when I do buy one I'll probably do that, too.
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Emma

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On 8/6/2015 6:25 PM, Emma D. wrote:

Check the cost and read the fine print. Many are very over priced and cover little. Personally, I don't buy them. Put the money in the bank and long term. come out way ahead.
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Another thought on the warranty issue.... ALWAYS shop around. The dealers push warranties THEY sell, which may be backed by the auto maker or may just be some third party warranty. In my experience the third party warranties the dealers push are ALWAYS way more expensive then what you can get by just buying a warranty yourself from a reputable company AFTER you have bought the car. The last two times I've bought from warrantydirect.com because they have had excellent prices AND excellent service. But I very strongly considered the Official Chrysler Extended warranty the last time because it was only slightly more expensive and seemed to offer just a little bit better coverage for small stuff. But definitely, shop around for warranty prices BEFORE you buy the car so you know what it will cost from a company you would be wiling to buy from. Then you can compare that to what the dealers "finance guy" will be trying to shove down your throat when you sign all the paperwork and he's trying to sell you more floor mats, a security alarm, paint protection, a maintained plan, and insurance on losing your keys. If you think he's offering a good extended warranty you can tell him you'll take it if he matches the price for the one you already have priced out. The last time I bought a car I thought the guys head was going to explode from all the "No, thanks, don't need that" I told him. When I refused the alarm and he acted like I must be crazy not to be worry about the car getting stolen. I told him "That's why I buy car insurance!" Then he gave up.
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Ashton Crusher posted for all of us...

Like anything else price IS negotiable. I tend to stay with the makers warranty because the dealer can easily be reimbursed while a third party allows you to take to another mechanic they will have check coverage...
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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wrote:

An article in the paper this morning said that 55% of those with aftermarket warranties never use them. They also state that many that do find lots of loopholes in coverage.
The $100 a year Ashton Crusher states seems rather low, but I've not shopped for them. Sounds rather cheap to insure a $20,000 item.
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On 08/15/2015 03:42 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

That goes without saying. They don't push aftermarket warranties so hard because they're losing money. It's a lottery; a few winners and a lot of losers. I don't play the lottery.
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wrote:

I generally agree with you but of the new cars I've bought with extended warranties I've recouped around 80% of what I paid. So I've really only "wasted" maybe $300 per car on average. That's spread over at least 5 years of actual coverage when you discount the time of the manufacturers coverage. So 300/5 is effectively only $60 a year wasted for compete freedom from any worry of something expensive breaking or the hassle of repairing it myself to save money. What else could I better spend the $60 a year on.
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I think it's more like $120 a year. Still chump change on a per year basis since it eliminates any concern AND any big expenses and keeps me from having to do the work myself, which I would without the warranty. With it I just go to the dealer, let him call the warranty company and it's fixed. The warranty company paid $1000 for repairs I could have done myself for $200 if I don't pay myself anything. So I paid $1400 for the warranty and I've already recouped $1000. If I never have another claim I'm only out the remaining $400 and I've still got over three more years of coverage and 40,000 miles to go. I have no doubt that before it expires I will be getting new front struts and any other worn out front end parts because those front struts almost always are leaking oil by that amount of miles and as struts they are covered, if they were just shocks they wouldn't be. That's easily going to run $500 and I'll have recovered all my investment.
I would guess that many people who never make a claim are the kind of people who buy a new car every 3 years and shouldn't have bought a warranty because the manufacturers warranty already had them covered. But that finance guy at the dealership makes his money and bonus by selling people stuff they don't need.... And I bet a lot of those people don't even remember they bought an extended warranty.
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+1
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On 8/9/2015 6:28 PM, ChairMan wrote:

If you buy vehicles with poor reliability then the extended warranty might make sense. I have never had any vehicle where the repair costs during the extended warranty period exceeded what the cost of the warranty would have been.
I bought something similar to an extended warranty once. For a while, my AAA (CSAA) was offering "All Risks" insurance which was an add-on that covered repairs with a small deductible. I had purchased it because I was driving a VW. I think it was $100 per year. It paid for itself big time when I needed a new gearbox just out of warranty. There was also one other big repair that I had done under that policy. They foolishly did not exclude wear items other than tires. They cancelled my policy after two repairs. They no longer offer that add-on as far as I know.
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If you plan on keeping a new car after the warranty is over and are not mechanically inclined a warranty (a GOOD one) can save your bacon -often the dealer will allow you to buy the warranty within the first year or two - so you can get a feel for the reliability/build quality of the car. In that case, rather than buying a warranty for a poor car, I'd be more likely to sell it.
With used cars, sometimes a "good" warranty can be worth while - but a lot of crappy used car dealers will sell you a car requiring repairs - and a warranty - so they don't have to pay to repair the car. RUN the other way.
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Emma D. posted for all of us...

I do only on cars. There are too many systems to go wrong with labor to diagnose and repair. I can't work on them any more... You can shop warranties but I get the Toyota one because there is no question about reimbursement (Toyota vehicles) I have won on every one I purchased. Also they can be canceled in case you trade with a small return to you. No comments on Toyota reliability and no horror stories (yet) - if asked.
--
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On 8/7/2015 4:00 PM, Tekkie® wrote:

I've been buying Toyotas exclusively since 1990 and never had any break. I just laugh at the sales folks when they try to sell me an extended warranty with each new vehicle.
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Most appliance warranties are along the lines of ... $200 appliance and they want $50 for a two year warranty, 25% of the purchase price for a lousy 2, maybe 3 years.
For a car it's .... $20000 car and they want $1500 for a 7 year warranty, 7.5% of the purchase price and for two to three times as long an extended warranty period.
that's why the only extended warranties I buy are on new cars. I've had 4 cars with extended warranties and on some I've recovered MORE in repair bills they paid than the warranty costs. On most I've recovered between 50 to 80% of what the warranty cost. I've got one that's got another 50,000 miles and 3.5 years to run. It cost me $1500 and it's already paid for over $1000 in repairs. ..
I can't argue with the notion that I'd be saving money by not buying them... but I think the freedom from worry about the repairs and the cost is worth the small monthly cost, esp if something were to break on a trip out of town. Plus, without the warranty I'd wind up fixing the stuff myself, this way I don't need to for the newer cars which leaves me time to fix the stuff myself on the old cars I have.
Here's another perspective.... If you could negotiate away the normal factory warranty, lets say it's 3 years, 36,000 miles, how much would you want the dealer to knock off the price of the car in exchange for "no warranty/as is" out the door for your new car? $1000, $2000, $3000?
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On 8/7/2015 5:13 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Peace of mind is worth something but thr question is how much? . I just look at past history. The last three cars I've owned over 9 years were traded inside of the power train warranty and just a bit out of the entire warranty. I paid $250 for one brake job. The rest was tires and oil changes.
The 3/36 is really a crappy warranty. I have 5/100 powertrain and 5/60 for everything else.
Warranty companies are in business to make a profit. They take a little money from a lot of people and then give some back for repairs and keep the rest. Thank you for your contribution. It is a bit of a gamble.
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On 8/5/2015 3:41 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Terrible advice, except if you only keep a car a few years then there's probably not much of a down side in buying a vehicle with poor long term dependability.
There are not only large quality difference in new cars when new, some cars age poorly and some age well. Some have known design flaws which require expensive repairs after the warranty has expired. Some have wear items that are extremely expensive to replace.
I.e. my friend with a Mini Cooper is unwilling to let her sons drive her car because they aren't experienced at driving a stick shift, even though they know how. Replacing the clutch on the Mini Cooper is about $2000 at the dealer, and even when it's under warranty they will insist that failure was due to "aggressive" driving and say that it is not covered by the warranty.
Late 1990's and early 2000's Hondas had automatic transmission issues and while many of them were eventually covered by recall campaigns, initially Honda insisted that there was no issue (the old "no one else has experienced this issue").
Some vehicles do poorly in terms of initial quality but actually last a very long time once the initial issues are resolved. I cursed my VW Rabbit for the first few years but sold it with 175K miles on it eight years later, and unlike Hondas of that era, the paint wasn't all peeling off! Could have probably convinced someone that it was really only 75K miles (back then there were only five digit odometers).
I hesitate to buy brands of vehicles where there aren't a lot of dealers around because we tend to go on road trips through and to areas where you're unlikely to find dealers for the less common brands. Even smaller areas will have Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Chevrolet dealers, but are less likely to have Mazda, Subaru, Volvo, Mini, Fiat, Nissan, Chrysler, BMW, Kia, Hyundai, etc., dealers.
Our current fleet has a 19 year old Toyota, a 14 year old Toyota, and 8 year old Toyota, and a 1 year old Toyota.
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Emma D. wrote:

Regarding Fiat, friend of mine bought one last year, top model brand new. It ran good for less than 3 months then started dying unexpectedly any where, luckily it happened in parking lots. Just dead, no cranking, nothing. It happened 3 times in next 3 months, they towed the car, whatever they did, it works again for next same episode. Good thing it was summer time. After experiencing same thing over and over, he demanded them to buy back the car and they did without too much fuss. Now he has Honda Fit which is darn good little car. Not interested in small cars like Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic? even KIA Soul?
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On 8/5/2015 8:07 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

My parents had that happen on a Chrysler. The problem turned out to be a dirty connection on a fusible link near the positive battery terminal.
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On 08/06/2015 07:39 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I had one of the early Audis. You carried a set of plug wires in the trunk. About every 15000 miles the car wouldn't start. Change the wires and you were good to go. It wasn't a graceful degradation, it just wouldn't start all of a sudden. My wife got the Audi out of the divorce and I kept the Lincoln. I sometimes feel bad doing that to her but she eventually got a few hundred bucks trading it in on a Rabbit. Audi makes some nice looking cars and they must have gotten their act together since they're still in business. V
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