Dealer Lies

It may be hard to believe, but dealership personnel will lie to you. I speak of my own experience in dealing with sales people and everyone else in the line of people we get to talk to when purchasing a new car.

Lie #1: You must bring your vehicle to them for all its service work or the warranty will be void.

I personally have been told this by dealership personnel and have heard this from many customers who return to our shop when their vehicle is finally out of warranty. In 1975 the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was passed. One of the provisions of this act was to state a manufacturer cannot deny warranty service to the purchaser of their product because the consumer used a non branded part. To simplify this it means you, the owner of the vehicle, can take your vehicle to anybody for the maintenance work specified by the manufacturer and you can also perform the services yourself if you want. I do suggest that you keep all your receipts for service work performed by others or if you are doing it yourself, keep the receipts from the store for your oil, oil filters, etc… as proof of service work performed.

Lie #2: This extended warranty will cover anything that breaks on your car.

While there are warranty contracts that are all encompassing for anything that breaks on your vehicle, this is not the norm. Most contracts only cover specific items and also have specific exclusions. It is very important to know what you are paying for. There are also contracts that specify you must take your vehicle to the dealer for warranty work and others that allow you to take it to a repair shop of your choice. I am not aware of any that will pay you, the owner for doing the work yourself. Some will pay you back with a receipt from a repair shop but most require prior authorization before the work is performed. We at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley deal with most extended warranty companies out there. If you have questions about the contracts offered to you please feel free to call us and we will do our best to answer them.

As a second note there is a big difference between an extended warranty, a breakdown insurance contract and maintenance contracts. If you have questions just give us a call.

A misconception that is rarely made clear:

The term of an extended warranty is usually not on top of the factory warranty. Let me explain. You buy a new car and it has a 3 year 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. The sales person sells you a 5 year 60,000 mile extended warranty. This does not usually mean you will have 8 years and 96,000 miles of warranty coverage. The extended warranty usually starts from the first day you sign the contract. That means the first 3 years and 36,000 miles of the extended warranty does nothing because you are covered by the factory warranty. What you are really paying for is the 2 years and 24,000 miles that occur after your factory warranty runs out. I’m not saying every extended warranty contract is like this but I have not seen any that are not.

Another issue I had when purchasing my new car was the closer (Finance person) telling me I need to buy the extended warranty because Hybrid components are very expensive to fix. They wanted $4,000 as the family deal and that would get me 10 years or 150,000 miles on all major hybrid components. They said that one major failure of a major component and the warranty would pay for itself. Having done my homework before buying a Hybrid, I had read that all major Hybrid components must be covered by the manufacturer for a period of 10 years or 150,000 miles in the state of California. I told the finance person this and I got the blank look. I asked for the owner’s warranty manual for the car and low and behold, it stated this in the warranty manual. The finance person stated they were unaware of this. I wonder how many times a day they do this to people.

The bottom line:

Be prepared with correct information when you go into the dealer. Read everything and ask questions about anything that is unclear. Don’t be bullied or pushed into anything you are unclear about. If you are told you must act now and it won’t be there tomorrow, walk away, something is fishy. If they tell you things that are untrue- call them on it and then decide if you want a relationship with them. Remember, it is your money, your car and your responsibility to know what you are getting into.