Is Acura Care Worth It For You?

by | Jan 28, 2020

Acura has long been one of the most trusted luxury brands in part for its reliability, price, and overall value that’s held firm throughout the years. RepairPal even ranks it as the 2nd most reliable car, with only Honda placing above it. https://repairpal.com/reliability

However, the very same repairpal rankings mention that Acura’s have a higher than average cost of ownership and frequency of repairs, with the average driver expected to have some kind of major, unscheduled repair every 2 years or so, on average.

Now that’s all well and good, but you don’t have to accept those repairs laying down. One possible solution is Acura Care and their vehicle service contracts.

What Is Acura Care?

Acura Care describes itself as a way to take your “luxury experience to the next level”. It promises to service and protect your Acura from unexpected and costly vehicle repairs after your factory warranty has expired.

Acura Care is what’s known as a vehicle service contract. A vehicle service contract is an agreement between you and the “obligor” to pay the repair costs for certain parts of your vehicle specified in the vehicle service contract. Vehicle service contracts almost always cover mechanical parts only, and do not include coverage for “wear and tear items” and things like body panels, exhausts, and the like.

The obligor is just a legal term for the party that is required to pay the cost of your repairs as stated in the contract. Keep this in mind, as we’ll revisit it later.

Acura Care offers 5 levels of coverage which are:

  • New Car Coverage
  • Near New Car Coverage
  • Certified Additional Coverage
  • Pre-Owned Coverage
  • Powertrain Coverage

There are additional coverage plans for California, Florida, and Washington state in order to comply with the laws in each state.

Each of these coverage plans protects certain parts of your car. Powertrain coverage is coverage for your engine and transmission, while the new car coverage is more comprehensive and covers additional components like your air conditioning and navigation. We’ll break down each specific plan in a little bit.

Besides the coverage for your parts, Acura care offers a number of benefits including:

  • Rental Car Reimbursement: You’ll receive up to $45 dollars a day for up to 6 days if a repair for your car requires it to be in the shop for that long.
  • Roadside Assistance: You’ll receive 24/7 roadside assistance for no extra charge. This includes towing, jump-starting your battery, and car lockout services.
  • Trip Interruption Reimbursement: If your car breaks down while away from home, you’ll receive up to $100 dollars a day

These benefits are standard for the vehicle service contract industry; however their payouts are fairly favorable so that’s something to keep in mind.

What Does Acura Care Cover?

What’s covered will vary based on which plan you select. As a general rule when it comes to vehicle service contracts, the more you cover, the more expensive your plan will be. Powertrain coverage is less exclusive, while new car, and “comprehensive” policies tend to cover more of your vehicle systems.

To make this a bit easier on you, we’ve gone through each contract to help you see what’s covered and what’s not covered. The parts listed below aren’t all the parts covered by each specific contract, but a selection of the most important components. For more information, see the attached contracts.

Powertrain Coverage:

Covers:

  • Engine: All internally lubricated parts, oil pan, seals and gaskets, intake manifolds, valve covers, water pump, fuel pump and engine/powertrain control model.
  • Front and Rear Drive Axle: Housing and internal parts, axle shafts, drive shafts, wheel bearings, constant velocity joints and boots, front and rear hub bearing assemblies.
  • Transmission: Transfer/differential case and all internal parts, transmission/powertrain control module, torque converter, clutch master cylinder, transmission mounts.

Pre-Owned Coverage:

 Pre-owned coverage affords you coverage for all Acura Genuine Mechanical and Electrical parts, minus the exclusions. So rather than ask what’s covered, let’s highlight what’s excluded.

  • All non-Honda/Acura parts
  • Frame and sub frame as well as all constituent parts.
  • Paint, trim, glass, mirrors, and all lighting
  • Interior accent pieces including the seats, steering wheel and carpet
  • The exhaust system
  • “Wear and tear parts like fuses, windshield wiper blades, batteries, air filter, timing belt, brakes, brake rotors and hoses.
  • Tires and adjustments of any kind. Airbags are also excluded.

Certified Additional Coverage:

Certified Additional Coverage also covers all Acura Genuine Mechanical and Electrical parts minus the exclusions list. The exclusion list is essentially the same as the pre-owned coverage.

Near New Coverage:

Near New Coverage covers All Acura Genuine Mechanical and Electrical parts minus the exclusions. The exclusion list is the same as the previous two plans.

New Coverage:

New Coverage covers All Acura Genuine Mechanical and Electrical parts minus the exclusions. The exclusion list is the same as the previous two plans.

The 4 non-powertrain plans are tiers that affect your cost and your mileage, as nothing else changes from contract to contract.

What Does Acura Care Not Cover?

The following is the complete list of non-covered repairs and parts listed in the Acura Care contract. These parts and repairs are excluded as a part of all 5 plans.

All of the plans other than the powertrain plan cover all of your car’s parts minus these exclusions.

1. Any parts or accessories other than genuine Acura or AMERICAN HONDA authorized parts.

2. Any communication, navigational or audio/video entertainment systems that become unusable or unable to function as intended due to changes in content, technology or wireless service. Damage from improper repair or update to covered components.

3. Frame, body mount bushings, subframe(s), subframe mounting bushings, primary body structure/welded assemblies, body sub seals, weatherstrip, or any seal preventing water intrusion, core support, header panel, grille, hood, fenders, inner fenders. Doors, rear hatch, trunk lid, tailgate, spoilers, fascia, air dams, composite panels, bumpers, bumper covers, soft or hard convertible tops, all window glass, sunroof/moon roof glass, all mirror glass (except for electronic failure of the auto-dimming mirror), all rear or side-view mirror housings/frames (except for heated mirror glass failure), and brackets, outside ornamentation, emblems, garnish, moldings. Roof ditch moldings, bright metal, chrome trim, stainless trim, paint (except for covered hinges painted to match the original vehicle color), headlamp housings, taillight housings, side marker lamp housings, lenses, and bezels, non-LED lighting assemblies, cosmetic failure on the vehicle body or structural damage.

4. Steering wheel, dash panel, dash pad, glove box door, floor or overhead consoles (except dome light failure), door and other interior panels, armrests, seat upholstery, seat padding, headliner, cargo covers/sunshades (except for failure of the retractor mechanism), sun visors (except for the sun visor support and vanity mirror). Carpet, floor mats, any sound deadener, underlayment, insulation or water shields, in-vehicle vacuum system filters, canister bags, hoses, and attachments/accessories, door handles, window handles, buttons, knobs, boots, cup holders, gas, brake, and clutch pedal pads.

5. Exhaust system head pipes, mufflers, resonators, tailpipes, hangers, heat shields, gaskets (except for exhaust manifold to cylinder head gasket), and related fastening hardware.

6. All fuel, lubricants, coolants or other fluids, or air conditioning refrigerant unless required as part of a covered MECHANICAL or ELECTRICAL BREAKDOWN.

7. Fuses, wiper blades, fuel hoses, radiator hoses, heater hoses, vacuum hoses (except for those hoses with crimped fittings), spark plugs, spark plug wires, PCV valve, belts, timing belt when replaced as routine maintenance, all filters, including but not limited to oil filters, air filters, cabin filters, fuel filters, batteries (except for nickel/metal hydride, lithium-ion, and polymer lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid vehicles), battery cables, clutch disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing, pilot bushing/bearing, disc brake pads, disc brake rotors, brake drums, brake, and parking brake shoes.

8. All fastening/securing hardware for non-covered parts/ components –e.g., straps, nuts, bolts, studs, screws, clips, clamps, pins, etc. stripped or cross-threaded fasteners, and any stripped or cross-threaded drain plugs.

9. Airbags deployed for any reason, seat belts except for the seat belt latch sensor (if YOU believe there is a defect in any of these parts, please contact YOUR ACURA DEALER immediately).

10. Tires, wheels, valve stems, except for electronically failed TPMS sensors, wheel covers, trim rings, center caps, wheel studs, lug nuts, wheel locks.

11. Alignments of any kind, wheel balancing, valve adjustments or any other adjustments, calibrations, tightening, updates, or reprogramming of any kind, unless required as part of a covered MECHANICAL or ELECTRICAL BREAKDOWN.

There are also a number of circumstances that will void your contract and should, therefore, be avoided. In our opinion, these terms are fairly common and standard for most vehicle service contracts you will see on the open market.

Excluded Events And Circumstances

1. Authorizing a repair to your Acura without first receiving authorization from Honda Financing, the contract obligor.

2. Damage to covered parts as the result of a failure of a non-covered part.

3. Damage to your vehicle after a mechanical breakdown that could have been avoided by proactive action on your part. This includes driving the car after a breakdown has occurred.

4. Damage caused to your vehicle if you drive it after a check engine light, tire pressure warning, or other dashboard light comes on.

5. Damage or alterations to your odometer.

6. Damage as a result of failure to replace your fluids or perform maintenance according to your manufacturer’s handbook. This also includes using improper fluids and low levels of fluids.

7. Damage as a result of overheating or overrevving.

8. Damage as a result of towing, overloading, snow plowing, misuse, or use not recommended by American Honda. This includes racing and competitive driving.

9. Failure to provide records of maintenance. These records need to include the date and the vehicle mileage at the time of the service. These records may be requested during a covered breakdown event.

10. Any act of nature including hurricanes, fires, any weather-related damage, damage from accidents, wildlife, vandalism, and any other acts that are considered to be beyond the reasonable control of both you and American Honda.

11. Damage caused by recalls if you’ve failed to act on them after the recall notice has been issued.

12. Any damage covered by another type of warranty or service contract.

13. Any pre-existing conditions that existed before the purchase of the vehicle service contract.

14. Any salvage or branded titles are automatically excluded from this contract (glad they tell you this 12 pages into a 20-page contract)

15. If your vehicle is used for commercial use without purchasing the commercial use add on charge.

Again, these terms are standard across the industry. If for some reason you have a salvaged or branded title and are interested in a vehicle service contract, our Ambassador plan covers your car even if it has a salvage or branded title.

Does Acura Care Offer Roadside Assistance?

All 5 tiers of Acura care offer roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is provided by Cross Country Motor Club Inc for the 49 states (and Cross Country Motor Club Of California, INC for Californians).

Acura Care has no out of pocket liability assuming your roadside assistance claim is less than the provided coverage limit.

The roadside assistance number is 1-888-682-2872 and is operational 24/7, 365 days a year provided you’re in the United States and Canada.

To make a service call, you’ll need your service contract number or your car’s VIN, a cell phone, where your vehicle is located and your license plate number.  

Per your contract, Cross Country Motor Club will cover up to:

  • The full cost of your towing to the closest Acura dealer or authorized repair facility if you have a New Car Coverage. Otherwise, you’ll be covered up to $100 dollars for the other 4 tiers.
  • $100 dollars per incident for:
    • Flat tire replacement (changing in your good spare)
    • Jump starting your dead battery
    • Fuel delivery if your tank is empty, up to 3 gallons
    • Lockout assistance
  • Trip Interruption: If a mechanical breakdown disables your covered vehicle overnight while more than 100 miles from your residence, you’ll be reimbursed up to $100 dollars per day for New, Pre-Owned, and Powertrain plans, with a maximum of $300 dollars. Certified Additional coverage plans are limited to $300 per day, with a maximum limit of $900 dollars.

How Much Is The Acura Care Maintenance Plan Price?

The typical vehicle service contract costs anywhere between $1,800 to $3,400, which varies based on the term you select, the plan you select, the type of vehicle you own, and its mileage. You can also change the price by selecting a lower or higher deductible.

There’s an additional wrinkle with the Acura vehicle service contract, however. Because the policy is sold at the dealer level instead of at the manufacturer level, you’ll be able to get competing quotes. Some dealers will sell the policy for less than others. The dealers themselves are also incentivized to sell the policy, so you can use this against them to get leverage.

If you plan on getting an Acura vehicle service contract, don’t settle on the first quote you get. Get quotes from multiple dealerships. Based on what we’ve seen, this can get you more favorable terms, sometimes up to a 20% savings on the face value of the policy.

As far as for how much the policies themselves cost, we’ve seen numbers anywhere between $1,550 for 6 years of coverage, to $2,700 for 8 years. This can work out to be an affordable $30-$40 dollars per month depending on what policy you get and where.

In order to get the best price, you should also compare the quotes you get with a vehicle service contract company in order to get the best deal. Depending on your model, you can even save 5-10% over even Acura Care.

Does Acura Care Have A Deductible?

While most vehicle service contracts have a deductible of $100, you have options with AcuraCare. While a $0 dollar and $100 dollar deductible are common choices, because the plan is sold at the dealer level you may be able to get away with a higher deductible if the dealer really wants to get your business.

As a rule, the higher the deductible you select, the lower the total cost (and monthly payment) of your policy. However, if you do have a mechanical breakdown, you’ll have to pay that amount each time you take your car for repair.

Our advice is to get the highest possible deductible you can get. The real reason for having an extended warranty is to cover catastrophic mechanical breakdowns that can cost you thousands, not to save $100 bucks here and there on minor repairs.

Getting a higher deductible can dramatically reduce your overall cost while keeping you protected. Plus, Acura is a reliable manufacturer, to begin with, so assuming you’re following protocol and doing the regular service visits, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Acura Care Cancellation

From talking to former Acura Care customers, we’ve noticed something of a trend. The obligor and administrator of the Acura Care contract (American Honda Finance Corporation) can be somewhat difficult to deal with at the dealership level.

While this isn’t your problem as an owner, it can be a hassle for the dealership, which can cause headaches for you.

However, if you do decide to cancel your policy, here’s what you need to know.

You can cancel the contract for up to 60 days after purchasing it, and in doing so you’ll receive a full refund assuming you haven’t used it for any repairs. If you have used the contract, your refund will be pro-rated.

Acura Care Refund Information

It can be calculated as the lower of the following:

  • The total mileage you’ve used since the contract date compared to the total mileage under the policy.
  • The total amount of time you’ve used since the contract date compared to the total time you’re covered under the policy.

If you’ve had the contract for over 60 days, regardless of whether or not you’ve used it, your refund will be the pro-rated portion based upon the time expired or the number of miles driven.

After 60 days you’ll also be subject to a $25 dollar processing fee, which is admittedly lower than the $50 dollar average it is for most extended warranty companies.

Here’s how the cancellation works, according to the contract itself.

For cancellation, return this CONTRACT to YOUR DEALER, and complete a Cancellation Request Form.

The ADMINISTRATOR will issue a refund, if any, to YOU. However, if YOU financed this CONTRACT, the refund may be payable to the lender or finance company (if any) that financed the purchase of this CONTRACT unless YOU provide the ADMINISTRATOR with written verification from the lender or finance company that the amount financed has been repaid in full.

If YOU financed the purchase of this CONTRACT, YOU may be required to send a written cancellation notice to the lender under a retail installment contract or loan (the “Finance Agreement”). This may not be the same contract, lease or purchase plan signed by YOU to purchase or lease YOUR VEHICLE. Payment according to the Finance Agreement constitutes payment to YOU, and YOU agree that YOU have no claim against the ADMINISTRATOR, US, or the ACURA DEALER based upon such payment.

Please refer to the cancellation section of the Finance Agreement for instructions. In the event of repossession or total loss, the lender may cancel this CONTRACT. The provisions of section “V.” apply to all cancellation requests. No other rights or benefits under this CONTRACT transfer to the lender.

A REFUND SHALL TERMINATE THIS CONTRACT. IF CANCELED AND COVERAGE CANNOT BE REINSTATED.

How Well Is Acura Care Reviewed?

Based on what we’ve seen, Acura Care generally has very favorable reviews. The pros include 0% APR financing when you buy the contract on a new vehicle, a relatively low per-month price, generous subsidies for trip interruption and towing, as well as lenient coverage that generally repairs what it promises to cover.

The negative reviews include comments on American Honda Finance Corporation not being responsive (which is not uncommon for such a large organization), difficulties in getting certain repairs covered (as American Honda Finance Corporation has the final say if a repair is covered or not), and issues with cancellation.

Overall, we’d rate these reviews as strongly positive, which is a good sign if you’re considering AcuraCare.

Can You Transfer The Acura Care Warranty?

Yes, the Acura Care vehicle service contract is fully transferrable during a private party to private party sale. In order to transfer your policy to a new owner, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Fill out the Transfer Of Contract form, which can be obtained from the dealer you bought your policy through. You can also find a transfer form at the end of your contract, or by visiting Acura Financial services.
  2. Return your policy, a fee of $50 dollars, documentation showing a private party change in ownership, and a reading of the odometer on the date of transfer.

For your transfer to be considered valid you’ll have to ensure that the sale is a private party sale only and that the contract is transferred within 20 days of the date of sale.

You cannot transfer this contract to another vehicle, a vehicle dealer, a customer of a vehicle dealer, or to a lender. This contract can only be transferred once, and the transferee cannot transfer the contract after receiving it.

What Is A Direct Warranty Provider?

Now, if you’re also considering getting a vehicle service contract you should know what a direct provider is. It’s an important distinction that is worth talking about.

A direct warranty provider is a warranty company that administrates and services its own claims, legally speaking. What that means, is when a direct warranty provider sells you an extended warranty, they are responsible for paying your claims, as well as handling any customer service issues that arise.

Direct providers can offer lower prices for their plans and better customer service because everything is handled in house. 

Currently, only Protect My Car and Endurance are direct warranty providers on the third party marketplace. Technically, Acura is not a direct contract provider by definition.

Other extended warranty companies aren’t selling their own plans.  When you buy a policy with them, they then transfer the responsibility for your future claims to a 3rd party finance company. They get paid, and then that finance company that you didn’t choose becomes the legal entity responsible for paying your claims.

This can be a huge hassle. Claims take longer to get paid, and we’ve seen prices that are more expensive.

That’s not to mention that the 3rd party finance company has no connection to you as a human being and has every financial incentive to pay as little as possible on your claim.

With over 13 years in this business, everyone will tell you that choosing a direct warranty provider is the best way to go. You’ll avoid getting a run around from claims agents, and instead will get help from a real person who wants to see you off smiling.

Considering Acura Care? Get A Quote With Protect My Car To Help Negotiate Your Cost Down.

Going back to what we talked about above with Acura Care, you want to have multiple quotes in hand so you can negotiate for the best price. The dealers you’ll be talking to will want to sell you as expensive policy as they can.

While you absolutely should get multiple quotes from different Acura Dealerships, the process for doing so is time-consuming. You’ll have to manually call each dealership and go through the quoting process there while they use aggressive sales tactics on you.

At the end of the day though, you’ll still get your quote. It’s just going to take some time.

However, we can help you. We have an online quoting tool that can help you get a quote in less than 5 minutes with no phone call needed.

Just fill out the forms and you’ll be able to compare plans and prices, and if you so choose, you’ll even be able to purchase a plan without having to pick up the phone.

You may even find that our prices are cheaper than what you’ve been offered because Protect My Car is far from “any” extended warranty company. Our lowest cost plan, the Driveline covers more than the basic powertrain coverage you’ll get from Acura Care’s powertrain package, including your air conditioning, and important bits like your alternator, windshield washer pump, and starter.

Best of all, we’re able to do this at a lower price than our competitors because we’re a direct warranty provider.

As a proud direct warranty provider, you’ll never be mistreated when you join us. There’s a reason our average review score (TrustPilot, Consumer Affairs, BBB) is a 4.3/5.0, and I want you to find out why.

We know there are a number of other great extended warranty companies out there, we know we’re the best and we want to prove it to you.

That’s why, for a limited time, we’re giving away $50 dollars in rewards just for getting a quote with us. From there, you’ll be able to shop all of our different plans, online, with no phone call needed. You can even buy the driveline in less than 5 minutes and have your engine mounts covered and ready to go.

Because we’re a direct warranty provider, you may find that our plans are significantly cheaper than what you’re paying right now.

So don’t wait, get your free quote today and claim your $50 dollars in free rewards. You’ll be one step closer to not having to shell out thousands for an expensive fuel injector repair.

Get A Free Quote

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