Does Your Extended Warranty Cover Electrical Issues?

by | Feb 1, 2020

Modern cars are an example of how good we’ve gotten at engineering these wonderfully complex machines that seem to have all the amenities in them.

Hell, I remember the first time I got into a van with a DVD player. I was floored. Today we have trucks with WIFI, dashboard tablets in the Tesla, and a myriad of other electrical stuff beneath the hood that you or I never really think about.

At least until something goes wrong, and suddenly the DVD player isn’t working 2 hours into an 8-hour road trip.

I hope your phone has games on it because we both know how bad bored kids are on long road trips.

When it comes to car electrical issues, there are a million and one different things that can go bad. Some range from annoying and inexpensive to fix, while others could be potentially life-threatening and expensive to repair. I’m looking at you BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar.

However, if you have an extended warranty, some of these repairs may be covered under your policy.

Because it’s impossible to cover every electrical coverage in the book, I’ve picked 10 of the most common electrical repairs. We’ll then go over each electrical repair with some of the biggest extended warranty providers. We’ll also talk a little bit about your manufacturer’s warranty, just in case you have a newer car.

So strap those kids in, fire up Frozen on the iPads and let’ break this down before your car breaks down.

“Electrical Issues” Really Covers A Range Of Things

Your car’s electrical system starts with your battery, alternator, and solenoid. These components provide power for your vehicle, running it through a system of fuses and wires in order to power critical components of your vehicle from your starter to your onboard nav system. These sometimes include critical components like your engine control module – which we count as part of the engine and won’t be covering here.

When talking about electrical issues, almost all problems start here.

With that being said, here are the 10 most common auto electrical issues we’ll be covering:

  1. Dead Battery/Battery Issues
  2. Alternator Issues
  3. Solenoid Issues
  4. Blown Electrical Fuses
  5. Spark Plug Issues
  6. NAV System Issues
  7. Windshield Wiper Issues
  8. Fuel Injection Issues
  9. Cruise Control Issues
  10. Ignition Switch Issues

All of these vary from not fun to “oh sh**, not now”.

Does Your Extended Warranty Cover Electrical Issues?

1: Dead Battery/Battery Issues

The most common cause of car electrical issues is hands down having a bad battery that can’t hold a charge. Batteries are wear and tear items and are due to be replaced every so often. In fact, we’ve already written an entire article on it here, so I’d highly advise reading it for more information.

The short of it though is that your extended warranty plan probably doesn’t cover your battery, although your battery likely has a 3-year warranty built into it. You should also be covered by a new car, bumper to bumper warranty from your manufacturer.

Extended warranty companies all treat batteries as a wear and tire item, which means it isn’t considered a covered part. However, the roadside service included in almost all plans will give you a jumpstart or tow your car for free!

2: Alternator Issues

The most common cause of a dead battery besides forgetting to turn your lights off is a bad alternator that won’t charge your battery. We’ve also written a full article about that here, which you should definitely read because it gives you several good bits of information that can help you diagnose this problem before it happens.  

The good news is that all of Protect My Car’s policies cover the alternator, even our lowest cost plan. Our competitors also cover the alternator – albeit in their mid-to-upper level coverage plans which are more expensive.

Your manufacturer warranty also definitely covers your alternator, as alternators are supposed to last well over 100,000 miles.

3: Solenoid Issues

Your solenoid is a part of your starter motor that connects to the battery and then engages the starter motor when you turn the key to start the engine.

Solenoid issues are nasty because they can appear to be starter issues or battery issues at first. To learn to tell the difference, read our article on the starter and solenoid here.

With that being said, all of our plans cover the Solenoid, and many of our competitor’s higher cost plans do as well. Your solenoid is also covered under your manufacturer’s bumper to bumper warranty, as your solenoid isn’t expected to wear out during most normal use.

4: Blown Electrical Fuses

Fuses are tricky. They’re all over your car, and they can blow on you for any reason. Own your car long enough, and just like will happen. Normally it’s not serious, usually taking a minor component of your car like your radio or losing some of your climate control features.

Because fuses are considered wear and tear items, they aren’t covered by most extended warranties. The good news is that changing a fuse is remarkably simple – and can be done by anyone who knows how to run a Google search (or who knows how to click this link here which I’ve added for you)

https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/cars/how-to/a34947/how-to-change-a-car-fuse/

5: Spark Plug Issues

Just like with fuse issues, you’ll eventually blow a spark plug and your car won’t start. Luckily, spark plugs are cheap and easy to repair and replace. Much like a blown fuse, spark plugs aren’t covered under almost all extended warranties because they are considered a wear and tear part.

However, if you do find yourself stranded on account of a blown spark plug, you can still use the free roadside assistance with your extended warranty plan to get a tow to a mechanic who can get you fixed up and back on the road!

6: Nav System Issues

Nav system issues are relatively uncommon on their own, usually occurring as part of a larger problem such as a bad alternator or weak battery, but they can happen. Our data shows that the most common issues are usually software related, but on hardware, side-blown fuses and wiring issues can be a problem.

The good news is, your NAV system is covered on many warranty plans. To make this a bit easier, we’ve compared the top 3 extended warranty providers to see what plans cover your navigation system.

Protect My Car:

Direct Contract Provider: Yes

Plans That Cover Navigation: Supreme (with add on)

Notes: Our highest-grade coverage, Supreme has an optional add on package that allows for very complete coverage of your premium navigation features.

Endurance Warranty:

Direct Contract Provider: Yes

Plans That Cover Navigation: Superior (with add on)

Notes: Much like Protect My Car, Endurance covers high tech navigation with an optional add on to its premium coverage. One thing to note, is this add on does not cover minor pixel damage.

Carshield:

Direct Contract Provider: No

Plans That Cover Navigation: American Auto Shield High Tech*, American Auto Shield Comprehensive (with add on)

Notes: Carshield is not a direct contract provider, and instead sells the policies of American Auto Shield. American Auto Shield has its own high tech plan which covers your GPS, Engine Control Model, and other electronics normally covered in more comprehensive plans. Their most comprehensive coverage also covers the GPS/Nav with an optional add on.

If you have a manufacturer warranty, you should expect almost all nav issues to be covered, even on a manufacturer extended warranty after the expiration of your initial bumper-to-bumper warranty.

7: Windshield Wiper Issues

For most people, the blades themselves and their motors aren’t the issue. It’s the windshield washer pump that’s the issue. The pump tends to fail about twice as often as the motors and switches for the windshield wipers do.

The good news is some extended warranty plans can cover both of these non-critical, but worth doing repairs.

Protect My Car:

Direct Contract Provider: Yes

Plans That Cover Windshield Wiper Issues: Driveline, Select, Supreme

Notes: Our Driveline policy covers the cost of your windshield washer pump, which admittedly isn’t that expensive coming in at around $100 dollars, while the Select covers the pump and switches, and the Supreme covers the pump and the motors for both the front and rear.

Endurance:

Direct Contract Provider: Yes

Plans That Cover Windshield Wiper Issues: Secure Plus (Washer Pump, Switches, Front & Rear Wiper Motor), Superior (Washer Pump, Switches, Front & Rear Wiper Motor), Supreme (Washer Pump, Switches, Front & Rear Wiper Motor

Notes: Endurance’s lowest-cost plan doesn’t cover any windshield wiper components, but their other levels of coverage do a nice job of covering most windshield wiper components.

Carshield:

Direct Contract Provider: No

Plans That Cover Windshield Wiper Issues: American Auto Shield Enhanced Power Train (Front And Rear Window Wiper Motors), American Auto Shield Comprehensive (Front And Rear Window Wiper Motors and Windshield Washer Pump), American Auto Shield New Car (Front And Rear Window Wiper Motors, Windshield Washer Pump)

Notes: Carshield’s lowest-cost plan, the American Auto Shield Powertrain does not cover any windshield wiper components. However, it’s other plans do a nice job of component coverage. Carshield also does not sell its own policies. Instead, they sell the policies of American Auto Shield.

8: Fuel Injection Issues

Luckily, we’ve already written an entire article on the fuel injectors, so we won’t get into too much detail here

9: Cruise Control Issues

Having cruise control issues is particularly damning if you like to take long road trips. Although it’s not a safety hazard if you don’t choose to use it, driving with a damaged cruise control system can be aggravating.

Fortunately, if you have a Supreme policy with us, your cruise control is covered. As a general rule, cruise control repairs aren’t covered by the lower-cost plans for most extended warranty companies. However, more comprehensive policies tend to include cruise control coverage.

10: Ignition Switch Issues

We have lift off.

Or not.

Leaning towards the “or not” if your ignition switch isn’t working properly. The ignition switch reads the anti-theft coding on your key or your fob, and without it working properly your car is basically a half ton-plus paperweight.

The cost of an ignition switch repair is fairly inexpensive at around $150-$200 dollars, and luckily for you, it’s covered by most extended warranty plans.

Protect My Car:

Direct Contract Provider: Yes

Plans That Cover Your Ignition Switch: Select, Supreme

Notes: Our midlevel coverage plan Select, and our comprehensive policy Supreme both cover your ignition switch, although our Driveline policy does not.

Endurance Warranty:

Direct Contract Provider: Yes

Plans That Cover Your Ignition Switch: Secure Plus, Superior, Supreme

Notes: Much like Protect My Car, Endurance’s lowest-cost plan does not cover the ignition switch, but the medium and higher coverage plans do.

Carshield:

Direct Contract Provider: No

Plans That Cover Your Ignition Switch: American Auto Shield Enhanced Power Train, American Auto Shield Comprehensive, American Auto Shield New Car

Notes: Carshield also doesn’t cover the ignition switch on their lowest-cost plan. Carshield’s also sells the policies of another company, American Auto Shield, as it does not administrate its own policies.

What Is A Direct Warranty Provider?

So you’re probably wondering what the direct warranty provider bit is above. 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.

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.

Want To Get The Best Value On An Extended Warranty For Your Electrical Issues? Protect My Car Can Help

As it stands right now, your coverage options for your electrical repairs are limited to higher cost premium plans that will cover almost all of your car, but for a potentially expensive fee each month. Protect My Car, on the other hand, has a range of lower-cost plans to help cover the cost of repair.

Best of all, we’re able to do this at up to a 60% lower price than our competitors because we’re a direct warranty provider, and you’ll never be dealing with another company but us.

As a proud direct warranty provider, you’ll also 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 electrical systems 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 repair.

Get A Free Quote

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