Honda has a well-earned reputation for manufacturing well-made, reliable cars, despite the fact that its ranking took a surprising and significant hit in the 2018 Consumer Reports reliability rating, falling from 9th place to 15th place.
So should you buy a Honda extended warranty? The short answer is, it depends. The longer, more thoughtful response is that whether you should buy a Honda extended warranty, or any extended warranty, depends on several factors, including your driving habits, the age and condition of your car, and how long you intend to keep it.
Honda offers a number of extended warranties under the umbrella label of Honda Care. Honda Care plans provide good coverage. However, for many Honda owners, an extended car warranty from Protect My Car provides more comprehensive coverage with fewer restrictions than an extended car warranty coverage from the manufacturer.
What Does the Honda Extended Warranty Cover?
Honda Care New and Pre-Owned Coverage is divided into the following categories: New Vehicle Coverage, Pre-Owned Vehicle Coverage, Certified Additional Coverage, and Powertrain Coverage for Pre-Owned Vehicles Only. Prices vary for Honda Care according to a number of factors, including the age of the car and the level of coverage purchased.
For all categories of Honda Care coverage, Honda factory-trained technicians perform all repairs, using Honda Genuine Parts. They also share the following features:
• Roadside assistance, including:
– 24-hour availability.
– Towing services (non-drivable vehicles only).
– Lockout assistance.
– Battery jump-start.
– Tire change.
– Fuel delivery (excludes natural gas-powered vehicles).
• Component coverage (cannot exceed cash value of the car).
• Rental-car reimbursement.
• Trip-interruption benefit.
• Concierge services.
Honda Care also provides offers the following additional coverage at an added cost for new, pre-owned, and certified vehicles.
• Powertrain repairs, including:
• Electronic repairs, including:
– Electronic components.
– Electrical system.
• Chassis repairs, including:
– Brake systems.
• Heating/cooling repairs, including:
– Air conditioning.
– Heating and cooling systems.
• Honda Genuine Accessories malfunctions, including:
– Audio and communication devices and accessories.
– Navigational and security systems.
Powertrain coverage includes the following services:
• Front and rear drive axle.
• Seals, gaskets, and fluids.
What Does a Honda Warranty Cost?
A 2014 Consumer Reports article stated that the average extended car warranty cost was more than $1,200, which is hardly pocket change. Given the coverage provided by Honda for its new and certified used cars under its initial warranty, a Honda extended warranty may seem like a waste of money.
That’s because the price tag for extended warranty coverage is a far higher figure than owners are likely to spend for out-of-pocket maintenance and repairs for a car under Honda’s initial warranty. In fact, more than half of 12,000 car owners surveyed who had purchased an extended warranty never used the policy for repairs at all.
However, many people fail to register the fact that after the initial warranty expires, new Honda and Acura vehicles retain only limited powertrain coverage for the next two years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Other mechanical or electrical components are no longer covered. Certified used Hondas retain seven additional years and 100,000 miles of powertrain warranty coverage after the expiration of the initial new car warranty.
Are Extended Warranties Worth It on New Cars?
Given this fact, along with the overall costs associated with car ownership, purchasing an extended car warranty isn’t an unreasonable expense. Between license plates, parking, insurance, and gas, you don’t have to be an accountant to understand how the cost of car ownership can really add up, especially for cars that have racked up the miles.
Even normally reliable models like Honda require routine maintenance and parts replacement, which can be costly. New tires can cost between $50 and $300 for each tire, while brake pad replacement runs between $100 and $350. Replacing your car’s spark plugs costs between $100 and $200, while front or rear windshield replacement can cost between $100 and $300. Major repairs such as a head gasket replacement can cost between $1,000 and $1,500, while a new transmission can cost between $1,500 and $3,000.
Therefore, if you plan to put a lot of miles on a new car, or if the initial bumper-to-bumper warranty on your new car has expired, the added protection of an extended car warranty can be a worthwhile investment. The money you spend now on an extended warranty can more than pay for itself in savings on expensive repairs — along with providing peace of mind.
What Doesn’t the Honda Warranty Cover?
Honda Care does not provide bumper-to-bumper coverage. Instead, it is a vehicle service contract that provides exclusionary coverage. Exclusionary coverage pertains to a list of repairs and replacement items that are NOT covered by the contract. With some exceptions, any other repairs or replacements are covered. Honda Care allows coverage holders to obtain repairs or maintenance service at any Honda dealer across the country. Non-emergency work done at non-Honda facilities must be approved in advance, and only genuine Honda parts may be used.
A partial exclusionary list of items not covered by Honda Care includes:
• Body parts,
• Maintenance items.
What Vehicle Years Are Covered?
New cars from Honda and the luxury Acura brand models are covered by an initial 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty. Certified used Honda cars are covered by whatever new-car warranty remains from the original owner, plus an additional one year, 12,000 miles of full coverage.
What Extra Options Does a Honda Warranty Have?
Honda drivers can choose between two special maintenance plans that cover routine services for a specified length of time. These include Honda Care Sentinel and Honda Care Sentinel 3/45.
Honda Care Sentinel includes the following services.
• Routine oil changes.
• Road hazard tire protection.
• 24-hour roadside assistance.
• Trip-interruption benefit.
• Concierge services.
Honda Care Sentinel 3/45 includes the services listed above, plus the following added benefits.
• Extensive component coverage.
• Rental-car reimbursement.
An additional option is Honda Care Vehicle Service Contracts, which feature New Vehicle Coverage, Pre-Owned Vehicle Coverage, and Powertrain Coverage for non-Honda vehicles with the same services as Honda Care coverage for Honda vehicles.
What Do You Do After Your Honda Warranty Expires?
Once the original warranty for your Honda expires, you incur total financial responsibility for the maintenance of your car and any repairs. Some dealers will cover repairs for malfunctions that occur shortly after the warranty period expires, but they are not obliged to do so.
In addition, many people fail to fully realize that some coverage expires even while an original warranty is still in force. That’s because bumper-to-bumper coverage only applies during the first three years or 36,000 miles of ownership — whichever comes first. For the next two years, or until the car logs 60,000 miles, the original new car warranty is limited to powertrain coverage. Mechanical or electrical components are no longer covered.
Is Your Honda Warranty Transferrable?
Like many extended warranty plans, Honda Care extended warranties are transferable from one owner to a new owner. If you plan to sell your car, offering an extended warranty is often viewed as an asset by prospective buyers. As an alternative, you can opt to cancel Honda Care coverage and receive a prorated refund for the unused period of coverage.
However, if you buy a new car, you cannot transfer your Honda Care coverage from your old car to the new one. Coverage is specific to the vehicle, not to a particular owner. Finally, once the applicable period for your car’s Honda Care coverage has expired, no refunds are available, even if you never filed a single claim for repair or replacement. In that respect, Honda Care works much like an insurance policy.
What Will Void My Honda Warranty?
Many people mistakenly believe that aftermarket modifications to your car will void either the original warranty, an extended warranty, or both. However, that is not the case with most extended warranties, including Honda Care. Instead, damage or malfunction to the aftermarket part is excluded from coverage. In addition, if damage or malfunction to another part or function of the car can be traced to an aftermarket modification, that damage or malfunction would be excluded even if it would otherwise be covered by the warranty.
Likewise, performing routine DIY maintenance such as changing your own oil or taking your car to a non-Honda mechanic for repairs will not void your warranty. However, you must maintain thorough service logs and retain any receipts or invoices. In addition, failing to obtain prior authorization for non-emergency repairs or replacements made by a non-Honda certified mechanic will result in your claim being denied.
Finally, neglecting to maintain proper maintenance on your car will cause complications if you later have a claim. At worst, your claim may be denied on the grounds that faulty maintenance was responsible for causing damage or malfunction to your car.
Compare A Honda Warranty To A Policy From Protect My Car?
Honda Care provides extended warranty protection that is applicable to a broad variety of car owners. In this respect, Honda Care is comparable to plans available from reputable extended car warranty companies, including Protect My Car. For instance, both Honda Care and Protect My Car provide additional coverage for new cars that are still under warranty but are no longer eligible for bumper-to-bumper coverage. However, there are significant differences between Honda Care and Protect My Car, as detailed below.
• Eligible Cars: Honda Care is limited to 2016 or newer cars with less than 36,000 miles. Protect My Car is available for cars less than 10 years old with less than 125,000 miles.
• Levels of Coverage: Honda Care coverage varies by whether a car is new, used, or certified. Protect My Car offers three levels of coverage: Driveline, Select, and Supreme. However, unlike Honda Care, coverage is not differentiated by the age or status of the car, but by the level of coverage desired by the driver.
• Purchasing Coverage: Honda Care must be purchased from a Honda dealer, although the dealer need not be the same one where the car was purchased. Payment for the plan can be included in the car loan or through monthly financing. Protect My Car coverage can be purchased conveniently online or by phone, with monthly financing.
• Contract Transfers: Both Honda Care and Protect My Car allow coverage to be transferred to a new owner if a car is sold.
• Cancellations and Refunds: Honda Care policies can be canceled at any time. Policies canceled within the first 60 days are eligible for a full refund. Protect My Car offers a 30-day free look period during which available services are limited to tasks such as towing, changing flat tires. or obtaining a few gallons of gas. During the 30-day free look period, the policy is fully refundable. After 30 days, cancellations are available with prorated refunds.
• Claims Handling: Honda Care requires non-emergency repair, maintenance, and parts replacement to be performed at a Honda dealership. Service performed by non-Honda certified mechanics must be preapproved to be covered. Only Honda parts may be used for repairs or replacement, which may necessitate a long wait if necessary parts are not available. Rental cars are available for lengthy service jobs. Protect My Car emphasizes a hassle-free claims process. Car owners may use any mechanic or repair facility they choose. Rental cars are available to compensate for lengthy repair jobs.
• Reputation: Honda has a long-standing reputation for manufacturing well-made cars, with high rankings from reputable oversight services like Consumer Reports. Repairs made by Honda-trained mechanics using Honda parts are likely to be well executed. Protect My Car has an A-rating and five-star consumer reviews from the Better Business Bureau. PMC stands behind its commitment to ensure customers get the best possible service — including working to resolve issues with poor quality repairs.
Should You Buy a Honda Extended Warranty?
The biggest advantage of an extended car warranty from Honda, Protect My Car, or any other reputable provider is also the most obvious: protection from paying large repair or maintenance bills out of pocket. However, answering the question “should you buy a Honda extended car warranty” from a third-party provider like Protect My Car rests on a number of factors, including your budget, your personal driving habits, and the car you’re buying coverage for.
The bottom line? If you’re purchasing a new car and your Honda dealer offers favorable financing terms for adding Honda Care coverage to your auto loan, purchasing dealer-provided extended car warranty coverage may very well be your best bet. This is especially true if the dealership where you purchase your car has a reputation for providing top-quality service, including repairs and maintenance.
On the other hand, If you’re purchasing a car older than 2016 or a vehicle with more than 36,000 miles, you’re out of luck with Honda Care. But Protect My Car has you covered with Driveline, Select, and Supreme levels of service to match your car’s features and your driving needs. We are also committed to making our coverage affordable, with flexible payment plans and available discounts for students and members of the military.