Car Warranties and Service Contracts


There is no "standard warranty" on repairs. Make sure you understand what is covered under your warranty and get it in writing. Be aware that warranties may be subject to limitations, including time, mileage, deductibles, businesses authorized to perform warranty work or special procedures required to obtain reimbursement. Check with the Federal Trade Commission or your state or local consumer protection agency for information about your warranty rights.

Service Contracts:

Many vehicle dealers and others sell optional contracts - service contracts - issued by vehicle manufacturers or independent companies. Not all service contracts are the same; prices vary and usually are negotiable.

To help decide whether to purchase a service contract, consider:

  • Its cost.
  • The repairs to be covered.
  • Does coverage overlap coverage provided by another warranty.
  • The deductible.
  • Where the repairs are to be performed.

What are the procedures required to file a claim, such as prior authorization for specific repairs or meeting required vehicle maintenance schedules. Whether repair costs are paid directly by the company to the repair shop or whether you will have to pay first and get reimbursed.


The reputation of the service contract company. Check it out with your state Attorney General's office or local consumer protection agency. How do I resolve a dispute regarding billing, quality of repairs or warranties? Document all transactions as well as your experiences with dates, times, expenses, and the names of people you dealt with. Speak with the shop manager or owner first. If that doesn't work, contact your Attorney General or local consumer protection agency for help. These offices may have information on alternative dispute resolution programs in your community. Another option is to file a claim in small claims court. And you don't need an attorney or high-fee lawyer to do this. You can find other helpful advice and information regarding cold weather driving tips.