Choosing a GM Extended Car Warranty or Vehicle Service Contract
Choosing between a GM extended car warranty or mechanical breakdown protection offered by a third party can a challenging task.
There are pros and cons to each option. Here are a few quick facts:
- The genuine GM extended car warranty is only offered by the manufacturer and is usually sold through the dealership.
- Mechanical breakdown protection (coverage beyond the manufacturer's warranty) may be purchased from a third party company and offers other types of protection.
- In California, when purchased from a third party company, extended repair coverage for your automobile is called "mechanical breakdown insurance".
- Mechanical breakdown protection lets you have your service done at any authorized automobile repair facility. You must take your vehicle to the GM dealership if you choose the GM extended warranty.
This last fact could be a deciding point in today's economy. You want to make sure that you have convenient access to a quality repair facility near you in the event that you experience a mechanical failure.
Here is a summary of coverage for the GM brands:
|Chevrolet||3 year/36K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
|Buick||4 year/50K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
|GMC||3 year/36K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
|Cadillac||4 year/50K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
Discontinued models include:
|Pontiac||3 year/36K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
|Hummer||4 year/50K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
|Saturn||4 year/36K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
|Saab||4 year/ 50K Miles||5 year/100K Miles|
GM Standard Warranty
While General Motors "Best Coverage in America" 2010 warranty campaign is competitive and comparable to other major brands, it's almost no help to the demanding needs of an aging vehicle.
Based my experiences as a Service Technician, I feel the need to emphasize that the lifespan of any vehicle is not predictable.
I know firsthand that parts can stop functioning at the strangest of times without any warning, which is why I would recommend extended coverage for any aging vehicle. Drivers have their choice between a variety of reputable aftermarket companies and of course the factory GM extended car warranty.
The standard warranty GM currently offers on all new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Pontiac vehicles is set for 5 years or 100, 000 miles. Included for the entire term is:
- The powertrain/drivetrain limited warranty
- Roadside assistance
- Courtesy transportation
This warranty also applies to all vehicles bought during or after the company's bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.
GM Sheds Four Brands
During the bankruptcy process, GM shed:
This decision has left the owners of those vehicles in a bit of a tight spot.
Dealerships and Repair Facilities Closing
There is a wave of dealerships and repair shops that have closed or are closing in the near future. For this reason I would suggest keeping in mind the location of your service facility when choosing an extended warranty option from GM or mechanical breakdown protection from a reputable third-party company.
I would stress to consumers that seriously investigating the quality of their vehicle is the best way to help with warranty worries. Unfortunately, all cars are not made equal. Even GM has a range of quality levels within its products; in most situations making extended coverage a necessity. A factory GM extended car warranty may be a good option for drivers, although I encourage you to look for services that suit your needs best.
To answer the question "GM extended car warranty or mechanical breakdown protection" for the GM category of vehicles, we need to examine each individual brand:
Although, you will pay more, the manufacturer's extended car warranties are usually a solid choice. However, if you decide that mechanical breakdown protection is a better option for you, I recommend the folks at Autopom! and Mercury Insurance Group.
autoPOM! backed and administered by Mercury can provide you with repair service comparable to the manufacturer's extended warranty. Not surprising, Autopom! pricing is far less than dealer pricing and offers the flexibility of allowing you to choose the repair facility that you're most comfortable with.