How To Maintain Your Car When You’re Under An Extended Warranty

By Adrianna | October 29, 2013

English: The Car Care People New occupants of ...

Putting down the money on an extended car warranty can be a tough decision. First off, purchasing a car is a big expense, and then putting down the extra money on a warranty that you may never need is another shot to your pocket book. That said, the peace of mind should be worthwhile if and when you run into a situation that could lead to a costly repair. However, many people aren’t aware of the fine print that often comes with an extended warranty and find themselves paying for most or even all of repairs that they assumed were covered. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of having your claim denied.

1. Keep track of all of your maintenance, down to the smallest detail.

Having an extended warranty doesn’t mean you can stick your head in the sand until your vehicle has an issue. Unfortunately for a contract holder, warranty companies are far more profitable if they can find ways not to cover every claim that comes in. To be fair, the warranty company also needs to know that you’re making some basic steps towards keeping the vehicle in good condition. So, to safe guard against claims being denied due to a lack of or improper maintenance, you’ll want to keep a running log of all of your maintenance activities.

If you do your own maintenance, such as oil changes, keep a log of the mileage when the oil was changed, the date, the type of oil, oil filter, etc. You can’t be too detailed with your logs. For the most part, a neatly kept notepad will suffice here, but for ease of organization you may want to create a spreadsheet or even utilize an app like Auto Care Free, which will keep track of your maintenance while you’re on the go, and allow you to go back and pull that information as it becomes necessary.

2. Do what the manufacturer tells you to do…exactly.

Another area where people often get claims denied with their extended warranties is by not following the owner’s manual to the letter. Making sure that maintenance is occurring within the recommended windows (i.e. getting oil changes in the appropriate window for regular vs. synthetic oil) as well as using recommended parts and products will go a long way to making sure your claim isn’t denied via a technicality.

For the tech friendly crowd, there are also a number of apps that can help keep you up to date on scheduled maintenance to help keep you on the right side of a potential claim. Here are a couple worth considering:

  • Car Care. This app allows you to keep track of several vehicles and does a nice job of letting you track your gas consumption and cost of repairs. It allows you to set timetables for routine maintenance and also comes with a helpful list of default reminders for services like tire rotations. Currently this is only available for the iPhone.
  • Car Minder Plus. For $2.99 this might be the best deal on the market. It comes with an excellent list of default services that you can edit based on your exact specifications and also provides easy, at a glance review of where you stand on all of your various maintenance items. Currently this is only available for Apple devices as well.

Regardless of your means for keeping up to date on your maintenance, the important thing is that you do. When it comes to used car warranties, knowledge and documentation are power. So get educated on the exact specifications of your vehicle’s maintenance and make sure you stay on top of documenting every little thing and you’re far more likely to have a good experience when it comes time to file your claim.

This is a guest post provided by Auto Warranty One‘s very own Amanda Sozak.

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