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Are Aftermarket Warranties Worth It?

When you visit us for an auto repair, the team of auto mechanics at Bimmer Rescue is happy to discuss aftermarket warranty options with you. We’ve assisted customers from Richmond, Short Pump, The West End, The Fan District, and surrounding regions in assessing whether an aftermarket warranty would be beneficial for their cars and lifestyles. We have so many loyal and long-term clients because not only does Bimmer Rescue offer incredible auto repair, but we also provide above and beyond customer service.

The team at Bimmer Rescue recommends that you pick a warranty that covers modern labor rates and parts generally expensive to fix, especially oil leaks and gaskets. If a warranty that you’re considering offers a Bronze, Silver, or Gold option, we highly suggest that you go for the Gold. If you need help reading the fine print, come sit down with us at Bimmer Rescue, and we’ll be your advocate with warranty companies. Customers choose to stay with us for years because of this type of customer service. Here's a recent review from a customer who was very satisfied with his experience with us:

“They did a great job finding and fixing all that was wrong with my new 2006 Mini convertible. I was afraid that it was going to cost a lot, but they were very reasonably priced. I had a major issue with the motor (harmonic balancer) which was causing an oil leak and a small problem with brakes. They sent a text with a report card of all parts of the car, and fixed mine fairly fast (small delay with parts) they offered a loaner, but I didn't take them up on it. All in all, I had a great experience ( I know, great experience at a car repair place, lol) at Bimmer Rescue!” -- William R.


Are aftermarket warranties worth it? | Bimmer Rescue

What we've found with warranties is that they are generally a good idea on a performance vehicle but YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.   If you choose to buy one make sure it's not the $500 discount version.  If the warranty company has options (Bronze, Silver, Gold) buy the Gold and if it doesn't cost at least $2,500 be wary.  Read the fine print, make sure that the warranty covers the labor rate of the best specialty shop in town, $70 per hour just won't cut it.  Make sure the warranty covers gaskets and oil leaks, as these are common issues and can be expensive to fix.  If you don't buy the quality warranty don't buy the junk warranty, just put the money in your savings account to cover repairs later or ask your shop for advice on preventative maintenance to prevent breakdowns.

The BEST warranty in Richmond Virginia is MAXCARE from Carmax, you can't buy it off the street, you can only buy it with the purchase of a car from Carmax.  JMNA and CNA have been good to our customers and you can walk into certain retailers and buy them on a car you own.  Any other warranties should be purchased with great caution and if you look, price will always reflect quality.  If you need advice or help reading the fine print in a warranty you're considering do yourself a favor and come sit down at the table with us, we will look through it with you!    

There are a lot of products out there ranging from terrible to excellent, which makes selecting the right warranty for you a very important process!  Check out the experiences of our loyal Bimmer Rescue customers Bert and Ernie (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

A crazy driver swerves into Berts car and messes up the doors, fenders, mirrors and hood on his 2003 BMW 330ci.  It's a bummer because as we all know, the 330ci is one of the best BMW's ever, but Bert got over 100,000 reliable miles out of it since Bimmer Rescue has been his shop.  Insurance totals the car and hands him a check for $5,500, it's time to buy a new one.  

Are aftermarket warranties worth it? | Bimmer Rescue - image #2

He goes to Carmax because he knows they screen their cars carefully and don't sell junk.  Bert settles on a 2010 BMW X5 with 60,000 miles, it's priced higher than the lot down the street, but he values the guarantees at Carmax and hates dealing with car dealership games.  Bimmer Rescue performs his Pre-Purchase inspection and gives him peace of mind that the car has no hidden damage and hasn't been abused.  The salesman recommends the Carmax Maxcare warranty for an additional $3,000 and his bank agrees to let him roll that cost into the financing.  Bert purchases the warranty and then brings it to Bimmer Rescue and has the transmission fluid and filter, differential fluids, transfer case fluids, power steering fluid and coolant flushed with all synthetic just like he did on his 330ci that lasted so long.  

Three months later the Navigation screen goes black.  It's nothing he did, it just failed.  He drops the X5 off at Bimmer Rescue and they find it's the module, it needs to be replaced and the car needs to be reprogrammed.  Bimmer Rescue handles the claim through Maxcare and the item is covered.  Bimmer Rescue orders the part and fixes the car, Maxcare takes care of the bill except for the deductible and oil service he wanted when the X5 was in.  The bill would have been $3,300.

Now for another story...

Ernie's 330ci blew up.  He doesn't see the value in preventative maintenance, the only time Ernie fixes anything is when the car will not drive any further.  Bimmer Rescue has worked on his car before, it came in for a blown radiator hose a few months ago.  Bimmer Rescue recommended a "Cooling Package" which replaces all of the radiator hoses along with 9 other common failure items.  Bert (the other guy) did this repair at 70,000 miles and his cooling system was still solid at 170,000 miles.  

Anyways, Ernie only changed the one hose that was bad, declined the preventative cooling package and hit the road.  The water pump (would have been replaced with the cooling package) blew up in Rockville headed east and since Ernie doesn't like to pay for towing he tried to limp it home and the engine seized at the 95 split.  Ernie's BMW is now a paperweight, which is a real shame because it only had 85,000 miles on it.  He sold it on Craigslist for $500.

Are aftermarket warranties worth it? | Bimmer Rescue - image #3

Ernie went to a used car lot called "Cars 4 U" because they had a 2010 X5 with 60,000 miles that was the cheapest one in town.  Ernie rolled in there and negotiated the price down even lower knowing that these car lots inflate the price to allow for negotiation.  Ernie didn't do the Pre-Purchase Inspection Bimmer Rescue said was so important because the salesman said he could sell him a warranty from a company called "Value Line" for $500, the salesman insisted that he could use any shop he wanted to and he was "covered".

Ernie drove the X5 for eight months, no real big issues.  He drives a lot for work and put almost 12,000 miles on it in this period.  The day after Thanksgiving he got a "Reduced Power" malfunction and the service engine soon light came on.  He night dropped the car at Bimmer Rescue with his warranty info on the seat and they evaluated the issue and ran their checklist they do on every car, every time.  The techs found that a major part in the Valvetronic system had worn out prematurely and they also found some solenoids jammed up with debris in the engine.  They also found that the oil filter was a discount part, it collapsed and stopped filtering properly.

Bimmer Rescue called Value Line Warranty first thing but they didn't open until 9AM.  They finally picked up the phone and required they send an inspector at Ernies expense to look at it, the inspector took two days to show.  The inspector came out and looked at the car and sent his paperwork off to Value Line.  Bimmer Rescue had to call them three times to get them to respond to the claim, they only covered half of the labor and they wanted to ship in used parts.  Bimmer Rescue knew that for the way Ernie drives a used part would get him in trouble so they advocated for Ernie and they eventually agreed to pay for new parts, but would only cover half and would not cover any of the gaskets, fluids, hardware, a necessary additional part or sales tax.  Four days after the car was dropped off Bimmer Rescue finally had authorization to move forward.  The bill was $2,800 and after all of the Value Line fees they only paid out $450, Ernie was stuck with $2,350 and since he has a DUI Interlock he couldn't take Bimmer Rescue's Loaner and he missed a big sale he was working on in Rockville.

Don't be like Ernie, BE LIKE BERT.

Call Bimmer Rescue to schedule an appointment online to discuss warranties. We’re located at 6401F Dickens Place, Richmond, VA 23230. Our team of qualified auto mechanics is highly skilled at auto repair and happy to provide help in any way. Clients from Richmond, Short Pump, The West End, and The Fan District have come to trust that our commitment to stellar auto repair and customer service is unrivaled by our competition. We look forward to your visit!


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