The Ins and Outs of GM Extended Warranties
See what you get and what is limited with GM’s extended warranty offerings.
When you purchase a brand-new General Motors vehicle, you get a warranty that’ll cover the first few years of ownership and thousands of miles — but you’ll age out of that coverage pretty quickly. Fortunately, like many other automakers, GM gives drivers the chance to extend their warranty coverage and protection with a GM Extended Warranty plan.
Once your GM vehicle gets close to its warranty expiration date, you can extend it to keep your coverage for longer. Whether you have a Chevrolet or a Buick, a GMC or a Cadillac, each warranty and extended warranty service contract is a bit different. The four distinct GM auto brands offer distinct protection plans, each with its own limits and coverage choices.
So, there are a quite a few choices to make when you’re opting for extended warranty coverage through GM. The key is understanding what you’re eligible for and whether those options suit your needs.
Learn more about what GM’s different extended warranties cover for each brand within the company.
GM’s extended warranty works a bit differently than other automaker extended options, primarily because it is an actual extension for the existing factory bumper-to-bumper warranty that comes with new vehicles.
When you purchase a GM extended warranty for a Chevy, GMC, Buick, or Cadillac vehicle, you can take your standard bumper-to-bumper limited warranty farther. These warranties extend your coverage beyond the basic three years, 36,000 miles of basic coverage. And because they’re sold directly by GM’s brands, you aren’t getting a third-party warranty — you’re getting a factory warranty for your car.
Buying one of General Motors GM protection plans (which can go by other names, such as the Chevrolet Optional Extended Limited Warranty or the GMC Protection Plan) ensures you’re getting a quality, trustworthy extended warranty. You’ll continue to enjoy all the perks and advantages of a GM-approved warranty for longer.
And this means you can trust that your vehicle will be repaired in line with factory standards. A GM protection plan eliminates any worry about third-party parts or repairs; you’ll have any defects present fixed with genuine OEM parts.
All of GM’s warranties are transferable, which is great if you plan to potentially sell your vehicle. While your car is under its original factory warranty or a GM extended warranty, that coverage will transfer to the new owner.
Extended Limited Warranty
All GM extended warranties work in the same matter. It doesn’t matter if you own a Cadillac or a GMC — opting into the General Motors Protection Plan may have a different name, but all of GM’s brands offer the same coverage and support.
Here’s how the extended warranty coverage works. You’ll get factory bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage that covers your vehicles in the event of factory defects caused by material or workmanship issues. It’s true bumper-to-bumper coverage, which includes interior and exterior problems. The biggest systems of your vehicle, like the drivetrain or any other system necessary to keep it running, are also covered.
The sole difference among GM brands and their specific warranties is the length, or lifespan, of the coverage. Chevrolet and Buick owners can extend their three-year, 36,000-mile factory warranties to five years or 60,000 miles. Cadillac owners can extend their four-year, 50,000-mile factory warranties to six years or 70,0000 miles. And GMC owners can extend their three-year, 36,000-mile factory warranties to either five years and 60,000 miles, or seven years and 100,000 miles.
When it comes to cost, each GM Brand features different costs and pricing. You’ll want to talk to your local dealership — specifically, the dealership you purchased your GM vehicle with — to get the details on what it’ll cost to extend your warranty. There, you can get a free quote and learn more about adding the cost of your extended warranty to your current financing plan.
No matter which General Motors brand of vehicle you drive, the limited extended warranty is just a basic extension of the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty. So, there isn’t much else that the vehicle owner gets in terms of extra perks and coverage.
But within each GM brand, there are options for additional coverage. The GM Extended Protection Plan includes additional packages and plans, but your available options will be limited by the brand of vehicle you own.
Additionally, all GM owners have the option to add additional coverage in the form of the Platinum Protection Plan. It’s a comprehensive coverage plan that includes repairs on more than 1,000 vehicle parts. The name varies a bit from brand to brand — for example, if you own a Chevy it’s called the Chevrolet Platinum Protection Plan — but it’s available for any GM vehicle.
You can also opt to purchase the Vehicle Service Contract, which is available when you buy a new GM-brand vehicle and covers you in the event certain parts fail. It’s good for up to seven years or 100,000 miles.
What We Like
There are a couple of things that GM does well compared to other major automakers with its extended warranty options. First and foremost, it’s one of the few major players to offer a true extended warranty that actually expands the basic coverage of the factory limited warranty rather than replacing it with a third-party option. This means you can trust that the repairs — and the parts used — are approved GM OEM.
Additionally, GM provides vehicle owners with a good variety of options. You can opt for an extended factory warranty, a longer extended warranty with more comprehensive coverage, or a vehicle service contract, which offers more coverage over a longer period of time. These choices let you decide how long you’d like to keep your new covered and what, exactly, you need from your warranty.
Lastly, there are differences from brand to brand. While there are four brands under the GM name, it’s a good thing that each individual auto brand has different details for its extended warranty. You can extend your factory coverage in different ways, and more expensive vehicles (like those produced by Cadillac) can offer longer terms.
What We Don’t Like
GM takes many strides to add an extra degree of choice and customization to its extended warranty offerings, but it still falls short of a true “buffet” style where customers can choose the plans they really want.
In other words, most third-party providers will still have GM beat (assuming they can offer the same reputation and credibility as the GM brand). A GM extended warranty simply extends your factory coverage, which can be surprisingly limiting. With only factory defects covered, you’ll have to pay out of pocket should any parts require repairs that aren’t caused by a defect.
Factory defects can be pretty rare, which means your warranty may be less valuable as your car ages and begins experiencing issues related to wear and tear. Should you wind up in an accident or start to see parts fail with use and miles of driving, you’ll be able to rely on your GM warranty less and less. In these situations, a third-party warranty is a better choice and offers better value.
And you may find that actually getting your GM extended warranty to cover your costs and needed repairs is difficult. Even if you do need to head into the shop due to a factory defect, the options are limited. GM requires you to use certain repair shops only, and that can be difficult if there are none near your home. You may also find it difficult to take advantage of your investment in the warranty once the shop determines issues aren’t caused by factory defects too.
Common Repair Costs
Some of the most common issues and repair costs with GM vehicles:
- GMC Sierra 2500: Fog Lamp Relay Replacement ($57 to $65)
- Chevy Astro: Control Arm Replacement ($1,724 to $1,795)
- Cadillac DeVille: MAP Sensor Replacement ($159 to $200)
- Buick Rendezvous: Tire Rotation ($35 to $45)
Q. Are the Chevy, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac warranties all the same?
Except for the year and mileage limitations, yes. You’ll have the exact same coverage, just for a shorter or longer period of time. Each brand-specific warranty has the same basic set of inclusions and exclusions, all of which mimic the original factory bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Q. Is the extended warranty the same as a CPO warranty?
No. A CPO warranty comes with any GM-certified pre-owned vehicle—one that has gone through a specific inspection process to make sure the used vehicle is in good condition. You can sometimes buy an extended warranty for CPO vehicles, but there may be differences between the two.
GM Extended Warranty Customer Reviews
It’s hard to get a read on customers’ feelings about and experiences with GM’s protection plans. General Motors actually isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), so there isn’t an accurate rating or assessment available for customers’ reviews and experiences with the extended warranty program.
Reviews for GM through the BBB primarily focus on vehicle owners’ unhappiness with their purchases or the cost of buying a new vehicle. There isn’t much insight into whether or not customers are happy with their factory warranties and any extended warranty products.
The most common issue customers face with their GM extended warranties is actually getting repairs covered. Because the coverage of the protection plans is designed solely for factory defects, many owners experience problems getting GM or its individual auto brands to approve the repairs under warranty coverage.
Are GM’s Extended Warranties Worth It?
A GM extended warranty can be a good choice if you’re the owner of a new, still-under-warranty vehicle from one of the four General Motors brands. Whether you opt to extend your factory coverage or choose a vehicle service plan, you can get coverage that lasts for much of your vehicle’s lifetime.
But the benefits and value you’ll get out of this factory warranty program varies. You’ll want to assess your individual wants and needs before choosing GM extended warranty cover. Because these plans solely offer coverage in the event of factory defects, your options can grow more limited as your vehicle ages.
However, if you’ve recently bought a Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, or Buick vehicle — or have one with a factory warranty that’s expiring soon — extending your factory coverage can be beneficial. And it may be an affordable way to protect your investment, especially if you’re already noticing factory-caused issues or needing repairs.
Here are a few more resources you can use:
MORE TO READ
Car Warranties: Ultimate Guide on Factory vs Extended Coverage
Don’t ignore the major differences between factory and extended warranties. These differences just might keep some money in your pocket
A Look at CarChex’s Extended Warranty Plans
CarChex provides auto warranties, resources for auto insurance, inspections, and roadside assistance. Is it the right provider for you?
What to Expect with a Subaru Warranty
If you just bought a new Subaru vehicle, there are some basics to the Subaru factory warranty you should know about