LAST UPDATED:  February 10, 2021

The Drive Reviews CarShield’s Extended Warranty Plans

Let's look at CarShield's extended warranties and see what they offer 

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PUBLISHED ON February 10, 2021

Across the internet, people are searching how to best keep up with their car's regular, preventative, and extraordinary maintenance. You know, oil and brake pad changes, exhaust leaks, and that broken tie-rod you sheared when you hit a curb last week. But once you're outside your vehicle's factory-backed warranty, what do you do? Just pay out of pocket? That's not necessarily the best option for many Americans, especially for the vast majority of folks where a $500 bill could cripple them. 

One alluring option is getting a third-party vehicle warranty, like the ones from CarShield. 



CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

CarShield is just one of many warranty companies in the United States that offer third-party vehicle warranty plans for vehicles in and out of their original manufacturer’s warranty coverage. They also offer a large variety of plans that, on the surface, seem to fit the needs of almost any customer with a new or used ride. That means, yes, your 1992 Plymouth Acclaim could be brought back into warranty. 

From a glance, CarShield has a little something for everyone. But does it really offer the value it claims to provide? What plans should you consider and what information you need to know to make the best decision? The Drive wanted to do a deeper look into CarShield to answer these questions and see what the company really offers. Let's get into the particulars. 

Looking at CarShield's coverage
The Drive x CarShield

Take a look at CarShield's coverage

Why Purchase an Extended Warranty?

An extended warranty, in general, can offset the cost of repairs and issues under certain conditions. Some of which are:

  • You have an old vehicle that requires more service on basic drivetrain parts.
  • You want extra coverage and services manufacturer warranties don't provide.
  • Having a working car that never needs downtime at a shop is a priority and a warranty provides peace of mind.

Essentially, the older your car is, the more an extended warranty like the one from CarShield has potential value.

A Look at CarShield

CarShield formed in 2005, bringing together a handful of other third-party extended warranty companies, in order to help bridge the gap between your vehicle's factory warranty and the rest of its life. In its 15+ year existence, CarShield has covered more than 1 million vehicles in their time of need, as well strived to offer "exceptional experience by providing every owner of a vehicle with a dependable, reliable, and affordable solution to unexpected and costly repairs." 

According to the company's site, "CarShield is committed to being a financial shield in a time of need," and that starts with the host of flexible plans CarShield offers, including those for high-mileage cars, off-warranty new cars, off-road vehicles, specialty vehicles, and even some tech-focused vehicles. Let's take a look at CarShield's extended warranty plans. 

A Top-Down Look At CarShield’s Extended Warranty Plans

What does CarShield offer? The company offers a number of plans that cater to different needs, and each plan covers a different set of vehicles, conditions, and ages. There are even some for new cars—we're not sure why you'd want a secondary warranty for your new car, we'd never get one. But as an extended warranty provider, the company specializes in coverage plans that tend to add more value, coverage, and services to pre-owned autos. 

CarShield's tag-line is that, and under the right conditions, you may save more on regular or unexpected automotive maintenance costs than if you pay straight out-of-pocket. As such, the company offers its extended warranties, also known as service contracts, through its distributors: American Auto Shield and United Car Care. Between the two, CarShield offers six primary coverage and protection plans that break down into different levels of offerings. Let's first detail what those six are. 

CarShield's Diamond Plan

This is a basic extended warranty plan that CarShield offers, mimicking the coverage of a lot of new car warranties provided directly from the manufacturer. It primarily covers the powertrain, drivetrain, and drive axle in case of a major problem. Plus all the other aspects you’d expect from any good insurance plan, like rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and car rental coverage.

CarShield's Platinum Plan

A CarShield service plan focused primarily on high-mileage vehicles, this plan provides a lot of coverage for parts that tend to wear out over time, everything from the power steering pump or water pump.

CarShield's Gold Plan

A basic, all-around CarShield warranty option that covers a good mix of components throughout the vehicle. It doesn't offer as much coverage options on important components likely to wear out over time, making it more useful for vehicles with less than 100,000 miles on the engine.

CarShield's Silver Plan

This is the budget plan CarShield offers to protect the most essential components in a vehicle, everything from the engine transmission, fuel pump, alternator, and water pump.

CarShield's High Tech Plan

Since more modern cars have electrical and electronic systems that can be difficult to repair or replace, this CarShield plan covers the most advanced systems in a car. This can include things like basic computer control systems and the infotainment system within a vehicle.

CarShield's Other Plans

In the "specialty" category of CarShield’s plans, you will find a number of different options that tend to cover different types of vehicles. These can include things like motorcycle coverage, ATV coverage, RV coverage, and more. Some also include roadside assistance, free towing, rental car reimbursement, and rental car coverage. 

The idea CarShield seems to run with is “more is more.” In other words, by providing as many specific plans for different vehicle types and conditions as possible, the company makes it easier for you, the customer, to find something attractive in its offerings. This is an advantage most factory warranties can't provide since they tend to be designed to be as universal as possible.

At the same time, this also can create a sense of information overload if you aren't familiar with the particulars of extended warranties and what you may or may not need for your specific coverage.

CarShield Warranty Costs

It's difficult to know exactly what you will be paying for a particular plan from CarShield. The actual cost depends on the plan itself, your vehicle, its age and condition, and other smaller factors that come into play. Including what your deductible would be on a specific type of repair. 

CarShield doesn't quote an exact number but states that most customers can expect to pay around $100 or more a month for the basic or mid-level policies. Without a detailed breakdown of your prospective individual coverage, however, it's difficult to estimate properly. Be sure that, when or if you get a quote from any extended warranty provider, you read ALL the fine print.

A car insurance claims form

Filing out a claims form is often the first step to taking advantage of your car insurance.

The Drive's Pros on CarShield's Warranty 

When it comes to CarShield as a third-party automotive insurance provider, the thing we like the most about the company is the number of options it provides. Extended warranties naturally cover more than their factory counterparts, which can make it difficult to know what you may need or want for your specific coverage. CarShield has a "buffet" of auto warranty options that makes it easier to compare and contrast the differences and similarities and to prioritize what is most important to the CarShield customer. It also makes it easier to find coverage for other vehicle types like motorcycles and RVs or to cover multiple vehicles with the same company if desired.

The plethora of powertrain coverage options, in particular, is quite notable. While many factory powertrain warranties last several years, they still tend to be limited to defects that occur from natural use. In other words, general wear and tear or field performance upgrades and enhancements won't be covered by the manufacturer. Since these are the most important parts of the vehicle to keep it running, the large range of powertrain options included in many of the company’s plans makes it easy to cover likely repair costs that will come up as your vehicle ages without being reliant on the manufacturer itself.

CarShield has also created a pretty extensive customer service network to provide the necessary information to its customers and to help them figure out which plan is best for them and their needs. Such help is important to avoid the possible information overload, and it is nice to see that the company takes great strides in communicating basic contact information, such as their main email and phone number, so customers have a clear starting point as questions arise.

The Drive's Cons on CarShield's Warranty 

Like we said, there seems to be a lot to like about CarShield's offerings when it comes to extended warranties. Unfortunately, we noticed a couple of drawbacks that you need to know in order to make the best decision for yourself in terms of whether to buy a CarShield plan or not. For example, the biggest problem we see with CarShield is the lack of detailed information it provides on many of its plans.

Yes, you can learn about the basics of each plan just by visiting its website. If you want to know more detailed information, like how long the plan lasts, a basic estimate without getting a quote, and the particular exclusions that apply to each plan, CarShield makes it difficult to find this information for yourself. Using their extensive customer service platform, you can talk with a CarShield service contract representative to get more specifics, but even this can be a hassle too. 

Keep in mind that while CarShield has a lot of great user reviews around the web, there are also some negative reviews. Some are based on the lack of information on warranty service length, type of coverage, or lack of coverage once purchased in particular, which makes it difficult for anyone to judge whether the company and what plan they may choose in the long run. 

So, do your research to get the most relevant information for you and your needs. You may also need to find specific information on vehicle exclusions since almost all providers have limitations on a vehicle's age or mileage that disqualifies them from particular coverage.

A car after an accident.
Getty Images

Extended plans can be valuable if the car is old enough, but major accidents usually require purchasing a new car.

FAQs On CarShield and its Extended Warranty

You've got questions, The Drive has answers!

Q. Is an Extended Warranty the Same as Car Insurance?

A. Not at all. Car insurance doesn’t cover regular repairs. Instead, it tends to kick in when an accident has occurred. Extended warranties, on the other hand, can cover repairs, carried out at a third-party repair facility.

Q. What is the Average Cost of CarShield Monthly?

A. This all depends on your vehicle, your vehicle's issue, and the plan you select, but the typical plans CarShield offers range between a monthly payment of $100 and $150. That might seem high, but so is fixing and maintaining your vehicle. If you have a newer Mercedes-Benz and a turbocharged engine, you could be out several thousand dollars to replace a turbocharger. 

Coverage like this can take the stress right out of an accident or unexpected vehicle failure.

Q. Does CarShield H​​​​ave a Deductible?

A. Yes, though per our review, they're either very low or nonexistent. Your deductible will be determined by your level of coverage. If needed, the repair claim will be paid in full directly to an ASE certified mechanic, repair facility, car dealership, or repair shop once the deductible has been paid.

Q. What Does CarShield Cover?

A. CarShield offers a good balance of coverage that is similar to a factory warranty and plans that resemble a power train coverage. Plans can include things like a vehicle’s engine, transmission, electronics, fuel pump, etc.

Q. Does CarShield Cover Oil Changes?

A. No, CarShield does not cover routine maintenance like oil changes. The Platinum and Gold coverage levels do cover the engine block, rotor housing, oil pan, engine oil dipstick, engine dipstick tube, and timing cover if damaged by a failing internal oil oil-lubricated engine part.

Q. Does CarShield Cover Oil Leaks?

A. No, oil leaks aren’t covered by CarSheild unless they are a result of damage by a failing internally oil-lubricated engine part. This only applies to customers that have Platinum or Gold cover leave insurance. Those that have Gold level coverage or lower are not covered for this type of failure.

Q. Does CarShield Cover Air-Conditioning Issues?

A. Yes. Customers that have CarShield’s Gold coverage plan will have their a/c covered by the plan. This includes the air conditioning condenser, the compressor, the expansion valve, the evaporator, the orifice tube, the accumulator/receiver dryer, and the blower motor.

Q. Does CarShield Cover Power Steering Issues?

Yes. CarShield’s Platinum coverage plan covers all internally lubricated power steering parts within the steering gear housing. This includes the power steering pump, the main and intermediate shafts, the pitman arm, the couplings, the idler arm, the rack and pinion, the drag/center link, and the tie rod ends.

Q. Does CarShield Cover Older Cars?

A. Yes, CarShield does offer cover for older pre-owned or used cars. This is particularly handy for older vehicles as parts like the water pump, electrics, and air conditioning will often start to fail. To determine how much it will cost to cover your car, get in contact with one of their service contract representatives on 1-800-974-9385.

The Drive's Verdict: Is a Warranty from CarShield Worth It?

Ultimately, if you're in the market for a new extended warranty, CarShield offers a lot that's attractive under certain conditions, particularly for older cars with high mileage. In truth, this is actually true of any extended warranty since the money-saving value of such a warranty is only a reality if your vehicle is old enough. With new vehicles, you're less likely to actually save money since you are less likely to need unexpected repairs that cost money. The older a vehicle age is, however, the more likely you are to save money since it will probably need more automotive attention as it ages.

If you do decide that an extended warranty is needed for your vehicle, the comprehensive range of warranty options CarShield provides is the biggest draw to this particular company. Whether that's enough to get over the mismatched reviews on Consumer Affairs and Better Business Bureau is going to be a decision only you can make.

More Information

It's always best when you have more information, as going in blind can lead to stubbed toes or broken ankles. To help you further, The Drive put together a few more resources you can use to find out about CarShield:



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CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote



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Explore Your Other Options with Endurance

Going with the right third-party warranty provider requires some time and research to compare different options. It’s important to know what you should expect to pay, what kind of coverage you will get, and how helpful and friendly a provider’s customer support actually is. Endurance makes it easy to find all of this information before spending a single dollar; check out the comprehensive set of Endurance coverage plans, get a personalized quote, and even talk to a customer representative.

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