Are Buick’s Extended Warranty and Protection Plans Worth Purchasing?
Buick’s extended warranty has both good and bad selling points
When your new vehicle's factory warranty expires, you may want to lengthen the coverage with an extended warranty, which is also known as a vehicle service contract. Buick is under the umbrella of General Motors (GM), alongside Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac, and offers consumers an extended limited warranty, as well as a protection plan that covers potentially expensive repair costs during the lifespan of the coverage.
Buick's programs cover problems related to mechanical repairs, including parts and labor. It's something to consider if you want to avoid pricey fixes related to automotive maintenance. Check out our review of the mid-range luxury vehicle’s extended limited warranty and protection plan to see if either is worth considering.
Buick’s extended limited warranty provides more comprehensive service and repairs than the manufacturer's standard bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The extended limited warranty has no deductible. The vehicle is warranted for repairs, including parts and labor, to correct defects in materials or workmanship with new, remanufactured, or refurbished parts. Routine maintenance is excluded.
For 2020 Buick vehicles, you can choose the longer extended limited warranty with coverage for five years/60,000 miles, whichever comes first (building upon the basic warranty of three years/36,000-miles). For 2018-2019 Buick vehicles, you can choose the longer extended limited warranty with coverage for six years/70,000 miles, whichever comes first (building upon the basic warranty of four years/50,000 miles).
On top of the manufacturer’s warranty is Buick’s Platinum Protection Plan, which provides additional protection for your vehicle’s engine, transmission, etc. This vehicle service contract includes the following term options: two years/24,000 miles, three years/36,000 miles, four years/48,000 miles, or five years/60,000 miles.
Basically, Buick’s extended limited warranty is an extension of the automaker's standard bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and offers no additional benefits. Also, it is not available for vehicles sold in California, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, or Minnesota.
The Protection Plan is similar to other manufacturers’ extended warranties. The plan is available in two levels, Silver or Platinum. The top-tier Platinum Protection Plan is exclusionary, so everything is covered unless it is in the exclusions section of the vehicle service contract. The Silver level provides inclusionary repair or replacement coverage for specified components.
The Protection Plan covers more than 1,000 parts, such as the engine, transmission, drive axle, transfer case, steering, electrical, air conditioning system, seals and gaskets, etc. It does not cover items such as the battery and battery cable/harness, lenses, sealed beams, light bulbs, key fobs, tire pressure sensors, brake rotors and drums, exhaust components, trim items, tires and wheels/rims, maintenance services, and certain emission components.
Also, the Protection Plan will not cover damage or breakdowns related to a collision, road hazard, fire, theft, vandalism, lightning, earthquake, rust or corrosion, windstorm, hail, water or flood, acts of God, environmental damage, chemicals, among other things.
Finally, the Protection Plan won't cover vehicles that are improperly serviced or modified with parts not recommended by the manufacturer. In addition, the coverage excludes pre-existing conditions that occur before the contract purchase date.
Buick's protection plan includes some roadside assistance services, including up to $150 reimbursement per occurrence for towing or road service charges. Buick will also provide up to $40 per day (with a $280 maximum per visit) for a rental car or alternative transportation expenses if your vehicle breaks down.
The protection plan also provides a trip interruption provision. If a breakdown occurs over 100 miles from your home and your vehicle must be kept at a repair facility overnight, you will be reimbursed up to $200 per day with a maximum total of $800 per occurrence. The service contract will also reimburse you up to $35 for locksmith services if your keys are lost, broken, or locked inside your vehicle.
The protection plan is transferable to a new owner if you decide to sell your vehicle. It can also be canceled at any time if you choose to sell your vehicle or if the loss of vehicle occurs. If you cancel within 60 days and you didn't file a claim, you will receive a full refund. After 60 days or following a claim, you will receive a proportional refund.
What We Like
The draw of a vehicle service contract, such as the Buick Protection Plan, is its coverage of components and added benefits such as towing/road service, rental car and trip interruption reimbursement, and lost key/lockout services.
If you drive frequently and don't typically work on your own vehicle, the roadside services can be very helpful, especially on long trips. It's nice to have that peace of mind if your vehicle’s battery dies, it runs out of gas, or you accidentally lock your keys inside of it.
The maintenance and repair coverage is similar to what many other automakers offer in their extended warranties, so that element of the service contract doesn't rise above the pack for Buick.
It’s also convenient to have the ability to cancel the protection plan at any time for just a small fee. This prevents potential issues with the dealership over discontinuing the service, and you can receive a full refund if you cancel within 60 days.
What We Don’t Like
One downside to Buick's Protection plan is that it doesn't cover mechanical breakdowns related to accidents, vandalism, or weather-related conditions. This is something that's prevalent among many manufacturer-specific extended warranties. Also, if you improperly maintain your vehicle or it has pre-existing conditions, it won't be covered.
In addition, the automaker’s extended limited warranty is basically just an extension of the manufacturer’s standard bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and doesn’t include any perks. Also, if you buy a Buick in certain states, you don’t have the option of purchasing the extended coverage at all.
Common Repair Costs
Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Buick vehicles:
- Buick LeSabre: Fuel pump replacement ($321 - $418)
- Buick Century: Intake manifold gasket replacement ($279 - $340)
- Buick Century: Window regulator motor replacement ($339 - $469)
- Buick LaCrosse: Power steering hose replacement ($432 - $477)
- Buick Rendezvous: Fuel filter or pump replacement ($51 - $75)
Q. How long is the warranty on a Buick?
A. 2020 model-year Buicks receive the standard manufacturer’s warranty of three years or 36,000-miles, whichever comes first. 2018-2019 model-year Buick vehicles receive the standard manufacturer’s warranty of four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. The automaker’s extended limited warranty covers 2020 models for five years or 60,000 miles and 2018-19 models for six years or 70,000 miles.
Q. Does the Buick warranty cover tires?
A. Buick’s bumper-to-bumper warranty covers 100 percent of the cost to mount and balance tires.
Q. Is a Buick warranty transferable?
A. The powertrain limited warranty is fully transferable, and the Buick Protection Plan is also transferable but may be subjected to a small fee.
Q. Does Buick offer free maintenance?
A. General Motors recently made changes to its brands' complimentary maintenance plans for 2019 model-year vehicles. It currently offers just one free maintenance service.
Is Buick’s Extended Warranty Worth It?
Not everyone likes extended warranties. Some new car owners avoid them because they don't want to pay extra for the coverage. This makes sense with basic extended warranties (including Buick’s extended warranty) because they simply lengthen the defect repair coverage of manufacturer warranties.
On the other hand, Buick’s Protection Plan has minimal exclusions and covers numerous components, which is helpful if you don't want to get stuck on the side of the road or spend too much money on unexpected repairs.
A service contract such as the one offered by Buick may not be necessary if you are a garage mechanic or don't drive very often. In the end, it's up to you if the coverage and additional services such as roadside assistance are worth it.
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