Important Details About the Honda Care Warranty Program
A look at the popular Honda Care vehicle service contract
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Honda Care’s extended limited warranty program is one of the best options for getting expanded coverage on a Honda vehicle. While it’s not the only option out there, the program stands out among automakers by offering many extra perks you normally don’t get with other manufacturer extended warranty programs.
With that said, choosing whether you should buy a Honda Care plan isn’t always straightforward. In addition to deciding whether you needed expanded factory coverage, you also have to consider the extra services you can get against the cost of those services. In other words, do you really need the extras and do you want to pay a higher cost?
Answering this question will come down to thinking about your own needs and budget. Under the right conditions, Honda Care can be perfect, but it’s not right for everyone. Here are some details you should know and consider.
The core of the Honda Care program is the basic extension it offers for the original three-year/36,000-mile factory warranty for new Hondas. Under this extension, you can get the same basic coverage as the original manufacturer’s warranty you get from a Honda dealer for an extra few years (as well as additional coverage found on the powertrain limited warranty).
Honda offers an extension range between five years/60,000 miles and eight years/120,000 miles. Since you can only purchase a Honda Warranty Care plan while the original factory warranty (minus the powertrain warranty) is in effect, these numbers are actually the totality of the coverage itself. In reality, you will get two to five years of extra coverage on a new Honda vehicle with the Honda factory warranty.
When you are considering whether the Honda Care program is right for you, this basic core extension is a good consideration point. Factory warranties are rather limited in coverage since they only apply to factory defects. So, the value of this core extension only applies when your vehicle has experienced a few minor or major defects the factory needs to fix instead of normal wear and tear needing replacement parts all new cars will eventually experience.
It’s also important to consider the cost of this extended warranty program. This can be difficult since costs vary from vehicle to vehicle, meaning there is no standard rate. To get the best idea for what you should expect to pay with each option, you’ll need to get a free quote from a Honda dealership or authorized salesperson over the phone/online (you can also check the owner’s manual for sources of information).
Once you have this warranty information, you’ll be able to see if the costs fit within your budget or if you’ll have to look elsewhere for something more affordable.
Honda Care Extras
The core extension is only the start when it comes to considering a Honda Care warranty. Unlike factor warranties, extended vehicle service contracts tend to have extra services and perks that come in handy. These are sometimes limited to factory defects, like the core coverage, but there may be a few things that can really save you money.
For Honda Care, the program’s 24-hour roadside assistance services are a good example of the former. On paper, things like free towing, battery jumpstarts, flat tire changes, car rental, and lodging reimbursements, and more sound good. In most cases, however, you won’t be able to use these services unless the issue is caused by a factory defect.
The program’s maintenance services, however, do offer more money-saving value for a greater cost. Under the Sentinel Services program, Honda owners can enjoy free routine maintenance using OEM components installed by authorized technicians. This increases the quality of the work while ensuring everything is done to factory standards.
Ultimately, the extra perks from Honda Care are somewhat mixed, so the real value of the program will once again depend on your particular needs.
Honda Care Drawbacks
While Honda Care has many benefits as a factory warranty, the drawbacks are fairly easy to see when it comes to what isn’t covered and when/where you can get services done. As a result, it’s useful to think about the limitations of the program as a whole to determine if a third-party provider, like Endurance or some other, will be a better choice for your extended coverage.
As noted above, the main limitation of the coverage is the factory defect scope. Since most of the repair and extra services are limited to issues caused by factory defects, the warranty coverage may not apply in circumstances where you could really save some money. In fact, some of the more common causes of damage, like accidents and bad weather, fall out of the scope of the warranty altogether.
You should also expect to face some limitations in how you can use the warranty for covering repair costs. For example, even when a repair is covered, you will need to get the service work done at an authorized dealership or service repair center. This makes it easier for Honda to maintain quality control, but it also makes it difficult for you to go somewhere that is more affordable or close.
Making the Final Choice
So, do you really need a Honda Care warranty for extra peace of mind? In general, no one needs the extended warranty straight from the automaker. While the extended coverage is nice and the use of OEM components by qualified service technicians ensures a high level of consistent service, you may find that the limitations imposed by the warranty program aren’t worth the extra costs.
If this turns out to be the case, then a third-party warranty, may be the better option. Third-party vehicle service contracts tend to offer a lot of plans to consider and extra perks you can tack onto the basic coverage. This makes it easier to find warranty coverage that is tailored to your needs or budget more than what a factory warranty tends to offer.
That doesn’t mean that a Honda Care plan is always a bad choice. You may find that the extended coverage from Honda is worth it for more problematic vehicles that are plagued with manufacturing or material defects. In other words, if the vehicle actually encounters problems that are covered by the automaker’s extended warranty, it’s hard to argue that a third-party option is really necessary unless you want the greater freedom.
Making the final decision comes down to knowing your needs, doing some research, and getting free quotes ahead of time, and really taking the time to look at which warranty plans give you the most value.
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