A Look at AutoNation’s Warranty Policies
Protect yourself from unexpected expenses with the help of an AutoNation warranty
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With roots in Fort Lauderdale, AutoNation opened its doors in 1996. Since this time, it has opened over 360 locations across the United States. In addition to retailing vehicles, this company offers protection plans to assist drivers in saving money on repairs down the line. If you are planning to buy a vehicle at an AutoNation outlet, a good thing to consider is the merit of a protection plan. To help you decide, we’ve broken down all the essential details about AutoNation warranties.
AutoNation Warranty At-A-Glance
As with most warranty companies, AutoNation has multiple tiers of coverage. Based on which you select, the parts protected and the cost of the plan and deductible will differ. AutoNation coverage extends up to 75,000 miles or five years and is available on both new and pre-owned vehicles. These are broken down into both standard and specialized categories as follows:
- Engine: This is the most basic of the AutoNation warranties, with coverage extending to specific parts of the vehicle’s engine. All other parts are exempt from protection. It typically lasts for 60 months and 75,000 miles.
- Powertrain: One step up from the most basic plan, the powertrain warranty duration depends on the retail outlet and vehicle. It protects you against costs resulting from the drive axle system, transmission, and engine. Depending on the vehicle in question, the powertrain coverage can extend to movement-related parts on hybrid cars.
- Silver: The first of the three color-coded plans, the silver plan is more comprehensive than the powertrain plan. It covers everything included in the engine and powertrain plans, though also protects other parts. These include the brakes, steering system, air conditioning, and heating, as well as issues with the electrical system.
- Gold: Providing all the coverage of the silver plan, the gold warranty takes it one step further. It protects all the modern parts of the vehicle such as the ABS (anti-lock brakes) and window controls (electrical and manual). It also protects against expenses for the modern electrical components of hybrid vehicles.
- Platinum: By far the most comprehensive of all the warranty plans, the platinum arrangement is, in effect, the bumper-to-bumper plan. While the underwriting will dictate the exceptions to the warranty, it covers all the essential parts of your vehicle. As with the other plans, it has a fairly standardized lifespan that ranges from three to five years depending on the vehicle.
Choosing the correct warranty involves familiarizing yourself with the terms and conditions of each plan. It is a matter of identifying, based on the vehicle make and model you’re purchasing, what parts are most likely to need attention. From there, you can find the warranty that offers the most compatible coverage.
Naturally, if you want to plan for anything, it helps to pick the most comprehensive plan. Alternatively, if you are more focused on the basics, a powertrain warranty may suffice. AutoNation has both warranties with full and skeleton coverage, as well as those with mid-line protection.
The engine coverage offered through AutoNation is designed to offer the most basic level of protection. Since the engine is the most essential part of the vehicle’s overall ability to function, it is arguably the most essential protection to have. Additionally, since this part is the costliest to repair, this can offer substantial savings.
If there are any issues not related to the engine, they are not covered by the plan. As with the other plans, you can access the engine coverage for new and used vehicles. So long as the mileage does not exceed 75,000 miles, you can get it covered by the plan. Plus, since it has no deductible, the plan has a lot of benefits.
Available for new and preowned vehicles, the powertrain plans are priced at approximately $775 per year. It is available for five years or 75,000 miles, whichever metric the car hits first. As with the other plans, there is no deductible to access repairs.
The powertrain coverage plan saves on out-of-pocket repair expenses for the engine system, as well as other essential components to the vehicle’s operation. These include both front and rear-wheel drive, as well as electric parts of the motor. The powertrain warranty also protects the transmission.
This plan is priced at roughly $815 per year and extends for 60 months or 75,000 miles. There is no deductible on the silver coverage plan. It is a step up from the powertrain warranty, covering everything that’s included in that plan and more. It addresses the steering system as well as the suspension.
Another thing offered by the silver plan is the air conditioning system in your vehicle. Available for both new and used vehicles, this plan is far more comprehensive than either the engine or powertrain plan.
This plan is the penultimate arrangement through AutoNation. It provides all the protection of the silver plan as well as some other components. By addressing the ABS (anti-lock brake system), power seat motors, and vehicle sensors, gives you a fuller range of protection. The gold coverage also covers the display instruments, something that can run a hefty price tag on older vehicles.
As with the other coverage options, there is no deductible on the gold plans. They cost roughly $869 per year and are designed primarily for used vehicles with a mileage reading of over 60,000 at the time of purchase. Warranty holders can keep the coverage until the odometer reaches 75,000 or the time the agreement lapses.
With an approximate price of $978 per year, the platinum coverage has no associated deductibles. It is also, by far, the most comprehensive of all of AutoNation warranty plans. It covers everything that is addressed by the silver plan and is available for both new and used vehicles. The plans are also available for five years or 75,000 miles.
The reason many opt for the premium plan is that it covers the features excluded by all of the other plans. These covered services include tire replacements, aesthetic repairs, dents to the exterior, and issues with the windshield. It also accommodates theft protection, which can be a good supplement to lower-tier insurance policies.
On top of the other plans available, you can opt for extra features to get more comprehensive coverage. Among these offerings is GAP protection, short for guaranteed asset protection. This is protection that, if the vehicle is totaled and your insurance won’t pay the full amount, supplies you with the difference.
Other options that you can get as add-ons are windshield protection, plans for your wheels and your tires, as well as dent security to address aesthetic concerns. These are all termed as exclusionary on all plans except for the platinum coverage, so if you have a specific concern, be sure to consult with AutoNation at the point of purchase.
Common Repair Costs
Some of the most common issues and repair costs of covered repairs include:
- Nissan Altima: Trans Oil Pan Gasket Replacement ($209 - $234)
- Dodge Charger: Exhaust Muffler Replacement ($1,594 - $1,619)
- Ford Taurus: Camshaft Replacement ($1,234 - $1,512)
What We Like
There are many things we like about AutoNation warranties, not the least of which is the fact that none of the plans have a deductible. Instead of paying to access the warranty when you need repairs done, you pay for the warranty and nothing else. Plus, since the prices are reasonable (less than $1,000 per year, in most cases), it is a fiscally viable solution.
Another aspect of AutoNation warranties that we appreciate is the sheer variety of plans. Especially when you consider that these dealerships supply both new and pre-owned vehicles, diversity is necessary. A new car won’t need the same protection as a used model, so having five tiers from which to choose is very helpful.
Finally, we appreciate the nationwide protection and multiple service locations. AutoNation is affiliated with over 70,000 repair facilities across the country. That equates to roughly 1,400 per state. Warranties are only viable when the repairs are accessible, and AutoNation makes getting your car fixed under warranty extremely accessible.
What We Don’t Like
While there are a lot of things that we appreciate about AutoNation’s warranty offerings, there are somethings we don’t necessarily like. The first is the excluded services. Though the platinum arrangement covers these things, none of the other plans do. The fees associated with the additional plans aren’t specified, but given the close pricing between gold and platinum, the setup appears designed to leverage car owners into getting the priciest plan.
Another thing with which we are less than content is that the plans and prices differ based on both the location and the vehicle being bought. Though it makes sense, since you can get warranties on new and used vehicles, it makes researching ahead of time more challenging for potential warranty plan holders. However, given that there are over 350 retail locations, each with different vehicles, it is understandable.
Especially when considering extended warranties from a major company like AutoNation, it is important to plan and know what to expect. Warranties are all about making an investment ahead of time to mitigate the risk of costly repairs down the line. To assist, we’ve addressed the most common inquiries below.
Q. Is AutoNation extended warranty worth it?
The merit of an AutoNation extended warranty depends on the vehicle you’re purchasing, the dealership, and terms. Given the reasonable cost and accessible repairs, getting a plan makes sense, provided the repairs offered work for your new (or pre-owned) vehicle.
Q. Is AutoNation like CarMax?
The two businesses are quite similar, though AutoNation has recently moved towards fixed prices, eliminating the haggling process. Additionally, AutoNation does its repairs and inspections.
Is AutoNation’s Warranty Worth It?
After investigating both the specifics of the warranties and consumer reviews, we’ve determined that AutoNation warranties have reasonable merit if you opt for the Platinum plan. Though it can be a bit costly, it has thorough coverage. Since all warranties are a matter of risk management, it is important to compare rates. When choosing a warranty, contrast the terms against third-party providers and make sure you are getting the protection your vehicle needs.
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