The Ins and Outs of GM Extended Warranties
What you get and what is limited with GM's extended warranty offerings.
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Like many automakers, GM offers its customers the opportunity to extend the length of its basic warranties when they near the expiration point. Unlike other manufacturers, however, the company represents four distinct (and popular) brands that each have slightly different limits and coverages.
As a result, it pays to know what you may potentially get with a GM warranty, depending on the specific brand.
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Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with an Endurance extended warranty. Offering more comprehensive coverage on repairs and services OEM warranties list in exclusions, an Endurance warranty actually provides the type of coverage many disappointed vehicle owners assume automakers just include automatically. Best of all, an Endurance plan isn’t limited by a vehicle’s mileage or age, so you can cover your vehicle no matter what.
- Chevrolet and GMC Coverage: Five years, 60,000 miles
- Buick and Cadillac Coverage: Six years, 70,000 miles
- True limited warranty extension vs the typical service contract passed off as an extended warranty.
- Other protection plans available beyond the limited extended warranty.
- No extra perks with limited extended warranty.
- Limited ability to select dealership or garage to get work done on a vehicle.
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. In the usual scenario, an automotive manufacturer will offer some kind of service contract in place of the factory warranty once it hits the expiration date.
This often carries extra perks like roadside assistance but may be lacking when it comes to fixing defects with genuine OEM parts. GM’s approach, on the other hand, extends all of the basic advantages of a true factory warrant for a few extra years and thousands of miles.
Extended Limited Warranty
Regardless of the actual GM-owned brand vehicle you have, the extended warranty works the same way. The basic coverage of the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty, which covers factory defects due to material or workmanship issues, remains past the expiration date of the original warranty.
This type of warranty covers a car from front to back and often applies to interior or exterior issues, particularly with the drivetrain or other systems needed to keep the vehicle running.
The lifespan of the warranty depends on the specific brand of your vehicle. In the case of GMC and Chevy vehicles, the original three-year, 36,000-mile factory warranty can be extended to five years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Buick and Cadillac vehicle owners can extend their original four-year, 50,000-mile warranty to six years or 70,000 miles. The general cost for the extended warranty is between $1,000 and $2,000, which can be added onto the vehicle’s financing if it’s bought at the time of the vehicle’s purchase.
Since the limited extended warranty is just a basic extension of the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty, there isn’t much else the vehicle owner gets in terms of extra perks and coverage.
As a result, GM continues to offer its General Motors Protection Plan (GMPP) as a more traditional service contract. This is available to all four of the GM brands and offers a few extra perks.
The GMPP is actually divided into two coverage levels. Both plans have an upper limit of 150,000 miles:
- Silver: The basic repair coverage plan that acts like an extended powertrain warranty. Systems included in the repair coverage are things like the brakes, drivetrain, air conditions, and seals and gaskets. Coverage is limited to factory defects.
- Platinum: The exclusionary coverage plan is more expensive and comprehensive than the Silver plan, acting more like an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty than anything else. The list of exclusions is smaller, and the coverage includes both manufacturing defects and normal wear and tear on parts.
Repairs are done at GM-authorized dealerships and auto shops without the need of any paperwork, deductibles, or unknown exclusions, so the coverage is generally far more reliable than some third-party extended contracts that may come from less reputable brokers or admins who make it difficult to secure repair work at an affordable price.
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 just expands the basic coverage of the factory limited warranty.
While this doesn’t cover routine maintenance or unexpected accidental damage, the extended coverage period helps if a vehicle experiences delayed issues due to factory defects.
Second, GM actually gives customers more choices than other major automakers for their extended warranty. Granted, this is all for an extra price, but the ability to choose between an extended limited warranty and a more traditional service contract is beneficial for people wanting to choose the best coverage for their vehicle.
The fact that the GMPP plan also takes a tiered approach also gives people even more choice on how to spend their hard-earned dollars.
GM even throws in more common perks of traditional service contracts like roadside assistance and vacation interruption benefits. Once again, this all comes at an extra cost, but it's all there for customers needing or wanting the additions some automakers deny vehicle owners in the interest of simplicity or enhancing the bottom line.
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). So, you may face a hard choice if you need an abundance of choices.
It’s unlikely, for example, that the extended limited warranty will be enough in this case. Since the coverage is limited to factory defects, this type of warranty becomes less and less valuable as a vehicle ages.
Issues older vehicles have tended to be related to the aging process more so than delayed factory defects, so the limited extended warranty won’t apply as much. Therefore, you may find yourself seeking out extended coverage through a traditional service contract (GM or third-party) to get the most coverage for an aging vehicle.
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?
A. Except for the year and mileage limitations, yes. 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?
A. 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.
Are GM’s Extended Warranties Worth It?
The value of GM’s different extended warranty options ultimately depends on your individual needs. If your vehicle is still relatively new or just now nearing the expiration point of the factory limited warranty, you may find the simple limited extended warranty to be the best, most affordable option to keep your vehicle protected from factory defects.
Older vehicles, however, won’t benefit as much from this limited extension, so you may find more worth in the GMPP options or a third-party provider.
Here are a few more resources you can use:
Get More Protection with Endurance
Get $350 off an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350
You don’t have to rely on the automaker to give you vehicle coverage that actually saves you money. In fact, most factory extended warranties fall short of customer expectations. When you think your vehicle is covered for an unexpected repair or needed service, you will likely find the factory warranty falls short.
A plan with Endurance, on the other hand, is much more comprehensive since it actually covers things beyond factory defects and flaws. So, if you want real coverage, it’s time to check out Endurance.
Get a free quote from Endurance today or call: 1-855-632-3655.
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