Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anyone With Input About The MINI Extended Warranty?


NorCal MINIs member Kristoffer Köster asks:
So the 4yr 48k mi warranty is coming up on our car. We can extend it for I think around $1200-1500 or maybe less, I forgot the price quote.

Kathleen and I don't drive it much so we only have 17-18k mi on the car. Do you guys think its worth it to get the 1yr extended manuf warranty? I've had a few problems with the car, the engine mount fluid leaked, and had an oil leak when something broke in the engine. Otherwise its been in for it regular maintenance. Bought new tires after the run flats failed....

Kathleen and I are currently in the process of buying our first house. So it seems like 1k is a great deal not having to worry about the car for another year, but I wanted to get your opinion first.

Cheers, hope you are all well. See you in Yosemite soon! (Sorry its our first outing this year)

We here at NorCal MINIs have differing views on the Extended Warranty depending on cost, mileage, mechanical aptitude and level of paranoia.

OK Readers, give Kristoffer your input. Make your comment by clicking on "comments" under this post. Should Kristoffer and Kathleen buy the Extended Warranty?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Basically you are betting that you will have to spend more than $1200on repairs in the next year. If I felt that way about my car I would sell it tomorrow. Remember, their are also deductables involved and some repairs are not covered. Usually 30-50% of the price of the warranty is paid to the sales person as a commission. Save the money for your new home. Regards, Dr. Pepper

NorCal MINIs said...

I agree with Dr. Pepper. I have a 2003 MCS with 38K. When my then 3 year warranty expired in 2006 I had about 18K on the car. During the warranty period, aside from regular maintenance, the steering rack was replaced twice - once at less than 1000 miles and one at less than 7,000 miles - and front brake pads were replaced once. No problems since.

The one year extended warranty would have covered the car for 6,000 miles at the rate I was driving the car. I did not purchase it. I had the oil and filter changed over the next 6,000 miles. Therefore, it would have, had I purchased it, been a $1,500 oil change.

Since then, in addition to oil changes and filters, I have had new brake pads, new tires (twice), new rotors, replaced the manifold gasket and replaced the air conditioning compressor. Total cost of non-maintenance items at an independent MINI auto shop (excluding tires) over the course of the last 3 1/2 years is approximately $3,000. That means the best you are likely to do is about break even between cost of repair and premium if you buy the extended coverage if my 2003 is any indication. (Actually I think later models may be even more reliable).

However, the need to repair is not linear. Repairs are generally more frequent as the car gets older and has more mileage. Therefore, it is generally a bad bet to buy a one year extended warranty right after the manufacturer's warranty expires.

Depending on premium, policy and company offering the warranty, a 3 or 5 year extended warranty might make sense. But, to my knowledge, no reputable company offers a reasonable 3 to 5 year extended warranty for the MINI.

NorCal MINIs said...

I should add the $3K in repairs also included a new clutch (this year) that I failed to mention.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm coming up on 45,000 miles and also have been considering a warranty extension. However, it seems most warranty companies require that you have your MINI serviced at a commercial auto repair business. Considering I do my own oil changes, I'm thinking I void most extended warranties. Am I wrong?

Brenda Fromhold said...

I forgot to mention that I have a 2006 MCS with a manufacturer date of Aug. 2006. As you can probably tell by my 45K mileage... I drive quite a bit....

"I'm coming up on 45,000 miles and also have been considering a warranty extension. However, it seems most warranty companies require that you have your MINI serviced at a commercial auto repair business. Considering I do my own oil changes, I'm thinking I void most extended warranties. Am I wrong?"

Jim said...

doing your own oil changes doesn't effect the warranty in the slightest. Also a 1 year warranty for that price is ridiculous. I don't think you have your facts correct. They offer a 6 year 100,000 mile extended mechanical warranty for about 3800 and an extended service warranty for that mileage as well for about 2195.