First of all I wanted to thank you for your great blog, I read it daily. Now I recently have bought a 2010 Lexus RX 350 with 30K miles on the clock. the original warranty will expire this coming January, since I have bought the car I have put about 5K on it without any problems, now should I buy the extend warranty or not?
The car was a returned 3 year lease which I got a pretty good deal since the dealer was a family friend; at that time they quoted me $2000 for the 5 year 75K extended warranty.
Thank YOU for contributing! Everyone who clicks/reads/writes to this series helps fuel Citizen Sierra and fund the rotisserie restoration on my other brown project from 1983, a Fox Body Lincoln Continental. But enough about me and my fantastically bizarre life with cars…
In general, consider these points:
1. Factory or no? Factory warranties can make life easier: problems with warranty claims goes smoother with a call to Lexus’ official 1-800 number compared to a no-name aftermarket warranty company. Will you ever have a claim problem with a factory warranty, fixed at the dealer? What about servicing at the dealership where there’s a shiny new Lexus loaner car, gourmet coffee and snacks, high-tech lounges, spa treatments and all the other luxurious crap this brand is (sometimes) famous for? Depending on the amenities of your local Lexus dealer, consider the luxuries before signing anything.
2. Do you need a warranty…any warranty?
- Parts Cost: they shall be cheap, even the unique Lexus bits from the dealer. The RX is basically a Toyota Camry with a lift kit and a far nicer body/interior. Any wear items (unplanned, not brake jobs and the stuff in the owner’s manual) in the next 70,000 miles won’t necessarily “outspend” the warranty cost…including labor.
- Parts Availability: I don’t expect significant downtime waiting for Lexus RX spares. The odds of having parts on backorder from a Japanese/American brand is less likely than the low-volume models from Europe with unique engines/interiors/etc.
- Knowledge Base: who can actually fix your car properly? Is your local mechanic gonna cringe at the sight of an electrical problem on your
Mercedes E350Lexus RX? Again, refer back to the Camry heritage.
- Labor rates: Some cars are harder to diagnose and remove/install parts. The Camry based RX isn’t making me sweat, compared to other vehicles with super-tight access and tons of mechanical bits like turbocharging plumbing. More to the point, there’s no need to swing open the RX’s face like a barn door to access the front of the engine like some Audi products.
Considering all these factors, I wouldn’t recommend an extended warranty on a vehicle that’s so cheap to fix, so reliable and so commonplace. Then again, if you want the piece of mind and the free loaner cars at the Lexus dealership…
Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.