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How To Get Help After Your Car Warranty Has Expired.

Last year, the 3 year / 36,000 mile warranty on my brother’s Honda Civic expired. As with most Hondas, he never had a single problem with any part of the car; at least until right after his warranty ended. My old 1994 Civic went for 128,000 miles without having any major issues, so it was pretty surprising to him that something would go wrong so short into his ownership of the car. About a month after his warranty expired, a pretty expensive part broke on the car and he took it into the dealership to get fixed, thinking it was covered under the drivetrain warranty which is a little bit longer than the standard one. Unfortunately, the dealership’s service department said it wasn’t and that he was going to have to pay upwards of $300 to get it repaired. Needless to say, my brother was pretty outraged at this, as this was practically a brand-new car still and his warranty had just expired! So he left the dealership without getting the repair done and started the process of contacting Honda of North America about his problem.

He first went to their website and send a letter through their general email system. When a week went by without a reply, he took it up the ladder a bit – he started contacting executives either through email addresses he could find or by sending regular mail. A few more weeks went by when finally someone from Honda got back to him and they started a dialog about what was wrong with the car. My brother told him that this car was his third Honda, and as much as he loved the car, he was very disappointed that such a major issue came up only a month after his warranty expired and the dealership immediately rejected his plea for help. After some back and forth contact, the person at Honda contacted the dealership and did the right thing – approved the repair to be done at Honda’s expense.

The lesson of this story? Just because your car is out of warranty does not mean you are necessarily out of luck. With some dedicated work and patience, my brother was able to get repairs approved by the parent company when the dealership automatically said no. Dealership service departments exist for one reason – to be the face of the head company and to minimize the expenses of said company. So if you are not satisfied with what they tell you, and you feel like you have a legitimate complaint about your car, take it to the next level – start contacting those higher-up in the company. You just never know what you may get back in return, and there is no harm in trying to get your repairs approved after your warranty expires!

How about you? Have you ever done anything like this and gotten what you felt you deserved? Let us know in the comments!


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Comments (6)

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  1. That is such a great idea! I recently had a problem with our Dell computer, and I did not realize that I could ask anyone except the customer service department. Thankfully, they worked it out fine, but if they had not…

    Thanks,
    Nate

  2. Tammy says:

    I have a ’99 Saturn that broke down just after the warranty expired so I had it towed to our local mechanic. He called me and suggested that I contact the dealership to see if they would cover the repair (I believe it was the fuel pump.) The dealership contacted corporate, they approved the repair and I had it towed to them. Not only did Saturn immediately agree, but the independent mechanic gave up business to help me.

  3. david says:

    Another good story, so glad to hear that!

  4. Michele says:

    I had a similar experience with Mazda. I have found the dealership to be particularly helpful. I had a sensor fail when I was less than 200 miles out of warranty and they actually covered the repair (it would have been over $1000 with parts and labor) because they told me that the part should not have failed in less than two years no matter how many miles I had on the car.

  5. david says:

    That’s great Michele!

  6. Dave says:

    Great story about perseverance. Or you could just buy a Hyundai- 10 yr/100,000 mile warranty…

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