Question from Lisa: I have a Jeep Wrangler that has about 30,000 miles on it. The manufacturer’s warranty will be expiring in a few months.
I just learned that I’ll soon have to start doing a lot of traveling for my job and I’m concerned about my car breaking down and leaving me stuck with a big repair bill.
I like this car a lot and I’d really like to get some kind of extended warranty on it. I’ve been seeing the commercials for Car Shield and they claim to cover anything that can go wrong.
My question: Is Car Shield a good deal?
Rick’s answer: I’ve been seeing those commercials too Lisa, and they do make it sound like getting coverage from Car Shield should be a no-brainer.
I can’t answer your question based on my own personal experience with Car Shield because I’ve never done business with them.
However, I have checked them out pretty thoroughly, and this is what I found out:
1 – While most Car Shield plans do cover the drive train (engine and transmission), those options are relatively expensive.
Their most affordable option (the “Aluminum” plan) just covers electrical and computer related problems, but it’s still likely to set you back upwards of $80 per month.
If you go with an Aluminum plan and something happens to the engine, transmission or some other mechanical part you’ll be out of luck because those items won’t be covered.
Based upon the info gleaned from my research, the average monthly cost for an extended service plan from Car Shield is about $100 per month.
2 – There is no way to get a quote for coverage from Car Shield on their website.
Instead, you have to give them your name, phone number, email address and zip code and then wait for one of their reps to contact you.
I don’t know about you, but it sounds like you’ll be getting a high-pressure sales pitch and having your personal info added to a marketing list – all just to receive a simple price quote.
3 – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising consumers to be careful about dealing with Car Shield due to a steady pattern of complaints that have been lodged against the company.
Based upon the info above, my answer to your question would be no, Lisa.
I don’t believe getting extended warranty coverage for your vehicle from Car Shield would be a good deal.
But to be fair, I’m not a big fan of extended warranties in general. Just sayin’.
My recommendation: Deposit the $100 per month you would likely have to spend on a Car Shield extended warranty plan in a special savings account and use that money for nothing but car repairs.
Your Jeep currently has only 30,000 miles on it, and that’s virtually brand new in the context of reliability.
While there are no guarantees, it’s likely that you won’t have to pay for any major repairs for at least a couple of years.
By that time your savings account will have $2,400 in it which should be more than enough to cover most any repair short of an engine or transmission replacement.
And if the Jeep ends up lasting until you decide it’s time to trade it in for something newer without requiring an expensive repair you’ll have a nice bundle of cash to apply to the down payment!
Bottom line: If I were in your position I’d take a pass on Car Shield and provide my own “extended warranty” in the form of a savings account.
If you’d like a second opinion about the wisdom of dealing with Car Shield, here’s a short video review you might want to check out:
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon that will pop up in the lower-right corner of the video after it begins playing.