The Truth Behind the BMW Extended Warranty
BMW EXTENDED WARRANTY BASICS
- A good blend of general warranty protection plans and factory-recommended maintenance plans (provided to BMW owners at the nearest dealership).
- Good reputation for repair work.
- Emergency roadside assistance available.
- Not as long as some automakers’ extended warranties.
- Limited usefulness for accidental damage and general wear and tear.
When the factory warranty expires, BMW has a few options its customers can choose from if they want to stick with the manufacturer’s coverage over third-party options. Unlike some automakers that just offer a single extension plan, BMW makes it easier to personalize the coverage to the individual needs of the owner and their vehicle.
Here are the options you should consider if you want to extend your coverage for your BMW vehicle.
What IS Included
BMW has a buffet-like warranty approach that isn’t shared by many other companies outside of many third-party service contract providers. The company offers a few different options for the main coverage.
The bulk of the extended warranty from BMW is a replacement warranty you can buy even when the original warranty is still in effect. The length of the warranty is actually calculated based on the remaining time of the original warranty. Customers can choose between one to three years and 75,000 to 100,000 miles. The extension time is added onto the remainder of the factory warranty, so you can get a total of:
- 5 Years/75,000 Miles
- 6 Years/75,000 Miles
- 7 Years/75,000 Miles
- 5 Years/100,000 Miles
- 6 Years/100,000 Miles
- 7 Years/100,000 Miles
Beyond the length, customers can choose one of three plans.
Extending the basic powertrain warranty from the original factory coverage, the Powertrain Plus plan covers the engine, drivetrain, transmission, and other important components of a vehicle. This plan is an exclusionary warranty, meaning a good majority of components, like the steering, heating, and fuel systems are either left out or have limited coverage compared to other parts.
Taking a step up from the Powertrain Plus plan, the Gold plan is the middle ground between the original bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties. There is more coverage for essential components like the engine, steering, brakes, and cooling systems. Unlike the Powertrain Plus plan, there is also limited coverage for interior components.
Opposite to the Powertrain Plus plan, the Platinum plan rivals the original bumper-to-bumper warranty. This plan includes the most coverage for most of the parts around a vehicle. Beyond the powertrain, there is good coverage for specific interior and exterior components, although there are still some limits for the general interior.
What’s NOT Included
The list of parts not included in the extended warranty coverage depends on the specific plan you choose.
Almost all of the extended warranty plans offer basic or limited coverage for the most important components to keeping a vehicle running, like the engine and transmission. The same isn’t true for parts and systems that aren’t needed to go.
General interior items, like seat and dashboard materials, are primarily excluded from the lower warranty plans. Exterior accessories like mirrors and bumpers also tend to fall out of the coverage.
Beyond factory defects, the extended warranty plans don’t cover issues due to accidental or incidental problems. This means that most of the money-saving value from extending the warranty will come in when there are issues created by poor craftsmanship or materials at the factory.
As far as extended factory warranties are concerned, BMW is near the top for its level of customization. Most automakers only offer a single warranty option, so the company’s list of plans and coverage lengths are more attractive for anyone wanting to have a personalized extended warranty that’s unique to their own vehicle.
The plans, in particular, make it easy to find something specific for a vehicle. Newer vehicles can benefit from the basic Powertrain Plus, while older or more problematic vehicles may use the extensive Gold or Platinum warranties.
The company takes it one step further with extra perks customers can add to the warranty. The Ultimate Care and Ultimate Care+ programs, for example, can cover the costs of all factory-recommended maintenance services to keep the vehicle in good condition.
The only tricky part with BMW’s extended warranty structure is the limits of the personalization potential. While the warranty does offer some choices for customers, there are some sacrifices the customer has to make.
The basic details of the warranty can also be confusing. The length options for the warranty, for example, don’t necessarily make it clear that the length includes the remaining portion of the original factory warranty. It can be easy to assume you are expanding the coverage for another five to seven years when it’s really only one to three.
If you absolutely want to own a car from an automaker that does a good job with extended warranties, BMW is hard to beat. The choice between different plans and coverage lengths is more than most automakers offer.
The only reasons you may consider a third-party warranty option are if you want additional coverage for parts not included in BMW’s three extension plans or need to cover issues beyond the rare factory defect. Otherwise, the BMW extended vehicle protection will definitely deliver that extra peace of mind most drivers seek for keeping costs down.
Q. How does the extended warranty work with the original factory BMW warranty?
You basically pay for an additional one to three years and 75,000 or 100,000 miles. This gets added onto whatever is left with the original factory warranty.
Q. Which BMW plan is the best?
This all depends on the amount of parts coverage you need. A bare minimum level would be better suited by the Powertrain Plus plan. If you need more coverage or have a larger budget, the Gold and Platinum plans are worth a look.
Q. Can I extend the warranty on a CPO vehicle?
Yes. You can extend the warranty on any used BMW (or certified pre-owned vehicle) if it’s eligible, but the original factory warranty will likely go away if it hasn’t expired already.
Q. Do I need the BMW extended warranty?
Not at all. You can go without coverage once the factory warranty has expired or find a third-party provider if you want a different plan altogether.