The Basics on Ford’s Extended Warranty Program
FORD EXTENDED WARRANTY BASICS
- Good number of service plans to consider.
- Basic service coverage for wear items and routine services.
- Basic roadside assistance program.
- Must be purchased before the factory powertrain warranty expires.
Ford has a stellar reputation for making vehicles, particularly trucks, that perform well and long. While its factory warranty doesn’t stand out much from other automakers, the same can’t be said for its extended warranty program. If you’re a Ford owner with a soon-to-expire factory warranty, the company’s extended coverage might be a good fit.
What IS Included
Ford offers four separate service plans, in addition to a few “add-on” options that have even more coverage in certain circumstances.
The “starter” package in the Ford extended warranty lineup is this basic plan that replicates the coverage of a traditional powertrain warranty. The plan offers a baseline amount of coverage on parts that are needed to keep a vehicle running. This means you will find coverage for parts like the engine, transmission, and drivetrain components (29 parts in all).
The next step up in Ford’s warranty offerings is this inclusionary plan that offers more coverage for more complex systems. Coverage for advanced components, like automatic heating and A/C, is included, while the same basic parts covered in the PowertrainCARE plan are also included here.
If you want a plan that has coverage for “non-essential” components like speed controls, power seat motors, door locks, and the instrument cluster, this is the plan to consider. This plan focuses on parts that aren’t needed to keep the vehicle running but still create the Ford driving experience all customers expect. This plan also includes the parts coverage of the PowertrainCARE and BaseCARE plans.
At the top of the lineup is Ford’s comprehensive coverage plan. This service plan dramatically increases the number of covered parts and mimics the coverage of a typical bumper-to-bumper warranty. Specifically, there’s coverage for advanced systems like the built-in GPS, SYNC infotainment system, and other computers or complex electronics.
What’s NOT Included
Although Ford does offer a lot in terms of overall coverage between the different plan options, there are a few limitations you need to know.
If you want to save some money on parts that are more likely (or expected) to wear down over time, Ford kind of has you covered, but you’ll need to pay extra. Coverage for wear items isn’t automatically included in the basic extended service plans the company offers.
Instead, you will find limited coverage from the add-on plans in the company’s lineup. Specifically, tires are covered under the TireCARE add-on. While not a traditional wear item, coverage for windshields is also available under the WindshieldCARE plan.
There isn’t much money you’ll save for routine maintenance and periodic services that keep the vehicle running under the primary Ford service plans. Most covered issues need to be caused by factory defects (i.e. bad parts, poor installation, etc). Repairs for wear and tear issues or services for preventive maintenance won’t be covered.
With that said, Ford does have a dedicated maintenance plan you can purchase. This will cover the costs of all factory-recommended services needed to keep the vehicle healthy and working.
The one thing Ford does better with its extended service plans more than most automakers is the number of options it provides. Some car manufacturers offer one basic extended warranty that’s just a replica of the factory coverage. While this is good if you like the limited factory warranty, it doesn’t offer much value if you want choices.
Ford’s tiered approach caters to the customers who want options. Choosing between the basic powertrain plan and exclusionary plan, for example, is a choice that depends on the needs of the customer and the vehicle. With the multiple service plans in Ford’s lineup, the company can accommodate more people in a custom manner.
The only drawback to Ford’s tiered approach is how it separates the parts lists for each plan. It’s understandable that there are going to be differences in what each plan covers. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have the separate plans in the first place.
The major issue is the major gaps between each plan. The PowertrainCARE plan, for example, only has 29 basic components included. Compare that to the 113 components of the ExtraCARE or the 1,000+ components of the PremiumCARE and you’ll start to see the gap size. Separating things like tires and windshields from the main plans also means customers will pay more for things some third-party providers include automatically.
Ford is one of the few companies that really make the extended warranty an attractive option for vehicle owners. We’re partial to third-party warranty providers because of the number of options they tend to offer, which is something Ford mimics here. So, if you want some room to choose the extended coverage for your Ford, the company’s extended warranty program is worth a look.
Q. Which vehicles are covered by the extended Ford warranty?
Any genuine Ford model that is under the 41-month/41,000-mile eligibility limit can be covered. The vehicle may need an inspection to get approved.
Q. Can I transfer the extended warranty if I sell my Ford?
Generally, yes. Ford personnel will likely have to handle the transfer once the vehicle has been sold.
Q. Which plan is the best?
This primarily depends on what kind of coverage you need for your vehicle. The lower plans are good for newer vehicles that have fewer issues. More comprehensive warranty plans are better for older or more problematic vehicles.