When the limited warranty on your new Honda expires, you have the option of lengthening coverage through the automaker’s Honda Care program. This extended warranty, or vehicle service contract, kicks in when the bumper-to-bumper warranty ends after three years or 36,000 miles. It must be purchased before the bumper-to-bumper warranty expires.
Honda Care is split up into four tiers: New Vehicle Coverage, Pre-Owned Vehicle Coverage, Certified Additional Coverage, and Powertrain Coverage (the last of which is for pre-owned vehicles only). The Powertrain plan only covers vital components, while the New, Pre-Owned, and Certified Additional Coverage plans cover expensive repairs for significantly more parts.
Consumers with new cars can also choose to buy the Honda Care Sentinel plans, which include the cost of oil changes, tire protection, and additional perks.
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Inclusions and Exclusions
Honda Care isn’t quite as comprehensive as the factory warranty, but it covers most components and will cut down and even eliminate many repair costs and replacements. The Powertrain plan, for example, covers essential items such as the engine, front- and rear-drive axle, transmission, gaskets, etc.
The other three Honda extended warranty plans cover the drivetrain components listed above as well as electronics, the chassis, the heating and air conditioning system, and accessories such as navigation.
One downside to these plans is that car owners must take their vehicles to an authorized Honda Care dealership or service facility for warranty repairs, and only genuine Honda parts are covered. If you take your vehicle to a local repair shop for service and they don’t use Honda parts, the warrantable repair will not be covered.
Also, while Honda Care’s component coverage is vast, it does have some exclusionary coverage. The extended warranty will not cover the costs to repair or replace items such as wiper blades, bumpers, brake shoes and pads, lenses, fuses, tires, or upholstery.
Vehicles with Honda Care coverage come with 24-hour roadside assistance, which provides some peace of mind. It is convenient if you have a flat tire, run out of fuel, lock yourself out of your vehicle, or require towing. Honda Care’s Concierge Service assists with insurance claims, emergency cash advances, ticketing, and other necessities.
If you need a vehicle while your Honda is being serviced, Honda Care will reimburse you up to $35 for six days for a rental car. In addition, the program provides trip-interruption services: meals and lodging (up to $100 a day for up to three days) if you’re stranded more than 100 miles from home. Coverage also includes shipment of personal replacement items.
Another perk is that owners can transfer their Honda Care warranties to private individuals one time or cancel the extended warranty within 60 days for a full refund. After that time period, an owner can still cancel Honda Care but will only receive a prorated amount.
Is it Worth the Money?
Honda Care is comparable to many other extended warranties in terms of what components it covers, so it doesn’t stand out in that regard. Still, it’s fairly comprehensive when it comes to covered repairs and replacement parts.
It’s also similar to many other automakers with its inclusion of roadside assistance, which can be very helpful on a road trip, particularly if you are not mechanically inclined and need help with something such as a tire change or fuel delivery.
Roadside assistance, combined with its concierge emergency service, insurance claim assistance, and trip-interruption and rental car reimbursements, are nice benefits.
However, Honda vehicles must be serviced at an authorized Honda dealership or service center to be eligible for coverage, and you’re limited from using aftermarket parts for modification/alteration because only Honda parts are warrantable. Plus, you must overlap Honda Care with your basic limited Honda warranty.
Extended warranties provide extensive coverage for repairs and replacements, but they’re not for everyone, largely because they can cost several hundred or a couple thousand dollars, depending on what type of plan is purchased. Still, the added benefits from Honda Care vehicle service contracts can be helpful for those who commute long distances or frequently take road trips.
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