I know many folks wonder if it's worth buying an extended warranty, such as Chrysler Service Contract's 7/70 MaxCare warranty.
Look at it as buying insurance. If you need it, it is nice to have. If you don't have it and need it, that can get expensive.
A couple cases to illustrate this and some suggestions to consider if you are shopping for one.
1. In 1982 I purchased a K-Car wagon. Yup, Ioccoca's Wunder Car. 2.2L 4 cylinder, 4 speed manual. I had heard that the lower control arm bushings were a problem on the car. So, for around $500 I purchased something similar to today's MaxCare extended warranty.
I had to replace those lower control arm bushings 5 times at around a shop price of $200 per repair. I also had a front transaxle problem that was around $900. My deductible on that warranty was $25. Six repairs @ $25 was $150 vs. the estimated $1900 I would have had to pay had I not had the warranty.
2. In 1986 I purchased a Ford Taurus wagon. (I've owned 4 Fords...3 blew up on me and one tried to kill me.) I purchased a powertrain warranty with a $50 deductible. Three times within 12,000 miles the transaxle in that POS literally came apart, destroying not only the gear set but also the axles and the case. $150 bucks is all I paid for three transaxles. That car was such a piece of crap that I let my ex-wife have it as part of the divorce settlement. They deserved one another.
I have had warranties on other cars or trucks that didn't pay off because there were no catastrophic failures although it did cost me $150 to have the entire differential replaced on my '95 Impala SS. That was a $2500 job. The warranty on that car cost me just under $1,000 so I'd say it paid for itself.
So we move on to my '07 Ram. I purchased the MaxCare warranty on that vehicle for right at $1500. My deductible is $100. I also have it on my '06 300 SRT8 with the same terms. I haven't collected on the SRT8, yet, but I expect I will shortly. One or both of my cooling fans has given up.
Anyway, the warranty on the truck is starting to pay off. I've been suffering from a vibration in the rear. Thinking it was a tire or wheel problem, I did 4 road force balances, replaced two tires, did 2 more road force balances, replaced the shocks (the stockers needed to be done in any event), did a rotation, checked the wheels for runout to make sure they weren't bent and even went with an entirely new set of wheels and tires. All to no avail.
The first time I took the truck into the dealer on the issue, it had the Ultra wheels with the Cooper tires. The service ticket came back with, "Cannot duplicate customer's complaint" and I was told it was just the nature of a lifted truck with knobby, oversized tires. I bit my tongue and worked the tire and wheel issue, knowing that I had no tire and wheel issue but wanted to eliminate that as a cause and document it.
So I take it in, talk to my service advisor, describe the issue, point out all the things I had done to eliminate the tires and wheels as a contributor to the problem and stated that the very same vibration occurs at the exact same highway speeds.
This time, the "customer's complaint" proved out. The tech drove the truck and had the service manager with him. They did feel the vibration. They put the truck on the lift, noted that the rear u-joint was worn and the intermediate driveshaft carrier bearing assembly was "rough". They replaced both parts and test drove it again, proclaiming that the vibration was gone.
I picked it up last night and went for a test drive.
By Golly, they were right.
It cost me $100, estimated cost would have been right around $400. I have $1200 in covered repairs to go for the warranty to pay off. I won't mind if I never have to collect on it but it's nice to have it, just in case.
So if anyone asks me if an extended warranty is worth it, I'll respond with "YES!"
Sorry for the length of this post...I just get all excited and giddy when stuff like this happens and my decisions to do certain things are validated by the results.