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Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:09 am
by TrojanEV
Hi all,

I'm approaching the end of my 36-month bumper to bumper warranty and I'm considering purchasing an extended warranty through Flood Ford. Here are the current prices from Flood for my 2014 FFE. I note that they have gone up somewhat over the past few years, based on previous posts in this forum.


I've always considered extended warranty's to be expensive moneymakers for dealers, but I'm considering purchasing one this time around. My use case is kind of unique -- our FFE is our non-primary car since we have small kids and prefer to use our SUV most of the time for hauling everyone and their extensive stuff (e.g. strollers, bikes, scooters, etc) around. I also have a 3 mile round trip commute to work. Needless to say we don't put many miles on the FFE (only 9500 miles after 36 months) although I am very happy with the car. Since we put so few miles on it, and I would like to keep it for as long as it runs, I'm leaning towards purchasing the 8-year, 36,000 mile, $0 deductible warranty for $690. I figure this way, I can keep the car for another 5 years (it will still have probably less than 30,000 miles on it) and have the peace of mind of knowing that if anything goes wrong, it won't cost me a penny out of pocket. The annual cost for that peace of mind is about $140 per year, but I figure if anything goes wrong once or twice, I will likely break even or finish ahead economically.

Thoughts? Anyone purchased the extended warranty and have any experience getting your car serviced under the warranty? Any other considerations I should take into account. Thanks!

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:10 am
by TrojanEV
Not sure why the image of the quotes won't post, but you should be able to see it by going here:

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:17 pm
by triangles
The car has a 5 year powertrain warranty and 8 year Hybrid/EV component warranty already. What good would buying an extended warranty be? I do wonder if they have some documentation somewhere spelling out exactly what is covered under the above mentioned warranties. IMHO extended warranties usually aren't worth it. Oh yeah here's your picture:

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:13 pm
by davideos
If you are not going to put many miles on the car, then the $690 might be a good idea...for peace of mind. Of all the products I've purchased, I've never purchased an extended warranty and I've never regretted it. However, I will say that the FFE scares me a little bit. Mostly because it is difficult to diagnose issues. There isn't much information out there and you can't just take it to any have to take it to the dealer. And my experience is that they even the dealer isn't completely competent on fixing these cars. I was getting the yellow wrench light a little while ago. I had no recourse but to take it to the dealer. They diagnosed the issue and had the car back to me the next day. Cost: about $120. A $25 relay was misbehaving.

Since then, I've invested in the OBDLink MX OBDII to Bluetooth dongle and loaded the Forscan software on my phone. There is actually a bunch of information that is given that helped me troubleshoot my next issue...which happened after I had my HV battery replaced by the dealer. After the replacement, they forgot to put coolant back in the system...duh! The symptom was that the car wasn't charging. First, I saw that the charge current on L2 was varying from 5A to 0 when it should have been 30A. Then I noticed that the on-board charger temp was getting very hot...over 150C. At the time I didn't realize that Forscan was pulling tons of error codes and spelling them out in English...not completely coherent, but enough that in this case, I would have known what was going on. So I filled the car with the proper coolant, but still had to take it to the dealer to "burp" the system. The cabin heater loop has no degas other words, there is no way to get air out of the loop. Not that I use the heater much, but I want it to work. The dealer has to use their software to put the coolant system into one big loop...heater loop, motor loop, and battery / charger loop and run the pumps (3 in total) to purge the air. No charge for this because it was their screw up, but when it comes time to replace your coolant at 100K miles, guess what; you're going to have to take it to the dealer.

Although I don't regret not getting the extended warranty, it might be justified under peace-of-mind. By 8 years, I'll have 75K miles. I'll be at 5 years and 50k at the end of this year and I'm hoping I don't end up with $1000 worth of issues over the next 3 years....but who knows. I want to keep the car for a total of 10+ years, I hope. Hopefully by the time I really need service, there will be some independent alternatives to the Ford dealerships.

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:00 am
by scottt
Grab it. If one electronic component fails, it will pay for itself on the first repair. I paid $740 for the $0 deductible 8/48,000 with first day rental. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:55 am
by TrojanEV
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. One additional data point -- I checked the prices for the non-electric sibling of our Focus Electrics and the quote is exactly the same. Given the additional electronic complexity of our Focus Electrics, this might suggest they are under pricing these warranties on our vehicles.

At the end of the day -- we can all agree that this warranty has some value associated with it, since the odds of needing some type of repair over the next 5 years/27,000 miles is certainly greater than 0%. Assuming they price these things about right to make a profit, maybe it has $400 in value and $300 in projected profit to Ford. Peace of mind is probably worth $300 to me over the 5 years, so I will likely bite the bullet.

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:26 pm
by EVA
Another way to look at the extended warranty. If there is some kind of catastrophic repair necessary, a couple thousand dollar (can't imagine what that would be, but...), we just figured we bought the car used for not a lot of money, we got the year use out of it we needed, and if the repair is too much - well we would just move on. Sorry to call it disposable car, but that's sort of how we looked at it. We're in an unusual situation, two cars and the FFE is now only for running errands. Not really a necessity.

I guess you get to some point with the cost of the car, how many years you drove it, and the resale value of the car (tells you how much the car cost you per year). If something major goes wrong, at what point do you just say - ah the heck with it, new car time? Or used car time (because there are plenty available)?

That $700 might be better spent on something else. And just deal with whatever problem happens in the future. The worst case is the battery - and that is covered by a warranty already. Then comes the computers - and yes they could fail, if they haven't already - what's the chance they will fail in the future on your car?

I go back and forth on extended warranties. Our 2012 ICE Focus had a Ford warranty on it, and we just made our money back with that on a just before expiration repair. But there are far more things to go wrong with an ICE than with an electric car.

By the way, Ford's warranty is outstanding. Your dealer will know the terms and apply it if you need work done. They're super awesome about that.

Re: Extended Warranty - Worth It?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:55 pm
by kalel14
If extended warranties didn't make Ford money, the company would not offer them.

I turned one down for the reason stated above, there are far fewer things to go wrong on an electric car. I also looked at the restricted number of miles I could put on it, even if I drove it every day, which I don't. At a few thousand miles a year, it will take me forever to wear anything out to the point of failure.