Used Car Warranty and Servicing

I bought a used Mazda 3 from a Mazda dealer approx. 1.5 hours away from where I live because it had the best price and condition. It came with a warranty from the dealer but specified that servicing has to be with at one of their dealers.

I tried Googling but most of the results are for manufacturer warranties where they aren't allow to force you to service with them, and extended warranties where they are allowed to.

It's very inconvenient to take time off work and travel 1.5 hours to service the car so before I either commit to that or decide to void my warranty, I wanted to check if anyone knows if their terms are enforceable?

My gut feeling is that my warranty will be void if I didn't service with them but I would like to make an informed decision rather than guessing.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    It came with a warranty from the dealer but specified that servicing has to be with at one of their dealers.

    Is it a large car dealership name? I.E, is there a dealer closer to you? Does your work allow you to work remotely? E.g. could you drive to the dealer and work from a cafe for the morning then drive to work for the afternoon?

    Since it is a dealer warranty, not a Mazda warranty they can put whatever they want in the contract. It is their warranty.

    Read through the terms of the warranty carefully. Then you'll have an answer.

    •  

      Is it a large car dealership name? I.E, is there a dealer closer to you? Does your work allow you to work remotely? E.g. could you drive to the dealer and work from a cafe for the morning then drive to work for the afternoon?

      I looked up their dealership group and the closest one is the one I bought it at. Their other branches are actually even further away.

      Unfortunately my work very much requires me to be on site.

      Since it is a dealer warranty, not a Mazda warranty they can put whatever they want in the contract. It is their warranty.

      That's what I was thinking but I just wanted to check.

      Read through the terms of the warranty carefully. Then you'll have an answer.

      It clearly says the warranty is void if I don't service at one of their dealers. The only reason I asked was that apparently manufacturer warranties say you need to service with them as well but this isn't allowed according to ACCC.

  • +4 votes

    They probably do require servicing at their Centre. The conditions are specifically to keep you going back to them for services to make extra money. If you read the fine print of he ‘warranty’, which is probably more like an insurance policy, you will likely find that it doesn’t really cover much anyway. . Its not much good if it only covers the first $xxx of any claim or won’t cover many items

    Check the fine print and make your decision.

    I’ve bought a couple of cars in a similar situation and dropped their service with no problems. But another car, with local servicing needed a head reconditioned which would have cost a lot.

    •  

      If you read the fine print of he ‘warranty’, which is probably more like an insurance policy, you will likely find that it doesn’t really cover much anyway. . Its not much good if it only covers the first $xxx of any claim or won’t cover many items

      That's a good point. I'll read it and see if it's worth the effort.

      But another car, with local servicing needed a head reconditioned which would have cost a lot.

      That was certainly lucky. Did they do the job under warranty without fuss?

      •  

        Eventually they did the work, but it was a problem with diagnosis for them, not trying to get out of it. The car would smoke on startup after sitting overnight so the hard part was getting them to see the symptoms.

        Additionally, once the repair was done they caused another issue which was also difficult to diagnose and ended up with the car on a tow truck back to them. One earth lead was left off the engine nd caused all sorts of computer codes which again made diagnosis difficult.

        Once the repair was done I didn’t take the car back to them as I didn’t trust them. Something else to note was that it was a Toyota from a Mazda dealership which didn’t help.

  • +3 votes

    read the warranty terms and conditions…
    most of the time dealer extended warranty is not worth the paper its written on (so many conditions and exclusions)
    might not even be worth your effort to honour the conditions
    (used to work for major brand in a dealership and was responsible for these warranties and claims etc)

    •  

      You and Euphemistic make a good point. I'll read it to see if it's worth the inconvenience to try and honour their conditions.

      (used to work for major brand in a dealership and was responsible for these warranties and claims etc)

      Do you have any stories? Do they try to weasel their way out of claims most of the time?

      •  

        I have had one of these before. First thing is they usually charge you money for the warranty, then they overcharge for servicing, then when its time to claim they fight you on it, there will be some very wiggly clauses and probably claim limits for components, also they will be the ones doing the work on the car so they will not lose money on it.

        There is alot of other used car warranty places you could use that let you service by which ever mechanic - the quality of the warranty varies alot. It is basically a gamble, you are gambling that the cost of repairs in the future if they are paid is more than the cost of the warranty/service agreement.

        My advice and take it as you will: Pay the money about $350 for a proper inspection (not redbook) before you commit to buy the car, this will include scanning the computer, checking paint thickness among many other things. Use that report to determine if you should buy the car, service the car at a trusted mechanic and hope for the best.

        If NSW you have statutory warranty free for 3 months, any problems (no matter how minor) raise them in writing, this way you have some come back later on if something major related happens.

        •  

          Thanks for the advice. It's a car I already bought after having an inspection paid for.

          The warranty came free and from what others are saying, it's not worth it so I've decided to just service closer to home.

  • +1 vote

    It's very inconvenient to take time off work and travel 1.5 hours to service the car so before I either commit to that or decide to void my warranty, I wanted to check if anyone knows if their terms are enforceable?

    Look at the laws in your state, by law, used car dealers have to provide some minimum warranty. Beyond that, they are providing their own warranty and can do anything they want. It's probably worthless.

    •  

      It's probably worthless.

      After reading everyone's comments. I'm starting to think maybe it is…

  • +1 vote

    I think everyone is on the same page above. The free warranties are just to keep you as a service guest, but don't offer much protection. Added to that, to keep the warranty, if they say something needs to be fixed during your service, you have to fix it otherwise your warranty is void.

    Generally not worth the paper they're written on

    •  

      Good to get insight from an expert in the field.

      Added to that, to keep the warranty, if they say something needs to be fixed during your service, you have to fix it otherwise your warranty is void.

      That is a sweet way to hold someone to ransom basically.

      On another note, my thinking is taking a Mazda 3 to a local Mazda dealer would be best because they deal with Mazda's all the time or is this faulty thinking?

      • +2 votes

        Depends entirely on age/kms on the car. If it's over 100,000kms, dealer servicing doesn't really matter.

        Generally with used cars outside warranty, just find a good trustworthy mechanic

        •  

          It's a 2011 Mazda 3 with under 50,000kms if that makes any difference.

          Is your general rule of thumb when it's over 100,000 kms to not bother with dealer servicing?

          • +1 vote

            @Hogg: Honestly it depends.

            I've seen manufacturers fix things when the car is outside warranty because it had a full dealer service history. Mazda replaced a bunch of turbos on diesel cars when then cars were outside warranty (just look up CX5 diesel issues). But then I've seen the horror stories as well.

            Hard to find 1 decent mechanic who doesn't stuff up but charges well. Most people get complacent with their local/go-to mechanic and let little issues slide because he might be a nice guy or charge well. Or they go the convenient option and service at the dealer, and take advantage of loan cars etc etc.

  •  

    How long is the warranty for?

  •  

    I got an used car Aurion from toyota dealer in 2016 with similar conditions and 3 yr warranty & capped price servicing. Had a couple of issues in 2018 & 2019. Both covered under warranty. In 2018- Cabin Aircon fan noisy- replaced under warranty. In 2019 - steering rack mild leakage- replaced under warranty. Not sure if this will help you. You'll never know u might use those later years or never.

  •  

    "It came with a warranty from the dealer but specified that servicing has to be with at one of their dealers"

    This is anti-competitive behaviour and hence illegal
    Check with your local fair trading / consumer afairs

    Generaly as long as its serviced at a licensed mechanic according to the log book and stamped accordingly your warranty is good.

    What is the exact wording of the warranty in relation to this condition?

    •  

      Yeah no that's standard conditions on an extended warranty. It's not anti-competitive if you choose to purchase the extended warranty or take advantage of the free one

    •  

      From what I can tell, it's illegal for Manufacturer's Warranties to do that but from what it looks like, not so for dealer ones.

  •  

    Surely you can take a day off work once or twice a year. Annual holidays? You may need that warranty for a major fault over the next 3 years.

  • +1 vote

    It’s called the Harrier handcuffs. The warranty will only cover a certain amount on any repair ($500 on and alternator or starter motor, up to $1000 on and a/c repair but only covers non perishable components like compressor/evaporator/condenser, $1000 on transmission repair) so you will still be up for money when repairing under warranty. And to keep it valid you do have to go to their service centre for the warranty to remain valid, but the service is set price at about $200 at most places.

  •  

    If it's a dealer warranty that requires servicing at the dealer then it's probably not worth the inconvenience (and the cost of over-servicing the vehicle (bet they want it every 6 months). Either ask for a further discount and no warranty or shop elsewhere

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