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Ask a Mechanic: Extended warranties

They might be worth the extra cost.
Nida Zafar
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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column, we learn why you should repair a chip in your windshield as soon as possible and when it is important that you have an extended warranty.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

While driving along the highway recently, a small rock was tossed up from the vehicle in front of me that hit my windshield. It caused a chip that isn’t very big, less than the size of a quarter, and there is a depression but very little cracking. It is located on the passenger side of the windshield, so it is not interfering with my ability to see. Should I get it repaired right away? How long can I wait? – Windshield worrier

Atif Mohammed, co-owner of Humble Autohaus in Scarborough said you should get this repaired as soon as possible. The temperature difference between inside your car and the outside air can cause the chip in your windshield to turn into a bigger problem. “Once you turn the heat on in your car, that could create a deeper depression, considering it’s currently very cold outside,” he said. The Red Seal-certified automotive technician warned that if you wait to get it repaired, your windshield might crack, and the longer you wait, the bigger that crack will get, eventually requiring the whole windshield to be replaced.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I drive a three-year-old car and my factory warranty will run out later this year. I was given the opportunity to be able to extend the factory warranty at any time up until the original warranty lapses. I haven’t had any trouble with my car whatsoever and only drive about 20,000 kilometres per year. The extended warranty is pretty expensive; would you recommend that I do this? Are there any alternatives in the market that aren’t as expensive? – Seeking Assurance

Mohammad Hajiani, owner of M & M Auto Body Repair & Collision Centre in Scarborough, said it all depends on the type of car you drive. If it is a luxury vehicle, like a Maserati, he said an extended warranty is your best option as replacement parts can be expensive and the extra coverage is worth it.

Hajiani, who is also a Red Seal-certified car technician, said there are other options if you are not driving a luxury vehicle. Replacement parts for non-luxury vehicles will be less expensive. He suggested you look into purchasing a third-party warranty or speak to your mechanic to get a sense about what the costs of replacement parts might be depending on the type of vehicle you are driving.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter at The Pointer who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to wheels@thestar.ca. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

 

 

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