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Extended Warranty for Cars Over 100k Miles | What You Should Know

Vehicles are lasting longer than ever. According to IHS Markit, the average age of cars on the road in 2019 was 11.8 years old, which is almost a four-year gain on the 1995 average age of eight years.

Unfortunately, many key components on a car aren’t built to make the distance. On the other hand, there’s a lot you can do to protect your car: an appropriate protection plan, proper maintenance, and a good understanding of your vehicle’s history can go a long way in keeping it running smoothly.

Read on to learn what factors to consider when looking for an extended warranty for a car with over 100,000 miles, how to get the best coverage for your high-mileage vehicle, what to do to avoid costly repairs in the first place, and how CARCHEX can help.

Why an Extended Warranty Makes Sense for You

Did you know that 89% of all vehicles on the road are in need of some kind of service or repair? A large portion of cars on the road today that need repairs have passed the 100,000-mile mark.

An extended warranty is like an insurance policy for your car. Many original manufacturers’ warranties for new vehicles are limited to three to five years and only cover a vehicle up to 36,000 miles or 60,000 miles.

Some dealership warranties last longer, but eventually you’ll be risking hundreds of dollars by driving without extended warranty coverage.

Once your car passes over 100k miles, an extended warranty is the best way to keep your vehicle running without expensive trips to the repair shop.

Is an Extended Warranty Worth It for Cars Over 100k Miles?

If you’re thinking about purchasing an extended warranty for an older car, one of your first considerations is the cost. The cost of an extended car warranty will vary based on your car’s mileage and age, as well as the level of coverage you select.

Some extended warranty plans don’t cover cars with over 100,000 miles on them, so it’s important first and foremost to find coverage that you’re eligible for. Many companies (both manufacturers offering protection plans and third-party insurers) have different levels of coverage available, with different deductibles, monthly premiums, and additional fees.

To get an idea of how much an extended warranty will cost, call CARCHEX at 866-261-3547 for a free, instant quote that’s customized to your vehicle. Then, add up the annual cost of your warranty and the deductible, and compare that to the repairs your car is likely to need (which you can predict using a site like RepairPal.com or our list below).

It’s also worth knowing that there are several benefits of buying an extended warranty:

  • Longer coverage on the same parts and services as an original warranty
  • You can save money on repair bills over time for older vehicles
  • Adds to the resale value for your car
  • Additional coverage that often comes with warranties of any kind, like trip interruption protection, rental car reimbursement, and roadside assistance
  • Surprise repairs won’t catch you and your bank account unprepared
  • It may be your only real bet for coverage (i.e. bumper-to-bumper coverage isn’t often available for cars near the 100k mile mark)

If you have a car known for reliability, you might be driving it longer, but it will become more and more vulnerable to breakdowns, repairs, and maintenance.

Don’t risk purchasing an extended warranty after your original factory warranty expires. Avoid expensive repair costs by getting an extended warranty today.

Common Problems for Cars Over 100k Miles

It’s important to remember that keeping maintenance records and following service guidelines in your owner’s manual can help you maintain an older or used car. However, topping off the oil and buying an $18 timing belt will only get you so far.

Here are some things you may run into as your car gets older and starts to break down:

Powertrain Failure

How many times have you heard that an engine dies in an old car? Powertrain coverage keeps the mechanisms that power your car running.

Faulty Transmission

A car with 100,000 miles can easily drop a transmission. A new one will cost close to $2,000, and some can cost even more. It’s important to remember to change your transmission fluid when you see six digits on the odometer. That can run you about $100–$250 at the repair shop.

Electrical and Fuel System Issues

Technology in current cars make electrical repairs very expensive. As cars age, replacing rare or older components will cost extra. On the fuel side, a basic filter replacement can run $50–$350.

Spark Plugs

Popular Mechanics notes that about 25% of cars between 100,000 and 105,000 miles need replacement spark plugs, which can cost anywhere from $60–$180 at the mechanic.

Wear and Tear Maintenance

The longer you keep your car, the more oil changes ($15–$120 at the mechanic), belt replacements ($60–$200 for a serpentine belt or $400–$1200 for a timing belt and water pump), and fluid changes (transmission fluid at $100–$250, brake fluid at $100–$150, and power steering fluid at $75–$150) you’ll need.

A new air filter ($20–$60) and PCV valve ($10–$20) are other likely parts needed at 100k miles, while a coolant flush ($90–$150), alignment ($50–$100), and brake rotor turn or replacement ($150–$650) are also common services needed.

Squeaking or Grinding Brakes

If the brakes on your aging car make noises like squeaking or grinding, they should be checked out by a mechanic. Brake pad replacements can run you a few hundred dollars.

What Does an Extended Warranty Cover?

Whether your car is over 100k miles or brand new, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can have coverage for the following components with an extended warranty:

What's Covered with an Extended Warranty:

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Powertrain extended coverage
  • Air conditioning
  • Electrical repairs
  • Engine replacements
  • Radiators
  • Bedliner damage
  • Corrosion
  • Suspension
  • Fuel systems
  • Transmissions
  • Braking
  • Steering
  • Emission control
  • High-tech
  • Hybrid/electric components

Additionally, a good extended warranty will offer 24/7 roadside assistance, towing services, rental cars, diagnostic fee coverage, gas delivery, and trip interruption services.

Extended Warranty vs. Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Extended warranties and mechanical breakdown insurance are both legitimate options when it comes to protecting your car. They both pay for unexpected mechanical problems and repairs due to normal wear and tear, and both require a monthly payment.

However, there are some important differences to note:

  • Extended warranties may offer benefits, like wear and tear benefits, that mechanical breakdown insurance may not cover.
  • Specific business entities with a Property and Casualty license can provide mechanical breakdown insurance, while extended warranties are provided by companies that specialize in Vehicle Protection Plans.
  • Pricing on individual plans may be more affordable and flexible with an extended warranty.

It’s important to have some sort of repair coverage to protect against future repair costs. An extended warranty with its added benefits could be the perfect option for somebody looking for more comprehensive coverage.

Tips for the Savvy Shopper

If you’re thinking that protecting your car is probably a good idea, don’t go signing anything just yet. Here are a few tips to help you find the best deal on an extended warranty:

  • Read the Fine Print
    • If your car has over 100,000 miles on it, be sure you know what’s covered in the contract and think about what your car may need to have covered. Also be sure to consult the list of excluded components in the plan or a sample contract with your car’s own repair history in mind, as well as common part failures for older cars (listed below).
  • If You Buy, Go Big
    • An older car may be a great fit for a basic powertrain warranty, but you’ll get more coverage for just a few extra bucks if you get a more robust warranty plan. The more comprehensive plans give you the best deal for what you’re paying.
  • If You Buy Used, Know the Rules
    • Extended warranties cover mileage on the car total—not the amount of mileage you’ve put on it yourself.
  • Do Your Make and Model Research
    • Anticipate what could go wrong with your car and when it’s likely to go wrong. There are common 100k mileage issues for all cars, as well as problem areas for all makes and models. Having an idea of the repairs you’ll most likely need in the near future—and how much they’ll set you back—is smart planning.
  • Take Stock of Your Car’s Repair History
    • Knowing what’s gone wrong in the past and how frequently can help you make the decision to purchase extended coverage, especially if you’re buying a used car. If possible, get a detailed record of previous problems and their dates of service.
  • Consider Your Goals with the Car
    • If you’re planning on souping it up for a difference in performance, know that the average warranty may be voided for you altogether.
    • If you might swap out your car in a couple of years, consider purchasing an extended warranty to up the resale value of your car. Before you buy, make sure that the warranty is transferable.
    • Traveling a lot? The trip interruption and rental car coverage alone that comes with most plans might make an extended warranty worth it if you venture far from home in an older car.

Reliable Cars that Could Get You to 150,000 Miles or More

According to Edmunds, the value of older cars has gone up overall, especially if it’s an SUV. In addition, there are cars that have a reputation of reliability that you may want to hold on to for the long haul. CheatSheet says these models can get you to 300,000 miles:

Cars That Can Get You to 300,000 Miles:

  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Subaru Legacy/Outback
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Ford F-150
  • Ford Escape Hybrid

Still, no car is without issues. These are the most common repairs and average costs for the vehicles above, according to RepairPal.com:

Make/Model Issue Repair + Average Cost
Honda Civic Cracked exhaust manifold or catalytic converter Exhaust manifold or catalytic converter replacement, $1,176–$1,797
Honda Accord AC not blowing cold air AC compressor replacement, $545–$1,243
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Erratic fuel gauge operation Fuel pump replacement, $963–$1,073
Toyota Corolla Engine won’t crank due to starter Starter replacement, $401–$477
Toyota Highlander Failed oxygen sensor Oxygen sensor replacement, $817–$1,799
Toyota Tacoma Lower ball joint issue Ball joint replacement (lower), $223–$519
Ford F-150 Ignition coil failure due to excessive spark plug gap Ignition coil replacement, $426–$695
Ford F-150 Engine oil leak from right head gasket Head gasket replacement, $770–$987

Maintenance to Perform on Your Older Car

Do you plan on keeping your vehicle for as long as possible? Here are a few maintenance procedures, swaps, and repairs you should consider making:

  • Fresh fluids: Engine coolant needs to be changed to avoid water pump, radiator, and heater core replacements. Hydraulic oil should be swapped out regularly, if that’s in the car’s history. However, if you’re buying an old car that’s got the original fluid, changing it could actually cause problems, so make sure you’re getting detailed information on this.
  • New spark plugs: This can be a little pricey, but most cars only need this done once every 30,000 to 100,000 miles, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
  • Rotate the tires: Every 6,000 miles is a good rule of thumb to make sure tires are wearing evenly and avoiding expensive blowouts.
  • Battery checkup: Look for signs of corrosion and/or a loose connection. You should aim to test and potentially replace every three years.
  • Regularly scheduled maintenance: Belt and hose replacement, engine performance checks, and more are important for car health and longevity. Brakes, for example, should be checked every year, with the fluid replaced every 24,000 to 36,000 miles.
  • Whatever your manual recommends: Ever car is different, so being familiar with its particular quirks can go a long way in treating and preventing minor issues before they become major problems and expensive repairs.

Compare Extended Warranty Companies for Cars with 100k Miles

Once you’ve made the decision to purchase an extended warranty, the next step is selecting a provider. There are many third-party companies in the industry. Read our comparison below to understand how CARCHEX comes out on top.

Get the Most Out of Your Older Car With CARCHEX

With over 20 years of experience in the automotive protection business, CARCHEX boasts an A+ customer service rating from the Better Business Bureau and a score of 10.0 from Thoroughly Reviewed. Our knowledgeable and honest protection specialists will help get you the most affordable coverage on the market.

We offer several customizable and affordable coverage Extended Vehicle Protection Plans: Titanium, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Within these levels, there are several specific plans that can be made to fit any vehicle, even those with high mileage.

CARCHEX Vehicle Protection Plans

Benefits of a CARCHEX Extended Warranty

Hear what one of our customers has to say about our extended warranties:

In addition to our affordable Extended Vehicle Protection Plans and excellent customer service, we also offer:

  • 24/7/365 direct quote engine
  • Choice of your own repair facility
  • Claims paid directly to the repair facility
  • Extended auto warranty benefits, like roadside assistance, towing, and rental car services
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • No-Haggle, Low Price Everyday Guarantee™
  • Promise of “Customer Experience Above All”

Get an Extended Warranty from CARCHEX Today

Get an extended warranty for cars over 100k miles or 15 years old and protect your vehicle for years to come. Call CARCHEX at 866-261-3457 to get a free, instant quote that’s customized to your needs today.


IHS Markit: https://news.ihsmarkit.com/prviewer/release_only/slug/automotive-average-age-cars-and-light-trucks-us-rises-again-2019-118-years-ihs-markit-

Consumer Reports: https://www.consumerreports.org/car-repair-maintenance/make-your-car-last-200-000-miles/

Car Care: http://www.carcare.org/car-care-service-schedules/

DMV: https://www.dmv.org/buy-sell/auto-warranty/extended-warranty.php

Money Crashers: www.moneycrashers.com/extended-car-warranty/

Driverside: www.driverside.com/auto-library/how_to_maintain_your_vehicle_after_100000_miles-988

AxleAddict: https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Maintaining-Your-Car-at-100-000-Miles

YourMechanic: https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/brake-pads-replacement

Popular Mechanics: https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a23877/car-maintenance-costs-mileage/

Edmunds: https://www.edmunds.com/about/press/edmunds-report-reveals-a-car-with-100000-miles-is-more-valuable-than-shoppers-think.html

CheatSheet: https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/cars-can-take-300000-miles.html/

RepairPal: https://repairpal.com/problems

Brake & Front End by Babcox: http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/top-10-most-common-vehicle-repairs/

Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/extended-warranty-contract-service-companies/carchex-in-hunt-valley-md-23015869

Thoroughly Reviewed: https://thoroughlyreviewed.com/car-warranty/carchex-reviews/

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Consistent with consumers’ understandings and expectations of the market in which CARCHEX operates, CARCHEX uses the terms “warranty”; “extended warranty”, “extended auto warranty”, “extended service protection plan” and similar terms to describe the more technical term “vehicle service contracts”. For more information, see this FTC link or learn more here or by reviewing CARCHEX’s website.
CARCHEX markets and sells extended warranties on behalf of third party extended warranty providers, and your extended warranty will be between you and the provider. This website site is intended solely for the purpose of providing general information regarding the purchase of extended warranties. Specific contract terms, rates, taxes, fees and other charges are determined upon validation of vehicle information and acceptance by the extended warranty provider, for which CARCHEX is not responsible. Extended warranties may not be sold where prohibited by law.
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