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Discussion Starter #1
We had some long discussions about whether to not to buy a third-party (or aftermarket) warranty, and some similar discussion about which one (Mercury, Warrantech, Old Republic, etc). There's a thread now discussing using a third-party warranty to repair broken seat heaters.

But it seems we've never really had many reports of success or failure using these warranties.

If you have a third-part warranty, and have used it, let us know how it went. Was there trouble getting the claim paid? Was something (labor, diagnostics) not covered? Do you recommend it? How much did you pay for it?
 

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Premium Member 2006 SLK55 AMG
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same question here actually! warranty is almost up for me. I'm mainly interested in protecting the engine....$25k for a new one!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I dug around in some "other MB forums" who shall remain nameless, and read everything I could about aftermarket warranties for other models (E, S, SL). Many, if not most, owners recommend getting one but no one ever seemed to have really used theirs. Prices vary dramatically, and skyrocket as the miles and years go up. But even in those forums, there are not many actual reports of claims against the warranty. There are quite a few extended MB warranty stories, but I couldn't find more than one or two about third-party stuff...

My deduction to this point (without a lot of "hard" data on which to rely):
MBs are expensive to maintain, but it seems as though once you get one "sorted" they don't just fall apart as they get older. If you go into the sedan forums, there are many great stories about cars with 200-300k miles, but not many horror stories.

Where I stand at this point:
I had a chat with my service adviser, and he recommended a couple. Warrantech, Mercury, and another whose name escapes me at the moment (Fair-something, I think). But if you can't get them for $2-3 grand, don't bother. One of the other locals MB dealers quoted me a price of $8500. For that, you can self insure.

I'll post more if I find more.
 

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Premium Member 2013 SLK250
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Lets look at it as it is an insurance policy to cover repairs. Therefore the company selling it is out to make a profit. Therefore the bottom line is you will pay more for the warrenty than you will collect on the average. The more you get the more it will cost (drive train only vs full bumper to bumber). Put the money in the bank and you will most likely come out a head. There are many people making money on the warranty you buy, the salesman get a commission, the dealer gets his cut, plus the company that holds the warranty. Some places call selling warranty as selling the cheese. Why work to get the price down on the purchase of a car than give them around 10% more on the purchase? You get a 4 year warranty on a new MB and then pay thousands more to get one year added to it for a total of five years.
 

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Absolutely agree with the above. I have never bought a warranty for a car, a toaster, a refrigerator or anything. It is a huge profit maker for the the seller and an insurance policy and the insurance company always comes out ahead in the long run. Sure a few people make it pay off, but a few people win the lottery too. BTW, I don't buy lottery tickets either. :)

Len
 

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aka John
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So in the US, I've decided not to get extended coverage on my '350 after the warranty ran out.

CPO covered a new COMAND head and a new HK audio gateway, bill was right at $5900 for the repair. As it turned out the head was fine, but the HK AGW was bad, I could have picked one up for roughly $800.

On the '55 I've extended the CPO coverage. Both my front seat bottom bolster heaters need replacing, so I'll come out ahead on this one, and really be happy (and ahead) if they replace the whole base as I've got a couple of scratches on the passenger side. This is UK Tier 1 coverage, no deductible, bumper to bumper coverage. Trim bits are about all that's excluded.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So in the US, I've decided not to get extended coverage on my '350 after the warranty ran out.

CPO covered a new COMAND head and a new HK audio gateway, bill was right at $5900 for the repair. As it turned out the head was fine, but the HK AGW was bad, I could have picked one up for roughly $800.

On the '55 I've extended the CPO coverage. Both my front seat bottom bolster heaters need replacing, so I'll come out ahead on this one, and really be happy (and ahead) if they replace the whole base as I've got a couple of scratches on the passenger side. This is UK Tier 1 coverage, no deductible, bumper to bumper coverage. Trim bits are about all that's excluded.
Just to piggy-back: I have a good local indie who can fix most anything MB (reminds me of Dan, but older and never says "mate"). While I wouldn't use him for a new E63, as my 550 gets older there's really no need to keep it in "concourse condition." So, by using him and shopping carefully for parts, I estimate I can probably keep my future repair costs to a fraction of what I'd spend at the local MB dealership, but still keep the car running smoothly will all the necessary bits working. That makes it even more difficult for me to justify an expensive warranty.

I have an appointment tomorrow with MB Buckhead. I'll tell you what I learn there...
 

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Don - Founding Member #4
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Lets look at it as it is an insurance policy to cover repairs. Therefore the company selling it is out to make a profit. Therefore the bottom line is you will pay more for the warrenty than you will collect on the average. The more you get the more it will cost (drive train only vs full bumper to bumber). Put the money in the bank and you will most likely come out a head. There are many people making money on the warranty you buy, the salesman get a commission, the dealer gets his cut, plus the company that holds the warranty. Some places call selling warranty as selling the cheese. Why work to get the price down on the purchase of a car than give them around 10% more on the purchase? You get a 4 year warranty on a new MB and then pay thousands more to get one year added to it for a total of five years.
Absolutely agree with the above. I have never bought a warranty for a car, a toaster, a refrigerator or anything. It is a huge profit maker for the the seller and an insurance policy and the insurance company always comes out ahead in the long run. Sure a few people make it pay off, but a few people win the lottery too. BTW, I don't buy lottery tickets either. :)

Len
:confused:Same old tired rhetoric and I don't agree. This is my opinion, humble or otherwise. I'm not convinced that a extended factory warranty (MB Extended Limited Warranty) is a bad idea on a four year old expensive car, and potentially expensive to repair as the vehicle ages. Toasters, cheap electronics items, etc., are disposable items that are cheaper to throw away and replace with new. That's not applicable to a MB. I consider myself to be conservative, while financially savvy with my money. I don't spend it on a whim. I weighed the pros and cons and decided the 36 month, 75,000 MB extended warranty made sense . It works out to $100 per month. It's money already spent, and I'm not looking for a return on my investment. Rather, I want to limit my liability. I'm paying a "fixed" $3600, zero deductible, for MB warranty work on my 2005 SLK 55 for three years if I need it. Parts and labor cost will continue to rise during the three year warranty period, but my cost remains the same. There were separate threads regarding "fixed" cost for MBrace and oil changes and most responded favorably. I'm a business man and limiting liability makes sense to me, in business and my personal life. I don't care who makes a profit off my extended warranty coverage. I'm covered at a set, fixed cost and that makes $ense to me. I can choose to cash in the remaining unused portion, anytime I want. What made sense eighteen months ago makes sense now.:)
 

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:confused:Same old tired rhetoric and I don't agree. This is my opinion, humble or otherwise. I'm not convinced that a extended factory warranty (MB Extended Limited Warranty) is a bad idea on a four year old expensive car, and potentially expensive to repair as the vehicle ages. Toasters, cheap electronics items, etc., are disposable items that are cheaper to throw away and replace with new. That's not applicable to a MB. I consider myself to be conservative, while financially savvy with my money. I don't spend it on a whim. I weighed the pros and cons and decided the 36 month, 75,000 MB extended warranty made sense . It works out to $100 per month. It's money already spent, and I'm not looking for a return on my investment. Rather, I want to limit my liability. I'm paying a "fixed" $3600, zero deductible, for MB warranty work on my 2005 SLK 55 for three years if I need it. Parts and labor cost will continue to rise during the three year warranty period, but my cost remains the same. There were separate threads regarding "fixed" cost for MBrace and oil changes and most responded favorably. I'm a business man and limiting liability makes sense to me, in business and my personal life. I don't care who makes a profit off my extended warranty coverage. I'm covered at a set, fixed cost and that makes to me. I can choose to cash in the remaining unused portion, anytime I want. What made sense eighteen months ago makes sense now.:)
I agree with you totally. R):):burnout:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All of you make good points, but back to my original issue: What about AFTERMARKET warranties? I think that buying the MB-backed warranty on a fairly young car can be argued to be a good investment, after all it's not really that much money and you're backed by the manufacturer. But once you leave the "MB backed" age, many owners will only have third-party warranty choices. Particularly if one buys a used car initially. If I understand it correctly, MB will only extend the factory-backed warranty if you are the original owner.

So....

To buy a non-MB warranty or not. I still can find very little support for one. Still going to the dealer tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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aka John
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May be different in the UK DJ - my '55 was purchased from a private party, but with CPO coverage on it. I was able to xfer the 10 months of CPO, and renew it this year.

My feelings were that on the '350, which gets a *lot* less use these days, the investment was not justified.

My AMG, on the other hand, is getting some quality AMG style abuse, and I'm happy with the ROI on the MB warranty. I'm pretty sure that if I would not have been able to get MB coverage, I would have gone for 3rd party. The warranty cover on the car was what "closed" the deal for me on the purchase - I'm paranoid about "AMG" premium repair costs. Like Don, I'm happy with a fixed cost (interestingly, a bit less than Don's - about $70 USD a month), and also don't consider it an investment, just a limit on liability.

Back to the point!! ANYONE with 3rd party cover actually had to use it?!
 

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Don - Founding Member #4
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...But once you leave the "MB backed" age, many owners will only have third-party warranty choices. Particularly if one buys a used car initially. If I understand it correctly, MB will only extend the factory-backed warranty if you are the original owner.
:)Just to clarify, this is not true. It was never asked and never an issue on the two MB backed extended warranties I purchased on two used SLKs, six months apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
:)Just to clarify, this is not true. It was never asked and never an issue on the two MB backed extended warranties I purchased on two used SLKs, six months apart.
There are three MB dealers in Atlanta (probably why there are so many members here), and you may not be surprised to hear that I've gotten different answers from all three of them over the phone. The NE dealer, Atlanta Classic Cars, seems to be exceptional and is the one used by most of the SLKWorld bunch, but they are quite a drive from my home. RBM is the most centrally located, but in my opinion, seems to be VERY focused on getting as much money from me as possible. Their quote for an aftermarket was $8500. Mercedes Benz of Buckhead is downtown and can be difficult to reach due to traffic, but everyone I've met there (sales, maintenance, financing) has been genuinely helpful. So I'll make the trek down there today to see what I can discover.

I feel there's a bit of truth in everyone's opinion, but the perspective from which each of us views the issue is quite different. I appreciate the healthy discussion.
 

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There are three MB dealers in Atlanta
I was wrong, there are five MB dealers in Atlanta. Sheesh.

Anyway, just got back from MB Buckhead. I had a very pleasant 30 minute meeting with their warranty rep. Here's a summary:

To have a "real" MB warranty, you must have purchased the car from an MB dealer while the car is under the original factory warranty. A CPO car gets re-set and an MB warranty is added and can be extended. I purchased my car from an independent dealer (saving several thousand dollars I might add) and even though I am still under the original factory warranty, I can't extend the MB warranty. I am sure that other dealers around the world might be persuaded to bend the rules or offer different deals, that's that way it stands here.

So: I can buy a third party warranty. I checked with four of the five local dealers, as well as my bank, and some independent agents. Prices varied from $2k for a couple more years and 20k more miles to <drum roll> $8500 for a comprehensive EasyCare warranty marketed by RBM of Atlanta, giving me 85k total miles and another 4 years.

My new-to-me sedan has 47k miles, and is just over three years off delivery, giving me a couple thousand miles and about 8 months of the original factory coverage. I've has the car inspected three times: by the seller, an independent mechanic, and by MB Buckhead with no faults or issues found.

I manged to get two different MB service techs to give me a "private and confidential" summary of good warranty companies. Initially, neither was eager to do so, as their own dealerships sell third-party products, but after some gentle persuasion, they both told me their views. Both agreed that Warrantech, Mercury, EasyCare, and Safe-Guard are good companies. Both also listed several others that were worthless in their view.

I can get the Warrantech plan from the independent dealer from whom I purchased the car for about $3k for 48 mos and 85k total miles. Safe-Guard (from MB Buckhead) runs $4k for 4 years/100k miles....

Everything has both a cost and a value. Those are not always the same amount, and typically vary from person to person. Peace of mind has a value. But that even varies from person to person. For example, someone whose SLK is their only car could put great value in having ready pre-paid maintenance and a waiting loaner. Someone with a garage full of cars might not place as high a value on those things and be completely willing to have the car out of service for a time or perform repair work at home.

For me, just having the Star on the hood provides some peace of mind. My 550 has gone over 47k miles without a hitch (I have the complete service records...). As I sit contemplating both the cost and the value of the above warranties, I have considered several different things:
1. $3k out of pocket is just that, out of pocket. Should I never need the warranty, I'm ahead $3k forever.
2. If I buy the warranty, it really adds to my bottom-line cost of the car. I only spent $28.5k for it, and the NADA retail value is shown at $36.9, with average trade-in at $29.8. If I decide to trade the car for an SL in a couple of years, I can probably get everything I have in the car. If I add another 3-4k to the cost, maybe not.
3. If I get hit with a $5k repair sometime in the next few years, in my warped view, I'm only out $2k. I still have the $3k I'd have spent on the warranty, so I'd only have to cough up the difference. And I really don't expect to need a repair. I still have been unable to find anyone needing any extensive repairs on late model E Class sedans. The 2007 has a superb reputation for reliability. Consumer Reports lists it as a "most-desired" car.
4. If I do run into a problem, the costs of repairs quoted by warranty sales is usually the cost for OEM parts and work done by dealer-employed factory-trained service techs. My local indy mechanic is a retired MB tech, and he has all the proper diagnostic machines and tools. His labor rate is a bit less than the dealers, and he can buy parts from multiple sources, for lower prices. Even OEM parts can be had for less money on the internet that that charged by local dealers. I can have my routine and preventative maintenance performed by MB Buckhead, but if I need a new strut, I can have that installed by the local guy. I figure that should keep my repair costs considerably lower than quoted...
5. I can do quite a few things myself. My labor rate is VERY low!

As you can see, I'm leaning towards self-insuring. I still have 2000 miles and 6 months to decide.

I respect both those of you who like having the warranty and those of you who do not. :usa: I'd still like suggestions or considerations that I may have missed or omitted. Should I buy a warranty, I'm leaning towards Warrantech.

And I'm still looking for some first-hand reports of warranty claims.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Breaking news: While I had the 550 at the dealer, I had them check a small leak reported during the pre-buy inspection. Verdict: rear seal needs replacing to the tune of $1600!

Kudos to my indy for finding it, and props to MB Buckhead for fixing it. But NOW I'm thinking maybe I'll buy the warranty after all....

Standby for further changes in direction. :confused:
 

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aka John
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:( Sorry to hear about the problem DJ, but glad to hear it was covered. Things like this are why I got paranoid with the '55.
 

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I was wrong, there are five MB dealers in Atlanta. Sheesh.

Anyway, just got back from MB Buckhead. I had a very pleasant 30 minute meeting with their warranty rep. Here's a summary:

To have a "real" MB warranty, you must have purchased the car from an MB dealer while the car is under the original factory warranty. A CPO car gets re-set and an MB warranty is added and can be extended. I purchased my car from an independent dealer (saving several thousand dollars I might add) and even though I am still under the original factory warranty, I can't extend the MB warranty. I am sure that other dealers around the world might be persuaded to bend the rules or offer different deals, that's that way it stands here.

So: I can buy a third party warranty. I checked with four of the five local dealers, as well as my bank, and some independent agents. Prices varied from $2k for a couple more years and 20k more miles to <drum roll> $8500 for a comprehensive EasyCare warranty marketed by RBM of Atlanta, giving me 85k total miles and another 4 years.

My new-to-me sedan has 47k miles, and is just over three years off delivery, giving me a couple thousand miles and about 8 months of the original factory coverage. I've has the car inspected three times: by the seller, an independent mechanic, and by MB Buckhead with no faults or issues found.

I manged to get two different MB service techs to give me a "private and confidential" summary of good warranty companies. Initially, neither was eager to do so, as their own dealerships sell third-party products, but after some gentle persuasion, they both told me their views. Both agreed that Warrantech, Mercury, EasyCare, and Safe-Guard are good companies. Both also listed several others that were worthless in their view.

I can get the Warrantech plan from the independent dealer from whom I purchased the car for about $3k for 48 mos and 85k total miles. Safe-Guard (from MB Buckhead) runs $4k for 4 years/100k miles....

Everything has both a cost and a value. Those are not always the same amount, and typically vary from person to person. Peace of mind has a value. But that even varies from person to person. For example, someone whose SLK is their only car could put great value in having ready pre-paid maintenance and a waiting loaner. Someone with a garage full of cars might not place as high a value on those things and be completely willing to have the car out of service for a time or perform repair work at home.

For me, just having the Star on the hood provides some peace of mind. My 550 has gone over 47k miles without a hitch (I have the complete service records...). As I sit contemplating both the cost and the value of the above warranties, I have considered several different things:
1. $3k out of pocket is just that, out of pocket. Should I never need the warranty, I'm ahead $3k forever.
2. If I buy the warranty, it really adds to my bottom-line cost of the car. I only spent $28.5k for it, and the NADA retail value is shown at $36.9, with average trade-in at $29.8. If I decide to trade the car for an SL in a couple of years, I can probably get everything I have in the car. If I add another 3-4k to the cost, maybe not.
3. If I get hit with a $5k repair sometime in the next few years, in my warped view, I'm only out $2k. I still have the $3k I'd have spent on the warranty, so I'd only have to cough up the difference. And I really don't expect to need a repair. I still have been unable to find anyone needing any extensive repairs on late model E Class sedans. The 2007 has a superb reputation for reliability. Consumer Reports lists it as a "most-desired" car.
4. If I do run into a problem, the costs of repairs quoted by warranty sales is usually the cost for OEM parts and work done by dealer-employed factory-trained service techs. My local indy mechanic is a retired MB tech, and he has all the proper diagnostic machines and tools. His labor rate is a bit less than the dealers, and he can buy parts from multiple sources, for lower prices. Even OEM parts can be had for less money on the internet that that charged by local dealers. I can have my routine and preventative maintenance performed by MB Buckhead, but if I need a new strut, I can have that installed by the local guy. I figure that should keep my repair costs considerably lower than quoted...
5. I can do quite a few things myself. My labor rate is VERY low!

As you can see, I'm leaning towards self-insuring. I still have 2000 miles and 6 months to decide.

I respect both those of you who like having the warranty and those of you who do not. :usa: I'd still like suggestions or considerations that I may have missed or omitted. Should I buy a warranty, I'm leaning towards Warrantech.

And I'm still looking for some first-hand reports of warranty claims.
Knock on wood.......... I have EasyCare on both SLK280 and SLK55 AMG and no claims yet. I had purchased the extended warranty from EasyCare for the SLK55 AMG first from the used car dealer when I bought the SLK55 AMG. Then I wanted to "trade" or "sell" the SLk280 a few months ago for another SLK55 AMG. I called around about extended warranty for several potential SLK55 AMG I was looking at. The price for extended warranty had sky rocketed. I was quoted like $8500 for the SLK55 AMG that was a CPO from an MB dealer (I was looking for extended warranty after that "extra one year" of MB warranty from MBUsa). Still EasyCare wanted $8500 for the extended warranty for the SLK55 AMG. They said they (and the industry) had bad experiences with all AMG's . His words were, "AMGs" are toxic right now as far as the extended warranty goes.

So I decided to keep the SLK280 along with my current SLK55 AMG until the market improves.
 
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