We bought a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan from CarMax in Henderson, Nevada in January 2012. Since this was a used car, with almost 30k miles on it we opted for the extended warranty since this would be the only family vehicle we had. In talking with the sales person, we felt the best warranty, that would cover the most, would be for 72 months, or 100k miles. The total cost of the warranty was $2,049. Each repair would have a $200 deductible that we would have to pay.
Having had an extended warranty on our last car - which we did end up using to correct an oil leak problem, we knew that we needed to maintain the car. We take the van in religiously for it's oil changes & "check-ups." On our way back in to Las Vegas from Thanksgiving with family, our Van showed signs of overheating so we immediately pulled off the road & a cloud of smoke came billowing from the front of the van. We pulled our kids out of the Van & immediately called Triple A for a tow truck to take the van to our long time mechanic. This was on Saturday night.
On Monday, our Mechanic tells us that he believes there is a blown head gasket, & that this is something the warranty should cover. He tells us that the warranty company needs us to authorize a tear down of the engine before they can even send out an adjuster to verify the damage. Our mechanic tells us that in talking with MaxCare they tell him that there should be no problem, that this is a covered piece, but that we, as the car's owner, need to authorize the tear down of the engine so they can look at it. Our mechanic tells us the tear down is almost $1,200, but that he has been assured the warranty will cover it. We ok the tear down.
On Saturday the MaxCare adjuster comes out to the mechanics shop, agrees with his assessment & tells the mechanic there will be no problems, that on Monday he should have the approval. In the meantime, I had no choice but to rent a car, at my own expense - the warranty covers $40/day, BUT that is only AFTER they have approved the repairs.
On Monday our Mechanic calls us to tell us that MaxCare has denied the claim, stating that the blown head gasket was related to us driving too long with an overheating car.
My husband calls MaxCare, speaks with a representative, then Dale, a supervisor. They tell him that the claim was denied because there is a plastic piece connector that broke & this is not a covered item in the warranty. The plastic piece.
I call MaxCare because I am flabbergasted that they are not approving this. I talk to a representative who tells me that the denial was because we failed to properly maintain the car & that with regular maintenance that a broke hose or connector would have been caught & corrected, thus preventing the overheating & subsequent blown head gasket. I tell him that I take the car in religiously. He tells me that, as a former mechanic himself, that this piece is a small "Y" connector that is black & is not easily seen. He said that it really depends on how deep a mechanic looks & that most are probably not even looking at this piece on a regular basis.
I asked "the former mechanic" that how would I know, a mother of 5, who takes her car in for regular maintenance to even ask that this "hard to see, small black connector" needs to be checked? He said that again, I really need a good mechanic. I must mention that to this point I had not had any problems with the van.
I then ask him to send me a copy of the warranty so I can see exactly where it said that this was not a covered benefit. He tells me that they do not have a copy of it. I ask him how can he tell me that this is not a covered benefit when he cannot even see the contract? He said they have a computer, with codes that tell him this. I ask him what good is the warranty, what does it cover then? He said major engine problems - I ask, "isn't this major damage?" He said that it was related to a non-covered piece, so not covered. Anything that is a result of hoses or connectors is not covered. I ask, isn't most things in an engine connected by hoses & connectors. He again tells me that with regular maintenance they would not break.
So here I am - $1,200+ into a tear down of a car, that MaxCare will not cover. They have told the shop one reason - we drove too long with it overheating. They told my husband that it was due to a non-covered piece. They went further with me & told me that my "neglect" of having this checked, caused the piece to break, consequently causing the engine damage. I am now trying to figure out how to pay not only the $1,200 to break the car down (which had to be done before they would even send an adjustor out) & coming up with an additional $1,200+ to complete the repair. Knowing I did not have this kind of money, this time of the year, had I known it was going to be denied, I would have had the car towed back to my house until I could afford to fix it.
And to cancel the extended warranty - that may be another complaint. I have already been told that there is a $30 administrative fee. That I must write in to cancel & that the refund is prorated.