Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

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White Oak
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Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by White Oak »

I bought a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid about a year ago. The previous owner had bought an extended Ford warranty from Lombard (https://www.lombardfordwarrantys.com/) that expires August 2021. I have the option to buy an additional extended warranty. I have never purchased a car warranty before, and in general I avoid warranties, but I'm considering this one.

The car has about 39k miles. I plan to keep the car for 4+ years. I drove ~7k miles in the last year, and that’s probably representative of the annual mileage going forward.

I recently had the transmission replaced under warranty due to faulty differential bearings. That is a common issue for the 2013 model year. Thankfully it occurred before the end of the warranty period, and so the replacement was done at no cost to me. I don’t anticipate any more trouble from the transmission.

The component that I worry about for the future is the battery. It has certainly lost some capacity, which is a bummer, but not a big deal. But if it were to fail, this would presumably be a very costly repair.

Below is the quote for various mileage and term lengths. For example, I could purchase “Premium Care” coverage to 2027 and 114k miles for $1443. That seems like a pretty reasonable amount as an insurance policy against some large repair in the next 6 years.

I wouldn't plan to use this for minor repairs. It would only be for something major.

What do you think? Would you purchase this? If yes, which level would you purchase given my plan to own the car for 4-6 years?



$200 Deductible Plans

Code: Select all

Term
months/miles	Coverage Through	Premium Care	Extra Care	Base Care	Powertrain Care
End Year	End Miles
24 / 12,000	2023 2	51,000 2	$743	$658	$623	$588
24 / 18,000	2023 2	57,000 2	$738	$638	$613	$588
24 / 24,000	2023 2	63,000 2	$733	$648	$608	$588
24 / 36,000	2023 2	75,000 2	$768	$673	$613	$608
36 / 24,000	2024 2	63,000 2	$733	$683	$643	$618
36 / 36,000	2024 2	75,000 2	$798	$688	$638	$628
36 / 48,000	2024 2	87,000 2	$883	$758	$678	$663
36 / 60,000	2024 2	99,000 2	$1038	$903	$768	$753
48 / 36,000	2025 2	75,000 2	$858	$733	$678	$668
48 / 48,000	2025 2	87,000 2	$918	$788	$713	$693
48 / 60,000	2025 2	99,000 2	$1093	$933	$803	$783
48 / 75,000	2025 2	114,000 2	$1248	$1068	$838	$923
60 / 48,000	2026 2	87,000 2	$998	$828	$738	$713
60 / 60,000	2026 2	99,000 2	$1143	$953	$848	$808
60 / 75,000	2026 2	114,000 2	$1313	$1098	$878	$893
72 / 60,000	2027 2	99,000 2	$1258	$1023	n/a	n/a
72 / 75,000	2027 2	114,000 2	$1443	$1183	n/a	n/a

2 End Year is calculated from the contract purchase date. End Miles is calculated from the current mileage on the vehicle's odometer. Coverage begins on the contract purchase date and expires at the expiration date or the expiration odometer mileage, whichever comes first.
mhalley
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by mhalley »

I have no experience with extended auto warranties. I would just cite Clark Howard (who is agnostic on them) but does recommend if you purchase one it MUST be from the auto manufacturer, not a 3rd party. This one is from Ford, so if you think the value is there for you, then it is not unreasonable.
Last edited by mhalley on Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Your PHEV may have lost some capacity months battery, and you may be incorrectly judging that based on the paltry electric only range it has.

The standard battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles, in California it may be 10 years (see manual).

Hybrid batteries rarely fail. Warranties have specific criteria for replacement, and a reduced capacity has to be drastic for them to kick in.

If you bought the extended warranty, you would of course use it for anything it covered...

Your vehicle is worth $8 - $9,000. Paying nearly $1,500 for more warranty, for an item that doesn't get replaced hardly ever, is wasted money.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by RickBoglehead »

mhalley wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:57 pm I have no experience with extended auto warranties. I would just cite Clark Howard (who is agnostic on them) but does recommend if you purchase one it MUST be from the auto manufacturer, not a 3rd party.
Which is what he quoted...
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mhalley
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by mhalley »

Sorry, didn’t click the link.
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White Oak
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by White Oak »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:04 pm Your PHEV may have lost some capacity months battery, and you may be incorrectly judging that based on the paltry electric only range it has.

The standard battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles, in California it may be 10 years (see manual).

Hybrid batteries rarely fail. Warranties have specific criteria for replacement, and a reduced capacity has to be drastic for them to kick in.

If you bought the extended warranty, you would of course use it for anything it covered...

Your vehicle is worth $8 - $9,000. Paying nearly $1,500 for more warranty, for an item that doesn't get replaced hardly ever, is wasted money.
Thank you RickBoglehead for your thoughts. Maybe it would be wasted money. That's why I'm posting here, to hear the pros and cons.

The standard warranty is 8 years, which ends this month. I don't live in CA.

I'm guessing there would be at least one qualifying repair of at least $1500 in the next 6 years. The warranty price almost seems too good to be true.

Regarding the battery capacity, the battery usually accepts about 4.5 kWh from empty to full. I thought it should be more than this. What worries me a bit is that Prius battery replacements are pretty common when the vehicle gets to 10-15 years old.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by RickBoglehead »

White Oak wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:37 pm

Thank you RickBoglehead for your thoughts. Maybe it would be wasted money. That's why I'm posting here, to hear the pros and cons.

The standard warranty is 8 years, which ends this month. I don't live in CA.

I'm guessing there would be at least one qualifying repair of at least $1500 in the next 6 years. The warranty price almost seems too good to be true.

Regarding the battery capacity, the battery usually accepts about 4.5 kWh from empty to full. I thought it should be more than this. What worries me a bit is that Prius battery replacements are pretty common when the vehicle gets to 10-15 years old.
Your battery should be 7.6 kWh. Contact the dealer, if you are correct that is a serious degradation and likely a warranty issue. Why didn't this issue arrive during the transmission servicing?

What range are you showing in electric mode? Should be 20 in new condition.

Your low mileage should mean that your battery lasts many years, 150,000 miles is a good expectation.
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White Oak
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by White Oak »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:55 pm
Your battery should be 7.6 kWh. Contact the dealer, if you are correct that is a serious degradation and likely a warranty issue. Why didn't this issue arrive during the transmission servicing?

What range are you showing in electric mode? Should be 20 in new condition.
The range estimate on a good day is about 14 miles. I don't think the full 7.6 kWh was ever available, some of it was kept in reserve. I'm not exactly sure how much.

Maybe I should contact the dealer about it. I did some Googling, and I was guessing that they wouldn't provide a replacement at my capacity loss.

I didn't ask the dealer about the battery when I had it in for the transmission.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by RickBoglehead »

My Googling says 20 mile range. You may be at 70% or lower. The dealer can test the battery and definitively answer the question.
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bloom2708
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by bloom2708 »

We drove our 2013 c-max to 120k.

No issues except front sway bar links, tires and brakes.

I would not buy the extended warranty.

They do not cover wear items.

In the Summer you should get 20-24 miles of all electric range. We got 16 or so in the winter. It will vary how you drive and brake. If you rabbit start range goes down. Drive and see if the range improves. A/C and heat use lowers the range a bit too.

Great cars. We now have a 2017 Fusion Energi. My wife liked the c-Max better. Smaller and more nimble.

Good luck.
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jandres12
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by jandres12 »

I've got a 2013 C-max hybrid (not energi) that I picked up in 2016 for around $11K with 47K miles. Now at 107K miles with no issues other than starter battery crapping out every 2.5 years, and trunk latch attachment coming undone which so far I've fixed with heavy duty double sided tape. When a major component goes, I'll just pay to repair or replace if not worth it. I figure I've gotten my use out of it. I wouldn't bother with extended warranty.
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by 123 »

White Oak wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:37 pm ...The standard warranty is 8 years, which ends this month. I don't live in CA...
I get lots of courtesy calls about my car warranty expiring. Perhaps you'll be lucky and get one of those calls just in time...
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sk2101
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by sk2101 »

I am very familiar with those cars. The major thing that can go wrong is the transmission and since you already replaced it, it should now be good forever. Many people have gone 400k+ miles on the original battery. I would not buy the warranty.
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by crefwatch »

You can’t rely on marketing words like Premium Care. What does the warranty product say about what parts are covered, who determines that they must be replaced, and who can perform the work? Is 100% of the labor covered? Are new OEM parts to be used? How can you appeal a decision? Is the product regulated “insurance” in your state? Have you researched the company?
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Is Lombard even still in business? I'm asking this because the standard model for running an extended warranty company is to collect lots of premiums and then go out of business. What good is a warranty that covers everything when the company no longer exists?

I would NOT buy this warranty.
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Gmt21
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by Gmt21 »

Make sure you know whether or not there is a deductible for the plan you're purchasing. Typically the plans that a dealer presents you is one that's less expensive up front but carries a higher deductible for each visit. I did purchase an extended warranty on my new truck but that is because I plan on keeping it for 7 plus years. After the fact I found that I found that Flood Ford (floodfordesp) in Rhode Island had the most competitive prices and beat my dealer. Being that this is a used vehicle you may have to contact them directly. People on Ford forums tend to recommend them.
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by mrc »

I have a 2014 with about the same mileage. Miles on the battery after a full charge hasn't changed from new, between 18 and 22 depending on temperature. Less with A/C or heat on, and if you have a lead foot. I have changed the oil on schedule (many trips the engine doesn't even run), and replaced brake pads and rotors, and that was from not being driven hard. Will do tires soon. I wouldn't bother with an extended warranty, given the chance.

Fear of battery failure is over-rated IMHO. Someone rear-ended my wife's 8-year old Escape hybrid and damaged the battery. Insurance totaled the vehicle b/c of that. If your battery reading is a concern, do make sure the policy covers the battery before buying. This is still a decent car w/o the plugin charge: My wife's 2014 C-Max (hybrid, not plugin) gets ~41 mpg.

Backstory: Wife replaced her totaled Escape with the C-Max hybrid and I liked it so much I bought the plugin version that same month.
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White Oak
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Re: Should I buy an extended warranty on my Ford C-Max plugin?

Post by White Oak »

Thanks to all who weighed in. I wanted to post my conclusion to this thread, in case people stumble on this in the future.

I decided to forgo the extended warranty for 2 reasons.

(1) The collective wisdom above was to avoid it, and this was from other C-Max owners.

(2) I did some more reading about what the extended warranty covers, and batteries are specifically excluded. I double-checked with their agents, and they verified that the high-voltage battery was not covered. This eliminated most of the reason I had for considering the warranty.

Thanks again!
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