If you have an extended warranty do you still get to have a say in where you go for repairs and parts?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

In your experience, do people who purchase "extended warranties" have to take
what is offered when their vehicle is in need of repair, or may we demand
replacement parts better than scrap-yard parts? -- David

TOM: Even though "extended warranties" are often sold by dealers, they are
basically just insurance policies, provided by a third-party insurance company.

RAY: Most of them allow you to go to just about any repair shop and have the
covered work paid for directly by the insurer. I do a lot of work that gets
covered by extended warranties, and in my experience, I've never dealt with an
insurance company that forced me to use scrap-yard or inferior parts under such
a plan. In fact, they almost always authorize brand-new parts directly from the

TOM: Now, you may have bought your policy from a guy named Fred, who writes
extended service contracts when he's not operating his roadside fruit stand. So
you need to take a good look at the policy you signed and see if it allows them
to insist on used parts. If it does, then you're out of luck. But if not, you
certainly can demand OEM (original equipment manufacture), after-market new
parts, or at the very least, completely rebuilt parts. And I would do just that.

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