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2001 ML320 w/ AMG Sport Package
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 2001 ML320 with 79800 miles on it 2 months ago, now I am shopping for an extended Warranty.

I was quoted for a 36 Months/45,000 additonal miles for $2,385 and $100 deductible. They called it "Platinum" coverage - includes all the basics and seals and gasketts, and electronics too. Even wear and tear. AND THEY DON'T NEED AN INSPECTION. I WAS LIKE..???!!!

IS IT too good to be true? :confused:

The company name is Warranty America, LLC.
Warranty America, LLC - Warranty America, LLC

The sales guy sent me a link for the actual contract, it's here:
http://www.smartautowarranty.com/files_c/WA_200711.pdf

If you guys can take a look at it real quick that would be suprawesome! It's
my first time buying an extended warranty, thanks in advance! :bowdown::bowdown:
 

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ML320 2002
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I actually read the contract almost entirely. I did not like this condition (page 5);

In the event of a dispute between the repair facility (of your choice) and the administrator, the administrator has the right to move your vehicle to a repair facility of administrator's choice.

If I have a warranty and in need of repair I would like to get it done at the MB dealer. If the quote is small, there may not be a problem. However, MB quotes sometimes reach several thousand dollars, as we read on this forum. A dispute might be inevitable and you may end up going to xxx transmissions for repair.

I never bought an extended warranty. In fact, I would like to know if this is a good company by experience so that I can sign up. But I always have hesitations when something is too good to be true.
 

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1999 ML320 / 2005 C230 / 2004 E320 4matic wagon
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92 Posts
The other thing to watch for is mandatory oil changes. I am required by my EasyCare TotalCare to get an oil change every 6 months, regardless of what MB says--and you have to do it at a licensed shop, so there is a paper trail. Otherwise they can deny repairs, by saying you did not keep up regular maintenance. So for another year I will be doing this, but you have to believe every squeak, rattle, or whiff of coolant, the truck goes into the shop. The repairs it has covered so far, are almost paying for the extended warranty at this point.

I keep silently praying and crossing my fingers, that one of these times I'll hit the jack pot and get a new tranny or engine..... :)
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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2,126 Posts
Can you change your own oil? Check to see if your oil and filter purchase receipt will be sufficient record.
 

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2000 ML55 AMG
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310 Posts
I have one in Canada called Coast to Coast, but in hindsight I would not have bothered. The conditions are often ridiculous and allow the warranty provider to back out of almost everything with small print. (I didn't read the lengthy small print since I bought my truck after the dealer had closed for the day and the I felt bad for keeping the salespeople beyond their normal hours.)

I do suggest that you go through your policy with a fine toothed comb. Some of the fine print that annoys me is:

- my warranty doesn't cover any diagnostic labour
- Policy is technically void if I install an non-OEM trailer hitch. Mercedes no longer sells one!
- doesn't cover "wear and tear". Isn't everything wear and tear?!?
- doesn't cover any hoses.
- I had to replace a xenon headlight ballast. It wasn't covered.
 

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2001 ML320 w/ AMG Sport Package
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The reason I want to get an extended warranty is that, I do NOT have a Vehicle Service History when I puchased this vehicle 2 months ago, and I am very concern about the repair cost, especially the model year of my ML.
Just wishing to pay something to get a peace of mind...
 

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1999 ML320 / 2005 C230 / 2004 E320 4matic wagon
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I think they are a good Idea, just buyer beware. I like mine, with the exception of the oil change thingy, because it covers basically everything a standard car warranty will.

My window switches went bad, it was covered.
I had a problem with fluid leaking out of the Tranny, it was covered.

Read the fine print, and believe me you WILL need a magnifying glass.
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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2,126 Posts
Kyle,

I bought a warranty from AAA. I took my ML to Chamber Motor Cars in Somerville for service. Everytime I brought my car in, I received a brand new C-class to drive. Once, I even kept a W164 ML for a week. The warranty paid for the rental as well as the service. My warranty was ~$3200 for 4 years/up to 100k. They paid for ~$9000+ in warranted repairs.

During all of these repairs, I noticed 2 things.

1) the repairs were for sensors that monitored mechanical systems. None of the repairs have been for mechanical systems. All of the repairs were costly at the dealership, though not critical to the functionality of my truck. The worst of these was the failure of the $13 brake switch, which locked the gear lever in Park, immobilizing the car (until I figured out how to unlock it). Ironically, since I replaced the brake switch myself, this critical failure was, by far, the cheapest repair.

2) Without the warranty (which I am now out of), I would not have paid to have any of that work done. My plan from now on, is to just enjoy my ML. If a sensor goes out, I'll bypass it.

Live long and drive fast! (well, drive safely... and not too fast. Gas is expensive!)
 

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05 500
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I had same question just a few weeks back. I stuck with the MB extended warranty - expensive ($3K for 1yr/100K with 46K on the truck) but it's EXACTLY like the factory warranty. Why I didn't go aftermarket is because my ML issues have mostly always been electronics related and I couldn't find an aftermarket warranty that advertised coverage for these kinds of failures. Because of your mileage, there may not be a MB coverage. If there is, it'll be quite expensive though. Ask a MB agent.

Bogie, I know from your publications that you've been very happy with AAA. Do they have comprehensive coverage like OEM also?
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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It's called bumper to bumper, but I was really disappointed with the long list of exceptions when I received the contract a week after signing. I called to cancel, but was asked to give them a try.

The one catch is to really read the wording. I found that I could get decisions reversed, by being careful with my language. For example, my NAV CD drive stopped working and would not eject my nav disk. When I SA called from the dealership, she was told that NAV is NOT covered. I knew from reading my warranty, however, that Audio equipment is covered. I called the warranty company and explained that my music CD drive was not working and would not eject my disk. See the difference? Music GOOD, Nav BAD... *shaking my head* IT'S THE SAME DRIVE!!! This made the difference. As a result, the warranty company partially paid for my Avic Z1.
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3
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Three experiences with Warranty Direct- me didn't quite pay for itself, mother- $15,000 in repairs off a $3,000 warranty, father- I think he's got his money back. Would I get another extended warranty... yes but I would just make sure to read the fine print.
 

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2001 ML320 w/ AMG Sport Package
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
It's called bumper to bumper, but I was really disappointed with the long list of exceptions when I received the contract a week after signing. I called to cancel, but was asked to give them a try.

The one catch is to really read the wording. I found that I could get decisions reversed, by being careful with my language. For example, my NAV CD drive stopped working and would not eject my nav disk. When I SA called from the dealership, she was told that NAV is NOT covered. I knew from reading my warranty, however, that Audio equipment is covered. I called the warranty company and explained that my music CD drive was not working and would not eject my disk. See the difference? Music GOOD, Nav BAD... *shaking my head* IT'S THE SAME DRIVE!!! This made the difference. As a result, the warranty company partially paid for my Avic Z1.
Bogie, I can see that you are a very intelligent person! =)

Today I talked to a service manager ( Her name is Kim) in the Chambers Motor Cars of Boston ( techincally, it's in Somerville), she said she was unable to give me a copy of the Vehicle Service History ( she said it cannot hand it to the customer and it
s for internal use only). However, when I talked with her about the extended warranty thing, she seems to stand on the customer side, e.g. she would put an hour more labor on the repair labor instead of telling the extended warranty that the car need an hour for a diagonse test. Because usually they won't paid for a diagonse test...
So I think if things go wrong I will goto this dealership.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INPUTS! I am getting the extended warranty tomorrow.
 

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THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INPUTS! I am getting the extended warranty tomorrow.
Wow!!! Hold on a minute. Your question was about Warranty America and I don't believe you've had any really encouraging responses from this forum regarding that particular vendor. So, if you're getting anything, I hope you have a lot more information than you've given us, otherwise your best bet is either OEM (expensive) or AAA. Bogie has clearly shown that with some smarts, AAA is worth it. So who do you plan to go with?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow!!! Hold on a minute. Your question was about Warranty America and I don't believe you've had any really encouraging responses from this forum regarding that particular vendor. So, if you're getting anything, I hope you have a lot more information than you've given us, otherwise your best bet is either OEM (expensive) or AAA. Bogie has clearly shown that with some smarts, AAA is worth it. So who do you plan to go with?

I am going with Warranty America, I cannot get the OEM one ( My ML is too old:surrender:) and AAA is $3500 . Warranty America is $2380. They pretty much have the same coverage, of course - the big difference is that AAA is wide known and Warranty America is not.

You are right Darkmann, the answers are not really specif. to Warranty America, but I got more insights about the extended warranty thing. So I think it's good. At least I know what to ask when I talk to the sales rep.:eek:
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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Kim is great!

Kim is my SA also! I have nothing but great things to say about her. I love her. You can read about my experiences with her in other posts.

One word though... It's not always in her hands. The warranty company pays for repair based on a national service book of hours needed per job. Often, the warranty company will pay for fewer hours than the dealership charges. I usually argued and sometimes had to pay the difference, but still it was a lot less than what the warranty paid... (e.g. the warranty pays ~$600 and I would pay ~$125. The major reason for the difference was that after the diagnostic, some items found were maintenance issues, like my engine mounts. I took the car in because the transmission was upshifting harshly. They replaced the transmission module, but also found that the engine and transmission mounts needed to be replaced. I had to eat the mounts. :(

Once I understood what was a failure and what was a maintenance item, I had a better idea of what to ask them to diagnose. (e.g. I don't want them to charge me for the time they spend looking at the condition of my brakes or preparing for a "B service" because my indicator is on. I try to make sure that the car is maintained before I take it in for a repair.)

I have my issues with the service department at Chambers, but I have been very happy with Kim. Although Nathan seems to be a nice guy too, I won't make initial contact with anyone, but Kim.
 

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AAA is wide known
Two other notes...

1.) When you go with AAA, the warrantor is actually an AAA partner... in my case, a company called Mercury. I'm not sure how well known they are.

2.) Talk to Kim about the Warranty. After my first service with her, she was not optimistic about having to deal with the warranty company. She said that they often don't want to pay. After she talked with my warranty company, however, she told me that they were very easy to deal with and they worked well with her. There may be some companies who will not. She may be able to tell you about the company you're choosing.

When you talk to her, please tell her that David says hello.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Once I understood what was a failure and what was a maintenance item, I had a better idea of what to ask them to diagnose. (e.g. I don't want them to charge me for the time they spend looking at the condition of my brakes or preparing for a "B service" because my indicator is on. I try to make sure that the car is maintained before I take it in for a repair.)
Thanks a lot for pointing it out! I'm glad you did this! :D

I will diff help you say hello to Kim! She's the first person I interacted when I went to the dealership for the first time.

Maintaing a W163 can be very expensive, especially the year model of my ML. Although I never had any problem with my 1998 ML320 in my 3 years ownership, not even a part has failed, including eletronics/swtiches, etc.. But for this 2001 ML, I don't have the Vehicle Service History on hand and the previous owner of this vehicle doesn't bring it in to dealership for repair. I know this because I ask the service advisor - Kim, to take a look at it.

She found out there was only one recall on my ML, nothing has failed and no repair history as shown on the record. Can you believe this?! My thought is that, the owner doesn't bring the car in to the dealership for a repair, therefore nothing is shown on the record. Or, it had not failed during his owership. That's even worst because if it had not been failed, it will fail very soon...

I talked with Kim about Warranty America on yesterday, she said she had heard about this company and "it's not bad". So, I would give my extended warranty a try (30 days trail). Now I never know how is it gonna be, but when I bring the truck in for a repair I will know. Thanks again Bogie for shedding light on the road! :thumbsup:
 

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She found out there was only one recall on my ML, nothing has failed and no repair history as shown on the record. Can you believe this?! My thought is that, the owner doesn't bring the car in to the dealership for a repair, therefore nothing is shown on the record. Or, it had not failed during his owership. That's even worst because if it had not been failed, it will fail very soon...
If the vehicle was taken to another MB shop for repairs, Kim may not be able to see it, though she will be able to give you general information. One way to go is to find the original selling dealer (CARFAX or call MBUSA with VIN and ask nicely) and ask them.
 

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Actually, if it was taken to another MB dealer, Kim would see it. That was the case with mine.

The previous own probably used an independent. There are plenty of "European Car Specialist" here... Not to say anything bad about them.

Kyle... Anytime!:thumbsup:
 

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02 ML320; 08 E350 4MATIC - P1 & SPORT PKG
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Kyle,

2) Without the warranty (which I am now out of), I would not have paid to have any of that work done. My plan from now on, is to just enjoy my ML. If a sensor goes out, I'll bypass it.

Live long and drive fast! (well, drive safely... and not too fast. Gas is expensive!)
Brilliant
 
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