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Acura extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

They’re surprisingly cheap — but maybe not cheap enough

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    As Honda’s luxury counterpart, Acura offers a popular alternative to high-end stalwarts like Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. As such, anyone with a new or used Acura might consider protecting their purchase with an extended auto warranty.

    But how does Acura’s own extended warranty program stack up? We’ll cover what’s included, what they cost and whether they’re worth it. Read on to learn more.

    Key insights

    • Acura calls its extended warranties Acura Care Vehicle Service Contracts.
    • Most of these plans are designed to extend your existing bumper-to-bumper warranty (normally four years/50,000 miles; six years/100,000 miles for certified pre-owned Acuras).
    • Our quotes for Acura Care VSCs averaged between $521 and $788 per year of added coverage with a $100 deductible.
    • Considering that RepairPal, an automotive data aggregator, only expects Acuras to incur an average of $501 in scheduled maintenance and unexpected repairs per year, these plans may not be worth it.

    Acura extended warranty coverage

    Acura’s official extended warranties are called Acura Care Vehicle Service Contracts (or Acura Care VSCs for short). The plans are designed to functionally extend parts of the factory warranty that came with your Acura (four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and six years or 70,000 miles of powertrain coverage).

    Warranty terms are usually given in units of years and miles. Coverage ends whenever your vehicle hits either limit.

    Keep in mind that auto warranties — factory or extended — only cover the cost of repairs needed due to manufacturing defects (parts that weren’t designed or assembled correctly). For example, if your infotainment system suddenly blacks out or your engine stalls for no reason, those issues would likely be covered under warranty. But damage, cosmetics and items designed to wear down with regular use are typically not covered.

    Acura Care VSCs can’t be bought online, so you must go through a finance manager at a local Acura dealership.

    » LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

    Acura extended warranty plans

    Acura Care VSCs come in four varieties, and you’ll have the choice of either a $0 or $100 deductible per visit to the mechanic:

    • New plans are bumper-to-bumper warranties for new Acuras that can extend the factory four-year/50,000-mile warranty to up to eight years/120,000 miles (measured from when your vehicle was new).
    • Certified Additional Coverage plans are bumper-to-bumper plans for certified pre-owned (CPO) Acuras that can extend the CPO six-year/100,000-mile warranty to up to nine years/150,000 miles.
    • Pre-Owned plans are for noncertified used Acuras and can last up to four years/48,000 miles (measured from the warranty purchase date). In order to qualify, pre-owned Acuras must have fewer than 60,000 miles on their odometers.
    • Powertrain plans are available for pre-owned Acuras only and can extend the factory six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty up to eight years/120,000 miles. In order to qualify, pre-owned Acuras must have fewer than 60,000 miles on the odometer.

    Here’s a visual breakdown of what each plan covers. (You may need to scroll to see the full table below.)

    Component groupNew/Pre-Owned/Certified Additional CoveragePowertrain
    Drive axle (front and rear)
    Seals, gaskets and fluids
    Air conditioning/heating
    Cooling system
    Automatic transmission
    Fuel delivery
    SRS (supplemental restraint system)
    Accessories (navigation/audio)
    Suspension front and rear
    Rear differential

    Acura extended warranty benefits

    Acura Care VSCs come with the following benefits in addition to their repair coverages:

    • 24/7 roadside assistance, including towing (for a covered repair), lockout assistance, battery jump-starts, tire changes and fuel deliveries
    • Rental vehicle reimbursements of $45 per day for up to six days (total $270) to help cover the cost of a rental car while your Acura is in the shop for a covered repair
    • Trip-interruption benefits, which provide up to $100 per day for up to three days to help cover meals and lodging if your Acura experiences a covered breakdown more than 100 miles from home
    • Concierge service, which can include emergency cash advances, airline ticket assistance and insurance claim assistance

    Overall these are pretty average benefits for a manufacturer-backed extended warranty. The trip interruption benefits are relatively slim at just $300, especially considering Acura’s status as a luxury brand. Most other automakers — luxury or otherwise — offer $500 to $1,000 in trip interruption coverage. But at least the $45 per day for a rental car is a tick more than the standard $35.

    Acura extended warranty cost

    You can't buy or get quotes for an Acura Care VSC online — you have to call up your local Acura dealer and speak directly to a finance manager to price out and purchase one.

    You may also have to call around a bit since not all dealers sell manufacturer-backed warranties (some only sell third-party extended warranties from companies like Zurich). To save you some time and give you an idea of what to expect, we connected with a local Acura dealer who priced out some options for us. The following Acura Care VSCs are based on a $100 deductible and don’t include local tax.

    Acura Care Vehicle Service Contract costs

    You may need to scroll to see the full table below. For context, we calculated the average cost of an extended auto warranty to be around $2,500.

    2023 TLX New 8 years/120,000 miles $2,445
    2023 TLX New 8 years/100,000 miles $2,169
    2020 MDX Certified Additional Coverage 8 years/120,000 miles $2,164
    2020 MDX Certified Additional Coverage 9 years/150,000 miles $2,365
    2017 ILX Pre-owned 3 years/36,000 miles* $2,055
    2017 ILX Pre-owned 4 years/48,000 miles* $2,085
    *Measured from the warranty purchase date

    An eight-year/100,000-mile New plan adds four years/50,000 miles to Acura’s factory bumper-to-bumper coverage, effectively doubling it. Given the roughly $2,200 quote we received for our sample TLX, that’s around $550 per year of added coverage.

    For Certified Additional Coverage plans, keep in mind that a certified pre-owned Acura comes with a six-year/100,000-mile CPO bumper-to-bumper warranty. So, even a nine-year/150,000-mile warranty for our sample MDX only adds three years/50,000 miles of coverage for $2,365 — or $788 per year of added coverage.

    A four-year/48,000-mile Pre-Owned plan on our ILX cost just $2,085 — or roughly $521 per year of added coverage. That’s low, considering the ILX would be totally out of factory warranty at this point.

    All things considered, the cost of these Acura Care VSCs is well below average across the board. Even the pricier MDX plan costs less than average, but does that mean they’re worth it?

    Acura extended warranty terms and conditions

    The Acura Care VSC terms and conditions are pretty standard for an extended auto warranty, but if you’re unfamiliar with standard warranty terms, here are the main things you need to know. (Just remember that it’s almost always best to read the contract yourself, line by line, before signing).

    As is typical for extended warranties, preexisting conditions won’t be covered by your Acura Care VSC. Also, any conditions you can’t prove weren’t preexisting may not be covered. That’s why it may be wise to get an approximately $150 dealer inspection performed before purchasing your warranty to establish a baseline of what your vehicle was like when you signed your warranty agreement.

    In addition, a dealer inspection may also uncover issues that are covered under your factory warranty, netting you a free repair before having to purchase your new warranty.

    Extended auto warranty agreements generally require you to keep up with routine maintenance on your own, and Acura Care VSCs are no exception. You must perform all of the recommended maintenance at the intervals listed in your Acura owners manual to keep your coverage active.

    Keep your receipts, too, since Acura may ask for proof of maintenance before approving any claims.

    This may seem obvious, but anything listed under section four of your warranty agreement (“WHAT IS NOT COVERED”) won’t be covered. For nonpowertrain plans, that includes most cosmetic, wear-and-tear and exhaust-related components.

    Acura Care VSCs also won’t cover aftermarket parts or problems caused by aftermarket parts, racetrack or off-road use, negligence, abuse, damage (e.g., weather, vandalism and collisions), or nonrated towing.

    If you sell your Acura to a private party (not a dealer), you can transfer the remaining extended warranty period to the new owner within 15 days of the sale by filing some paperwork with the dealer you purchased the warranty from and paying a $50 fee.

    If you’re unable to provide proof of routine maintenance, you may also have to pay out-of-pocket for a dealer inspection before Acura will approve the transfer.

    As long as you haven’t filed a claim, you can cancel your Acura Care VSC within 60 days of purchase for a full refund. If you cancel after 60 days or after filing a claim, you’ll receive a prorated refund minus any claims paid and a $25 processing fee.

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      Is an Acura extended warranty worth it?

      Even though they’re cheap, an Acura Care VSC probably isn’t worth it, and we’ll explain why. Extended warranties have various pros and cons, but generally speaking, you’ve got a better chance of your extended warranty being worth it if:

      1. Your vehicle isn’t reliable.
      2. You think you’ll save more money on covered repairs than your warranty will cost you.
      3. A large, surprise repair bill could wreck your finances.
      4. Paying a few thousand dollars is worth it to you for extra peace of mind.

      Since points three and four above are really up to you, we’ll analyze points one and two.

      Acura vehicles may not be quite as reliable as some might assume. In 2023, J.D. Power ranked the brand 21st out of 32 automakers for overall dependability — three spots below parent brand Honda. Consumer Reports, which draws from a wider range of model years, ranked Acura eighth out of 24 brands in 2022.

      Consumer reviews also highlight issues with reliability, and some reviewers even mention dissatisfaction with the extended warranties they bought from their local Acura dealerships.

      “I purchased an Acura MDX on 4/4/2019 and purchased an extended warranty for it, which is supposed to provide coverage for electrical and mechanical failures in the car,” wrote David, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from California. “In 2020, we notified our local Acura Dealer (Pleasanton, CA) about an issue we were experiencing. … Acura has refused to fix this issue. … Therefore, we would like a refund for the extended warranty, which was purchased entirely for problems like this.”

      Another reviewer summarized Acura ownership this way: “Supposed to be a luxury sedan. Drives good, rides average. But malfunction prone.”

      Supposed to be a luxury sedan. Drives good, rides average. But malfunction prone.”

      If and when things go wrong, RepairPal data suggests Acuras only cost $501 per year in maintenance and repairs, though, compared with the $652 average across brands.

      In summary, it seems that Acuras may have problems right out of the gate during the factory warranty period, but once the initial quirks are sorted out, they’re very reliable long-term — with low expected repair costs.

      Circling back, the quotes for our Acura Care VSCs were between $521 and $788 per year of added coverage, with a $100 deductible to boot. Considering that estimated repair costs are under $501 per year (that figure includes scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs), an Acura Care VSC doesn’t appear to be an essential purchase. (Unless you just want protection from an unlikely but catastrophic repair, like an engine or transmission replacement.)

      That doesn’t mean all extended auto warranties aren’t worth it, though. Different warranty companies offer different coverages at different prices, so you might be able to get a better deal on an extended warranty if you shop around with the best extended warranty companies and get multiple quotes for your vehicle. That way, you know you’re getting a relatively good deal.

      » MORE: How to choose an extended car warranty

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      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Improves Despite Continued Problems with Technology, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed May 2, 2023.
      2. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed May 2, 2023.
      3. RepairPal, “Acura Reliability Rating.” Accessed May 2, 2023.
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