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Honda extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

Coverage remains cheap despite falling reliability

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    honda cars in a dealer's service garage

    Honda, a brand once known for reliability, is no longer ahead of the pack on that front. Still, Honda’s extended warranties remain surprisingly affordable, with some plans starting at around $700 for up to 80,000 miles of coverage.

    Does that make a Honda extended warranty plan a smart choice? Keep reading to learn what they cover, what they don’t and how they stack up to your other options.

    Key insights

    • Like other extended auto warranties, Honda’s vehicle service contracts only cover parts that fail independently and not due to damage, theft or negligence.
    • Most vehicles sold by a Honda dealership (even non-Honda vehicles) will qualify if they’re under 3 years old and below 36,000 miles.
    • The Honda extended warranty quotes we received ranged between $700 and $1,800, well below the average for extended auto warranties.
    • Considering Honda’s recent reliability, an extended warranty might make sense if you plan to own a Honda outside the factory warranty period and can’t afford a repair out of pocket.

    Honda extended warranty coverage

    Honda’s official extended warranty program is called Honda Care. Honda Care warranties (also called vehicle service contracts) are underwritten by American Honda Finance Corporation (meaning they’re bona fide Honda products) and can be purchased for both new and pre-owned Honda vehicles. To qualify, used vehicles must be within Honda’s 3-year/36,000-mile Limited Warranty period, though.

    Plans are available with terms ranging from 4 years/60,000 miles to 8 years/120,000 miles for new vehicles and from 1 year/12,000 miles to 4 years/48,000 miles for used vehicles. (Honda defines new vehicles as having fewer than 6,000 miles.)

    It’s important to clarify that the coverage terms for extended warranties on new vehicles start from the “in-service date” when the original owner bought the vehicle. So, a 5-year/60,000-mile extended warranty on a new car doesn’t add that amount to your existing 3-year/36,000-mile warranty — it extends your old warranty to 5 years/60,000 miles, effectively adding 2 years/24,000 miles of coverage.

    For used cars, however, an extended warranty does extend whatever factory coverage remains. So, if you buy a used Civic with 5,000 miles of factory warranty left, a 1-year/12,000-mile Honda Care warranty will extend your coverage to 17,000 miles.

    And it’s not just a Honda thing — this is similar to how some other extended warranties are advertised. To avoid confusion, clarify with your dealer how long your new coverage will last and get it in writing.

    As for what’s covered, Honda Care essentially mimics and extends Honda’s factory warranties by covering component groups such as your:

    • Drivetrain, including your engine, transmission, differential and axles
    • Electronics, ranging from computers to electrical systems
    • Chassis, including your suspension, steering and brake systems
    • Heating/cooling, including your air conditioning and all related heating and cooling systems
    • Honda genuine accessories, including your infotainment system, security systems and audio system
    Warranty lengths are generally given in terms of time and mileage, with coverage ending whenever either threshold is passed.

    Like virtually all extended warranties, Honda Care won’t cover:

    • Repairs made without prior authorization
    • Parts that fail due to the failure of a part that’s not covered, like a transmission failure (normally covered) caused by a clutch bearing (not covered)
    • Parts that fail due to aftermarket parts or modifications, like suspension damage caused by a lift kit
    • Missed maintenance intervals, like late oil changes
    • Improper towing
    • Racing or track use (with limited exceptions for the Civic Type R)
    • Damage caused by animals, weather or other sources your auto insurance would cover

    » MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance

    Honda Care’s list of specific exclusions is pretty typical for an extended warranty. That means it also won’t cover:

    • Clutch discs and bearings
    • Fuses, hoses and timing belt failures
    • Tailgates, trunk latches and taillight housings
    • Insulation and water shields
    • Handles and latches
    • Exhaust systems, including mufflers, resonators, gaskets and related fasteners
    • Frame and frame subcomponents, like bushings, seals and trim
    • Convertible tops

    Honda extended warranty benefits

    Honda Care warranties also come with an extensive list of benefits, including:

    • Rental car reimbursement: While your car is in the shop for a covered repair, Honda Care may cover the cost of a rental car — up to $35 per day for six days.
    • Trip interruption benefits: If your car goes into the shop for a covered mechanical breakdown more than 100 miles from home, Honda may help to cover meals and lodging — up to $100 per day for three days.
    • Concierge service: Honda Care concierge service is available 24/7 and may help with cash advances, travel assistance, insurance claim assistance and other needs.
    • Roadside assistance*: Honda Care’s roadside assistance service operates 24/7 and includes towing, lockout assistance, jump-starts, tire changes and fuel delivery.

    *Included with New Vehicle Coverage, Sentinel Services, and Sentinel Plus Plans

    Honda extended warranty plans

    There are four levels of Honda Care:

    • New Vehicle Coverage for vehicles under 1 year old with fewer than 6,000 miles
    • Pre-Owned Vehicle Coverage for used vehicles under 3 years old with fewer than 36,000 miles
    • Certified Additional Coverage for certified pre-owned vehicles under 3 years old with fewer than 36,000 miles
    • Powertrain Coverage, which only covers powertrain components like your engine, transmission, differential and axles

    The first three plans cover similar systems and components, with the only key differences being their costs and available terms.

    Honda also offers Honda Care Sentinel as an optional add-on to New Vehicle plans. Honda Care Sentinel adds coverage for regular oil changes, tire protection, key fob replacement and roadside assistance for an additional fee.

    Honda Care Sentinel Plus, another add-on option, adds tire replacement coverage, meaning Honda will replace your tire instead of just repairing it. Honda Care Sentinel Plus can also extend your roadside assistance to up to five family members.

    Honda Care vs. HondaTrue: What’s the difference?

    Honda’s naming schemes can sometimes be confusing. Honda Care is an optional extended warranty offered on new, certified pre-owned (CPO) and used Honda vehicles with under 36,000 miles. HondaTrue, on the other hand, is a complimentary warranty that comes with all certified pre-owned Honda vehicles.

    HondaTrue has three levels:

    • HondaTrue Used covers CPO vehicles up to 10 years old and includes 100 days/5,000 miles of both Powertrain and Limited Warranty coverage.
    • HondaTrue Certified covers CPO vehicles up to 5 years old with under 80,000 miles and includes 7 years/100,000 miles of Powertrain coverage and 1 year/12,000 miles ofLimited coverage (which also stacks on your remaining Honda factory warranty).
    • HondaTrue Certified+ covers CPO vehicles up to 1 year old and includes 7 years/100,000 miles of Powertrain coverage plus 5 years/86,000 miles of Limited coverage (extending the Honda factory warranty by 2 years/50,000 miles).

    According to a local Honda dealer we spoke with, some customers still choose to purchase a Honda Care warranty to extend their HondaTrue Certified or HondaTrue Used warranty. Others, however, determine that the free CPO warranty will suffice.

    Honda extended warranty cost

    To find out how much Honda extended warranties cost, we got quotes from Curry Honda Care’s online tool for a variety of vehicles, and the results ranged from around $700 to $1,800, depending on the vehicle in question and its mileage. You can see the full results below.

    2020 Honda Civic with 35,000 miles3 years/80,000 miles with a $100 deductible$760
    2020 Honda Civic with 35,000 miles5 years/120,000 miles with a $0 deductible$1,260
    2020 Honda Civic Type R with 18,000 miles4 years/80,000 miles with a $100 deductible$760
    2020 Honda Civic Type R with 18,000 miles6 years/120,000 miles with a $0 deductible$1,200
    2022 Honda Odyssey with 10,000 miles3 years/80,000 miles with a $100 deductible$820
    2022 Honda Odyssey with 10,000 miles5 years/120,000 miles with a $0 deductible$1,575
    2023 Honda Passport with 0 miles5 years/80,000 miles with a $100 deductible$719
    2023 Honda Passport with 0 miles8 years/120,000 miles with a $0 deductible$1,772

    One thing that interested us about these quotes was that they all fall well below the average cost of an extended auto warranty. This may be due to Honda’s past reputation for build quality, since claims are less common on reliable vehicles. However, Honda’s hallowed reliability has been in question in recent model years, which could actually make an extended warranty a better value.

    Honda extended warranty terms and conditions

    We aren’t lawyers, but we do read lots of contracts. And to our eyes, there don’t seem to be any major gremlins or gotchas hiding in the sample Honda Care contract we read.

    Standard terms and conditions for extended warranties apply, which include:

    • Maintenance requirements: To maintain coverage, you must follow the vehicle maintenance schedule in your owners manual. That means scheduling regular oil changes, tire rotations and other services at the specified intervals and keeping the receipts.
    • Preexisting conditions: Any preexisting conditions won’t be covered by Honda Care, which is why we strongly recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection before purchasing any used vehicle. You may need paperwork showing what was — and wasn’t — an issue when you bought the car if you ever file a claim.
    • Transferability: You can transfer your Honda Care extended warranty to a new owner within 20 days of the sale by contacting the dealer where you purchased the warranty and paying a $50 fee.

    » MORE: Questions to ask a car warranty provider

    Is a Honda extended warranty worth it?

    The first step in determining whether an extended warranty makes sense is to get a crystal clear understanding of what the warranty does and doesn’t cover. For example, many drivers know that warranties never cover wear-and-tear items (like tires), but many are also surprised to learn that certain permanent components (like clutches) can fall into that category.

    In addition, warranties don’t always cover 100% of a bill — many only cover what the warranty holder believes the repair should cost. So, a warranty company may only want to pay $2,500 for a new transmission when the shop wants $3,500, leaving you with the difference.

    As for whether a Honda Care warranty is worth it, remember that new and CPO Hondas come with free warranties from Honda. So, if you don’t plan to own the vehicle past this complimentary warranty period, an extended warranty probably isn’t worth purchasing.

    If you do plan to own your Honda past the factory warranty period, you should know that Honda’s once solid reputation for reliability has recently come into question. As a brand, Honda has fallen in J.D. Power’s U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study since 2018, with its problems-per-100 vehicles rising from 140 to 205 during that period.

    These concerning numbers are reflected in consumer reviews, with rising complaints of poor quality control and lacking customer service.

    Terry, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Maryland, discovered leaks in both their 2022 Honda Ridgeline and 2019 Honda Pilot, leaving them to question Honda’s quality assurance.

    Considering that Hondas now have an above-average number of problems — and Honda Care costs just $1,000 or so in many cases — an extended warranty might make sense. That’s especially true if you can’t afford an average $500 to $2,000 repair out of pocket.

    Still, you’ll want to read your Honda Care contract line by line to ensure there won’t be any unpleasant surprises or rightfully denied claims later.

    » MORE: Pros and cons of extended auto warranties

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      Honda extended warranty alternatives

      Before you commit to a Honda Care warranty, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare it with extended warranties from third-party providers. After all, a third-party warranty can make up for some of Honda Care’s greatest limitations:

      • Cost: Third-party warranties offer deductibles of up to $500, helping to drive the cost of the warranty down significantly.
      • Flexibility: Honda Care requires you to bring your vehicle to the nearest Honda dealer, while third parties generally allow you to choose your mechanic from a broader list.
      • Term length: Honda Care coverage caps at 120,000 miles for new cars, while third-party warranties can extend all the way up to 300,000 miles.

      We recommend that you get quotes from multiple providers and compare rates, coverages and sample contracts to find the right warranty for your vehicle. There’s no guarantee that a third-party warranty will be better or cheaper than a Honda Care warranty, but it’s worth doing the research to confirm you’re making the right choice before such an important purchase.

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      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Improves Despite Continued Problems with Technology, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed Feb. 17, 2023.
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