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Unread 07-17-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
zombieCat
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What's the Real Worth of the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty?

I've been going back and forth between a new and used (1-2 yrs old) JK. One of the considerations is the lifetime powertrain warranty on the new ones. What would you say is the actual likely value of such a warranty? I know it's hard to quantify, given different driving conditions, different drivers and innumerable other factors. Anyone have 2 cents they care to put in on this one?

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Unread 07-18-2009, 01:19 AM   #2
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With the lifetime PT warranty I think your buying a little piece of mind knowing that, if you properly maintain it, should anything major go wrong its covered. Small stuff like an alternator going out is an easy DIY job but a damaged valve or issues within the block are no easy tasks for most of us.

If you plan on modifying an engine, buy the used unit. If you aren't, I would say go with the new unit and take the warranty/
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Unread 07-18-2009, 04:12 AM   #3
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If you mod or wheel your Jeep, the value of the warranty will ultimately reside with decisions made by your dealer.
Mod-friendly dealers that offer a nurturing environment for people like us will push warranty decisions and word a diagnosis in a friendly way.
Mod-unfriendly dealers will word a diagnosis to indicate that your lift/bumper/wheels caused the drivetrain failure and you'll be out of luck.

We bash our share of dealers, and usually with good cause. But the good ones matter to us.
I just started a relationship with a new dealership; I hope they're one of the "good ones"...
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Unread 07-18-2009, 06:18 AM   #4
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everything Hilldweller said

I'll add to that- do you plan on keeping the Jeep long term? The Lifetime Warranty (as you know) is only for the original owner. Chrysler knew (when they offered it) that the vast majority of new car owners do not keep their cars more than 5 years, which is why they made it non-transferable... Which means that like 95%+ vehicles will never take advantage of that lifetime warranty.

So ask yourself the question- is this Jeep going to be something you will keep for more than 5 years? I know its hard to see the future and what changes might affect you. But really think about that in the equation
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Unread 07-18-2009, 06:52 AM   #5
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x2 on N2rock's comment -- how long you expect to own the Jeep is a significant factor in deciding the value of the lifetime powertrain warranty.

It is, just like any other warranty, simply a form of insurance. To estimate the value,
I'd suggest looking at what similar aftermarket warranty would cost from a reputable company.

I sure could have used it on a '95 Saturn that needed a new engine at 85000 miles.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 07:00 AM   #6
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I'm one for the benefit of the PT warranty also. If you read the 'fine print', they even go so far as to include repairing any leaks associated with those covered drivetrain parts. I myself despise leaks. I 'm not so concerned with specific drivetrain failures, but leaks are much more common, and when it comes to drivetrain leaks, drivetrain parts need to be removed to fix those leaks.
Buying new vs. used? Go new. Why? A. The financing is better on new- and B. You have no clue if the previous owner did anything to maintain that used Jeep. If it was leased or is being offered as a 'program' vehicle, buyer beware!
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Unread 07-18-2009, 07:06 AM   #7
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Worth a lot to me. I agree with Hildweller and just happen to be fairly close to a guy who runs a dealership.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 09:17 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. My intention is to keep the thing forever, which is why I'm being ridiculously picky about waiting to find the exact model/color/options I want (which is turning out to be a royal pain in the ***).

The insurance analogy is good--it's difficult to quantify the dollar value of health insurance. It could end up being the cost of the premiums if nothing goes wrong, but it could be several hundred thousand dollars if you get cancer. You almost have me talked into skipping a used one. Now I just need to wait to see if they're going to produce the Detonator Yellow for '10.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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Keep in mind, when your engine no longer has good compression at 300,000 miles, the warranty is not going to cover that. That is considered normal wear and tear. That's why take the words lifetime warranty with a grain of salt. The warranty does not mean that this is the last vehicle you will ever have to buy because anytime something goes wrong or simply worn out it will be covered under warranty. That being said, unless you find a screaming deal on a used JK, you might as well buy new with the assurance that it has never been abused, been traded in because it is a lemon, or something like that.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRICKTOP2 View Post
Worth a lot to me. I agree with Hildweller and just happen to be fairly close to a guy who runs a dealership.
If I ever get out that way, I want to visit that dealership and buy you a cup of coffee.
If every dealer was like that, we could devote all of our attention to loftier matters. Like women, beer, & bacon.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 10:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prot View Post
Keep in mind, when your engine no longer has good compression at 300,000 miles, the warranty is not going to cover that. That is considered normal wear and tear. That's why take the words lifetime warranty with a grain of salt. The warranty does not mean that this is the last vehicle you will ever have to buy because anytime something goes wrong or simply worn out it will be covered under warranty. That being said, unless you find a screaming deal on a used JK, you might as well buy new with the assurance that it has never been abused, been traded in because it is a lemon, or something like that.

I disagree - wear and tear parts would be things like clutches, not piston rings, cylinder walls or valves. It will cover anything related to the engine and getting the power to the ground.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 06:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by stick_it_ View Post
I disagree - wear and tear parts would be things like clutches, not piston rings, cylinder walls or valves. It will cover anything related to the engine and getting the power to the ground.
Want me to kick his arse for you Prot???

Seriously though, I would love to know the real answer to this. I asked my dealer (and not the dealer I bought it from) about the engine just flat wearing out and he said, "It's a mileage free lifetime warranty. It breaks or wears out, we fix it." Now this was a verbal, so who knows what will happen when I bring it to them in 12 years, my guy is gone, Jeep is owned by the Columbians, etc.

Anyone REALLY know? Bricktop? Bueller? Bueller?
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Unread 07-19-2009, 07:30 AM   #13
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While it'd sure be nice if the lifetime warranty covered worn out rings and valves, but I doubt it at 300,000 miles.

It's useful to actually read the warranty paperwork: (emphasis mine)

"B. What's Covered
The Lifetime Powertrain Limited Warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a powertrain component listed in section 2.4.E below that is defective in workmanship and materials"


Good luck making a case that worn rings or valves are "defective" at 300,000 miles. If you don't have your booklet handy, see http://www.jeep.com/crossbrand/warra...PLW_2nd_Ed.pdf

Might you find a nice dealer that bends a rule? Sure. I bet that'd be the exception in this sort of case though.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 07:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBuoy View Post
Want me to kick his arse for you Prot???

Seriously though, I would love to know the real answer to this. I asked my dealer (and not the dealer I bought it from) about the engine just flat wearing out and he said, "It's a mileage free lifetime warranty. It breaks or wears out, we fix it." Now this was a verbal, so who knows what will happen when I bring it to them in 12 years, my guy is gone, Jeep is owned by the Columbians, etc.

Anyone REALLY know? Bricktop? Bueller? Bueller?
That's a tricky question. One that I don't think anyone will have the answer for a few more years.

I tend to think Prot is correct though. The actual wording in the warranty is: The Lifetime Powertrain Limited Warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a powertrain component listed in section E below that is defective in workmanship and materials.

Now I suspect that they were careful to word it that way, to cover their asses in the future. The key phrase there is "that is defective in workmanship and materials". The case can obviously be made that if it lasts to 150,000 miles, then there obviously was not any defect in workmanship & materials- if there had been a defect it would not have lasted that long.

This is just pure speculation on my part.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 08:45 AM   #15
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These days, with the materials that are used, IMO as long as the engine is well maintained and stays within specs, the components should not experience the wear that once occurred in engines. Therefore, if a valve stops sealing right at XXX,XXX number of miles, and all the maintenance has been done correctly at the right intevals, then I will be covered.

Don't forget that powertrain also refers to the diffs, transfer case, etc. All relatively big ticket items to fix when they go and not wear items.

I definitely would not take the "lifetime warranty" with a grain of salt.


One thing though - I'm sure everyone is aware, you have to have your Jeep inspected every 5 years within 2 months of the purchase date to keep the lifetime warranty in effect.

Now, if this was a BS warranty, would they have put some type of obscure requirement in the fine print? I don't think so, they want to get out of it if possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N2rock View Post
The case can obviously be made that if it lasts to 150,000 miles, then there obviously was not any defect in workmanship & materials- if there had been a defect it would not have lasted that long.
One could take that approach, or one could say that the defect was a longevity defect.

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Want me to kick his arse for you Prot???
Or you could just stick it where the sun doesn't shine... j/k
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