Should you buy an extended auto warranty?

HOUSTON - Whether to purchase an extended warranty or go without that coverage is a decision most car buyers will have to make.

Extended warranties aren't cheap. They can cost an average of more than $1,000. So it's important to do your research before you buy.

Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis reviewed the options and what questions you should ask before spending a lot of money.

An extended warranty can offer some peace of mind, if you want to avoid costly repairs as your vehicle ages.

Angie Hicks with Angie's List explains, "An extended auto warranty typically picks up coverage after a certain number of miles or a certain number of years, often times after the manufacturer's warranty has expired. If you're going to be driving your car for a long time, it might be something you want to consider."

Hicks also said it's important to research the company selling and backing the warranty. Check with the Texas Attorney General's Office for complaints. Shop around for the best price. Don't be afraid to negotiate and make sure you understand what's covered in the contract.

"When looking at auto warranties, one thing that's important to remember is you need to do proper maintenance. In some scenarios, the warranty might be voided if proper maintenance isn't done," Hicks added.

Before you sign anything, understand details and costs of the coverage including deductibles. Ask if the repairs can be done by any auto repair company or if you are restricted to specific ones.

Be wary of phone and mail solicitations from third-party companies offering to renew your original factory warranty. Don't provide any personal information like driver's license numbers, or vehicle identification numbers to third-party companies before you check them out.

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