Service Contract?

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Ray D

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2006
Boise, Idaho
I just bought a 2003 Suzuki XL-7, for use as a toad, yesterday. First used car I've bought in more than 30 years. The dealer offered me an "Extended Warrantee, bumper to bumper, 100,000 or 4 years," for $2,700. I turned it down.

Did I make a mistake?
Are service contracts for used cars as available as for RVs?
Where would I find such?
Who sells them?
Does it make sense?

I have never bought those things, and they are offered on just about everything, today. Three years ago I did buy one for my new computer. Recently, I sent it in, for the third time, for a major repair. That time the extension payed. I also bought one for the motorhome, and so far, it hasn't been used.

Opinions and advice appreciated.

Thank you.

Ray D
Just Google  car extended warranty and you will get dozens of choices.  Personally I would not recommend one, though. Most car repairs aren't so expensive that a warranty is needed for risk protection. On a car you are better off self-insuring, i.e. paying for repairs as needed.

Good choice  for a light weight and relatively inexpensive toad. We have a 2003 Chevy Tracker ZR2 (twin of the Grand Vitara) and find it an excellent vehicle. Had another Tracker before this one too, so you know we liked it. Have towed the two of them something like 50k miles so far.
Some of those warranties are worded in a very tricky manner. For example, it may cover a broken connecting rod, but not 'consequential damage' such as that big, gaping hole it put in the side of your block. They also don't usually cover normal wear items like belts/hoses, so if you need to replace a timing belt, you're on you own, and that can be very expensive. If you do decide to go that route (not recommended), make sure you read and understand all the fine print.
Thank you. That's the way I figured it. After I said I don't buy those kinds of things, I remembered that I have had them "thrown in," in previous car purchases, to clinch a deal that was close. I remember the salesman saying, "This extended warrantee is worth X hundred dollars, but I'll throw it in if you buy, today." I took it, then, but never believed it was worth the quoted price. And, in some cases, I used it. Never, for much.

I appreciate the approval of toad selection. I am a little nervous, as I know nothing about Suzuki. Just a brand I have never looked at, before. I got the tip to look at it, on this forum. The Suzukis I looked at were competitive with what I had already seen in other brands, both for apparent quality and price. They, like the others, were more than I wanted to pay, for a toad.

I had mostly looked at new, but had intensively scanned the used market too.

Then the salesman remembered this 2003. It's an XL-7, but only the 5 seat model. The lack of a third row of seats made it hard to sell, and it had been on the lot for a while. (Other similar units I had looked at, I had decided I would take the third row out, and store it in the garage.) It was far less than otherwise competitive used 02 to 04 units I had looked at. Couldn't resist.

Thanks again.

Ray D
Ray D. You may want to call Suzuki (toll free) 1-877-697-8985 and have your VIN# in hand. For a few years (and currently) Suzuki has offered a great power train warranty...100,000 miles or 7 years with no deductable for parts or labor. Your "selected" 03 may come under that warranty. The warranty is fully transferable without any cost to the buyer. As mentioned, the call is free.
Thanks, 29er. I supposedly have that warrantee. It says so in the owner's manual, anyway. I am going to check that out, next week. I am going to take it in to Suzuki, and have it serviced. At that time, I intend to ask about the warrantee.

I like your suggestion and will also call the toll free number with VIN in hand. I may do that before I take the car in for service.

Thanks, again.

Ray D.
The warrantee is valid, confirmed! Thanks, 29er!

It's for 7 years or 100,000 miles. It's an 03, so that takes it to 2010. It has 62,000 miles on it, now. I'll never get 40,000 more miles on it! (It doesn't record towed miles, as the transfer case is in neutral while towing.) I only drove my Volvo 50,000 in the last ten years, and that included several long trips. (Anything over 200 is a long trip, to me.)

I do intend to put some miles on the Damon Challenger, next year, but those won't count, on the toad.

Ray D.
I am not wild about the Suzuki. What made you decide on that unit? From my research, the Suzuki is overpriced and under warranteed. A better choice would have been a Hyundai Santa Fe. That comes with a 5 year, 60,000 bumper to bumper, and 100,000 drivetrain. But you wont need the warranty. The Hyundai is rock solid with quality rated up there with Toyota. Is there any way you can kill the deal at this point?
Nope, buckle823, it's a dun deal. Actually, I had a set of criteria, listed in another thread and brand was not a consideration. My favorite brands, Rolls Royce and Bently are not towable and a bit too heavy for my class III hitch, anyway. My third favorite, Volvo, I traded in, so I don't have that anymore, either.

I know nothing about Hyundai nor Suzuki. I am now going to learn about Suzuki, first hand. Hopefully, good maintenance practices and good luck will see me through.

Ray D.
And the Suzuki is towable without mods, whereas the Sante Fe is not.

We would love a Sante Fe - its a great SUV, but when you factor in the mods for towing, the cost doesn't look quite so attractive.
IMHO if you are going to join in on any of the off roading adventures you are much better off with the Suzuki than with the Santa Fe.  It is also my opinion that one is much better off if you get a vehicle for towing that requires zero mods except of course wiring for the tail and brake lights.
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