Lifetime brake warranties are never what you think they are.
Q: Dear Bill, I had a lifetime brake warranty only to find out that it wasn’t much of a warranty at all. How do your competitors get away with advertising a lifetime brake warranty that in fact is not a warranty at all?
A: Brake pads are a wear item which means they will not last a lifetime, not even in dog years.
Be sure to ask questions about brake warranties before authorizing brake repairs. These warranties are offered as an incentive to buy from the garage offering the warranty. The vast majority of the time the warranty leads to great frustration and aggravation to the customer. Do not decide on where to get your brakes repaired based on a lifetime warranty. Ask how long the unconditional parts and labor warranty is. Most repair garages have conditions even on their basic warranty. Here are 10 questions to ask.
- How many months long is the warranty?
- How many miles is the warranty?
- Does the warranty cover only the parts?
- Does the warranty cover only the labor?
- What are the exceptions?
- Is the warranty void under severe driving conditions?
- What is considered severe conditions?
- Is the warranty void if damage to a covered part is caused by subsequent damage by another failed part?
- How much will the job cost if I came back under warranty?
- Is the warranty unconditional?
Many brake repairers have a long list of excuses as to why your brake repair is not covered under their warranty. You can visit their waiting room just about any day and hear disappointed customers complaining that their warranty is not being honored.
These lifetime warranties are especially notorious.
- These warranties are offered and sold only with the most expensive premium brake parts adding insult to injury.
- If accepted under warranty, the warranty covers only the friction material (brake pads). There is many times a surprise service fee. The customer has to pay for the labor to replace the pads.
- If any other problem is found in the brake system they will not replace the pads under warranty.
- You have to repair any brake problem that they find, and they will find other problems to have the warranty honored.
Basic brake warranties vary from one place to another. Most new car dealers offer a 3 month, 3,000 mile warranty. Most independent garages offer a 6 month 6,000 mile brake warranty. You must ask what the restrictions may be.
If you are paying good money for a brake job, be sure to know what type of warranty that you are getting so that you are not spending money for the same repair a few months later.
Brake Centers has a unique customer friendly what we call a no nonsense warranty. All work that we do is covered for minimum of 12 months or 12,000 miles unless noted clearly upfront. No questions asked. No excuses. You will never hear a customer complain about us not covering a repair under warranty.