- McDaniels Acura in Charleston upgrades the warranty on all new vehicles its sells. Instead of five years 60,000 miles, this free warranty covers the powertrain as long as the original owner has the vehicle.
- The warranty also applies to most used cars McDaniels Acura sells.
- The program creates a long-term relationship with customers, McDaniels' general sales manager says.
CHARLESTON, South Carolina — McDaniels Acura includes a lifetime powertrain warranty on any new Acura it sells. This warranty is good nationwide, and doesn't cost a new car buyer anything. The powertrain warranty is valid for as long as the original owner has the car or SUV.
Doing the recommended maintenance outlined by Acura is all it takes to keep the warranty in effect. There's no deductible and the warranty covers seals, gaskets and the fuel delivery system.
The standard powertrain warranty on a brand new Acura is five years or 60,000 miles — whichever comes first. For driver who piles on the mileage or a driver who keeps cars until the wheels fall off, a long-term, unlimited mileage warranty can be a tremendous value. This warranty also is included on pre-owned vehicles with less than 80,000 miles that the dealership sells.
What makes this benefit noteworthy is that the dealership doesn't have to offer it to stay competitive with other Acura dealers in the area: There aren't any. In fact, a quick look on the Acura Web site shows that the nearest Acura dealership is about 100 miles south, in Savannah, Georgia.
So why offer an extra warranty, when a local Acura buyer will likely be coming to your store to begin with? According to Mark Buehl, general sales manager, the reason is simple.
"We want to protect our customers," he says. "Many Acura customers keep cars for a long time. This warranty can keep the longtime driver covered, and keeps the cost of ownership low. This also helps us create long-term relationships with our customers."
Buehl says an example of this long-term relationship can be seen on his pre-owned car lot. A 2002 Acura TL with 175,000 miles for sale there was originally purchased new at McDaniels. The owner came back to do business again.
An added bonus for the dealership (and the next buyer) is that a potential trade-in vehicle from a long-term customer is virtually guaranteed to have all its services done. That's required to keep the warranty.
The dealership doesn't have to fret about whether the trade-in has major work that needs to be done. When repair work is free, there is very little to stop somebody from getting a powertrain problem fixed. This is one of the reasons the dealership feels confident selling cars with well over 100,000 miles, while other dealers might shy away from them.
At some point, excessive age or miles on a covered car will mean that further repairs may not make sense. If a powertrain component quits and the expected repair costs more than the assessed value of the vehicle, McDaniels will wrap up the warranty by giving the customer a check for the amount of the repair. And the owner keeps the car.
Edmunds says: A long-term benefit builds long-term relationships for both dealer and car owner.