The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Dodge warranty, start walking

By Susan Tallant/editor-in-chief

Attention TCC car buyers: do your research before buying new wheels or you could be on foot.

Recently, I purchased a 2007 Dodge Caliber SE. My car is cute, spacious, gets great gas mileage and has a base price under $15,000. Great buy for a college student, I thought.

Recently, I also learned a few things about buying a new car. Things I wished I would have known before my purchase. To spare you the same suffering, I will share my newfound knowledge.

Rule No. 1—Never assume just because you have a new car, you will not be left stranded at night. My cute little Caliber wasn’t so cute when it would not start one night at 9:30 p.m.

Rule No. 2—Never assume that roadside assistance can assist you in a timely matter. I was informed it would take between nine and 10 hours to get my car towed. It took 12.

Rule No. 3—Never assume your nightmare is over once you get your brand new car back to the dealer. Mine was just beginning.

The part needed to repair my car was unavailable, and the dealer could not tell me how long it would take to get the part. Because I did not purchase the extended warranty, I was told I did not qualify for a rental car, even though the repair was covered under warranty. It sure was hard to write a check for that new car payment while on foot.

Rule No. 4—Begging doesn’t help. After four days on the phone with various dealers and national customer service hot lines, I got my rental. But only after requesting the warranty information in writing so I could write this column.

Rule No. 5—Do your research first. Although ultimately up to dealer’s discretion, most do not offer a rental even if the repair is covered under the factory warranty and the factory doesn’t have the part.
It is shameful that consumers should be expected to purchase an extra warranty on a brand new car. And what happened to just taking care of the customer before they get angry?

Never buy a car the first year it comes out. Always buy the extended warranty even if you only plan on keeping the car four years. Never let the excitement of buying a new car blindside you into feeling safer, and never forget Caliber’s tag line “There is nothing cute about it” … being stranded that is.

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