The following article is from: consumersearch.com I would like to preface it with my own viewpoint.
Are extended warranties and protection plans worth it? It depends on you, the customer. If you have had the same lawn tractor for 15 years and do all your own maintenance you probably don’t need it, but if you have gone through 2 tractors in the last 5 years, don’t know how to work on them, or don’t have the time to work on them, extended warranties or protection plans will be a great deal for you.
Consider the warranty when buying a new lawn tractor
By Catherine Jo Morgan on July 14, 2012
You see an ad for a snazzy lawn tractor at a good sale price. The ad is so vivid and attractive that it’s easy to picture yourself riding instead of walking — and with a cool can of refreshment right at hand. No more hard labor! Well, we hate to be pessimists, but here’s the thing. In all the years we’ve been analyzing reviews of lawn tractors, we’ve never found a single model or brand that never, ever breaks down. Belts slip and keep slipping, a mowing deck can’t be leveled because of a factory defect, the dealer misses a vital part of setup. You name it: it can break. That’s why looking at the warranty and your options for service are an important part of finding the right lawn tractor.
Lawn tractor warranties vary
Of course the manufacturer provides a warranty. On a budget lawn tractor, it’s apt to be two years. Toro warranties its zero-turn mowers for three, and John Deere provides a four-year warranty on its higher-end tractors such as the John Deere X304. It’s important, though, to read the fine print. Note, for example, that the John Deere warranties are quantified in two ways, whichever comes first — the number of months, or the number of hours of use (as reported by the tractor’s hour meter, so be sure to check that when a new lawn tractor is delivered). Other fine print will limit the scope of what’s covered so that the maker is only on the hook for problems caused by a manufacturing defect, not by poor maintenance or damage caused by the owner.
Typically, lawn tractor and riding mower warranties cover parts and labor (on manufacturing defects) but not transportation. Repairs, at least while the machine is under warranty, must be done only by an authorized repair service. The mechanic’s transportation to your place isn’t covered by the warranty. Nor is whatever it costs you to have your machine taken to the repair shop. Thus distance matters! Be sure to check the distance to the nearest authorized repair center for the brand you’re considering, and give them a call yourself to be sure it’s still there and still servicing the brand as brochures and websites can get out of date.
Also be sure to check how the dealer or other retailer you’re considering handles problems that crop up within the first 30 days after delivery. Expect a retailer to let you exchange a problem machine for another new one — but be sure of the exact policy before you make the buy.
The same considerations regarding manufacturer’s warranties also apply to extended warranties. In addition, don’t forget that, as always, an extended warranty is a calculated bet. Depending on its cost, the cost of the tractor, the extent of the coverage (for example, does it cover transportation costs to a repair center even while the manufacturer’s warranty is still in effect), and the track record of the lawn tractor brand, an extended warranty might be worth considering in some circumstances. However, also keep in mind that many experts say that extended warranties pay off for the warranty company far more often than they do for the warranty purchaser. A better course is to stick with brands with better feedback for reliability, and we name top performers in that regard in our just updated lawn tractors report.
Your site has been a tremendous resource during my research for a new mower purchase. I decided on the Craftsman 27390, but didn’t think about the extended Sears warranty. I bought it for my father, who has had the same mower for almost 20 years. He is pretty good at keeping them going. I don’t know if the warranty is right for him or not. I’d your like your opinion on the Sears mower warranties. Thanks.
Hi Daryl, If he has been doing his own maintenance then I don’t feel it’s worth the extra money for the Protection Plan. The biggest advantage of the Protection Plan is many of the normal wear and tear parts are covered. When you figure in taking it to a repair shop, paying someone to repair those common parts, etc. then it does make sense. But if he can do his own maintenance and won’t normally pay a service shop – it’s not worth the money.
Purchasing a Cub Cadet XT1 tomorrow. What are your thoughts on the Power Plus Protection Plan offered by Asurion via Tractor Supply (TSC). Research is saying maybe not a good idea to do so. Not seeing anything out there that says its a good idea. What is your feedback on this. (I did read your extended warranty piece)
Hi Daniel, The Asurion plan at Amazon either fixes the product or replaces it for the specified time. It’s cheap, less than $150 for 3 or 4 years. There are no details on what it covers.
I assume the plan through TSC is about the same.
Do you need it? The tractor already has a 3 year defects warranty included in the price. That warranty is covered by Cud Cadet – not some third party insurance/assurance provider.
So, if you were buying an camera or TV with a one yer warranty then the Asurion plan is a good deal. But since you already are getting a 3 year warranty it doesn’t make a lot of sense,
I agree, got 15% off for being Military too on sale price. $1275 from $1499
MTB still making Cubs? They dont show them on their website
Hi Daniel, Yes, MTD still owns Cub Cadet.