CarShield Warranty Review: Is It the Best Option for Your Car?

CarShield Warranty Review: Is It the Best Option for Your Car?

Founded in 2005, CarShield is one of the top car warranty providers in the country, insuring more than 2 million individual drivers. CarShield offers a wide selection of seven policy options, more than most other car warranty options. It extends coverage choices to include motorcycles and ATVs, and reviews are overall positive. 

However, your car must have fewer than 225,000 miles on its odometer to qualify for coverage. So, it may not be the best choice if you have a high-mileage vehicle. Still, you might consider investing in an extended car warranty from a third party like CarShield if your car’s manufacturer’s warranty has recently ended.

Read on to learn more about CarShield coverage and how it compares to other providers. 

Is CarShield Legit?

Founded in 2005, CarShield is known for providing a range of warranty plans covering most vehicle components. It also offers coverage for motorcycles, ATVs and other nonstandard vehicles — though you’ll need to have fewer than 225,000 miles on your car to qualify for coverage. While CarShield doesn’t offer an online buying process like some competitors, its financial strength and straightforward policy terms make it an appealing choice if you want to protect your car’s individual systems and components. 

What Does CarShield Cover?

When purchasing a vehicle extended warranty, it’s essential to consider which components of the car or truck are and are not covered. Depending on the policy option you select, CarShield coverage extends to the following components: 

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drive axle
  • Transfer case
  • Air conditioner
  • Fuel delivery system
  • Fuel injector
  • Fuel pump
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Brake system
  • Electrical
  • Wiring harness
  • Instrument cluster
  • GPS or navigation system
  • Factory audio system
  • Starter
  • Alternator
  • Power windows
  • Water pump
  • Radiator
  • Emissions

What does CarShield not cover?

CarShield policies include a list of exclusions, which you’ll find on a sample contract you can review before purchasing coverage. Some standard exclusions you’ll find on all plans include the following:

  • Preexisting conditions
  • Any repairs performed or funded by you before filing a claim 
  • Maintenance items, including replacement of brake pads, oil changes and headlight bulbs
  • Breakdowns caused by a lack of maintenance 
  • Failures and repairs to airbags, seat belts and supplemental restraints
  • Any damage to vehicles used for commercial purposes
  • Breakdowns and damage caused by acts of God and natural disasters like fires
  • Breakdowns and damage resulting from negligence or using your car in a negligent way (like street racing)
  • All breakdowns and damage related to collisions

Review your specific warranty plan’s coverage to learn more about applicable exclusions. 

CarShield Car Warranty Plans

CarShield is notable for its range of coverage options and diverse vehicle protections. It offers seven individual plan offerings, including coverage options for ATVs and motorcycles, which most companies exclude from their warranties. To qualify for coverage, vehicles must have fewer than 225,000 miles on the odometer. 

CarShield’s claims administrator is American Auto Shield, Ltd., which is backed by insurance providers with a minimum A-level A.M. Best rating. This indicates that CarShield can likely cover financial obligations in the foreseeable future — a crucial consideration when choosing any warranty coverage. Plans are available in every state but California.

CarShield currently offers the following plan options in most states: 

  • Aluminum: CarShield’s Aluminum specialty plan covers most electrical and computer-related problems and includes components like the engine control module, starter, alternator, navigation system and electrical system. 
  • Silver: The Silver policy is CarShield’s most affordable plan option. It covers your engine, transmission, drive axle, transfer case and water pump. 
  • Gold: The Gold plan is one step up from Silver-level coverage and includes all components found on Silver coverage. It also covers your air conditioner, fuel delivery system, fuel injector and pump, radiator and more. 
  • Platinum: Platinum coverage includes all of the physical components on the Gold plan and extends protections to include steering and suspension items. It also covers extra items like GPS navigation and transmission. 
  • Diamond: Diamond-level coverage is CarShield’s most comprehensive coverage, covering everything from steering to the wiring harness. It includes coverage for 22 individual items. 
  • Motorcycle and ATVs: CarShield offers an intermediate warranty option for motorcycle and ATV owners, including coverage for steering, suspension, starter and engine systems, and more.
  • Electric Vehicles: In addition to its other standard coverage, CarShield offers service contracts for fully electric vehicles. This level of coverage is tailored to EVs and covers certain components within the electric drive unit, electrical system, battery pack and other systems.

CarShield offers a wide range of flexible plans, but depending on your needs, they may not be right for you. Compare the best extended car warranty plans before choosing coverage.

CarShield mileage limits

Mileage requirements limit the total number of miles that can be on your vehicle when you sign onto coverage. To qualify for coverage through CarShield, you must have fewer than 225,000 miles on your vehicle. This may make CarShield less appealing if you have an older car. Consider the best used-car warranty companies if you need a plan for a higher-mileage vehicle.

CarShield waiting period

A waiting period is a set amount of time after you sign up for car warranty coverage, where you’re enrolled in protection but not covered. Waiting periods prevent you from signing up for a car warranty after your vehicle already needs repair. 

CarShield’s standard waiting period is 30 days from the contract date, plus 1,000 miles added to your vehicle’s odometer. If you’re a less frequent driver, you may qualify for a modified waiting period of 90 days and 200 additional miles on the odometer. 

CarShield claims process

Filing a claim with CarShield is relatively simple, allowing you to visit any licensed repair facility. To file a claim with CarShield, follow these steps: 

  1. Contact CarShield. Start the process by contacting CarShield and letting the company know your vehicle requires repairs. You must notify CarShield before bringing your car in for repairs to keep coverage current except in the event of an emergency repair, in which case, you’re covered for $500 worth of damage.
  2. Get an estimate. Ask the repair facility to create a written estimate, including the price and what pieces are malfunctioning. 
  3. Submit the estimate to CarShield. Once you have an estimate from the repair shop, send it to CarShield using its online claims submission process. CarShield may also request maintenance records for your vehicle to determine coverage. 
  4. Await approval. CarShield will compare the estimate to the terms of your contract to determine if you’re qualified for coverage. If approved, a representative will contact you and authorize you to return to the repair shop for a fix. CarShield will cover the bill less your plan deductible. 

CarShield customer satisfaction

CarShield reviews on third-party site Trustpilot are largely positive, with customers awarding the warranty provider an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars based on more than 42,500 reviews. However, Better Business Bureau (BBB) users were overwhelmingly unsatisfied with CarShield, with negative reviews frequently citing a refusal to provide repairs when needed. 

Moreover, CarShield maintains a D grade from the BBB itself, indicating that the company is more likely to be dishonest in its advertising or less likely to respond to complaints. 

CarShield customer service

CarShield offers 24/7 claims reporting on its partner website, and its roadside assistance hotline is also available around the clock. You can contact claims directly by calling 1-800-531-1925. For more general inquiries, CarShield offers standard customer service between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. To contact customer service, call 1-800-587-4162. 

Remember that you must contact CarShield to receive repair authorization before getting work done on your vehicle. 

CarShield Cost

The exact cost of a CarShield policy varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the mileage on the car, the age of the vehicle and other factors. CarShield doesn’t offer online quotes, and you’ll need to connect with a representative to learn more about pricing.

CarShield Alternatives

CarShield is not the only car warranty provider you can choose when protecting a new vehicle. The best car warranty companies provide robust coverage for a range of vehicles at an accessible price point. The following are some of the most popular CarShield alternatives and who they serve best. 

  • Endurance: Endurance is a top car warranty provider for high-mileage vehicles, as there is no maximum mileage. It features overall positive customer reviews, and 24/7 roadside assistance is included with each plan. 
  • Carchex: Like CarShield, Carchex offers multiple policies to customize your coverage. It also allows you to select month-to-month warranty coverage, which can be helpful if you’re on a budget. 
  • Concord Auto Protect: Concord Auto Protect is an ideal choice if you travel frequently, as its customer service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Concord Auto Project also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it a great choice if you prefer to test out vehicle warranty coverage before committing.  

CarShield Extended Car Warranty FAQ

Does CarShield actually pay for repairs?

CarShield is a legitimate extended car warranty provider that pays out claims according to the driver’s service contract terms. Browse a sampling of recent CarShield claims to better understand what the warranties cover.

What does CarShield not pay for?

Like any car warranty policy, CarShield has exclusions that limit the type of repairs you’ll qualify for. CarShield policies don’t cover damage resulting from collisions, misuse of your vehicle or vehicle damage sustained during commercial activities. 

Does CarShield have a good reputation?

Reviews of CarShield vary depending on the source, with BBB reviews largely negative and Trustpilot reviews largely positive. While your CarShield experience may vary by location and plan, CarShield’s underwriting partners showcase strong financial reputations.

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