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Discussion Starter #1
I’m getting ready to buy a used 2017 Bolt Premier with 22k miles through CarMax. Trying to decide whether it’s worth spending an extra $1,600 to get the extended warranty with a $100 deductible (which would cover the car for another 5 years or until it reaches 75,000 miles). The battery and electric motor are covered by GM until 8 years or 100,000 miles, so I’m mainly concerned about the potential for problems in other areas of the car.

Consumer Reports predicts average reliability for the 2017 Bolt, and flags “Drive System” and “In-car Electronics” as the most problematic areas but doesn’t go into detail about the specific problems in those areas. Looking around this forum, I’m seeing reports of all kinds of issues that could be very expensive to fix — axle replacements, infotainment system failures, rearview camera failures, etc. However, I’m also cognizant of selection bias given that nobody posts on a troubleshooting forum just to let everyone know that their car is working perfectly. :p

For those of you who have been part of the Bolt community for awhile, would you recommend spending $1,600 to get the CarMax warranty? Or are the expensive repairs I’m reading about here more the exception than the rule for this car?
 

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My experience with CarMax and their warranty is, they will send you to Chevy to fix whatever the issue is so long as it's under the Chevy warranty. Bought a Jeep from them, had an issue, and was sent over to Jeep to deal with the problem, even though I was still under the CarMax warranty.

Just sayin'...

Rich
 

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Welcome to the forum @Thavian48812. Is there any time left on the GM 36 month bumper to bumper warranty?

My youngest bought his first car from CarMax and he went ahead and got the CarMax warranty as a piece of mind. Folded into his payments, it didn't seem to burdensome. They supposedly have one CarMax mechanic in our city that he would have to take it to. Personally, I'd never buy an extended warranty as I can do my own work if needed. I had my rear axle replaced under warranty, but really, all it did was make an annoying noise that I would have just ignored outside of the warranty period. The front stabilizer links look fairly straight forward and cheap to fix. The battery and drive train has the 100K/8 year coverage. Not a lot to go wrong. I like buying used as most infant mortality items have already been flushed out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the welcome! No, there is nothing left on GM’s bumper to bumper warranty — only the battery/electric powertrain warranty.

Was the noise that led you to have the rear axle replaced truly harmless / something that you could’ve driven with indefinitely? Also, you mentioned the front stabilizer bar links — are those a common point of failure on the Bolt?
 

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Was the noise that led you to have the rear axle replaced truly harmless / something that you could’ve driven with indefinitely? Also, you mentioned the front stabilizer bar links — are those a common point of failure on the Bolt?
Yes, the axle noise I had was harmless. Matter of fact, I drove it a couple months waiting for the part. I was a little embarrassed with even having them replace it. But hey, it was covered by the warranty. Car is pure silence now.

GM had a bad batch of stabilizer links that had insufficient lubrication. There's a couple forum members that fixed theirs with a little grease using a needle. Some have replaced the links themselves as they're pretty cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm, good to know. To be honest I’m not sure I’m mechanically inclined enough to replace the stabilizer bar links myself, so perhaps I’ll call around and get some estimates on how much it would cost to have a mechanic replace those in the event that they fail on my future car. If it’s well below the cost of the warranty that’ll be a good data point to consider.

It does look like some folks have reported infotainment and rear camera failures as well, so perhaps I should dig into the cost of replacement for those too, just in case — Consumer Reports did flag in-car electronics as the least reliable part of the Bolt...
 

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There is a good chance if it had a defective stabilizer bar it was replaced. Check the site for how to make it have a sound. If this one has a problem, you should be able to hear it.
 

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Thank you for the welcome! No, there is nothing left on GM’s bumper to bumper warranty — only the battery/electric powertrain warranty.

Was the noise that led you to have the rear axle replaced truly harmless / something that you could’ve driven with indefinitely? Also, you mentioned the front stabilizer bar links — are those a common point of failure on the Bolt?
Curious how much You're paying for it if You feel comfortable disclosing that online. I'm wondering if it being a 17 and technically out of warranty the resale values are dropping a lot.
 

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In general, extended warrantees are a waste of money.

Save your money and gamble that you won’t need a repair. Put a few hundred away each month.

It’s a safer bet than “peace of mind” and money that is spent that will never result in a repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There is a good chance if it had a defective stabilizer bar it was replaced. Check the site for how to make it have a sound. If this one has a problem, you should be able to hear it.
I checked the service history of the car and there's no mention of the stabilizer bar being replaced. I will try to make it happen, but with only 22k miles on the car it's possible that not all of the factory defects have manifested themselves yet...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In general, extended warrantees are a waste of money.

Save your money and gamble that you won’t need a repair. Put a few hundred away each month.

It’s a safer bet than “peace of mind” and money that is spent that will never result in a repair.
That's a reasonable approach. To play devil's advocate, though, given that the extended warranty is $1,600, I figure bringing the car in 2-3 times (depending on the issue) would be enough to break even. For example if the infotainment system dies and needs to be completely replaced (something I've seen reported on this forum) the parts and labor for that repair alone could be close to $1,000. That's why I'm trying to get a feel for how reliable I can expect the Bolt to be.
 

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That's a reasonable approach. To play devil's advocate, though, given that the extended warranty is $1,600, I figure bringing the car in 2-3 times (depending on the issue) would be enough to break even. For example if the infotainment system dies and needs to be completely replaced (something I've seen reported on this forum) the parts and labor for that repair alone could be close to $1,000. That's why I'm trying to get a feel for how reliable I can expect the Bolt to be.
My Bolt's bumper to bumper warranty expires in four months. I'm not buying an extended warranty. But I'm very familiar with getting parts from a junk yard and doing the repair myself. Ebay is my friend.
 

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Most Bolts have been as reliable as anvils. In three years, ours has had zero issues and zero visits to dealership service.

What an individual Bolt or the collective future holds for repair costs is unknowable, but use the maxim, "If someone tries to sell you something, i.e. an extended warranty, it's a better deal for him than you. If it's something you need, you'll be searching for someone to sell it to you and he'll be difficult to find."

jack vines
 

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For those of you who have been part of the Bolt community for awhile, would you recommend spending $1,600 to get the CarMax warranty? Or are the expensive repairs I’m reading about here more the exception than the rule for this car?
In my opinion warranties are insurance, and the purpose of insurance is to save yo' arse from unexpected expenses that you'd be unable to pay. That's the reason I have house insurance, car insurance, etc. I don't mind high deductibles because they lower the cost of insurance and I can afford to pay them, but I can't afford to replace my entire house or pay someone else's potentially astronomical medical bills.

So my advice is this: buy the warranty if an unexpected repair bill would screw you. For example, if you couldn't afford to pay $3000 for a repair and as a result you couldn't get to work, then you're in big trouble - a warranty could be a lifesaver. But if that repair bill would just be an inconvenience, then skip the warranty. In the grand scheme of things the warranty companies make money by paying less for repairs than they rake in in premiums - and that means you'll save money by avoiding them over the long haul.
 

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... and also understand that extended warranties may intentionally exclude certain parts/systems so that when you need it and you thought you had bought it, well, looks like you didn't. Clear as mud? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lots of good points here, thank you all. My gut instinct is to agree with what most of you have said — CarMax has probably done a bunch of data analysis and if they’re selling me the warranty for $1,600 they are likely quite confident they won’t need to pay out that much in claims. Also appreciate you all sharing your experiences with Bolt reliability. I need to read the fine print on the warranty coverages, but at this point I’ll likely end up buying the car and not the warranty.
 

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For what it’s worth, I got my 2017 Bolt Premier from CarMax and got the extended warranty as the bumper-to-bumper warranty was almost over. Some of it due to peace of mind, but also because the last car I bought from them was a Prius and I didn’t get the coverage because the reliability of those cars is supposed to be outstanding.

But that sucker fell apart, costing me over $4,000 in two separate repairs that would’ve been covered and finally, a third issue that ended up in me selling the car way too cheap. All of that would’ve been covered and now, I just feel a lot safer with the extra $23/month or whatever it is than taking the risk.
 

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For what it’s worth, I got my 2017 Bolt Premier from CarMax and got the extended warranty as the bumper-to-bumper warranty was almost over. Some of it due to peace of mind, but also because the last car I bought from them was a Prius and I didn’t get the coverage because the reliability of those cars is supposed to be outstanding.

But that sucker fell apart, costing me over $4,000 in two separate repairs that would’ve been covered and finally, a third issue that ended up in me selling the car way too cheap. All of that would’ve been covered and now, I just feel a lot safer with the extra $23/month or whatever it is than taking the risk.
Sorry your Prius was problematic. Personally, I wouldn't take one as a gift, but the Prius reputation for reliability is well-earned, They're the tool of choice for taxi companies and Uber-slaves worldwide. The data shows they're much more cost-effective than previous generation ICEs.

jack vines
 

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I’m getting ready to buy a used 2017 Bolt Premier with 22k miles through CarMax. Trying to decide whether it’s worth spending an extra $1,600 to get the extended warranty with a $100 deductible (which would cover the car for another 5 years or until it reaches 75,000 miles). The battery and electric motor are covered by GM until 8 years or 100,000 miles, so I’m mainly concerned about the potential for problems in other areas of the car.

Consumer Reports predicts average reliability for the 2017 Bolt, and flags “Drive System” and “In-car Electronics” as the most problematic areas but doesn’t go into detail about the specific problems in those areas. Looking around this forum, I’m seeing reports of all kinds of issues that could be very expensive to fix — axle replacements, infotainment system failures, rearview camera failures, etc. However, I’m also cognizant of selection bias given that nobody posts on a troubleshooting forum just to let everyone know that their car is working perfectly. :p

For those of you who have been part of the Bolt community for awhile, would you recommend spending $1,600 to get the CarMax warranty? Or are the expensive repairs I’m reading about here more the exception than the rule for this car?
If they will pay Chevy to fix the car then yes. If not then no
 

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Sorry your Prius was problematic. Personally, I wouldn't take one as a gift, but the Prius reputation for reliability is well-earned, They're the tool of choice for taxi companies and Uber-slaves worldwide. The data shows they're much more cost-effective than previous generation ICEs.

jack vines
Yeah, which was one of the reasons I ended up with one. Got a 2011 II with 30,000 miles on it and it conked out on me within 15,000 miles. I was shocked as their reputation was/is stellar. :/
 
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