Finance 101 : Zone of Repair Vulnerability
Zone of Vulnerability Mechanical Protection
The manufacturer offers a factory warranty on the vehicle that they make. The likelihood that there will be a major repair during the warranty period is very low. The manufacturer knows this and that is why they offer the warranty on their vehicles.
What is the Zone of Vulnerability? The Zone of Vulnerability is a period of time and miles after the manufacturer's warranty has expired when expensive repairs are most likely to happen.
Most car and truck manufacturers offer a 3 Year / 36,000 Mile Warranty or a 4 Year / 50,000 Mile Warranty at no additional charge with the vehicle. As a consumer, if you buy this vehicle used and it is still under the warranty period, then you are entitled to the balance of the manufacturer's warranty.
In the diagram on the following page, let's assume that the vehicle you have purchased is 3 years old and has 30,000 miles on the odometer (the vehicle is out of warranty if it had an original manufacturer's warranty of 3 Years / 36,000 Miles because of time). If you plan on keeping your vehicle for 7 years and you drive 10,000 miles per year, then your zone of vulnerability is for 10 years and 100,000 miles. You must add the 7 years you are going to keep the vehicle onto the 3 years of age. And, you must add the 70,000 miles you will put on the vehicle to the 30,000 already on the vehicle.
Very much like a warranty, a Vehicle Extended Service Contract provides for repairs for a specific period of time and mileage. Manufacturer's warranties are "no charge" and are included in the price of a vehicle whereas Vehicle Extended Service Contracts are sold separately and have multiple levels of coverage.
Source: The Four
Fatal Mistakes When Buying a Used Car, Author Herm Brocksmith