California Mechanical Breakdown Insurance: What Is It, and How Much Does It Cost?

February 28, 2022
mechanical breakdown insurance

The last thing you want is to buy a vehicle, drive it off the lot, and then be faced with thousands of dollars in repairs. Mechanical breakdown insurance is a way to budget future vehicle repair needs into your financial picture. It’s not all that different from how health insurance works. When your vehicle is healthy, your wallet is happy.

YAA will soon offer mechanical breakdown insurance in California. Why then, are YAA products called extended warranties, or vehicle service contracts in other states? When it comes to the law, words matter. In California state law, an extended warranty may only refer to manufacturer warranties, and a vehicle service contract may only be sold by a registered car dealership. As an online company that leaves only one option; mechanical breakdown insurance. When it comes time to get coverage for a used vehicle outside of the manufacturer’s warranty, California law says that we nor any other provider can label our coverage an ‘extended warranty.’

This frequently leads to a lot of confusion, and an opportunity for car dealers to jack up prices on extended warranties. In this article we’ll address the similarities and differences of what you can get at a car dealer, and what you get with YAA mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI).

Let’s dive in.

Is mechanical breakdown insurance the same thing as an extended warranty?

YAA’s California mechanical breakdown insurance will provide drivers with the same exact coverage that our extended warranty products offer in the other states. We know it’s confusing, but it’s the law!

However, not every mechanical breakdown insurance product is the same. Some have very limited coverage at high prices. Just like with a traditional extended warranty, it is critically important that you know what to expect before you buy.

Annoyed by the dealership finance manager who is pushing last-minute add-ons as you try to buy a car?

Dealership finance managers make A LOT of money from commissions when you buy their extended warranty or vehicle service contracts. That’s precisely why they are so distraught when you turn them down. It’s important for consumers to know that they have options outside of the dealer finance office, and we encourage everyone to get a quote from YAA to use as negotiating leverage with the dealer — whether you buy from us or not!

The two Kinds of Mechanical Breakdown Insurance in California

California Mode in the 2023 Fisker Ocean
California Mode in the 2023 Fisker Ocean

When shopping around, it’s important to fully understand the benefits of mechanical breakdown insurance products. 

Exclusionary mechanical breakdown insurance lists the components of the vehicle that are not covered or excluded. This means that the vast majority of vehicle components ARE covered. YAA’s mechanical breakdown insurance is exclusionary, great news for you!

Named component mechanical breakdown insurance policies ONLY cover the vehicle components that are listed. Everything else isn’t covered. Chances are, you won’t get the coverage you need and expect if you go with a named component policy.

Prices Vary Widely

How much you’ll pay for an extended warranty depends on where you shop. Ray and Zach Shefska of YAA compared a quote from Endurance with YAA’s extended warranty offer, and the difference was stark. For the exact same vehicle, Endurance quoted $3,600, while YAA offered coverage for $1,600 in the apples-to-apples comparison. Don’t settle for just anything, get a free quote from YAA!

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What Does YAA’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Cover?

We believe transparency is key to building positive relationships with consumers. We’ve all been through the pain of buying a car before. That’s why we guarantee honest, no-hassle coverage for your vehicle. Here’s what YAA’s mechanical breakdown insurance covers.

Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage

For most vehicles we offer exclusionary coverage. This means your vehicle is covered from “bumper-to-bumper” for everything but normal wear and tear, routine maintenance and anything that is explicitly listed in Section 8 of the contract.

Electrical Components

Global positioning system (GPS), instrument cluster, infrared systems, cruise control servo, proximity pass key and sensor, power antenna motor, 4WD encoder motor. Alternator, starter motor, front and rear wiper motors, voltage regulator, distributor, solenoids, manually operated switches, electronic level control compressor including its sensor and limiter valve, electronic fuel injection sensors and injectors, electronic ignition module, ignition coils, power window motors/regulators, rear window heating elements, power mirror motors, power seat motors, and power lock actuators.

Transfer Case and Transmission

Drive shaft/U joint, torque converter, and transmission mounts.

Turbo Supercharger

Factory installed turbocharger or supercharger, including housing, and all internal parts.


Crankshaft and bearings, oil pump, fuel pump, diesel injection pump, internal timing gears or chain/belt, camshaft, camshaft bearings, valve lifters, rocker arm assemblies and push rods, valve guides, pistons and rings, wrist pins, connecting rods, motor mounts, and distributor drive gear.

Drive Axle

Pinion bearings, side carrier bearings, ring and pinion gears, carrier assembly, thrust washers, axles, axle bearings, constant velocity joints, internal transaxle seal, and drive axle housing

EV Battery and Hybrids

Coverage is provided in the event of a failure to the Hybrid Drive Battery, Electric Drive Battery, or High Voltage Battery. Replacement may be made with a battery of like kind and quality with an energy capacity (kWh storage) level at or above that of the original battery prior to the failure. The amount of energy that these batteries can store will decrease with time and miles driven.


Upper and lower control arms, control arm shafts and bearings or bushings, upper and lower ball joints, radius arm and bushings, torsion bars and mounts or bushings, stabilizer bars, links and bushings, struts, strut bearing plates, shock absorbers, spindle and spindle support, wheel bearings, and the following variable dampening suspension parts: compressor, control module, actuator, solenoid, height sensor, and mode selector switch.

Charging Station

In the event of a failure of the vehicle’s Professionally Installed Charging Station, coverage will apply to the internal components of the Professionally Installed Charging Station. This benefit will cover up to a maximum of twenty‐five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) towards the repair of a covered Professionally Installed Charging Station.


Master cylinder, power brake cylinder, vacuum assist booster, hydro boost, disc brake caliper, wheel cylinders and compensating valve. The following ABS Components are covered: Hydraulic control unit, electronic control processor, wheel speed sensors, hydraulic pump/motor assembly, pressure modulator valve, isolation dump valve, and accumulator.

Cooling Systems

Engine cooling fan and motor, fan clutch, serpentine belt tensioner, radiator, heater core, water pump, and thermostat.

Air Conditioning

Compressor, condenser, evaporator, a/c clutch & coil, expansion valve, receiver drier, blower motor, and heater control valve.

Seals and Gaskets

Seals and gaskets coverage is included for covered components on Vehicles with less than one hundred twenty‐five thousand (125,000) miles at the contract purchase date.


Steering gear box, pump assembly, rack and pinion, pitman arm, idler arm, tie rod, control valves, and intermediate shafts.

Get a Quote for California Mechanical Breakdown Insurance!

If you’d prefer to look over the YAA mechanical breakdown insurance contract, check it out here.

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