Take a pass on extended warranties

Side view of black car

These aren't warranties so much as insurance policies, complete with deductibles and other insurance-like rules.

They're big profit makers for dealerships, so don't be surprised if your salesperson pushes 100,000-mile "bumper-to-bumper" protection hard.

But extended warranties are rarely worth the extra cost.

That's especially true if your new car or truck already comes with one of the great 60,000- or 100,000-mile powertrain warranties that many carmakers are offering today.

While they don't cover some major components such as air conditioners, cooling systems and electronics, they do cover engines and transmissions -- the most costly parts to fix.