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Reply To: ETCG Rants About His Trip To the Dealer

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Rudy R
Rudy R

I’m kind of late to the party here as well, but I have apparently lucked out with Honda repairs. My closest dealer always offers me a few quotes (new Honda part, remanufactured Honda part, aftermarket remanufactured), and has always come in under the repair estimate they give me. I also took a gamble on a dealer in downtown Salt Lake City–the clutch coil on the compressor died on a road trip somewhere in South Dakota, and I picked the best-reviewed dealer to replace the compressor and freshen up the system. Smooth process, and I rented a new Civic for the day so we weren’t stuck in a hotel.

The worst, though, was when I bought my Merkur XR4Ti, brand new. (Worst car I’ve ever owned.) I had a list of items to fix a few months after buying it. The first part that clued me in was that although I had an appointment for 8:30 in the morning, they didn’t honor it, and made me wait behind a line of several other customers. When I got it back, the few things I needed done weren’t fixed. It had weak heat. They ran it in the shop and found no problem; well, um, aren’t you supposed to test it outside in the 20° weather after I plainly said it’s not heating the car in cold weather? The antenna “fix” lasted a week and wouldn’t retract again. Can’t remember the others. Also, prior to buying mine, they’d had a theft at the dealership where thieves ripped off two wheels from each Merkur (the sides facing the dealer, not the road), and they installed some Ford-branded wheel locks. After the key went missing about six years later, I went back to the dealer. They claimed they’d never installed wheel locks and had no idea how to get them off. (I bought a dirt cheap 18mm socket, hammered it into the lock, and got it out.) Aside from the dealership experience, the ownership experience was bad, but that was due to the overall poor quality of the entire car. It sat for several weeks at a better dealer, waiting on the input shaft for the manual transmission (which was very problematic–it would have been enough for a lemon law buyback, if we’d had lemon laws in our state at that time).

That Merkur experience drove me to purchase Hondas from that point forward. And thankfully due the reliability, it’s rare I ever have to visit a Honda service facility (although the newest we own are a pair of ’09 CR-Vs).