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Thread: Anyone do a lot of work on Hondas?

  1. #11
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Opinions requested. Is it time to change repair shops?

    I've been going to the same auto repair shop for perhaps seven or eight years. A year or two ago, they moved to a new location and have a new owner. They also have at least two service writers. So, it might as well be a completely new shop since I no longer have a service guy who remembers me when I come in. And that's fine.

    I took my Ridgeline in for an oil change and decided to have the timing belt and related services (water pump, etc.) done while it was there. I was only 2000 miles away from when Honda recommends having the belt changed: 105,000 miles, according to them. I didn't bother to look it up since I really like this car and want to keep it. And, it's twelve years old and I've heard timing belts should be changed at ten years, regardless of mileage.

    When I picked it up, I noticed it seemed louder. I thought maybe it was just my imagination. I also thought I heard a rattling noise.

    The next day, my son rode with me and immediately said the car sounded louder and was rattling. We popped the hood and found a universal joint socket adapter up above the weatherstripping at the top of the hood, near the windshield. That solved the rattling problem. This was on the weekend. On Monday, I stopped by the shop on my way to work to drop off the tool and Service Guy A asked how the car was running. I mentioned that it seemed a little louder, but that I hadn't driven it enough to be sure.

    Service Guy A said it might be the exhaust gasket or a loose bolt on the exhaust. He didn't use the word manifold, but I assumed that's what he meant...unless they don't call exhaust manifolds that anymore. I told him I was on my way to work and he said to bring it back when I could and they'd take a look. He said they have to remove the exhaust (manifold) to change the timing belt and perhaps it wasn't re-installed correctly.

    A couple days later, I called first and then dropped by and spoke to the Owner. I relayed the story from Service Guy A and he said, no, they don't touch the exhaust when doing a timing belt change, but that they'd take a look. Hmm. Conflicting stories.

    I returned a couple hours later after they called and said it was ready. Service Guy B was there this time, and he said there's a hole in my exhaust flex pipe (I wrote this down) and it needs to be welded. He said they don't do welding, but any muffler shop could fix it and he thought it would cost me around $150, and said he was just guessing and couldn't say for sure.

    So, here's my question: does this sound like a reasonable situation or are they giving me a bunch of bullsh!t? I'm not looking to argue with them, but it seems to me if the problem didn't exist when I took the car in for service but does as soon as I picked it up, they are responsible. It's not about the $150 (which will probably become $500, because that's just how these things work) and the extra time it will take to have another repair done - it's about trust.

    I'm wondering if I can continue to trust this shop. I want to, because they're conveniently located, but there are other independent shops around and I value trust above convenience.

    Tangential but similar story regarding home repair:

    Spoiler:
    Lived in current house for fifteen years. Sprinkler system never leaked. Had some minor landscaping done in the back yard. Landscaping company changed around some underground sprinkler lines. Paid landscaping company. Discovered leak in the sprinkler system. Called landscaping company, asking them simply to send someone out to take a look and tell me what's wrong and if they did it or if it's up to me as a homeowner, because I understand things wear out. I tried to make it clear that I wasn't blaming them but could they just send a guy by for five minutes to look and advise me.

    Nope. Can't do it. Too busy on other jobs.

    "So you can't just have a guy come by on his way home from another job? What about the sales rep who came out to quote the job originally?"

    Sorry. No one is available. We're fully booked. Very busy. Goodbye.

    Translation: "You paid us in full when the job was done and therefore you'll never see us again"

    At least the auto shop was nice enough to take a look.
    Last edited by George; July 23rd, 2021 at 11:54 AM.

  2. #12
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    I think the pandemic has definitely hurt us consumers. The body shop that repaired and repainted my S2000 luckily finished the job prior to the pandemic, but there are some minor issues with the paint job that require them to fix... so far they just have not reopened the shop yet. whenever I called, one time the owner said he got Covid... and then the 2nd time I called he told me his staff went on a long vacation and is still at mexico... Anyway, I think I'll have to expect to live with these minor blemishes on my S2000 for a while... or maybe just do it myself.

    I also scheduled roofers to come repair my roof before the pandemic. The contract is already signed, but luckily nothing paid... they just never showed up and didn't even call me when the pandemic hit. Again, luckily I don't really have a roof leak, just preemptively trying to take care of my old roof. I was trying to do the cheapest possible fix by just have another layer of shingles on top of my older shingles. Local code allows for overlay on top 1 additional layer... Anyway, so I contacted another roofer, they don't even want the job. They'd only do it if I choose to tear out the old shingles... and doing more repair work underneath if necessary... Well, I didn't want to roofers to discover any surprises and I didn't want to spend additional money..., but they just thought covering more shingles over is too small of a job for them...

    Moral of the story is that there's a labor shortage. They have plenty of work to do so they can be choosy and ignore customer service...

    Anyway, if a business doesn't care about doing business with you or doesn't care if you're satisfied after the job, it's probably a good idea for us to continue to search for other businesses that do care.

    Of course if there are absolutely no businesses out there who cares, then maybe we'll just have to settle for the closest and the most convenient lame business.
    Last edited by Crazed_Insanity; July 23rd, 2021 at 12:59 PM.

  3. #13
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    ^ Have you contacted roofer? Maybe he'd do some long-distance consulting.

    I've had similar replies when calling for roof repairs and fence repairs. Roofing and fencing companies will come running for full replacement jobs (both of which we've done over the years), but they aren't interested in fixing parts of older roofs and older fences.

    "Hire a handyman!" everyone says. Okay, fine. Tell me who and I'll call him. Nobody ever has an answer.

    Well, sometimes they do. I hired a handyman that someone recommended once when we first bought our current house to run a new dryer vent since the old one had too many twists and turns and I wanted it DONE RIGHT. It eventually was, but the guy was about eighty and took forever to show up and even longer to finish the job. It was years ago, but I remember multiple visits before he was done. He left an invoice with a mailing address and then his daughter started calling and asking where the check was. I told her the guy had taken X number of weeks to do the job and I would pay accordingly. My wife ended up mailing a check but I was going to make him wait a couple weeks, at least.

    Then I hired a fence repair guy who, I kid you not, replaced a section of fence and left about two inches between the the bottom of the fence and the ground! This is a six-foot-tall privacy fence that should touch the ground everywhere, except maybe on the hilly parts of the yard where slight gaps in some boards are understandable. This was on a perfectly level part of the yard. He told me "They didn't have long enough boards". I paid him to go away and we later replaced the whole fence through a fence company.

    Sometimes it works out okay, though.

    We've had squirrels burrowing into our siding under a roof overhang in a corner in the winters. It was in a place that I just couldn't reach. My arms aren't long enough to reach from a ladder and I wasn't about to lie on my stomach, head downhill with my feet uphill on the roof to reach into an area with one hand and hold a flashlight in the other, which is needed there even in broad daylight. And, the spot where they got in was at the pointy end of a long triangle and I don't know how to patch that, even if I could reach it. Most roofing companies said "no thanks" immediately. A couple of them referred me to our county's animal control folks who could come trap the squirrels. I don't need them; I've had a trap for years. Traps are good for getting rid of the current squatter(s), but each time but another squirrel found the spot eventually and there I was again with my Hav-A-Hart trap baited with delicious peanut butter. Pro Tip: squirrels love peanut butter.

    My wife finally found a guy through Next Door and he fixed up our squirrel hole really well, I think, and charged much less than any big company would have, I'm sure. While I usually try to do business with reputable companies who have insurance rather than just some guy with a pickup and a ladder (or that HVAC guy with the 15-year-old minivan), in this case, the young guy we hired seems to have done a good job and asked me to keep his number in case I have more work for him. I did.

  4. #14
    Ask me about my bottom br FaultyMario's Avatar
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    The shiny button the shift lever broke in the Accord. is it a pop it and fahgettaboudit repair?
    acket.

  5. #15
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    We do have a pretty good handyman for small jobs… I swear to God he could almost fix everything… only thing he doesn’t like is painting… from electrical, plumbing, framing walls doors to tile work… heck, he can probably fix the button on the Accord!

    The old man works fast and on schedule and probably charges half of going rates because he is unlicensed! I always ask him 1st whenever I need help, but unfortunately the guy can be fully booked and may need to wait for a long time!

    He can probably do roof too, when he was few years younger?

    Anyway, there’s no urgency to redo my roof, I guess I can wait til the pandemic is over when things truly return to normal…

  6. #16
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Here's a YouTube video, complete with a rockin' soundtrack!



    And another. Don't know what year yours it, but I bet they're all pretty similar, having had three automatic Accords between my wife and me.


  7. #17
    Severed Member JoeW's Avatar
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    Just an addition to your timing belt story…unfortunately all you can do is tell the owner your story and ask them to address it. If it isn’t resolved to your satisfaction then just move on in this situation.

    You can’t prove they did it and they aren’t volunteering to accept responsibility so fuck it. Just move on. I personally would find another shop at that point because once you mildly accuse and they mildly redirect then it just got awkward. If you stay then you end up doing extra things before taking the car to them in the future to prove things like marking bolt heads etc so you know they are doing the work. If your trust is that low then just move on.

    I took my 4Runner to a shop for something. When I left the abs and stability lights were on. They broke an abs wire but had to order it. I brought it back for them to fix it the next day. When I picked it up and got home I noticed a crack under the front bumper where someone may have hit something in the shop. I took it back, of course they denied. So now I’m fucked. Not worth lawyering up so I never went back.

    I'm sure the owner/manager went to the tech, who then denied (because he doesn't want to be fired or docked future pay). So now it's my word vs theirs. I lose.
    Last edited by JoeW; July 24th, 2021 at 04:03 PM.

  8. #18
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    We need to defund these shops… or force auto mechanics to wear body cams!

    Sometimes these shops managers try to make things up… I went to one of our local EZ lube place for a quick oil change… and they forgot to put the cosmetic plastic engine cover back… but I wasn’t paying attention sitting in the driver seat and also didn’t notice…

    So it was after I went home, they called and informed me of their carelessness…

    No biggie. They popped the piece back and manager gave me a $20 discount for next time… that wasn’t too bad.

    However, had they screw up something that causes major damage, maybe the manager won’t be as nice? But who knows, if they can admit to small screw ups, maybe they’ll admit to bigger ones too?

    If they never bothered to call me back I probably won’t even noticed my plastic engine cover is missing!

  9. #19
    Ask me about my bottom br FaultyMario's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Here's a YouTube video, complete with a rockin' soundtrack!

    [videos]
    Thanks, monkeeng!
    acket.

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