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Discussion Starter #1
I finally took the car to a local dealer (Brown's Honda, Arlington, VA) for the two recalls (parking brake and headlight switch) and to have a new driver's window run channel installed. I've started getting the EGR valve herky-jerky and told them about that. I've also had more recals than....

They called me and told me I need a new A/C compressor ($1,300.00 installed) - that the battery charges fine with the A/C off. They said when they took it out on the interstate and turned the A/C on at 60 mph, it was like putting the brakes on. They figure something came apart in the compressor, causing the ICE to bog down. Well, it wasn't doing that when I took it in - it was cooling like a champ even at idle. If what they claim is happening, I don't think the car would idle very well.

Think I'll go online and buy an EGR valve, replace it myself, and of course, call Honda customer service.
 

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What do you think Honda customer service is going to do? I've gone that route with numerous manufactures, it didn't do a thing. Nissan customer service even hung on me. But I got the last laugh by using a lemon law lawyer to have Nissan take the vehicle back and pay me off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Resist said:
What do you think Honda customer service is going to do? I've gone that route with numerous manufactures, it didn't do a thing. Nissan customer service even hung on me. But I got the last laugh by using a lemon law lawyer to have Nissan take the vehicle back and pay me off.
And your point is?
 

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Jim, if it's not to far, try Hagerstown Honda in the future. They have been very good with me and seem very knowledgeable about the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Bill. Hagerstown is a hike - a little over an hour. I'm going to pick the car up from Brown's tomorrow, and if I have time, take it over to Bill Page (I haven't trusted these guys for years!) to see what they say.

If the A/C is cooling, and the compressor isn't noisy, I can't figure out what they're thinking! Oh, wait a minute :shock: I figured it out! They thought they could get me to pay them $1,300.00 for a new compressor that I can buy online for less than $400.00 - even though I don't need one (or at least I didn't yesterday).
 

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Jim said:
And your point is?
My point is, customer service did nothing to help my situation. I had to take matters into my own hands and get a lawyer. Then the manufacture listened.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Resist said:
Jim said:
And your point is?
My point is, customer service did nothing to help my situation. I had to take matters into my own hands and get lawyer. Then the manufacture listened.
I don't expect customer service to do anything other than document the call and the reason for the call. As long as I have these two warranty issues documented, they will remain under warranty until resolved (as far as I know). When I called Honda yesterday, I told them I would program the 800 number in my cell phone and call them every time I have a recal - that way they can keep track of the recals.

I won't hire a lawyer to take on Honda - I know others have done this and won, but I'll try working with the service dep't. at Brown's. We'll see how it goes...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
attempted dealer rip off update

I got the call today - your car is ready. Stopped at the dealership on my way out of DC to have a chat with the shop foreman. I explained my concern about the A/C diagnosis (I used to repair automotive A/C years ago) - told him that IF it was cooling properly, AND the compressor wasn't noisy, I didn't understand how they came up with that diagnosis. I asked him if he had a minute to listen to the car with the A/C on - he told me to wait, and he'd bring the car around.

When he pulled up in the car - he said "hop in, let's go for a ride". We drove through the neighborhood to an Interstate ramp (he drove the car MUCH harder than I do) - at the bottom of the ramp, he floored it in first - NO ASSIST! I think "good sign". He says - "hey, there's no assist!". Then he says "did you notice that hesitation and jerking?" (which was very slight) "might be that EGR valve". I think "hmmm, that's another good sign". We do a short stretch on the Interstate, turning the A/C on and off with no unusual strain on the engine - pretty much ruled out that diagnosis...

We talked about the EGR valve a bit. I'm sure I read on the board here that the valve had been modified without a part number change. He maintains it wasn't modified, or Honda would have changed the part number. I'll look for that post - I think I printed it out. If anyone has more info on that, please let me know.

As we drive back through the neighborhood - with the air off - the almost full battery gauge (the tech charged it up) starts dropping. With the shop foreman driving, battery gauge at two bars, all of a sudden there's no charge - another good sign. We get back to the dealership - he holds the rpm's at about 3,500 to charge the battery back up. While we're sitting there with the engine revving, the EPS light comes on - not sure what that indicated - it's never done that before, but hey, any light at this point is indication of a problem. Another good sign. Takes him a long time to get the battery charged up, and I explain that another short (4-5) mile drive through the neighborhood will run it down again.

To make a now long story short - he decides to keep the car, run some more tests, and have a chat with TechLine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed - I think I have him on my side.
 

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Jim said:
I won't hire a lawyer to take on Honda - I know others have done this and won
I didn't either, I did mine via the Lemon Law. So I paid nothing unless we won and that was hardly anything.
 

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Jim, for some reason the EPS freaks out when you sit there and rev the engine to force charge the battery. If you have them look in the service manual it says to pull the EPS fuse before doing the "recharge" procedure so you won't confuse it. So the good news is nothing is wrong with the EPS, might just need to pull the fuse and replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Honda what??? Honda Care???

Thanks Ricky - the shop foreman found that out. The first dealer had the car for over a week. They couldn't find anything wrong with the car!!! Honda Customer Service (misnomer? or oxymoron?) called me and asked me to take the car to another local dealer.

So I did. They had the car for a day or so, called to tell me it needed a new 12V battery. (The 12V in the car was less than 2 years old - an aftermarket Civic battery). They said not only had the 12V failed, but it was also the wrong size. They wanted $80.00 for the diagnosis, and $90.00 for a new "Insight" battery. I called Herbert at Honda back, said I didn't think I should have to pay for a "diagnosis" since the first dealer had miserably failed at a "diagnosis". Herbert told me he would spring for a new battery - sticking it to me for only the diagnosis.

During the "your car is ready" phone call, I was told I could have the old battery back (it was still under warranty) - they would leave it in the back of the car. When I picked the car up - no battery in the back - I was then told that since Honda had replaced the battery under warranty, they wanted the old battery. Usually they give you the old parts, or at least offer them to you. I told the "service" writer I couldn't believe Honda wanted a used battery - he assured me they did. Of course, the battery they installed is the same exact size as the one they took out - can't figure out what they mean by wrong size. This battery might have a slightly lower CCA rating than the one they took out. Big deal!

Of course, the SOC was at 18 when I picked the car up, but I only had to drive 10 miles before I got a recal. It's a crying shame Honda can design and engineer a car like this, but then they can't figure out how to repair it!

It wasn't long after I picked the car up, that I figured out they probably misunderstood me - that when I told them the battery pack wouldn't hold a charge - they thought I was talking about the 12V.

I don't trust either of these dealers - one is a known rip-off, and the other is just lame. (Resist oughta love that!) So, I'm stuck with a cool car that used to get really good mpg, and now gets mediocre at best. I'll just keep driving it, and calling Customer <dis>service everytime I have a recal. Or maybe I should take Bill's advice and drive it up to Hagerstown...
 

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Batteries from Hell

Hi Jim,
This is real interesting, been waiting patiently for you to come back with a result. I was a Volvo dealer mechanic, master, all fields, for a very long time. But that was back when mechanics fixed cars. Now it's mostly maintenance, oh well. If your 12v did actually fail in less than 2 yrs probly want to check the grounds under hood, 1 at batt and 2 over by the air cleaner.
Yes, I had a devil of a time finding a dealership that could diagnose Insights. I did find one on my 3rd try, guess I got lucky. I think we're looking for mechanics instead of dealers. I found an excellant Honda hybrid mechanic by going around talking to service writers. The key for me was I found one whose hobby is hybrids, did I get lucky or what?

Oh well, hope this helps, Jack

PS, Oh, something I learned from Willie. When you reset the ECM don't rev engine, just let it idle. If your batt packs are going you will have to do it 2 or 3 times in a row. Just let it idle, SOC will come up without reving.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ditzy dealers....

Thanks, Jack. I did remember your suggestion to let the car recharge at idle instead of reving it up. I told the shop foreman at Brown's that I didn't think I should have to sit and rev the engine every day or so to charge the batteries back up. He didn't seem to be sure whether the car was capable of charging the the batteries by itself or not.

I would love to find someone in this area who was vaguely interested in Insights, and who was willing to take the time to try to figure stuff out. I had the ground problem long ago - replaced those crappy little grounds with some custom made ones using battery cable - they seem to be holding up just fine. Is the third one the actual battery ground? Or is there another one somewhere? I think the one on the battery is fine.
 

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Grounds

Hi Jim,
Back when my '00 starting recalibrating like hell, once or more a day, I tried eveything I could think off. I guess I got lucky, for me the grounds did the trick. The one for the 12v batt, got to sand or scrape the paint off where the bolt goes in. And there's 2 over by the drivers side of the air cleaner housing. Same thing and the bracket one of them is bolted to. I think I've got some decent pics posted at my photo site, click on that WWW thing below this message, should take you there, look for ground mod. It was the paint on the contact surfaces that screwed everything up. Good Luck, Jack
 
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