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  • This is my first post to a bbs, and I am not a car person (but my husband is-- pre-1970's cars); I've read a lot of posts and info on this site (after my experience with the repair shop below), and decided to post a belated review of the shop and, over the next couple of months, of a few other repair shops. Problem is, I want to be fair to these guys. I know how I feel, but I don't know how many stars would really be fair. I'd like to post these on as many repair shop ratings sites as possible to help others like me who don't know much about cars.
  • Any feedback which would represent knowledge about whether these repairs were appropriate would be greatly appreciated.

  • Coeur d'Alene Honda
    Don W, Service Assistant Manager
    Service Dept. cdahonda.com
    2785 Seltice Way
    Coeur d'Alene ID 83814


  • This is the first of 4 reviews of Honda repair shops I sought help from for my 2001 Honda Insight over the last year and a half.

    We bought this manual hybrid on June 8, 2010 from a serviceman returning from deployment in Iraq. It had 143,900 miles on it, and was well cared-for. It had a clean CarFax and no obvious maintenance issues other than an O2 sensor that needed to be replaced, and a headlight that was visibly dim compared to the other when in the dimmed position. The headlight switch had had a safety recall (sudden failure of lights in the dimmed position) and had evidently been replaced already. The battery terminals needed to be cleaned. We also wanted 2 extra keys. At this time, the IMA battery was still under warranty.

    I made an appointment for July 6th, and was told $41 for labor to program keys, and $30-50 for each key blank. I took my car there (a 90 mile round trip). On 7/6/10, CDA Honda wrote an estimate for cutting and programming two keys: $41 labor, $55.31 for each key blank. They also checked the engine light and found code PO134, Faulty O2 LAF Sensor Heater, 35113-S84-A02 $425.56; part ordered; labor $.00, shop supplies $6.15; tax 32.54. I requested that the battery terminals be cleaned, and that the headlight issue be looked at.



  • The sensor was replaced and the check engine light off. The headlight switch was replaced under warranty, no charge. The car was washed, and a Multi-Point Vehicle inspection was done, including headlight check and battery check (both good).


    I wrote a check for the total : $615.87





  • I returned on July 10, two days later and another 90 miles, to have the sensor installed; labor $106.60. I had also realized that the headlight was still not operating properly, and asked them to check it. They came back with the light assembly being fogged over, but the candle power looked the same. No charge. They had also replaced a marker light bulb at my request (total $7.52). I asked Don to come out and look at the lights with me. He saw that they were indeed not working correctly, and took the light apart then and there, ultimately discovering that the light's wiring had been connected incorrectly. He fixed it and it worked.



  • I wrote another check, with shop supplies and taxes rounding it out to total: $130.15.



  • Two weeks later, the check engine light came on again. I made an appointment for 8/6/10. Now, I'm not exactly sure what happened here, but I know that, after they pulled code P0420 (Catalyst), Don explained that there were two different courses of action, one that was somewhat less expensive and might fix the problem, and the other that was more expensive and would have to be done if the first didn't fix it. Or, I could just chose the second course and have some work done that might have been unnecessary.



  • In desperation, I chose the first option, which turned out to be the wrong choice. The repairs were as follows:
    8/6/10, a.m.: Labor, .00; Converter 18160-PHM-A00 $842.74; Gasket, EX. F 18229-S3Y-J01 $29.54; Gasket (52.5MM-) 18393- SH3-S00 $12.41; tax 53.08;
    Total 937.77

    8/6/10, p.m.: Labor: .00; Electronic CO 37820-PHM-506 $488.60; tax $29.32; Total $517.92; however, I was only charged $419.85 (not sure why.)



  • 8/17/10 I was back again "(1) on RO%66088 Isolated cause of concern to ECM bad per bulletin 07-038 -- Replaced ECM ... Complete (87- DTM-) A

  • Labor: $49.20; shop supplies $7.38; tax $.44; Total $57.02




  • Subsequently, I tried to use one of the 2 keys I paid $192 for, and discovered neither of them worked. On a hunch, I checked the battery terminals, and discovered that they had not been cleaned. I decided since I needed to go down there to get the keys programmed, I would also get the car serviced and specifically asked for the battery terminals to be cleaned as part of the service, so there would be no question that I was trying to get something for free. I made the trip down to Coeur d'Alene again, and on the way, the check engine light came on. When I got there, besides discussing the keys and the engine light, I asked Don if he would have the battery terminals cleaned as part of the service; I explained that, while my husband is a great mechanic for vintage cars, he was leery of losing any computer settings by disconnecting the battery cables. He said he would.



  • Besides the keys, which were programmed without additional cost, the receipt states the following:

    8/28/10 (1)OW-20 or hybrid oil and filter change
    Full inspection & battery test
    Honda recommended SAE OW-20 vehicles
    **complete service
    Total: $38.20

    (3) Customer states on the way down here she noticed the check engine light came back on. Check and advise
    **Checked and verified concern. Pulled code P0420 for a faulty cat. converter. Removed and replaced cat. converter.
    Retest and verified repair.
    Labor $.00; Converter Kit 06180-PHM-A00 $1397.07; Gasket EX-M 18115-PHM-004 $5.61; Total $1402.68


    The above-listed services, plus $3.00 shop supplies and $85.73 tax: Total: $1529.61



  • When I paid, I asked specifically if the battery had been taken care of. Don said it had. Unfortunately, I didn't check it until I got home. The battery terminals had not been cleaned.



  • So, between 7/6/10 and 8/28/10, I spent $3690.27. I got two keys, an O2 sensor replaced, an oil change service, a new marker light, repaired headlight (under warranty), a replaced ECM, and what seems to be 2 catalytic converters.



  • I can't tell you if this was fair or not. The service manager seemed nice enough. I certainly spent enough time there. With the purchase price of the car, we were close to $10,000.

    A year and a half later, just around the end of the 10 years and the 150,000 miles of warranty, the IMA light went on. We had been getting an average of 59 mpg. We had to decide whether to fix this car, get a new one, or get another used one. But first, I decided to look at online reviews of Honda repair shops.

    Next review: Pete's Independent Honda Repair.

    Ok, so that is the review. FYI, we have put a $1000 deposit on a BetterBattery, which should take 6 weeks to get here. I've read both positive and negative reviews at this site on HybridBattery Repair, but decided to try this. I expect that will be review #4 ;)
 

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Ugh.

Dealerships are the scum of the earth. You should have posted here first. We could have saved you.. about $3000.... lol.

The O2 sensor is available on Amazon for $175. Could have fixed the cat issue for about $10. You shouldn't have been charged the $57 for the ECM recall replacement.

I'm confused though, why did you order a BetterBattery if the car is still under warranty?
 

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She said a 2001, at the end of the 10 year/150K warranty.maybe out of date?

Willie
I don't think she is looking for a solution, just venting her anger?
 

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Ugh.

Dealerships are the scum of the earth. You should have posted here first. We could have saved you.. about $3000.... lol.

The O2 sensor is available on Amazon for $175. Could have fixed the cat issue for about $10. You shouldn't have been charged the $57 for the ECM recall replacement.

I'm confused though, why did you order a BetterBattery if the car is still under warranty?
When I got it to Pete's, it was 777 miles and a few weeks over warranty. He recommended I go to a different Honda dealership and see what they would do; he couldn't in good conscience just proceed with a $5000 repair. The next Honda dealership wouldn't address it without another code check, despite Ken at Pete's having just done one. They wouldn't promise anything, and that's about what I got - an offer of $250 off the $5000 repair, and it took them 2 weeks to get back to me on that. So I basically drove 90 miles in a snowstorm for a $50 carwash.

In the meantime, I did a bunch of reading on this site, and it appears to me that the MCM and BCM actually don't have to be replaced, and it might even be better if they weren't. Honda requires that, and that's about $3000 of the repair right there.

I hope I did the right thing going to a BetterBattery. I really like this car, and I'm in to it pretty deep. :(
 

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Thanks for the quick reply spunk.
Stay on ICN for any additional help you may need.
Good luck.

Willie
 

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Have I mentioned that dealerships are the scum of the earth? lol

You're correct, the BCM and MCM don't need to be replaced, and Honda does absolutely not require that they be replaced. You're perfectly free to buy just the battery and replace it.

However, you did the right thing by going with the BetterBattery. It's not worth paying $2000+ for a feeble Honda battery. You will be very pleased, and Ron has been working on his customer service so hopefully you have a good review to post.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She said a 2001, at the end of the 10 year/150K warranty.maybe out of date?

Willie
I don't think she is looking for a solution, just venting her anger?
I wanted to be sure this was not right before posting a negative review at repair sites. It didn't feel right, but I thought it was maybe just my bad luck. I really want to start learning about this and make better choices, but I need feedback and I can see you guys know what's going on with these cars.
 

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Thanks, you guys. I'm actually kind of interested in learning to do some of my own repairs, with my husband's help and the resources I'm finding on your site. I'm not going to start with installing the BetterBattery, though, even though you guys make it sound easy! Ken at Pete's is going to do that, and put on the old BCM and MCM. Labor's $100 and worth it to not worry about electrocuting myself!

I get a good feeling about the BetterBattery folks. I think that I made a good choice to not go with a battery repair or a Honda battery.
 

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$100 is a very fair price for a battery installation. Very.

That's a good attitude to have. As you've probably gathered, the Insight is a very special car. Unfortunately, they are indeed starting to show their age and will need repairs. An informed driver can make informed decisions rather than being at the mercy of a stealership. As you'll come to find out, or have already determined, dealerships don't know about nor care about our cars. They just don't see enough of them. Things get even more grim when you talk about independent shops - though there are a few out there that do work on a lot of Insights, they can't come close to the collective knowledge stored here.

As I like to say - We are your diagnostics team, and you are the service technician. :)

Something like the O2 sensor replacement would have been a great place to start. It would have taken you 5 minutes, and would have given you great satisfaction knowing that you saved all that money and labor doing it yourself.

It sounds like you've taken care of a lot of the main problems.

Next we need to get your mileage up. :D What tires do you have on the car? What PSI are they at? What are your driving conditions like?
 
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