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;
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
(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.
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
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.