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Discussion Starter #1
Having just spent $6K on a new IMA, now the 2000 Insight wants to boil over. Fortunately, the weather's been below freezing, so I could make it to the local dealer with just a few stops to chill off.

It's probably just the thermostat, but will find out Monday.

The really irksome thing is that the local Honda dealer still appears to know nothing about Insights. This is the second time a "service associate" there didn't know how to get the mileage reading. Sigh.... :cry:
 

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I know what you mean about dealerships. 2 years ago, my 2000 insight was having engine hesitation problems and I started getting about 45 mpg. I went to the dealer 6 times; they couldn't figure it out. It resolved itself over 3 months, but to this day no one knows what happened. I changed dealers after this episode, but my new dealer didn't know how to get the mileage either.
 

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I don't like my dealer's people either. They overfill the oil, drop my tires to 32 pounds everytime I turn away, and they can't find the mileage when I bring it in for service. Every. Single. Time. :evil:

Now, let's be fair. ;)

Hondas -- one of the most popular, bulletproof, and best-selling cars on the planet -- need infrequent but professional service. Showing up at my dealership on any morning, I will find the service area thick with Hondas with various ailments, predominantly from the last ten or twelve model years. Picture yourself as a tech for a second, and you will imagine yourself seing countless Civics, Odyssees, Accords, Elements, et al, and all their variations thereof. You'd probably see them in your fitful sleep after a couple of weeks of this.

But Insights? You just won't see that many of them. Hardly ever.

So expecting them to remember, much less commit to memory, each and every little quirk of our oddball little car is probably too high a bar for most mortals. It's up to US to remind him or her that it takes 2.6 quarts, that I like my tires left at 50 pounds, and by the way, as a courtesy, let me reach in here for a minute and cycle through the three odometers to show you the total mileage. :lol:

We are the stewards of our precious vehicles, and the techs don't know our ONE car as well as we do, and they certainly can't remember everything about every popular car that passes through their hands daily. I bet some of these people handle several cars a day (and if it's the guy or gal that checks the cars in and writes up the work order, I bet he or she sees dozens). So we need to be their guidance, to ensure accurate information and our definitive requests are written into the work order, rather than expecting them to remember the myriad ways our cars differ from lesser vehicles, or to divine our intentions. :D

You get good judgement from experience, and you get experience from bad judgement... 8)
 

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call me fickle, but I'm expected to remember all aspects of my job so I expect the same from other "professionals". Over the last 6 years, my car has seen the inside of the dealership more times than I care to remember for costly, incompatible replacement parts and customized maintenance. It doesn't inspire confidence in me when I know more about the car than someone who is trained to service it, since I know zip about cars.
 

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tjgrable said:
call me fickle, but I'm expected to remember all aspects of my job...
Ok your fickle :!: :roll: :p

And your expected to be a walking retrievable encyclopedia of that knowledge :?: (rhetorical)

From what you posted I doesn't surprise me that you've had so much trouble in your automotive repair experience over the years. Yes, there is a lot of "incompetence" and plain vanilla dishonesty out there. :(

Look for a shop that works by personal integrity, honesty and a willingness to admit they don't know it all (but have the skills and resources to find out if and when needed) and your overall trouble filled experience will improve. As complex as all newer makes and models have become it's also a requirement to "specialize" in service if your gonna ever be "good". A Honda, or at least a Japanese specialty shop is another potentially good indicator.

HTH! :)
 

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"And your expected to be a walking retrievable encyclopedia of that knowledge"

No, but I'm supposed to know enough to RTFM if I'm not sure. Indeed, I don't really _know_ all that much: I just know where & how to look up whatever stuff I need to know for the job at hand :)

Seems to me that should apply to a service tech faced with working on an unfamiliar model car, shouldn't it?
 

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Dealers

I called "my" dealer last week to ask him to look up my serial # to see if I was eligable for the 150,000 or 10 year extended warranty. He was too busy and said he would call back when he got a chance. Got back this morning saying I was eligable. Told him my IMA light was on for about two weeks but went out and had not come back on for the past couple of weeks. He said I was OK and that he had only replaced one IMA since the Insight first came out. Didn't ask him how many he had worked on, but he claimed that I shouldn't be concerned.??? :?:

2000 5 spd, bought w/ extended Honda warranty w/ 60,000 miles 6 months ago. 72,800 miles now (usually sits at the airport all week
 

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Re: Dealers

DCX said:
I told him my IMA light was on for about two weeks but went out and had not come back on for the past couple of weeks. He said I was OK ...
Sounds like he didn't even check for codes...He must be trying out some new type of Psychic Troubleshooting.... :roll: I would find another dealer if he says it's OK without even looking at the car.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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james said:
"And your expected to be a walking retrievable encyclopedia of that knowledge"
If your gonna quote somebody at least have the courtesy of not mis-quoting or changing the context. First off I thought I was replying to tjgrable (so how many other nyms do you have in here james :?: ). It was a rhetorical question to tjgrable and was noted as such.

james said:
No, but I'm supposed to know enough to RTFM if I'm not sure. Indeed, I don't really _know_ all that much: I just know where & how to look up whatever stuff I need to know for the job at hand :)

Seems to me that should apply to a service tech faced with working on an unfamiliar model car, shouldn't it?
Also I pre-replied to your statements quoted above in this same previous post:

Insightful Trekker said:
Look for a shop that works by personal integrity, honesty and a willingness to admit they don't know it all (but have the skills and resources to find out if and when needed)...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

Well, the "service" experience was interesting.

First, the SA called me to say I needed a new radiator, for about $700. There are indeed some gouges on the radiator neck (which we knew about) but that's not why it was overheating. I managed to talk to the actual service tech and explained I've been working around the problem with an O-ring to allow the cap to seat well, but that I took it out to avoid confusion at the dealer. He understood that fine, and went back to diagnose more.

The second call from the SA was to tell me I needed a new thermostat. OK, the one on the car is only 4 months old, but they sometimes go bad. I agree to this. They don't have one in stock, so it's another day in the shop.

The next day the SA calls to tell me that I need a new head gasket. On that call, she tells me "I have a note on the computer that we told you in 2005 that you needed a head gasket." WTF??? I didn't own the car then. And even though they had this information, they were telling me to replace other parts before bothering to check/mention this????

On the plus side, the tech admitted this was the first Insight he had ever checked. "There just aren't that many on the road." I prefer that honesty to the smarmy service manager who assured me they worked on "lots of these."

I asked more questions when picking it up today, and what's happening is that pressure from the cylinder is blowing into the coolant system. Their results said "hydrocarbons in coolant" - and the tech told me that he observed the coolant being pushed out through the overflow - something I had seen and thought was due to overheating. He said no, it's just pressure, but when the coolant got low enough, then it would overheat. There don't seem to be any leaks on the oil side, thank heavens. They didn't do a compression check, so we don't know which cylinder is involved yet.

Yesterday I was ready to cut my losses on this money sink and list it on Ebay as a parts car. My boyfriend talked me out of it - he's a competent mechanic, and says he can do the job when he gets time this summer. (He's rebuilt his Toyota.) His comment was that it looked pretty straightforward, based on the service manual. He has just earned mega bf-points.

So - I'll search this site for tips on head warpage, gasket replacement, etc. When we get to this project, I'll take pictures. In the meantime, I'm really glad I have that '95 Escort to be reliable transportation. I might even spray another can of Rustoleum on it in gratitude. ;)
 

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It's a sad, sad day when a FORD is considered more reliable than HONDA.

:?
 

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Re: Update

LJF said:
<snip>
I asked more questions when picking it up today, and what's happening is that pressure from the cylinder is blowing into the coolant system. Their results said "hydrocarbons in coolant" - and the tech told me that he observed the coolant being pushed out through the overflow - something I had seen and thought was due to overheating. He said no, it's just pressure, but when the coolant got low enough, then it would overheat.
If indeed they did the test that determines if there are hydrocarbons in the coolant then its definative. But a "worse" case scenairo could be a cracked cylinder head, particularly if overheated severely enough and or repeatedly.

And there are other consequences depending on _many_ and difficult to quantify factors. Cylinder / piston / ring "damage" will ultimately occur due to driving with coolant being lost into 1 or more cylinders. The longer the condition has been ongoing the more likely this consequential damage has been done.

With this condition on your Insight being documented since 2005 (from the previous owner) the future looks bleek that a headgasket only will be the sufficient and complete repair. :|

I'd recommend proceeding with caution.
 

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insightful trekker - overlooking your implication that my automobile naivete' is the source of my problems, I appreciate your advice on looking for a better dealer. Unfortunately, I've been to all 3 of the Honda dealerships within a reasonable driving distance of my living/work area and have not been satisfied by any of them. I've chosen to settle for the "lesser of the evils".


LJF - I'm glad to hear your car is on its way to recovery.
 
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