Author Topic: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?  (Read 1786 times)

scrubbyfish

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Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« on: April 14, 2016, 11:57:23 AM »
I've owned my car for six years and haven't dared take it outside of its manufacturer for maintenance. I'm ready to consider it!

I've been quite unhappy with Honda's maintenance, and Honda has been unwilling to address my concerns.

Does Honda somehow do better maintenance than a Joe Blow mechanic?
Does going to a non-Honda mechanic vs Honda void the warranty?
Does going to a non-Honda mechanic reduce resale value?
Is there any advantage to Honda vs Joe Mechanic?
Is Joe Mechanic usually cheaper than Honda?
Will Joe Mechanic know what Honda's "A-1 maintenance minder" means in terms of tasks to do?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2016, 12:31:23 PM »
Millions of people, including Honda-owning me, take their cars to "unbranded" mechanics for maintenance. Dealerships are usually more expensive and more inclined to suggest unnecessary steps than a trusted garage will. They have access to all the same maintenance manuals as the dealership does, and they have software that tells them exactly what OEM and aftermarket parts will work for each component.

nereo

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 12:58:50 PM »
1)Does Honda somehow do better maintenance than a Joe Blow mechanic?
2)Does going to a non-Honda mechanic vs Honda void the warranty?
3)Does going to a non-Honda mechanic reduce resale value?
4)Is there any advantage to Honda vs Joe Mechanic?
5)Is Joe Mechanic usually cheaper than Honda?
6)Will Joe Mechanic know what Honda's "A-1 maintenance minder" means in terms of tasks to do?
1) no, not necessarily.
2) no (and there are laws to protect against this).  Your independent mechanic might need to use certified parts though.
3) nope.
4) in some cases they have equipment that my trusted mechanic doesn't have for removing/analyzing/calibrating certain parts.  They also might have more experience with a peculiar condition that effects only certain models of a certain year.  But for 95%+ of things - no.
5) often cheaper, but not always.
6) if your Mechanic is not an idiot he will.  There's no shame in reading the owners manual (even for a mechanic), and all of that info is available freely online.  If he's 'independently certified' to work on Hondas he'll have access to basically the same info that the dealerships have.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 01:01:08 PM »
Thank you both!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 01:12:55 PM »
My father, a retired ASE master tech, always told me that routine maintenance can be performed at mass merchandisers while actual repairs should be performed by a trusted mechanic .

Kitsune

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2016, 01:33:41 PM »
What scrubbyfish said.

Also worth noting that 'Honda' is not 'all Honda garages' - they're independantly certified.

The dealership in montreal, IMO, would screw over everyone who came in for ANY car repair, and were horrible to work with. (They also insisted on calling my husband's phone because 'it's usually the husband's car'. My husband didn't have a license, and I PAID FOR IT, so FU.) I'd go to smaller places, because working with them was unfortunate, expensive, and an exercise in frustration.

The dealership in Sherbrooke, 2 hours away, is FANTASTIC. They've told me not to do things that 'weren't worth it; it'll cost more than you'll save', and have NEVER upsold something unnecessary. They also have a great rep around here for being a garage of people you can trust, so I'll go see them before I go to a random uncertified garage.

Your mileage may vary. ;)

daverobev

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2016, 05:04:13 PM »
Ask around town for recommendations.

Do not go to Canadian Tire.

It is arguable that going to the dealer while the car is under warranty is the right thing to do.

As soon as the warranty is done you should only go to the dealer for recalls or very specific stuff that your average mechanic won't have the equipment for.

If the car is 6 years old having maintenance history is great; having full dealership history would be nice on a classic car but for your average Honda it will, maybe, get a couple of hundred dollars extra at sale time.

Get it rust sprayed, get the trans fluid changed if it's an auto, other than that don't worry.

But no, don't go to the dealer for routine stuff!! It is a waste of cash.

human

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2016, 05:12:08 PM »
If you're in Ottawa try Medaglia motors, they are a bit gruff on the phone but they do good work. A honda civic and accord is the most basic cars to work on (from what I understand).

Dee18

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Re: Canada: car maintenance, Honda or generic place?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2016, 05:40:03 PM »
For years I had a mechanic who had his own shop, just him.  He had previously worked at the Honda dealer where I bought my car, but got tired of the forced overtime that kept him from his kids'events.  I found him via Click and Clack, the Car Guys of NPR website.  (I think the site is still live, though the show isn't). Once I took my car in for a minor software recall to the dealer, although I used my mechanic for maintenance, and the dealer did a "courtesy" safety check.  They told me I had a bad bearing joint (or something like that; it's been about 12 years!) and my car wasn't safe to drive.  The "repair" would be $800. I called my mechanic, he said to drive the car around the block and if it seemed normal, drive it to his shop, about 5 miles away.  I drove it over. He checked it out and said he could not find anything wrong.  Then he told me that when the service reps talked someone into unnecessary repairs or packaged maintenance, they gave each other high fives and got bonuses for reaching goals in $ sales.  I'm still driving that car, though sadly my mechanic has retired.  I did report the incident to Honda whereupon the dealer supervisor called and asked me to bring the car back in for him to inspect.  I asked him if I would receive any compensation for my time.  He said no and I said that I had already wasted several hours there and did not want to waste more.