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Dear Ferman,

I recently had my 2002 Honda CRV serviced at Honda Shaw for overheating problems. What the casa recommended was to "replace immediately" all hoses, radiator assembly, fan motor, water pump,thermoswitch, and thermogauge--a total of P28,674.00 for the parts to be replaced. I asked where the leak came from and was told by Honda Service Advisor Franco that it came from the radiator. I paid P1,500 for the diagnosis at Honda Shaw. I decided to have a second opinion at a nearby repair shop called Speedy Fix. To cut the long story short, Speedy Fix found no leak in the radiator but in the bypass hose that costs only P111.90 at Honda Shaw.

The fan motor also was replaced at a cost of only P2,000.00. I have complained at Honda Shaw and was just given lip service, a written letter of apology "for whatever inconveniences it might have caused me" and was offered one free regular oil change on my next service maintenance as a "gesture of goodwill to correct any wrongdoing". Is this fair? They charged me P1,500 for wrong malicious diagnosis and was trying to bilk me P26,000 worth of parts that didn't need replacing. I feel cheated by Honda Shaw. What do I do?

Thank you very much.

S

Hi, S!
 
There are several aspects of your encounter that are fairly interesting.

Car dealerships, like all large entities, sometimes fall prey to degradation of the quality of service due to the volume of work they handle daily. Often enough, in the interest of quick turnover of vehicles, misdiagnosis occurs.

In these instances, unfortunately, it is the car owner that's dealt the losing hand, unless the car owner decides on getting a second opinion like you did.

It also reveals an important issue that all factory service centers have to deal with. Car manufacturer dealerships, being the entity they are, will warrant the quality of their work and will take steps to ensure that their work is beyond reproach. Unfortunately, this often entails that they address the problem system-wide (in your case the entire cooling system) without consideration for cost to the consumer.

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It's actually these incidents and other "horror stories" that make the motoring public in general lose their faith on the competency level of dealerships and, as such, car owners turn to independent service centers for their needs.

It is very unfortunate what you encountered at Honda Shaw. While inexcusable, it does reveal a problem in the way they do things. You may want to recount your experience to them formally and perhaps to Honda Cars Phils. as well in order to help them avoid future incidents.

As for the offer of the free oil change, if you haven't lost faith yet in them, I say go for it. But then again if you're already out of the warranty period, what would be the point of going there if you can have it done elsewhere with better peace of mind?

Best regards,

Ferman Lao

Ferman Lao
Technical Editor
Wearing the hats of a race car driver, driving instructor, grease monkey, tuner, dyno operator, auto shop owner, motoring journalist and CAGI president at one time or another, or all at once, deep down he's just another guy who loves cars.
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