Friday, July 14, 2006

Well, I got my wife's car back today from Buzz's Honda Acura Service and it is blowing cold air. All it needed was the blower motor. No need for the blower resistor as the crooked Honda Santa Ana was trying to say I needed. My wife and I still can't believe they where trying to rip us off so bad. I am going to do what I can to spread the word about Honda Santa Ana and hope no one ever gets there car serviced there ever.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How many of you don't trust your local car dealership service department? It is pretty bad when you can't trust a huge corporation with your car to do the work it needs and only what it needs and charge you a fair price. I have been through this before years ago, you think I would have learned.

After you read this post, you will appreciate this article, "Why an Independently Owned Car Repair Shop?".

My wife has a 93 Honda Accord SE. The blower motor was going out on it. That’s what helps push the AC in to the car to cool it down. When it would work, you can hear it, it sounded horrible. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it would not. I took it to my honest neighborhood Honda mechanic (Buzz's Honda Acura Service) and he diagnosed it to only be the blower motor. He wanted quite a bit of money for it and the reason was the job is about a 3 hour job and he would get the part locally from a Honda dealership. I believe the part that he quoted me was $220 and $272 labor a total of $492.00.

I did not have the money at the time it was diagnosed but I thought I would search on the net for the part. I found the part for $170 shipped from Majestic Honda Automotive Parts. I thought I would try doing it myself to save some money, since I am pretty good at taking things apart and putting them back together. I even bought a Haynes repair manual to help me out. Well, the manual was very vague in the area of taking the blower motor out. There was a lot more to take out then what the book stated and they were having me loosen nuts that I did not have to take out. It was a mess.

I got frustrated and decided to call up my mechanic, Buzz, but he was closed for the next two days so I thought I would call the local car dealerships to see what they would charge to finish the job. To my surprise the two dealerships I called were a lot cheaper than my mechanic. Since I had the motor already Costa Mesa Honda (Crooks from another time) quoted me $150 to put the motor in and Honda of Santa Ana quoted me $145.

I decided to take my car to Honda Santa Ana since I had a problem at the Costa Mesa dealership years before trying to rip me off as well. When I got to Honda Santa Ana the service writer only quoted me $135 for the job to replace the blower motor, cool, even better. Maybe because I had it ripped apart already. I dropped it off and since it was late they where going to start it the next morning.

I got a call the next day from a service advisor, Steven, that it’s not the blower motor but the blower resistor. Huh? I told him I could here the motor whenever it would work, it sounded horrible. He suggested I replace both then. He quoted me $382 or something like that, to do the complete job and that they would have to order the resistor so they would need to keep my car for another day or so.

I asked them where this resistor was and he said higher up from where the blower motor was and that the evaporator would have to come out. I called them out saying I basically did not trust them and told them not to touch another thing to leave it the way it was and would take it to my mechanic. He said they would charge me $90 for diagnosing it. I then said just put the motor in don’t worry about the resistor and hung up in disgust.

20 minutes later another service advisor called, Tom. They where still trying to sell me on putting the resistor in and they where going to discount it to $348 and did not want me to have a bad taste in my mouth about their service department trying to rip me off. This guy didn’t even know what was going on, he did not know if the mechanic had put the motor in or not and I called him out and asked him why they would charge me a little over two hundred dollars to put this $20 part in when everything was out already. I then told them to stop whatever they where doing on the car and I wanted to go and see this for myself.

Before going I looked up in the Haynes repair manual where the resistor was and there was no reference about it. I looked up on Majestic Hondas website where I purchased the blower motor and found the blower resistor they wanted to replace (see picture Illust. No. 8) was right above the blower motor in the same casing that they pulled out from under the dash. The added labor to replace that if it even needed to be replaced in the first place was to remove two screws and unhook the wiring harness. Literally one minute to replace, ok, maybe two minutes. I guess they pay there mechanics $100.00 a minute.

I got there and before talking to them I looked around for my car. It was in the back lot and the blower motor was not replaced yet. They did manage to take the whole casing out that I was having a problem with (See larger picture). It was laying on the floor board.

I went to talk to the service manager, Al Garcia. He said he did not know about the problem I was having with their service advisors and mechanic. I explained everything to him and that I did not trust them and that I was going to have my mechanic finish it. The manager did not charge me anything (that was a surprise) but if I did not research it and I had the money to throw away I might have bent over for them. I told him their mechanics and service advisors are crooks and that I wanted to show him when they brought my car around what they wanted $200 labor for to replace the resister. He refused to come look. I told him if he did not look that means he is the one training them to be crooks and he told me to get off his property. He was basically telling me he wants his service department to rip off all their customers.

I believe what happen was they quoted me the wrong price for the labor and were going to find a way to make it up by saying something else was bad. The problem is they were not dealing with a complete retard. I was not about to bend over for them. The job is a 3 hour job from what my mechanic quoted and they must have made a mistake and quoted me only an hour and a half or less.

I believe all dealerships are crooks and hope nobody goes to them but Honda Santa Ana takes the cake for being the worst.

Let me know if you have ever had a problem at Honda Santa Ana or any other dealership.

Don't go to dealerships for service. Support your Independently Owned Car Repair Shops that someone in your area recommends.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I called Honda Santa Ana up to get every ones names that I talked to and tried to complain to about how crooked there service department was and here they are in the order of appearance:

Steven - Service Advisor

Tom - Service Advisor

Johnny Marker – Service Director – Said this conversation was being recorded. Tried to explain to him the full story, ¾ of the way done Johnny yelled at me and then hung up on me. I sure wish I was recording the conversation.

Al Garcia – Service Manager – Tried to then explain again to Al and only got half way then was yelled at and then hung up on.