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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When my lease was about to run out I decided to buy the car and also purchased a 120K miles bona-fide HondaCare extended warranty, the "top of the line" with zero deductible, from a Honda dealership. I thought diagnostics were covered under the HondaCare extended warranty, unlike with some third-party warranties like CarShield. When I tried to phone the HondaCare customer service line, the estimated hold time was a half-hour. The booklet's in the car. Does anyone here know whether diagnostics are covered if the Honda dealership servicing the car is not the dealership that sold the warranty?

Today I tried to use the extended warranty for the first time. The bushing on my passenger-side rear shock was visibly deformed, squished out, compared to the left, and I was hearing a quiet wobbly sound from the right rear when I drove. Last time I heard that sound the dealership said the shock was bent and told me they replaced it. Today they're saying the bushing looks normal, even though it is far more squished out than the driver side, and they want to charge $159 for diagnostics.
 

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Brilliant Sporty Blue Honda HR-V 1.5 iVTEC SE 6 Speed Manual
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Whenever I took my previous vehicle in for a specific issue I have always been told there would be a 'Diagnostic Fee', as they have to pay people to examine the vehicle, use of their equipment, electricity and so on. When they have found issues the fee was either waivered by the dealership, or was charged to the warranty provider.

Just imagine how busy the service bays would be if everyone took their vehicles in to be diagnosed for free for a; 'the car doesn't feel right', 'I think there is something wrong with my car' issue? They wouldn't have any spare capacity to carry out servicing and so. It basically makes people think twice or do a little research rather than going straight to the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I understand your point and even agree with you but in this case the car has a documented history of problems in the passenger-side rear suspension. The dealership didn't hear the noise the first time either until I told them not to take it out on the road because road-noise and traffic noise makes it inaudible; I asked them just to drive it around their parking lot slowly at 10mph. They ignored my advice and took it out on the road and gave me a "could not reproduce". When I got angry the service manager drove it around the parking lot as I asked, heard the sound, and they found the bent shock absorber.
 

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Brilliant Sporty Blue Honda HR-V 1.5 iVTEC SE 6 Speed Manual
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My previous vehicle was highly recommended when it came to reliability, however, my own vehicle was genuinely the most unreliable vehicle I have ever owned and I owned a FIAT and a Rover. For servicing I used two franchised dealerships and I found when it came to warranty issues and failures, if I took it to one to assess it and they stated it was not a warranty issue, if I then took it the other dealership they would assess it was a warranty issue. And this was the process I had to endure for the 10 years and 110k miles I owned the vehicle.

If you do not feel you are getting any where with one dealership, if possible, take it to another one. It may be worth your while raising this issue with the Dealership Principle (not sure what the US equivalent is called), they are the people responsible for the Service Department and Sales. If you feel you are still not getting anywhere, up the ante and contact HUS and state you wish to raise a complaint.

Two pieces of advice.

1. When it comes to complaints (in general) ALWAYS insist that all correspondence is in a printable format; email, text, letter etcetera, this minimises the risk of 'He said/She said' situations arising. I always state this in my printable correspondence, however, some companies I have complained to try to circumvent this by phoning, or leaving voice mail messages. I follow these up with an email/letter to the person; 'further to our telephone conversation this morning when you stated...', this way if they don't respond to your email/letter with an immediate denial - I never sad that..., it undermines their case when they try to deny it later on if your complaint escalates. Remember, No paper, no trail.

2. When an issue looks like its going to escalate, create a Case File Diary (there may be templates available online) and keep a record of dates, times and names of people you contacted and a quick precise of what was said etcetera. A CFD is an amazing tool for helping you format your complaints in a logical and chronological manner, and it can be quite an eye opener when you read it back.

Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
My previous vehicle was highly recommended when it came to reliability, however, my own vehicle was genuinely the most unreliable vehicle I have ever owned and I owned a FIAT and a Rover. For servicing I used two franchised dealerships and I found when it came to warranty issues and failures, if I took it to one to assess it and they stated it was not a warranty issue, if I then took it the other dealership they would assess it was a warranty issue. And this was the process I had to endure for the 10 years and 110k miles I owned the vehicle.

If you do not feel you are getting any where with one dealership, if possible, take it to another one. It may be worth your while raising this issue with the Dealership Principle (not sure what the US equivalent is called), they are the people responsible for the Service Department and Sales. If you feel you are still not getting anywhere, up the ante and contact HUS and state you wish to raise a complaint.

Two pieces of advice.

1. When it comes to complaints (in general) ALWAYS insist that all correspondence is in a printable format; email, text, letter etcetera, this minimises the risk of 'He said/She said' situations arising. I always state this in my printable correspondence, however, some companies I have complained to try to circumvent this by phoning, or leaving voice mail messages. I follow these up with an email/letter to the person; 'further to our telephone conversation this morning when you stated...', this way if they don't respond to your email/letter with an immediate denial - I never sad that..., it undermines their case when they try to deny it later on if your complaint escalates. Remember, No paper, no trail.

2. When an issue looks like its going to escalate, create a Case File Diary (there may be templates available online) and keep a record of dates, times and names of people you contacted and a quick precise of what was said etcetera. A CFD is an amazing tool for helping you format your complaints in a logical and chronological manner, and it can be quite an eye opener when you read it back.

Best wishes.
I may try to escalate and do have paper records but nothing I've written myself. There's a "whisper-down-the-lane" problem with how dealerships handle service here in the US. Maybe it's the same in the UK. The customer rarely gets to speak with the mechanic directly. You state the nature of the problem to a person at the service desk, e.g. "There's a quiet wobbly sound coming from the passenger side rear wheel area -- same sound I heard last time when you discovered a bent shock absorber and a deformed bushing, which you could not hear until you drove it around the parking lot at slow speeds" and then that gets translated by the person at the desk on the trouble ticket as "CHECK FOR RUMBLE SOUND FROM PASSENGER SIDE-REAR WHEEL AREA".

P.S. With regard to the rare occasions where the customer does get to speak with the mechanic directly, that was a great experience! The mechanic, whose father owned an HR-V, told me to come out on the road with him and point out the "kazoo" sound I was hearing when easing up on the gas pedal after acceleration, which he could not reproduce and which another dealership could not reproduce even though I had taken it to them twice. The sound had been going on for two years. So I drove the car, the sound occurred, and the mechanic heard it, but only when I pointed it out. The first time it happened he did not hear it! Just as people become "nose blind" to certain odors they are exposed to all the time, mechanics constantly driving the same cars become "ear blind" to certain noises. Either that, or they all have hearing loss from the loud air tools they work with day after day without ear protection. That's my theory, at least. It turned out that Honda had just released a computer patch to fix what was causing this noise, something about the belt tension inside the CVT, which someone here on the HR-V forum pointed out to me. The mechanic was unaware of the service bulletin because it had only come out several months earlier. That speaks to me of a failure of communication and a lack of timely ongoing training at the dealership.
 
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