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Old 11-01-2013, 01:05 AM   #21
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We're thinking of switching to Toyota. Honda doesn't seem to back their products when there is a design flaw. The A/C unit was faulty on Honda CRVs and it took a class action lawsuit for them to cover some of the cost. I think thy lost a lot of customers on that one. We bought a Honda lawnmower and the transmission went out after maybe 25 uses. Honda redesigned the transmission but didn't issue a recall.
Yup, our honda AC had problems. Ended up being a servo switch. Was very difficult to diagnose because it would work intermittantly. Honda wanted to replace our whole unit for 2500! I knew the system didnt need replacing because the ac would blow cold air, when it did work.

On a hot day, i decided to really look into the system, and found that a servo switch with a little snowflake printed on it was in the dash fuse panel. i tapped the switch and low and behold the ac worked. New switch was $18 dollars. I took the switch apart in the lab and looked at the failure mode. The materials in the switch ate each other up, causing massive arcing that eventually rendured the switch unable to conduct current. The sad part, the switch was made in america.

This is one of many details that caused honda to lose a very loyal customer.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:01 AM   #22
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Ford got buried by Consumer Reports because of all their technology that doesn't work. But.....like many others I like rear back up cameras, adaptive cruise control, etc. I do wish, however, that they would wait until new tech is well tested and works before they rush to put it in new cars. I know Cadillac is having some tech problems.....so, no new car for me for a year or two.

I actually have a Ford (have had it for 2 years - 2012 Explorer) and it has worked fine. Soon after I bought it they apparently fixed some glitches with the computer programming in the car (touchscreen for navigation, climate, music) and I haven't really had any problems. I actually expected there to be more issues than I've had....
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #23
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Somebody mentioned concern about gas turbo reliability. I too have the concern, and time will tell. I do however have a dodge with a turbo diesel "cummins" that has 200k of very heavy towing, and has been bullet proof. I'm hoping ford studied up on material technology, and perfected proper turbo bearing lubrication, so that i wont be disappointed down the road.
Turbo technology is pretty good these days from a materials standpoint, whether you have a wastegate or VNT type. You hit it with maintaining proper lubrication as the key. One must use the best fully synthetic oils for the lubrication of the bearing shaft on turbo enhanced cars and trucks. Hopefully, Jiffy Lube or the dealer service departments are keenly aware of this requirement.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:36 AM   #24
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Yup, our Honda AC had problems. Ended up being a servo switch. Was very difficult to diagnose because it would work intermittently. Honda wanted to replace our whole unit for 2500! I knew the system didn't need replacing because the ac would blow cold air, when it did work.

On a hot day, i decided to really look into the system, and found that a servo switch with a little snowflake printed on it was in the dash fuse panel. I tapped the switch and low and behold the ac worked. New switch was $18 dollars. I took the switch apart in the lab and looked at the failure mode. The materials in the switch ate each other up, causing massive arcing that eventually rendered the switch unable to conduct current. The sad part, the switch was made in America.

This is one of many details that caused Honda to lose a very loyal customer.
If this was indeed a common problem, Honda should have put out a technical service bulletin so the techs would have a head start on diagnosing the problem. Better yet, Honda would have launched a recall.

That said, the tech that wanted to replace the whole system screwed up. Many auto techs are just parts swappers with poor analytic skills. I wouldn't quit buying Hondas (or any other brand) over this incident, but obviously it is your call.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:32 AM   #25
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My only beef with all this technology in cars is that it's so much more that can break and result in costly repairs -- repairs that "amateur" DIY mechanics can rarely, if ever, perform.

I think back to the cars I remember from the '70s and compare them to today. Cars back then were so much easier to work on. There was a lot more room under the hood for mere mortals with normal tools to work. You rarely needed special tools or expensive equipment to service something, and you rarely had to tear half the engine apart to replace a $20 part. IMO (and I hate to sound like a Luddite or a cranky old curmudgeon), this is a case of one step forward and two steps back. It's harder and harder to DIY almost anything now.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:53 AM   #26
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We're thinking of switching to Toyota. Honda doesn't seem to back their products when there is a design flaw. The A/C unit was faulty on Honda CRVs and it took a class action lawsuit for them to cover some of the cost. I think thy lost a lot of customers on that one. We bought a Honda lawnmower and the transmission went out after maybe 25 uses. Honda redesigned the transmission but didn't issue a recall.
Toyota isn't perfect either. I call my top of the line 2009 Venza my "nanny car". I was thinking of buying something cheaper next time, and/or another brand, in the hopes that it would have fewer electronic features and would be less bossy.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #27
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...........
I think back to the cars I remember from the '70s and compare them to today. Cars back then were so much easier to work on. ..........
Yea, those 1970's cars were the peak of automotive technology. Early emissions systems, no power, lucky to go 100,000 miles............
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #28
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> Cars back then were so much easier to work on

Also, you had to work on them. The cars I have now are basically appliances - they run for 10-15 years, get some minor maintenance done on them (oil, tires...), then you get a new one.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:19 PM   #29
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Yea, those 1970's cars were the peak of automotive technology. Early emissions systems, no power, lucky to go 100,000 miles............
Not saying I want to go back to those days. Good grief, but you're reading way too much into my statement. I'm just saying that it feels like cars today are designed to make them as impossible for ordinary folks to maintain as possible, as if some unseen "mechanic's lobby" is paying them off to force people to take cars to the shop for even routine maintenance.

But yes, many vehicles today can go 100,000 miles without any major maintenance -- just oil and filter changes, and a new set of tires and brakes along the way. (My car, a 2005 Toyota Matrix, has 74K miles and is still on its original brakes.)

I will certainly admit that reliability is better than ever. Many cars in the days of my youth crapped out totally long before hitting 100K miles.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:50 PM   #30
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Even something as benign as an electric door lock can cost you dearly.

I had to replace a door lock actuator in my Honda. The little motor encased in a plastic housing cost nearly $200, if bought from Honda. I paid $90 including shipping for an after-market part, and replaced it myself. The doggone thing failed after 1 month, and there's no warranty! Same as the original, it still operates the lock but makes terrible noise.

I read on the Web people ranting about all 4 door locks of their Honda failing. The cost for repair at a dealer is $400 each door! They give no volume discount. Hah!
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:00 PM   #31
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Even something as benign as an electric door lock can cost you dearly.

I had to replace a door lock actuator in my Honda. The little motor encased in a plastic housing cost nearly $200, if bought from Honda. I paid $90 including shipping for an after-market part, and replaced it myself. The doggone thing failed after 1 month, and there's no warranty! Same as the original, it still operates the lock but makes terrible noise.

I read on the Web people ranting about all 4 door locks of their Honda failing. The cost for repair at a dealer is $400 each door! They give no volume discount. Hah!
Similar situation on my 2006 VW Jetta diesel. Door lock system went out. This is part of the factory alarm, has the electronics for the window motor, power locks, cabin aux lighting. New one (switch) was ~$350. I took my door apart and got the unit out (nice DIY on the web) and found it contained three mini size electro mechanical switches, a small indexing motor and polystyrene worm gears, a printed circuit board and the locking mechanical hardware. There are two cables, a split housing with 8 screws and a couple of grommets.

Well, upon inspection, I found two cold and cracked solder joints on the circuit board and a worn micro switch button (plastic). I resoldered the bad joints, found an after market mini micro switch at Radio Shack, assembled the thing and every thing is good now. I would guess the replacement job at the dealer would be around $1,000.00. I did it all for under $20 and one afternoon. But I have the tools of a respectable service mechanic, too.

And I am a cheap and demand quality, neither of which you will find at a dealer's service department.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #32
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...I'm just saying that it feels like cars today are designed to make them as impossible for ordinary folks to maintain as possible, as if some unseen "mechanic's lobby" is paying them off to force people to take cars to the shop for even routine maintenance.
I taught my son basic car maintenance. But he will have to bring his new Audi to the dealer for oil changes. The car has no drain plug, and the oil has to be pumped out by suction!

Quote:
But yes, many vehicles today can go 100,000 miles without any major maintenance -- just oil and filter changes, and a new set of tires and brakes along the way. (My car, a 2005 Toyota Matrix, has 74K miles and is still on its original brakes.)

I will certainly admit that reliability is better than ever. Many cars in the days of my youth crapped out totally long before hitting 100K miles.
+1

New cars run for a long time, but when they start to fall apart, the repair cost is so high you can't or do not want to fix them.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #33
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The car has no drain plug, and the oil has to be pumped out by suction!
Not anything new here. I have a 8 litre MityVac and have been doing topside oil changes for years. If you notice, many of these German cars have the oil filter accessible from the top of the engine. Newer MBZ's have no engine oil dipstick either.

Most German automatic transmissions have no dipstick (aka, fill port) and have been bottom filled for a decade or so.

The real maintenance killer is the electronics and sensors involved in the emission control systems. Now you are seeing regenerative NOx systems on diesels, particulate filters, etc. When additional NOx control is promulgated into law for gasoline vehicles, the same control technologies will be put on those cars.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:58 PM   #34
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Well, it was new to me because my last German car was a 1977 VW, and that had an oil drain plug.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #35
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Well, it was new to me because my last German car was a 1977 VW, and that had an oil drain plug.
Drain plugs are still on some oil pans, but there is usually a cover to remove to see it. Much easier to do topside oil changes.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #36
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The key to maintaining all the new technology is having a service manual, and a passion to figure it out. The electronics are pretty basic if you study the manual, drink a few beers, look again at the manual, a few more beers, and before you know it, the problem disappears.

Web forums are also a great resource to help trouble shoot. You have to wade through a lot of garbage info, but, pretty easy to decipher the "knowledgable" from the "know it alls". If you have a problem with a vehicle, you can bet that others have the same problem, and somebody will figure it out. A lot of smart people out there.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:34 PM   #37
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Both our vehicles are 2003, long-planned buys, bought new. I bought the service manual for the GMC pickup truck online and was astonished when the box arrived. Five volumes! One was just for the electronics on the engine alone. I read (or skimmed) all of it - "Okay, this I can do, this I better keep my grubby mitts off of" - and so concluded that for the the most part other than changing oil and light bulbs I should have it done by someone more current than me on this stuff.

That's what makes me leery of all the advances. Like computers, they're great when they work, but what's it gonna cost when it breaks?

Yeah, gimme breaker points and distributors and hardware, when a VOM and a dwell meter were all the electrical diagnostics you needed.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:35 PM   #38
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Just bought Hyundai's Azera 2013. It came with two thick manuals, one for car and another for navigation. They fill up the glove compartment. The new tech in the car is simply amazing compare to my 2006 Azera. If you are not tech savvy, you are going to miss out on a lot of high tech features that are available. I am still trying to get used to keyless entry & engine start. I have yet to figure out how to listen to radio while the engine is out (too lazy to look up the 500 page manual). But certainly enjoying all the whistles and bells.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:40 PM   #39
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Same thing with our Murano. I downloaded all the manuals put them on iPad, and a copy in Dropbox. Have not pulled them out of the globe box but will.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:41 PM   #40
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I just read something recently about how both Apple and Google are working with car manufacturers to more fully integrate their smartphones with the car's information systems.

I have a 2013 Honda CR-V that has begun this process. About 5-10 seconds after starting the car, the screen lights up telling me my iPhone is connected (Bluetooth). When a call comes in, I just tap a button on the steering wheel to answer it. Another button lets me say the name of the person I want to call, and the car/phone interface does the rest.

When I think about the old days when I did my own tuneups with a dwell meter and thickness gauges to adjust the points, etc., etc., it sometimes just boggles my tiny mind!
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