Service & Maintenance Mirror, clutch, flywheel, rear brake calipers...

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Burly Chassis, Tuesday 20th May, 2014.

  1. Burly Chassis New Member Getting Started

    Background: Bought 2007 Tourer 2.2 CTDi several years ago, on the strong advice of a friend who is a massive Honda fan. Purchase cost high, compared to my past motors, but we factored in the reliability record would mean low maintenance costs. Have previously always run second hand (and pretty well researched, yes I love reliability) diesel estate cars with repairs courtesy of our local (and marvellous) mechanic. I've always been wary of the pitfalls of the Main Dealers, and never flush enough to try, but this time I was reassured it would be different. Hmmm...

    Anyhow, the car had a full main dealer service history (that's good, I thought), all at the same dealer. Let's call them Dealer 1.

    Paid them a visit for a once over. They said O/S front and rear pads needed changing, plus a few minor items. That's offside, for those that don't know (ie me). Bought Honda Happiness (£275) for peace of mind, all in cost £513. Wallet winced slightly. But I thought that would be it for a while.

    Some months later did 87,500 mile service at Dealer 1. Only a few extras, total cost £235. At this stage there was an advisory on the rear brakepads:

    N/S/R aprox 10% worn

    O/S/R approx 40% worn

    Offside again. Not great news, but I thought I'd monitor it and maybe the gods would be on my side. Wallet was now breathing in...

    First hiccup. Other half clouted a wheelie bin fast enough to crack the indicator unit on the wing mirror. Wheelie bin was not harmed, though marital harmony suffered slightly. Off we go to Dealer 1:

    Replaced N/S indicator assembly. Total cost £109. Wallet made placatory noises about the unpredicatable journey of marriage. Another visual health check, again there was an advisory on the rear brakepads:

    N/S/R aprox 20% worn

    O/S/R approx 50% worn

    Still offside. Might have acted on this at this point, but see what happens next.

    Car home. Discovered power fold on repaired mirror was no longer working. I assumed that this would have been at least noticed by the mechanic making the repair. Then I looked at the paperwork that had come back from Dealer 1 - on the vehicle health check form there is a green mark next to the glass/mirrors/door locks section. Bit grumpy.

    I then checked how much Dealer 1 would charge for this repair - £244 for a new motor or £353 for a whole new mirror unit. Wallet ran away and HID. I said I'd rather not pay labour twice for a repair that could have been done when it first went in. The response was an exact hybrid of a human shrug and the sound of tumbleweed rolling down Chernobyl high street. Circumstances meant I didn't have time for a row, or the purse for another main dealer visit. I found a replacement mirror on Ebay (c. £100) and fixed it myself. Dealer 1 off Christmas card list.

    Wallet now breathing out.

    Second hiccup. A big one. Possibly even a belch. Over a month or two I had been slightly suspicious that the clutch was going. I've never had a problem with a clutch before, and like I said, I hoped the gods would be on my side. The Honda ones. I booked it in for a check (local mechanic) but before I could do that the clutch went. Completely. If you want to know what that smells like, think of a Scalextric set from the 1960's, with two kids trying to burn the engines out on a Vanwall and a shark nose Ferrari. You probably didn't need to know what it smelt like, I know, but I'm on a roll now.

    Did some research (I love the Honda forums!) Realised it was probably going to be an expensive repair, especially so if flywheel needed changing. Figured I was probably going to have to use a main dealer (special tools, stamps in book), but I'd ring around others too. Who was closest? Yep, I phoned Dealer 1:

    £640, just clutch, inc VAT. Chap said, somewhat vaguely, that a flywheel was around £200. Not quite as bad as I thought. I phoned back later, asked him to check, and he came back with the figure of £967.66. My wallet screamed, and so did I.

    To cut a long story short, I phoned 10 Honda dealers, one Honda independent, one non-affiliated independent, plus a transmission repairs specialist. The prices varied considerably, as did the advice on whether or not I'd need a new flywheel. Best price (independent), was £975 for everything, other independent said £1072, transmission fella said £1500, and with the main dealers the prices then increased to the stand-out and princely sum of £2169. Perhaps I'm naive, but I was extremely surprised in the variation in price, and advice, from the main dealers. Wallet, of course, was now in dead faint.

    Bit more research. Various feedback indicated a LUK clutch kit and flywheel was as good as (or actually is the same) as a "Honda" replacement one. There was some talk of a special tool that only Honda dealers had. Plus, by this stage, I'm thinking I now want to fix this car with a complete main dealer service history, and then be done with it. I need to get a life.

    So I called one of the main dealers back, the one that seemed most helpful originally. Let's call them Dealer 2. They knew all about LUK clutch kits and flywheels, and were happy to amend their original all in price, by using those parts, from £1600 down to £820. The only concern I had was the amount they were charging for labour, £260, which seemed very low for 8 hours work. A little devil on my shoulder talked about hooks, and bait, but I ignored his fishy comments.

    I checked with Dealer 2 several times, that indeed was the sum, and then they dangled the carrot of a full service and an air con service for the all in price of £1042. Sounds good, or at least not-quite-so-bad. They certainly impressed me. The down side was they were over two hours drive way, with my car immobile down here. Fortunately I lucked out at this point, as my breakdown cover said they would pay for the journey. Wallet's still passed out, but I think I could still make out a pulse.

    Third hiccup. Couple of days pass, then Dealer 2 calls. Remember the advisories from before? He said the rear caliper, hose, discs and pads needed changing on one side. The cost, using Honda parts, was a magnificent £921! I knew this would need addressing eventually, but how much? My wallet now produced human tears. So did I.

    Right, ahem, that was a shock. Another one, possibly even worse, was the fact he said it needing doing on the nearside, not the offside. I'm no expert, but that sounds like a different side to me (see above, if you've skipped a bit, darn you).

    I've spoken to him twice, but I'll check again. Is it in any way likely that the problem has switched sides? I hope he's made a mistake, and he's got the wrong side, but if he hasn't my now threadbare love for the car, the brand and its dealers has gone the way of the dodo and all the other things that eventually turned out to be a bit useless.

    And what about the wallet? I'm now looking at a £2K bill, and all in all, over less than two years, I will have spent half the amount I paid for for the car. Reliability? Good value? Decent, consistent service? Advice please, or at the very least a hug...
    dbrooks65 likes this.
  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Title changed, The older the cars get the more problem they face. That just a fact of life.

    Dealer labour rates and Honda parts prices well you have to shop around a lot of dealers will do deals and independents well majority of them will not know how to fit a I-CTDI clutch as they don't have the tool..

    Lastly the cost of running and maintaining a Diesel Honda WILL ALWAYS be higher than a petrol that is well documented.
  3. dbrooks65 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Scotland Dave glasgow
    Happy to offer you a hug Burly.

    Sounds like you've been really unlucky and I sympathise because I've been there - albeit with a BMW (FBMWSH, enthusiast owned, etc etc)

    On the plus side - once all this work is done you should have a properly sorted car. :Happy:
  4. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    Had to read that twice, just to make sure I got it all.
    I really do sympathise with your plight and that of your wallet. I feel that he/she deserves a name in recognition of what has taken place !

    I'm not a mechanic, just a person that loves his Honda and is trying to improve his knowledge and skills.
    I too own an I-CTDI, a 2004 Accord.
    Without seeming harsh, the brakes and clutch are components that need replacement with use.
    I have recently just changed all discs and pads on my car.
    As for the clutch, how long they last depends on the driver(s). I'm still on the original, so that's over 10 years to date.
    I am hoping it will last until I change next.

    The brakes are something that are easy to check and thus have a good idea of wear.
    The clutch, well that's far more difficult.

    Prices for parts - original or OEM ?
    Well that's for you to decide. Personally, I now only use originals. Why? because I do believe they are better.
    Having said that, when I was younger, I did use others, as that is all my wallet could cope with !

    Club members (min 25 posts & 2 weeks membership) benefit from special discount rates from our preferred dealership, who posts out FOC.
    It brings the price down considerably.

    Dealer or Indy?
    There are good and bad in both.
    My local Indy is great and one of the few places I would trust with my car(s)
    However, there are some things that a dealer is better equipped to do, and the clutch on my car is one of them.
    Our preferred dealership has excellent reviews on here.

    What was going on with your brakes, I really don't know.
    The fault can't just jump from one side or another. That's just nonsense !
    The better side could have got worse, but I would want exact details if it was my car.

    If I were you, I'd get original brake parts fitted somewhere you trust and that poor old wallet will cope with.

    As for used cars, they're a gamble. FSH only shows so much, but it's better than nothing.
    Approved used cars from dealerships, whilst slightly more than from others, have a 1 year warranty.

    At the end of this saga, once everything is replaced, you will have a fantastic car that will serve you for many years to come.
    SpeedyGee likes this.
  5. Burly Chassis New Member Getting Started

    Just a quick update. Firstly, thanks to everyone for your replies, it really is appreciated.

    The flowers were lovely too, though why anyone would send them to a wallet is anybody’s guess.

    Car wise things are a bit up in the air, but not in a glorious way like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so I’ll feedback more fully later on when a few more things are resolved. Hope that’s ok. I’m listening to your advice though (why, oh why did I not post more before?), and acting on it. Promise.

    Oh, the kids are in bed. Right, there’s a bit more time. More news:

    The sun came up, toilets flushed, and I rang Dealer 2 again. I wanted to double-check where we were with the bill (before extras), and also to clarify fully which side had the caliper problem. I put my calm voice on, the one I model on David Attenborough. With a dash of helium.

    Unfortunately the helpful chap I had spoken to before wasn’t around. Oh dear. Had he read my forum post I wondered? “I doubt it”, said the angel on my other shoulder (see above, keep up), “after all you haven’t really named anyone, generally you’re a reasonable fellow, and most significantly, you posted at owl o’clock.”

    Good point, and as his voice was already less squeaky than mine, I was tempted to ask him to speak on my behalf to Dealer 2.

    Before I could ask though, another chap came on the line, and I instantly realised that that was a rubbish plan, as I was clearly now dealing with a man who preferred to talk about things that actually exist.

    Lets call this person Dealer 2 Man 2. Actually, why bother, because he doesn’t have a very exciting role. We talked about the price, and although there was a little confusion at first, which I’m sure was triggered by him spotting he’d spilt his coffee, he seemed happy with the original quote. That’s £1042, if you’re too tired to scroll up.

    I then asked him to check the data on the rear brakes. That sounds a bit officious. Actually, I’d like to think I asked him which side of the car was going to ruin my wallet’s otherwise excellent morning (flowers really do work), but I probably attempted my impression of a fax machine transmitting. Anyhow, he reported back:

    N/S/R approx 90% worn

    O/S/R approx 85% worn

    If you’re wearing the glasses I borrowed for that “Tora! Tora! Tora!” fancy dress party last year, then you might need a little bit of help here. What the rest of us are seeing is this:


    Now you know I’m no mechanic, else we wouldn’t be here, but it seems possible to me that I just have a set of old brakes; calipers; whatever; that just need some love. One side’s knackered, the other side’s knackered, and that’s just about that. That wasn’t the angel talking by the way (Nam voice), and I’m not trying to get on the right side of my wallet either.

    What I still don’t know is why Dealer 2 didn’t say “nearside AND offside”, but given the sounds of medieval torture pain I emitted when he mentioned the possible extras, perhaps he was just being merciful.

    Anyhow, I have taken your advice on board, albeit a little late. I’ll take a train tomorrow, pay the bill and drive the car home. Dealer 2 said there were a few hundred miles left in the brakes, so I’m not being naughty. The plan then is for the local mechanic, the marvellous one, to have a look at the whole job and, with the benefit of some decent/reconditioned parts, and some cooperation from my still swooning wallet (they’re only daffodils for goodness sake), we might reach a happy, though ultimately expensive, ending.

    That’s if the brakes get me home though. If you see me sat on the side of the motorway, please give me a wave. If I’m looking pale, then there’s probably not much you can do, save for tossing your last tuna sandwich out of the window and then giving me a cheery (but not too cheery) thumbs up.