It has been nearly a year since I did a service on my Accord and the “Maintenance Required” light has been on for quite some time (I did change oil regularly though). I felt it was due for a service, but didn’t really find time to do it. Last Thursday on my way to work, the “Check Engine” light even went on. No more delays, I told myself.
I took the car to a Honda dealer near by Tuesday to get the service done. Actually, not just the service, but also to check if there’s anything serious with the engine. I have more than 85K miles on the car and it was running very well, didn’t give me any big trouble in the past seven years. So maybe it was about time for a major service.
While I was waiting, the CSR came to me with a list of recommendations:
- The cost of the service is $210
- There was a minor leak (EVAP leak) that caused the “Check Engine” light to come up. The cost of diagnosis and fixing the leak is $90.
- The battery is weak so it will affect the car’s performance. A new one will be $135.
- The four rotors are rusty and the front one has deep curves on the surface that can’t be smoothed out. For your safety, they need to be replaced for $899.
- The timing belt and water pump are due for replacement as well, this is again for your safety at a price of $660.
I was shocked to see a bill that ran to almost $2,000! That’s a lot for a car that has a fair market value between $7,000 and $8,000.
Eventually, I declined to get a new battery and four rotors from the dealer and chose only to replace the timing belt and water pump. I know this can be done at many garages, but my past bad experience with a local shop made me feel it’s better to go with the dealer. Four years ago, I replaced the timing belt of my old Corolla at a small garage that I used many times for regular service. Don’t know if the belt was defective or not, but it broke a little more than one month later while I was 30 miles away from home. Not a pleasant experience. Since then I tried to use dealers when the service involves critical parts, even it means I have to pay a little more.
Yesterday, when I picked up my car, I signed a credit card bill of $953.37.
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