July 23, 2007

I am Honda Certified!?!

My Honda CR-V (aka "the beast") is at the Honda dealership today for its 90K Honda-certified service, along with some repairs to bearings, discs, lugnuts, whatsits, and who knows what else..but a lot of shit was apparently worn down and in need of replacing, according to Anthony, my certifiably Honda service department rep. Total cost: $2,300. The blue book value of my car is thankfully more than that, at a whopping $7,000. But still...

Now, I know if I took it to an independent garage, the service wouldn't be "Honda certified," meaning the dudes working on the car wouldn't have been highly trained at the school of Honda. But, honestly, this certified bullshit doesn't really matter to me. And, at an independent shop, one would assume that all of the various parts and labor costs would be significantly less, since it's like going to a mom n pop plant shop versus the Home Depot. But, how much less?

First, I don't really want to take the time to find out. Second, how many times have you gone to an independent garage and gotten gouged? There are some honest folk out there--one acquaintance loves his Scientologist auto mechanic because he's also a Scientologist, so I guess they have some sort of inner alien honor code worked out, but that doesn't really help me, since I would rather [enter something gross here] than set foot inside the Celebrity Centre, especially if the only tangible payoff was to get a decent deal on car repairs.

It's like, at Honda, I know they want to keep me happy so that I keep coming back and so that I continue to buy Hondas. They want me to be Brand Loyal. And, I guess I sorta am. There's something about taking my car to Honda and getting gouged that feels a little better than getting gouged at an independent garage....even though this sort of goes against a lot of my general beliefs about corpo seduction.

Maybe it has something to do with wanting to protect the most valuable thing I currently own? Perhaps all of my soap-box beliefs get tossed out with the trash when it really comes down to serious purchases and serious loss protection? I guess I just want to feel safe and secure in my little delusional world of Honda certification.

Wow. That's sad. Right? Maybe aliens really are the answer....

2 comments:

Bryn said...

This feels very familiar to me. I just spent $800 on a major service and new brake pads for Dee Dee (my 2000 Honda Civic) at crap-ass Miller Honda in Culver City and have decided that we're going independent for our next service. And my former car chick life may be able to help you here. It might not be convenient to your home, but S&S Auto Repair on South La Cienega is a good indy shop. When I worked at the car magazine, they serviced all of my fellow editors' personal vehicles, and they were honest and nice. Looks like they get good reviews on yelp, too. As for your not wanting to leave the safety net of the dealership dudes' being trained at Honda U, well, a lot of the independent shops have former Honda dealership mechanics working for them plus they get their parts from Honda (not aftermarket parts), so you may not be sacrificing the Honda-ness after all with an indy. The only real reason to go to a dealer is if you're still under warranty, and that's not even necessarily required as long as you keep good records of your services. Plus $2,300, YIPES! That is a TON all at once. It's gotta sting. Sorry this was so long. Cars get me going. VIVA!

Dana said...

You write very well.