Thursday, September 17, 2015

Car Rant

My 2003 Honda Civic is slowly falling apart. While the car runs fine overall, it's the little things that are adding up. The passenger side rear window hasn't opened in a few years. Last month, my driver's side window stopped working. You can hear the power window mechanism trying to work but the window doesn't move. While this usually doesn't bother me, it's quite awkward to open the car door to enter and exit parking garages. (Fortunately, I haven't gone to a drive-through in my car yet.) However, this inconvenience is not enough to spend $500 to fix this. I miss my Plymouth Acclaim where I could roll down the window.

Now, I have a bigger problem. The airbag light now appears and stays lit on my dashboard. I took the car to the local Honda dealership on Wednesday to determine the issue. A little later in the morning, I received a call from the service department informing me that the airbag is fine (there was actually a Honda recall on this earlier this year) and that the issue is the seat belt buckle switch. The cost to repair this: $545. I declined the repair.

However, I still needed to pay $132 for the diagnostic. Um, what? I did not get this quote when I left the dealership. After some complaining, the representative said that he would help me out. So when I arrived back at the dealership in the afternoon, I learned that I had to pay $112 instead. The staff seemed to feel like I got an amazing deal by having this diagnostic charge reduced by $20. Without much of a choice, I paid the $112 and left. Oh, I also learned that Honda used to replace this at no cost, but apparently, changed their policy a few years ago. If the problem was mechanical, they would repair the airbag stuff for no change. Any electrical issues, though, would need to be paid by the customer. Great.

Finally, it sounds like my car won't pass the state inspection in December with this light on. Wonderful. So I'm going to need to put about $400-$500 into a 12 year-old car (or more if I choose to fix the window) or face the decision to try to sell the car if it fails inspection. Ugh.

By the way, considering that the car is over 12 years old, 118,000 miles really isn't that much. It's still a good car. Well, don't be surprised if I try to sell this car on Sean's Ramblings later this year.

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