Limp mode/turbo replacement problem.
I have a Honda civic diesel, CTDi, 1.6, 2005, and it developed, from what I see and hear a common problem of limp mode. Reading all the posts here and other forums, most people had problems with this and also paid a lot of money replacing the expensive turbo unit - unnecessarily. I did the same. My garage replaced the turbo, EGR valve, some tubing connected to turbo, EVRV valve and finally VSV valve before the problem was cured. it turned out to be the VSV valve at the end of all this saga. It took one month, and several trips to garage and £1300 to sort this. I thought I write this post to let poeple know some important facts. I don't usually do this. This is a common problem with Honda cars of 2003 - 2008, especially diesel ones and Honda is not aware or dont want to do anything about it. My Honda apparently has Isuzu engine when Honda was designing this car they did not have their own diesel engine. Isuzu are very bad (expensive) design diesel engines.
Honda (and other garages for that matter) will always recommend replacing the turbo. But do not do that as the first option. I found out, to my cost that the limp mode could be due VSV, EVRV or EGR valve (in increasing cost order). VSV about £36, EVRV about £130 and EGR £ 200 (all not including VAT and fitting). So always start with the cheapest component.
The problem is not the car and not the diagnostic systems. It is the garages who have no real "mechanic" anymore. Most garages, including the dealership garages have "fitters" not mechanic. They connect the computer to the car and if the computer said "put your right hand over your head and do a highland fling and the problem will go away" - THEY WILL do EXACTLY AS THE COMPUTER TELLS THEM. They do not think AT ALL; and why should they, they are paying the bill, you do. So what if the diagnostics are wrong. They will keep changing parts until they get the right one, and you will pay for the privilege. All these codes and error diagnostics were designed assuming that a MECHANIC will use common sense sorting the problems. Error codes are NOT solutions they are SUGGESTIONS to the possible cause. Unfortunately the "fitters" take them as gospel. So here are some advice from someone who dealt with the dealership garages.
1. if you have an intermittent fault DO NOT TAKE IT TO THE GARAGE FOR "TEST". they will do the diagnostics and chances are if it is intermittent fault, they will not find anything and YOU will pay anything from £60 - £90 for the privilege and you will be told there is nothing wrong with the car. AND dont be fooled when they say "we took the car for a test drive and everything was fine". Most garages idea of test drive, is a drive around the block which IS NOT TEST DRIVE. They will not see the problem unless it is dangling, obviously broken, makes a hell of a noise or on fire!
2. If you are told to change an expensive part like Turbo - ALWAYS take a second advice. with a thing like turbo, take it to turbo specialist and see what they say. they certainly will know more about the turbo than your average useless "fitters" in the dealership garages.
3. If you are told that the problem could be one of three different components, then before you agree the repair make sure you ask "Who will be liable for the component price and labor if it happens to be the wrong one" - if they are not committing themselves to accept any liability and they want to gamble with your money - WALK away. They just dont know what they are doing.
4. Make sure you get everything, and most importantly the diagnosis and advice for repair IN WRITING before you commit yourself. That way if things go wrong you have written proof that it was what they suggested and then they cant deny it. this really saved me.
In brief, dont take their word for it, question everything; dealership garages are NOT EXPERTS in the brand, they just look cleaner, nicer and they wear a tie.
Finally remember, there is no such thing as a good or a bad car. All cars are good and ALL have their own weaknesses and faults, and they all break down. The difference becomes apparent when they go wrong how you are treated by the garage. I was lucky, my local garage is a family run business, he admitted they made a mistake and I got most of my money back. But reading some of these posts, quite a lot of people got rough treatment. NO point complaining to the head office blah blah UK, because the have nothing to do with dealership and they always sit on the fence and the standard reply is "the local garage should sort the problem". You would think they care about their brand name - THEY DONT. As long as it sells, they do not give a damn about the 10% or so of customers are dissatisfied.
So enjoy your Honda (or whatever other headaches you drive)