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Discussion Starter #1
So I recently upgraded from my ancient Ford Fiesta to 2011 Honda Civic Type S 1.4. I wanted an upgrade, something with more kick but still economical. Unfortunately I'm not a petrol head or mechanic, I wish I was.

I purchased it from an independent dealer, someone who I half know. Very good outside and immaculate inside, nice clean looking engine bay, MOT history clean apart from a worn tyre and non dealer FSH. Last service 2k ago and MOT'd last month by the dealer.

I decided to take it to Honda Bristol for a summer health check which I paid £35 for. The guy said all in all its a nice car, good condition and if he was me he'd be happy with it. Apart from the following:

  • Puncture repair kit out of date (fair enough)
  • A safety recall not showing up when you check the M.O.T history. Apparently its more of a preventative check on the thermostat to see if a certain pipe is corroded/blocked.
  • Brake discs. Wow. They said the front were 80% worn and the rear 100%! And quoted me just shy of £400 just for the brakes, without labour. Just for the parts.
Obviously I called the dealer afraid I'd been ripped off. He asked me to take it to their local indy garage which I did. I trusted them as they gassed the non working aircon with no fuss when I got the car and 3 cars from the garage had failed an MOT that week so I felt they weren't conning me.
They checked the brakes and said there was slight wear, with a small lip but absolutely did not need replacing yet and Honda were conning me trying to sell brakes as all main dealers do.

Now I'm between a rock and a hard place, pros and cons both sides. Use a main dealer and pay a lot of money, possibly gey ripped off but get genuine honda parts used or take my chances with an independent garage, who can still rip you off but probably at less cost. Can't find any local indy specialists.

Any experience or recommendations?
 

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Buy your parts from Honda and find a reputable independent or local garage you trust to fit them will give you best balance.

A dealer will always want to restore a used vehicle to factory fresh every time they get it on the ramps.

My wife's Jazz goes in to our dealer tomorrow for an airbag recall and I'll bet the mortgage they will do a "health check" and tell me loads of work is needed.

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So I recently upgraded from my ancient Ford Fiesta to 2011 Honda Civic Type S 1.4. I wanted an upgrade, something with more kick but still economical. Unfortunately I'm not a petrol head or mechanic, I wish I was.

I purchased it from an independent dealer, someone who I half know. Very good outside and immaculate inside, nice clean looking engine bay, MOT history clean apart from a worn tyre and non dealer FSH. Last service 2k ago and MOT'd last month by the dealer.

I decided to take it to Honda Bristol for a summer health check which I paid £35 for. The guy said all in all its a nice car, good condition and if he was me he'd be happy with it. Apart from the following:

  • Puncture repair kit out of date (fair enough)
  • A safety recall not showing up when you check the M.O.T history. Apparently its more of a preventative check on the thermostat to see if a certain pipe is corroded/blocked.
  • Brake discs. Wow. They said the front were 80% worn and the rear 100%! And quoted me just shy of £400 just for the brakes, without labour. Just for the parts.
Obviously I called the dealer afraid I'd been ripped off. He asked me to take it to their local indy garage which I did. I trusted them as they gassed the non working aircon with no fuss when I got the car and 3 cars from the garage had failed an MOT that week so I felt they weren't conning me.
They checked the brakes and said there was slight wear, with a small lip but absolutely did not need replacing yet and Honda were conning me trying to sell brakes as all main dealers do.

Now I'm between a rock and a hard place, pros and cons both sides. Use a main dealer and pay a lot of money, possibly gey ripped off but get genuine honda parts used or take my chances with an independent garage, who can still rip you off but probably at less cost. Can't find any local indy specialists.

Any experience or recommendations?
I have 2 Honda cars and neither will ever visit the main dealer again! They are expensive and useless. This is what happened with my brakes at the main dealer. I run updated discs and pads on my type r and had the rear pads replaced at an independent garage who I always used and watched them fit them. The work was carried out at 4pm and I drove home 15 miles and parked up. The following morning the car was in at the main dealer (another 10 miles) for a service. Once the service was done they told me the rear pads were 60% worn and needed replacing along with the discs. I insisted on seeing the service manager and the car was put back on the ramp. On inspecting them the service manager confirmed that both discs and pads were fine. Their excuse was that because they were not Honda pads the mechanic had got confused, despite them being exactly the same size. The car never went back!


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I get my FN2 TypeR serviced at main dealer but only the basic service (it has full Honda history). I have a 2 year service deal than comes with a discount. I can change air & pollen filters myself in minutes.
They have done me price matches on expensive body parts so are reasonable and I have built up a relationship.
But I had the discs & pads replaced by our usual indie garage using Brembo OEM from eurocarparts, they have also replaced both front calipers with re-manufactured units.

For the wife's 1.8 Si we have never used Honda for service only the same indie (it had full Honda history until we bought it). They replaced discs & pads with Pagid from ECP as well. They have also done the gearbox oil and I had F1 autocentre replace the coolant with Honda Type 2 that I bought myself from Cox Motor Parts cheaper than the dealer could supply or anyone else with non-Honda fluid. However, did have the clutch fluid & new battery done by Honda which got us the safety inspection thrown in.

Best place for the tyre repair kit is the bin. Either fit runflat tyres (Bridgestone Driveguard on our 1.8) or get a space saver spare (like my TypeR).
You will only get the safety recall done at a Honda dealer so get them to do an appropriate fixed price menu job and they should do that check while they have it (I suggest the clutch fluid change) - ask now you know about it. It should be on the Honda UK database if it has been done.
Look at this to see if there are any jobs you think are necessary/affordable: Approved Car Parts | Fixed Price Repairs | Honda UK

My advice is if you have a good feeling about that indie the dealer uses then stick with them.
 

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Years ago a Honda dealer had my accord for a service - had a call from them to say discs needed a skim and new pads - I told them to go ahead - after I collected it and got home I measured the disc thickness only to discover that the dealer had skimmed them to LESS that the minimum disc thickness - needless to say they felt my wrath on the phone and subsequently fitted new discs FOC
 

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TBH if that's the only things the Dealer came up with they cant be too bad. Unfortunately that's dealer prices for you. They have big fancy showrooms to pay for. If the Indy isn't worried, tbh I wouldn't be worried. Why not ask the Indy to quote you for new brakes?
 

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A old car out of warranty has no reason to visit the dealership unless for warranty work or to collect parts IMHO. They're in the business of selling vehicles, they want you to think yours is a massive burden and money pit with lots of issues, but a nice shiny one is near the door as you walk through and they can give it you for X amount a month.

If you want genuine Honda parts, order them from Cox Motor Parts, they're usually cheaper than the Honda dealerships. Also nearly every component of a vehicle is made by a different company and they just stamp the brand name on. For example Gates timing belts and auxilary belts are branded "FORD" and £40-£60 slapped on at the dealership. IIRC Gates make a few belts for different companies and label them for which ever make it is. But you can buy their brand often a lot cheaper. It's the same for radiators etc etc.

As for brakes, I wouldn't bother using dealership prices. Get a good brand from Parkers or EuroCarParts. Price = quality in them places. I use Apex all around £100 each (front and rear) with trade. You should order new hardware as well to prevent squealing, and use brake grease on the pad elbows and against the cylinder (very small amounts.)

The only parts I actually buy from dealerships now are radiator hoses (no longer make and sell these at parts merchants) and waterpumps. Pretty much everything else is from Parkers, Euro Car Parts etc. I've never had an issue with any of the parts other than waterpumps the cheap ones from ECP and Parkers fail way before the maintenance window. I had one fail that was run by the timing belt, wasn't a fun job. 4+ hours to replace and time the engine up.
 

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Looks like you have got a decent car. Any recall should be handled free of charge. The brakes, eurocarparts or autodoc etc is your best bet and pay someone to install if you can't do it yourself. There is just no point paying dealer prices for parts if you can get them else where at a much cheaper rate. FYI 2 years ago Honda quoted me £800+ for a new clutch as it was "about to go any minute and very low".... it's still in the car and not slipping at all. When it does need a change it certainly won't be going anywhere near honda!
 

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Would not use Honda dealership for service, as they will be rip off obviously and they standard of work is no better than reputable independent garage. If you live close or wish to travel I would advise Honda HQ.
 

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My 2p

I do use a main dealer because they get the service bulletins and have the Honda tools and diagnostics/training so if anything crops up that needs checking it should be. However, I do agree that not all dealers are alike. I ignore 2 nearer Honda dealers as they have both suggested unnecessary work whereas Crown Honda Bushey have never suggested anything not needed and their prices are reasonable IMO.
 

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While I've been using main dealer servicing up until now for my five year old car (to get software updates, etc and to better enable manufacturer goodwill claims) it's unlikely that I'll want to pay dealer rates for the next service.

If I had a nine year old car like the OP then I'd definitely want to avoid the high cost of using a dealer.
 

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I have a 1.8 petrol MK8. I do the oil and filters change myself as its easy and i always use the genuine honda filters and recommended oils. What area are you in? theres a good few Honda independent specialists out there who do great work. I wouldnt take mine to a main dealer,aside from the fact that its a 2009.
 

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I see a lot of people recommending "Honda specialists." Honda's are one of the easiest cars you could buy to service and repair. You could literally dismantle a whole Honda with basic socket sets from Halford's. They're very basic vehicles to work on and maintain. Any mechanic worth going to should be able to work on a Honda without being a "specialist."
Heck Honda's even have timing marks on the crank and camshafts if you need to do timing work, most other makes don't have any timing marks.

If I'm in the market for a mechanic I read reviews, and the negative ones. Often or not companies give incentives to leave positive reviews, or get fake ones. I do this for MOT stations, I find a couple near me fail cars on purpose to gain repair work.
 

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I see a lot of people recommending "Honda specialists." Honda's are one of the easiest cars you could buy to service and repair. You could literally dismantle a whole Honda with basic socket sets from Halford's. They're very basic vehicles to work on and maintain. Any mechanic worth going to should be able to work on a Honda without being a "specialist."
Heck Honda's even have timing marks on the crank and camshafts if you need to do timing work, most other makes don't have any timing marks.
Unfortunately I'm not a petrol head or mechanic, I wish I was.
 

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Unfortunately I'm not a petrol head or mechanic, I wish I was.
I saw that, I was explaining that any mechanic that can work on cars professionally will find a Honda a walk in the park. Even the exhaust manifold on the 2.2 diesels is simplistic as me and a few other members will report. The fact mechanics were turning the job down says a lot about their capabilities to work on vehicles.

Honda's are the simplest vehicles you could take to a mechanic. If you drove a German vehicle, then yes I'd find a specialist that specialises in them particular brands, hence why a German is so financially draining to own past 100K miles.

Also, OP has a 1.4 Civic, an apprentice could work on that vehicle it's that simplistic, I wouldn't look for a Honda specialist for a basic model requiring basic servicing. That's what I meant in my post. Although I will go independent and not take it to any of the franchise work shops, the likes of Qwik Fit etc. Find a reputable small garage, they're often less on their labour charges as well, £60 an hour is the normal anything over that is a rip off.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi guys,

Thanks for all your feedback. Loads of decent knowledge 👌 I've read them all and taken away bits from each. Atm I'm taking the car to Honda for the recall and taking it to an independent for service and fluid changes but using Honda fluid etc Its booked in for both bits of work in a few days. See how that works out and take it from there

For those asking I'm in Bristol

:)
 
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