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2014 RL with 120K factory warranty. The two local Honda dealer service departments have a deservedly lousy reputation, based on pro mechanics I know. Basically, they don’t pay enough to get decent talent. Based on my first and only visit to the “better” of the two, simply for an oil/filter change, I’m never going back. Suffice it to say it was the worst dealer service experience I’ve had in decades. Guess Toyota, Acura, Infiniti, and “old” Honda have spoiled me.

I have an independent shop that does the work on my company vehicles. Sharp, honest, and not cheap, but reasonable. Coincidently, they do the evaluation and curative work on one of the Honda dealership’s certified cars.

Here’s the question: Assuming that I have the independent take over maintenance on the RL and have a warranty covered problem at, say, five years out and 90K miles, what level of documentation will Honda require to verify compliance with required maintenance schedules? I’d rather have Honda punch in the vehicle ID and their computer verify service, but when their dealerships can’t handle an oil change without screwing it up …… Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

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2104 Honda Ridgeline SE
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I can't really offer any advice but am curious of the cost of the Honda Care extended warranty. I may be in the market for 6yr/120K. How many years do you have and what was approx cost?
 

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8 yr/120K commercial/0 ded. - $1,600 - about a year ago - Saccucci Honda in RI. Curious story - bought the truck on New Years Eve to get the purchase into the 2013 tax year - small business guys will understand the situation.

I was in a hurry - called ahead, made the deal, showed up with the check, and left with the truck. I deferred on a talk with the finance/business weasel; the one where they want you to get the "extras" - told them I'd talk to them re: extended warranty later. A month or so later, call the salesman re: extended warranty. She says she'll have to have someone call me. Two weeks later, no call - I call the salesman. Got the "He didn't call you? I'll check." Turns out only the finance weasel can talk extended warranty - he tells salesman that since I did not take the extended warranty at the time of sale - I was just out of luck. No warranty for you! Shades of the Sienfeld Soup Nazi.

Factory extended warranties are a product, like any other. Dealers can price them like they want to. Came here and asked - got several dealer names from forum members - Saccucci was the most competitive and wasn't scared off by the "commercial" aspect. Just costs more. Shop around.
 

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From my experience, the likelihood of a warranty repair under the extended program on a system that requires regular scheduled maintenance is very low. That would include tranny, engine, xfer case, and VTM diff, all which need routine fluid changes. I bet somewhere in the docs for that warranty is a statement indicating what records are required.

The rest of the covered parts do not require regular maintenance. Struts, exhaust, steering components, wear intensive body parts (like hinges), CV axles, window motors, switches, and etc. should all be covered as long as there is no obvious abuse. The normal timing belt service falls within your 120k timeframe; I would probably let the cheaper of the crappy dealers do that one just so they can't say it wasn't done to spec.

I believe that as long as your shop has a certified mechanic it will not be a problem as long as you can show the scheduled maintenance was done timely. Just throw all the paperwork in a shoebox. You probably are never going to need it.
 

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2014 RL with 120K factory warranty. The two local Honda dealer service departments have a deservedly lousy reputation, based on pro mechanics I know. Basically, they don’t pay enough to get decent talent. Based on my first and only visit to the “better” of the two, simply for an oil/filter change, I’m never going back. Suffice it to say it was the worst dealer service experience I’ve had in decades. Guess Toyota, Acura, Infiniti, and “old” Honda have spoiled me.

I have an independent shop that does the work on my company vehicles. Sharp, honest, and not cheap, but reasonable. Coincidently, they do the evaluation and curative work on one of the Honda dealership’s certified cars.

Here’s the question: Assuming that I have the independent take over maintenance on the RL and have a warranty covered problem at, say, five years out and 90K miles, what level of documentation will Honda require to verify compliance with required maintenance schedules? I’d rather have Honda punch in the vehicle ID and their computer verify service, but when their dealerships can’t handle an oil change without screwing it up …… Any advice greatly appreciated.
If you're talking about routine maintenance then you have nothing to worry about by using an independent shop or even doing it yourself. Just keep your receipts... it's that simple. Honda will not (and cannot) penalize you for having routine service done wherever you choose. In the USA this is covered under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act which protects you as long as you maintain your vehicle with products that meet or exceed Honda specifications.

Let's use an oil pump failure as an example. If you changed your per the Maintenance Minder (or better) and used API Certified motor oil of the proper viscosity Honda cannot deny warranty coverage because you didn't use "Honda" brand oil. The flip side of that coin is that if you used a non API Certified or or used the wrong viscosity then Honda has the right to deny warranty coverage.

I personally don't trust anyone to do routine maintenance on my vehicle unless I can see them do it and they document what they used. It's my personal opinion that the dealer is one of the worst places to get routine maintenance done.
 

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"Honda" brand oil.
They'll sell you this over the counter, but I have never seen a dealer use it. They always have a contract with a bulk oil supplier - either Castrol, Pennzoil, Valvoline, usually.

So denying coverage based on brand would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Using the wrong spec oil, on the other hand, I could easily see them denying coverage over. At your independent shop, make sure the paperwork has the weight, as well as how much oil they used.

Chip H.
 

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WARNING: USELESS REPLY AHEAD!

I can't recall anyone changing the oil in any of my vehicles except me in the last 25 years. More than once, I've casually and briefly wondered how best to document my own work and whether or not that would be sufficient in the event of a warranty claim. So, what I do is to keep a spreadsheet documenting the date and mileage of everything related to that vehicle from fill-ups to oil changes to new wiper blades to collision repair - basically everything except a wash and vacuum. :) While the vehicle is in warranty, I buy OEM-branded maintenance items (oil, filters, etc.) from the dealer. I pay more, but it's still cheaper than paying someone else to do the work and at least I have dealer receipts for the maintenance items - even if there is no proof I actually used those items and at the correct time. Once the vehicle is out of warranty or if it's a "beater/second" vehicle, I'll use assorted brand-name products.
 

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I took ccc's excellent suggestion and read the fine print in the contract. The following comes directly from the YOUR OBLIGATIONS clause:

YOU must perform maintenance services, at the proper intervals, according to the requirements of YOUR Owner’s Manual, “Maintenance Minder” monitoring system, or as otherwise specified by AMERICAN HONDA. YOU must retain all maintenance records (the original receipts or invoices confirming all maintenance has been performed during the period YOU have owned or leased YOUR VEHICLE) as they may be requested from YOU. Failure to perform any maintenance service(s) may result in the denial of coverage if a MECHANICAL BREAKDOWN is caused by YOUR failure to properly maintain YOUR VEHICLE.

Not a lawyer, but as general as that language is, I have to believe a record of receipts and a documentation system like zrog's would be solid.

I really appreciate all of you taking the time to respond.
 

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2104 Honda Ridgeline SE
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I'm at 3200 miles after less than 6 weeks of ownership. Got a quote for 5yr 120k Honda Care coverage of $1300. Only reason I'm considering it is all the electronics the SE has. I know the RL is mechanically sound otherwise. I would like to hear from someone who saved money by using the coverage.
Is there any disadvantage of buying the Honda Care Warranty after a couple of months of RL purchase, as opposed on buying it the day you got the RL?

How about tracking the maintenance on the Honda Owners Site?

http://owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/records
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I track maintenance on the Honda Owners site and keep a log book in each vehicle detailing the work that has been done. I do not keep receipts. Not sure how that would apply since I buy multiple jugs of coolant, brake fluid, tranny fluid, VTM-4 fluid, etc. and both the Pilot and the RL use the same fluids and oil filters.

Regardless, both my vehicles are way out of 5/60 warranty coverage anyway.
 

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For do it myself oil & other fluid changes, I keep the receipt and tape the bar-code from the oil & filter onto the back of the receipt.
VTM4, I have the receipt from when I ordered it and bar-code from fluid will get taped to it.
 

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I'm at 3200 miles after less than 6 weeks of ownership. Got a quote for 5yr 120k Honda Care coverage of $1300. Only reason I'm considering it is all the electronics the SE has. I know the RL is mechanically sound otherwise. I would like to hear from someone who saved money by using the coverage.
Is there any disadvantage of buying the Honda Care Warranty after a couple of months of RL purchase, as opposed on buying it the day you got the RL?

How about tracking the maintenance on the Honda Owners Site?

http://owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/records
$1,300 is about the (lowest) going rate. There have been no reports of widespread, pattern, or guaranteed failure of any of the Ridgeline's electronics - including the early models that are now almost 10 years old. Occasionally, you'll see someone with a blinking odometer display or a climate control that went crazy, but those are few and far between and seem to affect the earlier year models for the most part. Both of those repairs are well under the cost of a warranty.

There is no difference in cost to the dealer or coverage for the buyer whether Honda Care is purchased with the vehicle when new or up to 6 months or 6,000 miles later. After that point, Honda considers the vehicle "used" and the prices for Honda Care increase since you can no longer buy the "new" Honda Care.

As a side note, it doesn't matter where you buy Honda Care - any dealer must honor it. However, not all dealers sell Honda Care. For example, my local dealer, Fenton Honda of Longview, does not currently sell Honda Care - they sell their own extended warranties from third parties (at a higher profit than Honda Care). Other Honda dealers don't have to honor these third-party warranties, so you're often stuck going to the same dealer you bought it from. Too many things can go wrong in this situation.
 

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$1,300 is about the (lowest) going rate. There have been no reports of widespread, pattern, or guaranteed failure of any of the Ridgeline's electronics - including the early models that are now almost 10 years old. Occasionally, you'll see someone with a blinking odometer display or a climate control that went crazy, but those are few and far between and seem to affect the earlier year models for the most part. Both of those repairs are well under the cost of a warranty.

There is no difference in cost to the dealer or coverage for the buyer whether Honda Care is purchased with the vehicle when new or up to 6 months or 6,000 miles later. After that point, Honda considers the vehicle "used" and the prices for Honda Care increase since you can no longer buy the "new" Honda Care.

As a side note, it doesn't matter where you buy Honda Care - any dealer must honor it. However, not all dealers sell Honda Care. For example, my local dealer, Fenton Honda of Longview, does not currently sell Honda Care - they sell their own extended warranties from third parties (at a higher profit than Honda Care). Other Honda dealers don't have to honor these third-party warranties, so you're often stuck going to the same dealer you bought it from. Too many things can go wrong in this situation.
Thanks Zroger73 for you insight.
 

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The Boch dealership in MASS where I got my 2012 RT provided me with a lifetime powertrain warranty (which I am quite happy about) and I plan to do the fluid changes myself with keeping receipts and records. Will probably have dealer do tranny and coolant though.
 

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The tranny and coolant are easily changed DIY.
 
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