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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel like the concern for the customer has taken the back seat to the greed and apathy of my dealership operating under the Honda name and reputation. So I take my '19 BE (39K mi.) in for a B1 service, PA state inspection, and installation of a Honda hood protector. Obviously, it's a Honda, and I take meticulous care of it so needed nothing for the inspection sticker. The dealer calls me at work and informs me of this and goes on to let me know that the brake fluid needs changed as Honda recommends this be done every three years. Hey, they're my supposed link to all things Honda, so who am I to question the great and powerful dealer? I told them to do it for the $139 they quoted. Feeling good about myself as I'm keeping up on the Honda maintenance like I'm supposed to, right? I later consulted the owner's manual and found no mention of this Honda "recommendation." Seems like a simple case of opportunistic thieves preying on unsuspecting customers.

Well, my coworker gives me a lift to pick it up and I'm ticked as it looks like they didn't even do the hood protector. Upon second glance, it was there and you can't even tell. Bravo, Honda, for such impeccable design.

Anyway, get the truck home and check out my BE's new look up close and personal ( I did check it over prior to dropping it off there.) Cue up the tense musical soundtrack. The hood protector is all scuffed up, there are muddy boot prints in my door jamb, a scratch on the rear driver door at waist level near the front door, but worst of all, some type of opalescent splash marks all over the ENTIRE surface of my truck, literally front bumper to tailgate including all the glass. Needless to say I was incensed. Mind you that just a few weeks before I completely detailed the whole exterior over three days. Clay bar, light polish, wax, then sealant. I know my truck and these marks were not there prior to dropping it off. I grabbed my car wash supplies and went at it. Nothing. All that did was bring out the extent of the damage, oh, and it started raining, heavily. My wife pulled up and asked if I was ok. The look I gave her spoke volumes. Just picture an angry/crazed man washing a black truck during a rainstorm. She comes over to see what the matter is and even without her glasses can see the cause of my current state. When I'm done, I contact the dealer and leave a voice mail for my service advisor letting him know I'll be up the next day to discuss what I found.

PICS BELOW

The next day, I mentally prepare myself for the hand wringing and denial I'm sure to encounter during my upcoming dealer visit. Afer the sun comes up, I inspect other less maintained black vehicles in our employee parking lot to rule out environmental fallout from our plant, nothing. Then, en route to the blame game, I stop at a reputable body shop on the way to the dealer and he pointed out that some of the larger specks have a bit of rust in them so suspects a nearby grinder was in use. Possible, but still have to see what the local Presidential Award winning dealer has to say.

The service advisor comes out into the service lane to take a look. He then gets his boss. They look at it and, of course proclaim that it couldn't be their fault. The service advisor grabs a quick wax product and tries to rub it off, nope. Just made the black shinier but the mark's center is still there. He says I'll need to get a detailer to see if they can get it out. I told him I am about as good a detailer as you'll find but asked why should I be the one to correct their obvious negligence. Crickets. I wasn't a jerk, didn't raise my voice, and just sought a practical use of their resources as a remedy. Nothing. His "boss" was not the least bit helpful, either, offering that it's probably brake particles from a truck I was behind. I left knowing that they just don't care and are less knowledgeable in automotive things than I gave them credit for. It's disappointing that doing the right thing is no longer what this business does.

I'll re-detail it myself. I will once again clay bar it and use a heavier compound/polish before I wax and seal it. Lesson learned that regardless of the number of cars you buy (4) at a dealer and services you pay for through the years of ownership, it sometimes doesn't matter. I may reach out to the owner soon once my anger ebbs.

I get that it sounds like I'm whining, but I'm not. The nation complains that we no longer practice civil dialogue and everyone is always angry. I'm not about to forgo the former for the latter. I'll just fix it myself and drive to a nearby town and give another Honda dealer a try. Who knows, I may drive home in a white BE when I get my next oil change.



(Ignore the water spots resulting from the downpour while I was washing it. You can clearly see the dots and if you zoom in on them you can discern the rusty spots.)
Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood

Driver's mirror

Sky Hood Automotive tire Light Motor vehicle

Hood
 

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Honda does recommend replacing the brake fluid every 3 years so they’re not ripping you off. See below. It’s a shame you didn’t notice the spots before you left the shop. Sure hope it isn’t brake fluid.
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I think you held your composure pretty well in the heat of the moment. It's a shame what happened to your Ridgeline. I hope you find out the true cause of the paint issue.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honda does recommend replacing the brake fluid every 3 years so they’re not ripping you off. See below. It’s a shame you didn’t notice the spots before you left the shop. Sure hope it isn’t brake fluid.
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I stand corrected. I've been married long enough to admit when I'm wrong. That's good news. I feel less bad now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know that dealer in Butler. I've never known anyone who went there for service till now though. Sorry to hear they are like that. Seems Honda dealers in general across this public board show weaknesses overall in sales, service and customer satisfaction.
In the words of the Prophet Hetfield, "Sad but true."
 

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If the Ridgeline uses DOT 3 fluid its hygroscopic (meaning it attracts water) so there is some justification for flushing it out after some regular interval) - so yeah its normal maintenance.

I also do a lot of detailing - classic cars mostly.

If that spatter is brake fluid (DOT 3) you have a real problem.. Its unlikely but if some wrench jockey used a pressure bleeder and mishandled it then.... Whatever it is its clearly due to carelessness.

If you can clay bar the stuff off you'll have dodged a bullet. You can try to buff a small area with some Maquire's Ultra-Glaze (carefully) and you might get lucky. You might also try a bit of Goo-Gone on an inconspicuous area.

If its damage you can't correct its prob a call to your insurance company.

It never pays to lose your cool in a dispute like this, it just makes you look aggressive and unreasonable. You can certainly contact Honda's district manager as well. I try to do as much work on my cars as I can but that's not always possible with modern cars.
 

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Bummer. I am going through an issue with my dealer at the moment. Pretty much mirrors my experience with their overall apathetic attitude. I swore them off prior to my current issue and should have went with my gut, now I’m wondering if I need a lawyer. Best of luck to you, Dougkap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Dougkap, I've noticed that at my Honda dealer, they snap pics of the car when driving up to the service advisors. Any chance they did this with you? Also, let us know if you are able to get those marks off.
It's so funny you mention this. When I take my wife's Outback in to a nearby dealer they do just that. I always joked to that service advisor about it. I'm not laughing now.
 

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One of my daughters gets her CX-5 serviced at a Mazda dealer somewhere near DC. They send her video links of the work performed. I'm actually impressed by their attention to detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If the Ridgeline uses DOT 3 fluid its hygroscopic (meaning it attracts water) so there is some justification for flushing it out after some regular interval) - so yeah its normal maintenance.

I also do a lot of detailing - classic cars mostly.

If that spatter is brake fluid (DOT 3) you have a real problem.. Its unlikely but if some wrench jockey used a pressure bleeder and mishandled it then.... Whatever it is its clearly due to carelessness.

If you can clay bar the stuff off you'll have dodged a bullet. You can try to buff a small area with some Maquire's Ultra-Glaze (carefully) and you might get lucky. You might also try a bit of Goo-Gone on an inconspicuous area.

If its damage you can't correct its prob a call to your insurance company.

It never pays to lose your cool in a dispute like this, it just makes you look aggressive and unreasonable. You can certainly contact Honda's district manager as well. I try to do as much work on my cars as I can but that's not always possible with modern cars.
I'm long winded so just hear me out...this BE was a district manager's "demo" prior to my purchase in February of last year. The Car Fax was clean as presented to me at the time of sale.

I work really bad hours so knew the back up bulbs were insufficient for my predawn parking in the mill's parking lot so I ordered super bright probably borderline illegal back up LED's. I'd say they're worth every penny but they weren't that expensive (after dropping $40 g's on a truck.) During installation I discovered the screws holding the taillights in were mismatched and while I reinstalled the passenger side light I saw the paint run along that bed seam. Odd, but maybe minor repair. Then, I was installing my WeatherTech flaps and the right rear wheel well moulding was missing some screws. Okay, maybe not so minor a repair. Keep in mind it's still a Western PA winter so it wasn't for a couple months until I came to the realization that the Honda rep was a scumbag. Overspray found in the rear door jamb, tape lines against the roof rack, and dirt in the paint below the passenger side mirror. I get it, I bought a preowned vehicle and all that, but the rep had it fixed without it showing as a Car Fax reportable. I later found out through my Honda Owner Portal that my BE had body work done at a dealer in Ohio at one point. (May be worth a road trip to find out how extensive those repairs are at some point in the near future.)

This all being said, I really have no confidence in the DM doing right by me. As I approached the gate this morning, I had an epiphany. I absolutely love my BE. I love the jokes in the mill about my "half-truck." I love responding with what mine does and their "whole trucks" can't. I just absolutely love this truck. Come Monday morning, after my 12 straight days of work, I'll break out my wheeled tote of detailing supplies and (crap, just checked the weather, maybe later in the week) get what I get. If it cleans up, great. If not, it's my penance for being a sucker until the 100,000 mile warranty expires. Either way, I get to drive one of the absolute most awesome vehicles I've ever owned.

On a side note, during my angry car washing, I actually injured myself. I use a long adjustable aluminum Gorilla work platform for the roof and I was moving it around like it was an empty milk crate. My bad body positioning lead to a very painful lower back strain and I've been walking like Quasimodo for the last couple days. The penance just keeps coming. Thank goodness for IPA's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One of my daughters gets her CX-5 serviced at a Mazda dealer somewhere near DC. They send her video links of the work performed. I'm actually impressed by their attention to detail.
If my dealer did this, they'd have to use one of those big black "censored" squares over the work being performed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yaeh, dealers have really gone down hill in the last 10 years or so.
I can't really dog mine too bad. They did waive the diagnostic fees for the conditions they were surprisingly "unable to duplicate." I wonder if Honda knows that their customers are being charged to address concerns they have while the vehicle is under their warranty. What a way to drive customers away and leading to them driving potentially unsafe vehicles. That's a winning strategy. Who am I kidding, this dealership won many Honda President's Awards.
 

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If my dealer did this, they'd have to use one of those big black "censored" squares over the work being performed.
Redacted portions of the video! How appropro! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's a bit of irony. As I was retelling my tale to my coworkers in our lunchroom this morning, one of them spoke up about the brake fluid change. He said that his wife was just in at the same dealer and they recommended she get it done, too. He told her not to. I told him Honda specifically requires it as Cbayman schooled me on. He said he's going to make sure it's done, but not there. Heck yeah.

Made me feel all grassroots-like.
 

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Yeah, the reason for the brake fluid change is that brake fluid is hygroscopic and slowly absorbs moisture from the air. Over time this can cause corrosion issues within the braking system. So best idea is just do the maintenance.

I saw a YT video earlier today where someone brought in their truck with over 130k miles on it because it wasn't running right. Turns out the owner had only ever had 1 oil change in the truck's (now limited) life.

Brake fluid can easily fall under the radar, but how can someone not know that the motor oil needs routine servicing? I could see that down the road when EVs are the norm. But we're a long way from that. ;)
 
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