Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Six Week Odyssey

Yesterday I mentioned that I picked up our van from the shop. Well, this wasn't just a routine oil change. Let me give you a little history...

A couple of years ago we decided to buy a brand new minivan. We wanted to know what it felt like to put the first 100,000 miles on a car instead of the second 100,000. We researched all of the brands and settled on the one that appeared to be the most reliable, and the one that would fit into our 10 year plan. We bought a 2006 Honda Odyssey. We have been so happy with our decision in a lot of ways. It's a great family vehicle. There is room for everyone, and it is great on the road. It gets decent gas mileage too, which is especially important now.

A few months ago we approached the end of the "bumper-to-bumper" 36,000 mile warranty. I made sure to take it in so that if there was anything wrong, it would get fixed. The good news was that Honda made every effort to make sure it was in top condition. The bad news was that they had to replace motor mounts, power steering pump, brakes, and a seat that was stuck in the forward position. I didn't expect that many repairs under warranty.

Then, on a routine trip home from the mall, it overheated. When I pulled in the driveway, there was liquid spewing out of the engine. I certainly never expected that to happen. I called a mechanic who makes house calls, and when he gave me the news I could hardly believe it. The Odyssey had a blown head gasket. Now I don't know much about engines, but it was clear that this was not good. I had the car towed to Honda and prayed that this would be covered by the 50,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Long story short...Honda did completely fix it under the warranty which was a huge relief. The service advisor showed me the ticket, and the repair would have cost $5300 if I would have had to pay for it. Yikes! Because they had to order a new engine and clean the oil out of the entire cooling system, the process took over six weeks! But Honda did provide us with a loaner car (an Accord) so that we would have transportation. I was very pleased with their customer service, which is the good news. The bad news is that the Odyssey has been less reliable than I expected. I just hope that the major repairs are behind us, and that we will be able to count on it for our entire 10 year plan.

5 comments:

Stevenbspeaks said...

Woah! There for a minute I thought you were going to say it was a Chevy... I skipped the first several lines... But I am glad you had a good Honda experience. I guess you could say it was an odyssey.

Steve B said...

This brought back terror as I recalled my 1986 Ford Taurus. After four years of engine problems, 27 times in the shop for engine or engine related problems (all under warranty); the engine blew up with 50,293 miles on the odometer. You guessed it, even though I sent Ford copies of every one of those 27 problems they refused to do anything about replacing the engine, as it was 293 miles over the warranty period.



We only buy Toyota and Honda for the last 18 years with no problems. If you recall our 2004 Prius had the large battery replaced, (only 3 in the entire county replaced at that time) and some repair to the Synergy Drive system. It has 62,000 miles now and Marilyn will not even discuss replacing it.



I know several Odyssey owners with major miles and no problems. You may need to “reconsider” that five-year plan. Pray about keeping it beyond the 50,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Craig Malz said...

Cars Cars Cars... what a pain when they don't work!

As you know, I also like to buy at 100k and drive them to 200k like you do...
Also like you, the thing I look for when buying these cars is for maintenance records on all the stuff you mentioned and more (timing chains, power windows, etc)!
Usually at 60k and at about 90k a lot of stuff has to be fixed, no matter what the car is...

The trick is to find a conscientious owner who maintains their vehicle well and then all of a sudden just feel it is costing them too much - - and then dumps the car to me... I usually acquire a bargain that is actually in good shape for another 30k without any hiccups (because the previous owner had just fixed everything for me!). What a racket!

That has been my strategy off and on for 20 years, and then 5 years ago, I acquired a nice car with 38k on it and went through the pain you speak of - even holding my breath after I stepped out of the warranty period - (you feel like Peter stepping out of the boat!) and now...

I have 115k miles on the car, I find myself on the other side of the fence - being the conscientious owner who has endeavored to properly maintain a car and is now considering ... "is this car costing me too much to maintain, should I sell it?"

I think to myself "well y'know, this is actually exactly the kind of car I would be interested in buying if I were me - - and - - I am the kind of owner I usually like to buy from as well..."

You ask, "So skip to the chase...did you sell your car or not?"

The answer: Yes ... I did sell it.
I decided to sell the car at a bargain - - - to myself!...

The price? Whatever the cost of the next thing that goes wrong with it! That is the price of the car...what a bargain!

In fact I just realized I have subconsciously sold my car to myself -in my mind- multitudes of times in the past ...

"When do I do it," you ask...

"Everytime I get the bill from my mechanic" ...
In fact that reminds me, could you give me a ride today?... He closes at 5 .....

:-)
cm

Steph said...

NISSAN is the answer....;0)

Mark Lunsford said...

@steve b- 293 miles over! Oh, I get sick thinking about it!

@craig- I love it! Ha, Ha!

@steph- I know, I know...sigh :)