Honda Unhappiness

If you're considering buying a Honda used car from a main dealer or are thinking about extending your Honda warranty, you may want to read my recent experience...

I've long been a fan of Honda cars. I've owned many, and most of them have been very reliable. However, the CR-V I bought in December last year developed a serious engine fault, so bad in fact that the dealer decided that the engine could not be repaired. The dealer said the whole engine needed to be replaced.

The car was fully covered by the 'Honda Happiness' warranty, but unfortunately, the dealer wanted to do the repairs at their own expense, and not use the warranty. This left me without a car. The warranty would have given me a hire car, but since the dealer was not making a claim on the warranty I found myself off the road. I was definitely not experiencing 'Honda Happiness' when I found myself taking the bus to work, to say the least.

After this dragged on for a week, and with no end in sight, I asked the dealer to just give me my money back. So I had to go and find another car to get back on the road again. But this seemed to be the quickest way to get my transport back.

Needless to say, I complained to the 'Honda Happiness' administration people, because the warranty that came with the car proved useless to me. But they've still not helped. I've taken it as far as I can, and this is their final response:

So, Honda are saying they've done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, the dealer said they're not obliged to use the warranty. And it seems that the only person who has lost out is me, the poor old customer. I would say that this is one of the worst customer service experiences I have ever had.

Ultimately, it seems that the 'Honda Happiness' warranty only helps you at the dealers discretion. Even if your car has a very serious failure like mine, it doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get any help. And if things go wrong, even if you complain, nothing seems to change. Even a token gesture to acknowledge all the inconvenience would have been something.

So, I'm left very disappointed indeed. Until now, I have considered myself a Honda enthusiast. As you can imagine, nowadays - not so much.

Sony MEX-BT3900U Car Stereo Head Unit

I like it when things just work. Recently I replaced the standard Honda stereo head unit in my car for a better one. I wanted something that would work with my iPhone (both to play music and make phone calls) and that I could plug a USB stick into ... as well as the normal CD player, FM radio type stuff.

I managed to get one of these Sony MEX-BT3900U units on special offer (less than half price in fact).

I'm very pleased with it, everything just worked out of the box. It talks nicely to my phone over bluetooth (I can use the USB cable too which means I can charge my phone whilst driving).

I even fitted it myself. If like me, you have steering wheel controls on your car make sure you get the right adaptor. At first I got a basic Autoleads PC2-68-4 which worked fine, without any steering wheel controls. But now that I have the correct adaptor for my car everything works. Very cool.

Farewell Honda S2000 ... it's been fun

I won't go into all the boring details, but after very nearly 5 years it has become necessary for me to get a more practical car. I'm afraid that I've recently sold my lovely Honda S2000.

It's a bit sad because this is a fantastic car. I have to admit that sometimes I've even felt it to be a bit of a responsibility to look after this car because it's so special. It's a great piece of engineering, and fun to drive as well. It deserves to be taken care of.

One of the nice things about owning an S2000 is that people come and talk to you about it. These cars have a great reputation amongst car enthusiasts. Although one time a young lady walked up to me when I was filling it up with fuel and said: "I love your car, it's so very ... erm ... ahh ... blue!" - she was obviously lost for words. That incident still makes me chuckle. But strangely she was right - the blue ones are the best :-)

I will also miss waving at any other S2000 owner I see when driving around. I can't remember any time when I've seen another S2000 and not been given a smile and a wave. It seems that S2000 owners are a friendly and happy bunch. Maybe it helps when you drive a brilliant car which is unlikely to let you down.

But I am sticking with Honda though, I reckon I've had 5 different Hondas now and they've all been really good cars. So it's on to Honda #6... I've also converted my Dad to Honda too, he has a couple of them at the moment.

A friend of mine who also drives an S2000 once said "people who have not owned an S2000 just don't understand". I can go along with that.