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Thursday, February 2, 2012

2006 and 2007 Honda Civic Side Engine Mount

I do have customers who don’t trust me although they’ve been coming in for years. I’m not the Lone Ranger in their eyes either. They don’t trust anyone in the service business. When they stop in for repairs or maintenance they always have a story about someone in the service business that tried to trick them. A plumber quoted this, but charged that. An electrician said they needed this, but it turned out to be much more. One of my cynics came in yesterday with her 2006 Honda Civic. She will be Cinnie Civic for this post. Ms. Civic is a little younger than I am with short cut dark hair and rail thin. I hate to make this comparison, but she looks a lot like the wicked witch of the west in ‘Over the Rainbow’. Well, okay… maybe I don’t mind making the comparison.

Cinnie drove in and honked. As I’ve mentioned in older posts I just love that. I always feel much friendlier when I’ve been summoned. I see who it is and I begin fighting down the urge to tack on a hundred dollars to whatever invoice I write up for her. She’s been on the verge of calling me a crook a few times in the past when she owned a 1996 Pontiac. Cinnie had a 3.8L engine in the Pontiac that I tried to sell her on getting the upper plastic intake replaced on, because of their tendency to leak coolant into the engine. She of course thought I was ripping her off until it mixed the oil and coolant together on a trip to LA and blew the engine. The only thing that shut up her initial rant after the LA trip was my producing the meticulously worded invoice predicting exactly that if she didn’t replace the upper intake. Anyway, that’s how Cinnie came into possession of her Civic. I walk over to her window with a polite wave as she rolls it down.

“Hi, can I help you.”

She smiles, and I can almost hear the cackle that should go along with it. “Hopefully not like you helped me on my Pontiac. My Honda’s running rough when it’s cold. Another mechanic thinks I need a new engine. You’ve been changing the oil and filter in it since I got it… haven’t you?”

Reminding myself it’s been a week since I’ve had an encounter worth blogging, I swallow the retort explaining why she wouldn’t have to worry about me working on the Honda ever again. “I have changed the oil and filter on your Honda. Did you want an appointment for a diagnostic check to find out why it’s running rough?”

Cinnie glowers at me and opens the driver’s side door, exiting it in a quick jump up while closing it with a bang. Cinnie’s decked out in a dark brown pants suit. She gestures at the Honda. “Well, what do you think about what the mechanic told me?”

I had left my magic Kreskin hat at home. “Think about it, Ms. Civic. How would I know what to tell you without checking the vehicle out?”

Her mouth tightens and for a moment I’m thinking she’s going to say something that will goof up my blog plans. Instead, she surprises me and asks how much for the check out. I tell her and then her mouth forms into a cute open circle of surprise. I never stated I planned on taking this abuse for free, folks, but she did get the standard rate. I also explained she would have to leave it overnight so I could confirm what it was doing. I listened for five minutes as she told me in detail what a hardship her leaving the Honda would be. Boo Hoo.

“Would you like to leave it now,” I asked, ignoring her soon to be postpartum pain of separation.

“Fine! Whatever!”

I smiled because I’d read on the Internet somewhere that when a woman gives you the ‘whatever’ it means 'frack you'. I decided their theory was probably correct. I wrote Cinnie up and had her sign the estimate. After she was gone, I drove the Civic over into the corner for the morning, ignoring the smell of brimstone and sulfur permeating the interior.

This morning I started the Honda up with my scanner hooked up, but there wasn’t really any need. There were no codes or misfires, and the engine wasn’t going out. It was running rough, but under the hood the reason for the jitterbug movement of the engine was a blown side engine mount. I’d run across this before and I jogged into my backroom to check service bulletins. Sure enough, Honda had a TSB out on the culprit. I figured out what it would cost Cinnie and called her up.

“I’m coming down there!”

I expected no less. When she arrived I started up the Honda which was still cold and still jitterbugging. I pointed out why, showing her the Honda TSB for backup.

“Are you still charging me the diagnostic fee then?”

Oh hell yeah! “Yes, Ma’am. The other mechanic thought your problem was a bad engine which would have been about six thousand to replace. I’d say I saved you quite a bit of money.”

She grimaces – not a good look for her. “Whatever. Go ahead and replace the mount, but you’d better be right.”

Or what, you turn me into a cockroach? “It will be fine when the mount’s replaced, Ms. Civic. I’ll get right on it and call you when I’m through.

Cinnie drove it away a few minutes ago, and I’m not a cockroach so the Civic’s fixed. Here’s the TSB from Honda for the mount I replaced - Honda TSB - Side Engine Mount  

Remember, if this info helps you out, you can say thank you by ordering my new novel COLD BLOODED or any of my other novels listed to the side.   :)


Charles Gramlich said...

The adversarial tactics are just so strange at times. cinnie indeed.

BernardL said...

And surprising enough, for Cinnie, it never gets old either, Charles. The horn honk was her first summoning endeavor. The next time she summons me with her horn, there will be a hundred dollar tariff. :)

raine said...

I love the way you offer help and promo together, Bernard. Smart.
(and one day I'm gonna pull up in your garage and honk...) :)

BernardL said...

You have an all time pass to honk, Raine. :)

Promotion and name recognition are an illusory gambit that I recognize must be played... no matter what. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the story, I'll have to bookmark the blog. Right mount just went out on our 2007 Civic, thanks for the link to the Service Advisory

BernardL said...

Thanks for your interest, Anon. I'm glad the TSB link helped.

Doug Goodwin said...

Thanks for this post, Bernard. I'm sorry you had such a cynical customer, but this entry helped me verify a similar problem with my 2007 Civic.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

The funny ones like Cinnie end up on the blog, Doug. The service business is the Twilight Zone of human interaction. Since I get to write about it, the pain is minimal. :) I'm glad the TSB helped you. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I feel for you mate, nothing worse than an enounter with mannererless customer. I must add a sincere Bernard, Thank you as well. Your posting of this TSB has been ever so helpful. As I am living down under, I have had to resort to the self servicing of my 2007 Honda Civic. I personally would welcome your Service repair costs, as the same work here was quoted by the dealer @ $1550. If possible can you point me to where i can access other TSB's?



Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

John, here's a site that's pretty good for looking up faults and recalls -

Recall Searh

Once you have a number, visiting the Honda Forums all over the web will give you insights into repairs. When you enter your vehicle on the search engine of your choice or even on YouTube, you will get a lot of repair information. If you plan on servicing your own vehicle, order the Honda Shop Manual from your owner's manual pages too.

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