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Old 02-29-2012, 07:12 PM
6,971 posts, read 10,896,946 times
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One more question on this. I am going to get my car inspected one more time to find out how reliable the major components of it are before I decide to pump any more $ into it, as outlined in previous thread.

Want to check my engine and cooling system. What should I ask mechanic?

So ... should I take it to an independent mechanic or the Honda dealer. Obviously, Honda knows the car, but how honest are they? They may tell me it's great so that I'll keep bringing it back there and pumping $ into it.

On the other hand, an independent mechanic might have my interests closer in mind, but not know the car as well.

2005 Civic.

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:29 PM
10,886 posts, read 41,328,180 times
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It's not a question of honesty, it's all about the focus and management directives of a given shop.

In a general sense, a dealership shop will be structured to repair specific problems/complaints written up by a service writer. Their approach to a "what's gonna' go wrong with this car in the near term that I should fix" will typically be to advise the manufacturer's routine service items and to inspect a car for any obvious faults ... worn out suspension components, brakes needing work, belts looking worn out, filters needing replacement, etc. And that's if you've got a good dealer tech on the job ....

OTOH, an indpendent shop typically sees cars that have far more miles/age on them then a dealership. One that specializes in your marque will have experience with the high mileage issues that present in these cars and can target their inspection around the known problem areas with your car with an eye toward "how soon or close are we to needing to replace/repair" these items? A competent tech's assessment and evaluation on a given car's upcoming needs specific to your car is his stock in trade.

With a car of your vintage, I'd be opting for the independent shop's assessment of your vehicle's remaining potential service life. For the most part, this series of car has been pretty durable and able to deliver high mileage at nominal cost.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:29 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
13,435 posts, read 42,908,992 times
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Dealers vary, but keep in mind that dealers sell new cars, so if you go in there asking if you need a new car, they have a financial incentive to say "yes".

A really good independent mechanic should be able to evaluate the car as well or better than a dealer. Sunsprit makes a good point about the dealer's using a service writer - been so long since I darkend a dealer's door that I didn't think about that - you are far better off talking directly with the owner/main mechanic of a good small independent shop, than passing your wants through the service writer who will at best pass them on to the mechanic without distorting them, but usually will, not necessarily maliciously, change what you said before passing to the mechanic.

I didn't read the other thread but many times an aging car will have a relatively short spell of needing more expensive work, for example a car with stickshift needing a new clutch, replacing the half-shafts or removing them and putting on new boots when those fail - but once these jobs are done, they will generally last about as many miles the 2nd time as they did the first time.

An 05 Civic is not really that old, BTW.
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