View Full Version : 2009 Honda Odyssey "rear shocks" again?

Phil Thien
05-18-2012, 6:46 PM
A few (maybe three) months ago we took our 2009 Honda Odyssey into the dealer for an oil change and were told it needed rear shocks. They said shocks I believe, not struts. I'm not sure which this car actually has.

Anyhow, the work was under warranty, they told us to bring it back and get the work done. We did a day or two later.

Last week we took the car in for an oil change and were told it needed "rear shocks." This time the car is out of std. warranty and into extended warranty, with $100 deductible. So I'd owe $100 for the work.

"What?" I asked. "It just had the rear shocks replaced I thought."

So the service writer looked at the records and yelled to the mechanic "it just had rear shocks two months ago."

She (service writer) seemed agitated. We were told to bring it back, because I needed some weather stripping replaced. They said they'd do shocks at that time, under warranty (no charge).

Now, there has been a recall that I found that said the rear DOOR STRUTS for cars with power rear doors. That doesn't apply do me (I have a manual tailgate). I only bring it up because I wonder if there is confusion, like the computer is telling them to check the rear struts and they (dealer/service writer/tech) are getting confused?

So I have questions for the auto experts here.

(1) Were they just trying to take me for $100? I mean, is this a standard "we can easily pickup a $100 bill from unsuspecting customers" scam?

(2) Would they possibly have gone bad already? Maybe it is easy to install them improperly, leading to premature failure? We never really carry anything very heavy in the car, so I don't think it would be wear/tear, and it certainly isn't abuse. Maybe there is a design problem I should know about?

(3) Can I get under the car and tell (myself) if they need replacing? The first time around, we were told they were leaking. I believe they claimed they were leaking this time, too. (3a) Is it possible to mistake road-grime for leaking shocks? If I'm told they need to be replaced in the future, what do I look for?

(4) Does this car have shocks in the rear? I'm confused about the differences between struts, and shocks.

(5) We're in the extended warranty now. The question I have (maybe I should read the contract, but I will ask here instead) is, if the dealer finds problems that won't cause harm to the car (like a leaky shock), can I wait until there are 2-3 problems and pay a single deductible? Or do I have to fix problems immediately to keep the warranty? Or is the deductible $100 per problem? This is a Honda warranty, not a third-party. Hoping someone here knows the rules on this.

The main reason we purchased this van was the dealer is very close. It would suck if I have to be suspicious of them. I don't feel suspicious at this point. But maybe I should start making all the parts on the car with a permanent marker, LOL.

I wish I knew more about cars. They don't interest me at all, I should probably get interested to avoid confusion like this.

Chuck Wintle
05-18-2012, 7:41 PM
on your vehicle the front suspension uses McPherson strut type with the rear being just a shocks....sounds like the dealer is mixed up on it terms. Are you sure they actually replaced the shocks in the rear the first time? maybe they charged for it but never did the work....this is easy to check....take off the wheel and see if they are new. by the way new shocks are about $40 each.

Gordon Eyre
05-18-2012, 9:36 PM
Shocks should definitely not go bad in three months. Also, I would be highly skeptical if your dealer did not have records showing the replacement. I would discuss this with the service manager and let him know that I am not happy. You could also address this with the national customer service department. This is totally unacceptable on the part of your dealer.

Joe Pelonio
05-19-2012, 6:07 PM
Whether ignorance or scam, I'd find a new dealer to work with. I'd guess that it's a matter of inexperienced service writers, maybe the service manager's relative or something. :rolleyes:

Kevin W Johnson
05-19-2012, 10:11 PM
I agree with Joe, I'd find a new dealer for service. It definately sounds like this one is "padding" the service tickets. I've caught a dealer service dept doing this very thing before. They told a past GF that she didn't have any rear brakes at all. There was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the rear brakes.

I do believe this behavior though is the work of the tech's themselves trying to produce work for which they will get paid. Whether they are being coerced to do so is the million dollar question. Used cars and the service dept is where the real money is made though, so anything is possible.

The only thing I allow anyone else to do on my cars is warranty work, inspections (obviously) and mounting tires. Whatever I can do myself, I do. I did have a recall once for cracked solder joints on the windshield wiper motor control board. I waited till it exhibited symtoms, pulled the board and re-soldered them myself. I didn't see the need to let them under the hood unnecessarily.

Phil Thien
05-19-2012, 10:44 PM
I do believe this behavior though is the work of the tech's themselves trying to produce work for which they will get paid.

I suspect you're right. The agitated behavior from the service writer may have been because she felt "played" by the tech.

I'd find another dealer, but there is no guarantee that I won't run into the same sorts of problems elsewhere.

I think I'm going to call the service manager and explain what happened. I have the paperwork showing the rear shocks were replaced twice, just months apart. I will see what the service manager has to say, and then I will decide whether I go elsewhere, or not.

Kevin W Johnson
05-19-2012, 11:04 PM
Yeah, the service manager is the right direction and maybe even the dealership owner after that. And don't be afraid to suggest that you're not above calling Honda to notify them of what is going on. I'm sure they don't want Honda to find out that they're padding warranty claims(if that's what is going on).