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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, a few days ago, when pulling out of my garage, I noticed a little bit of an oil drip coming from the front passenger side of my 2011 Pilot. Getting out and going under the car to check it out, I saw the leak was coming from the front passenger control arm bushing. I had been vaguely aware of an issue with this part prior to my experience and Honda extending the warranty but now that I've got it..I started to figure out my options...since I don't live far from my job, I don't put a lot of miles on the car (98.500 so it's under the 100,000 mile limit) but it's almost 10 years old which is over the limit for the extension of the warranty. So, I called American Honda and explained my situation and the fact that the part is failing prematurely and could something be done since I'm below the mileage criteria and don't drive it a lot per year. Here was their response:

I need to bring it to the dealer first to have them evaluate to make sure this is the cause of the leak (mind you, I sent Honda a picture of the leak along with a picture of the odometer 1 day prior to the call). Once it is determined that's the problem, since it's out of warranty with the age of the car I need to get an estimate of the cost and refuse service at that time. Then I'm to contact Honda again and tell them I completed this step and they will then contact the dealer to see if some sort of "compromise" can be reached on the repair cost. I asked if they could just contact the dealer right now and find out ahead of time what the "compromise" would be before I bring it in (thereby saving me one trip potentially) and they said "No". They need a written estimate first and then they'd render a decision in 24-48 hours.

My question to you all is, based on the fact that it's almost 3 years out of the age warranty but under the 100,000 mile criteria, given others issue with this part failing early, is it worth it to go through the rigmarole with the dealer if the end result may be that Honda won't do anything because the car is 10 years old? I know it probably wouldn't hurt to try, but this dealer has quite a reputation of upselling services and I know the few times I've had to go back there for issues with the car (the TSB piston ring issue, a burned out valve) they have found other "phantom issues" and have tried to extract hundreds of dollars away from me before I pull out of their lot.
Anyway, even if they agreed to a 50/50 split in the cost, I could live with it knowing that it's almost 10 years old but it's like what I told Honda.."You're penalizing me because I live close to my job and don't put 15,000 miles on my car every year but the end result is that you have a part in there that you have admitted is faulty and I'm potentially going to bear the full cost of repair".
Any advice you can give is helpful. I'm willing to give it a shot if there might be a chance of some cost sharing but if I can avoid the dealer and his games, I'd rather do that if I don't have a shot. Thanks!
 

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Hello all, a few days ago, when pulling out of my garage, I noticed a little bit of an oil drip coming from the front passenger side of my 2011 Pilot. Getting out and going under the car to check it out, I saw the leak was coming from the front passenger control arm bushing. I had been vaguely aware of an issue with this part prior to my experience and Honda extending the warranty but now that I've got it..I started to figure out my options...since I don't live far from my job, I don't put a lot of miles on the car (98.500 so it's under the 100,000 mile limit) but it's almost 10 years old which is over the limit for the extension of the warranty. So, I called American Honda and explained my situation and the fact that the part is failing prematurely and could something be done since I'm below the mileage criteria and don't drive it a lot per year. Here was their response:

I need to bring it to the dealer first to have them evaluate to make sure this is the cause of the leak (mind you, I sent Honda a picture of the leak along with a picture of the odometer 1 day prior to the call). Once it is determined that's the problem, since it's out of warranty with the age of the car I need to get an estimate of the cost and refuse service at that time. Then I'm to contact Honda again and tell them I completed this step and they will then contact the dealer to see if some sort of "compromise" can be reached on the repair cost. I asked if they could just contact the dealer right now and find out ahead of time what the "compromise" would be before I bring it in (thereby saving me one trip potentially) and they said "No". They need a written estimate first and then they'd render a decision in 24-48 hours.

My question to you all is, based on the fact that it's almost 3 years out of the age warranty but under the 100,000 mile criteria, given others issue with this part failing early, is it worth it to go through the rigmarole with the dealer if the end result may be that Honda won't do anything because the car is 10 years old? I know it probably wouldn't hurt to try, but this dealer has quite a reputation of upselling services and I know the few times I've had to go back there for issues with the car (the TSB piston ring issue, a burned out valve) they have found other "phantom issues" and have tried to extract hundreds of dollars away from me before I pull out of their lot.
Anyway, even if they agreed to a 50/50 split in the cost, I could live with it knowing that it's almost 10 years old but it's like what I told Honda.."You're penalizing me because I live close to my job and don't put 15,000 miles on my car every year but the end result is that you have a part in there that you have admitted is faulty and I'm potentially going to bear the full cost of repair".
Any advice you can give is helpful. I'm willing to give it a shot if there might be a chance of some cost sharing but if I can avoid the dealer and his games, I'd rather do that if I don't have a shot. Thanks!
Photo of the suspected leak would be nice.
 

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If I couldn't do it myself, I'd go and get the estimate. Somebody at a desk is not going to trust you to make the diagnosis - and I can understand their point. I think if you make it clear you are there for the lower arm bushing only, they may not do the upcharge crap. Tell them on the phone, tell the receptionist, tell the service advisor, write it down on whatever you sign to let them look at it, be an asshat about it.

I just did it myself. 3 hours and two Mevotech arms plus a trip to the alignment shop.
 

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So, just how much 'oil' is in there anyway? That it leaks? Mine are probably dry on the 08 LOL.
Still drives really nice though.
 

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So, just how much 'oil' is in there anyway? That it leaks? Mine are probably dry on the 08 LOL.
Still drives really nice though.
Enough to drip and make a really sticky mess on the floor that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, just how much 'oil' is in there anyway? That it leaks? Mine are probably dry on the 08 LOL.
Still drives really nice though.
Based on when I started to notice it (and what I notice when it's parked overnight in the garage)...at this point I'd estimate about a quarter of a teaspoon over a 12-13 hour period when parked.
 

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Learned something new.
Thank you NG for sharing that!

I'll have a look at mine. Mine are either already dry, or they're not leaking though. No oil spots in garage floor.
 
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The compliance bushing issue I think is well documented on this forum (if you've been around long enough). It's a terribly designed part which wasn't even replaceable separately from the control arm at some point. Thankfully, once it was known that the compliance bushing fails long before the control arm bushings and ball joints are ready for replacement, it was made available for replacement as a separate item. Unfortunately, you still have to pull the control arm to do it. Better engineering could and should have made this a much easier part to replace. Mine were not leaking but were cracked and replacement brought back precision to the steering which had been missing for years. If yours are not yet leaking but look cracked and dry, change them.

The replacement shouldn't be more than 2 hours of labor and I think I paid around $70 for the Mevotech replacement arms at Rockauto. Even if you are successful in getting a partial goodwill, you may still be in for it for more than what an indy shop would charge you. Just something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
An update...went to the dealership today for the required estimate and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the cost they have calculated out: $650 for the 2 bushings...$405 labor...and $149 for the alignment..total: $1204+ tax...we’ll see if Honda covers any of it, but I’m thinking anything less than a 50% split and I’ll say, “thanks but no thanks”..along with the wheel alignment, I know the alignment is a possibility but this dealership is notorious for telling its customers they need a wheel alignment once per year, based on road conditions, so I’m a little skeptical but I haven’t needed an alignment in quite a while so I can’t honestly say I don’t need one, but I can get one cheaper in the area from a reputable shop also..
Certainly based on American Honda’s ground rules for this TSB, they technically don’t have to pay a dime on their end, but what irks me is that they know the part is prone to premature failure and that it is an assumed substandard design, yet they very well could expect the consumer to pay a large sum of money to fix their design flaw rather than step up to the plate and address the issue. I told the dealer’s service rep that I could see if I had 150,000 miles on it but I’m essentially getting penalized for not driving it enough (the 7 year requirement).
All in all, it reinforces my feelings about dealerships. I’ll keep you posted as to the outcome.
 

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MSRP for the bushings with arms is just under $300 each so not only are they not discounting the parts but inflating over full retail. Unbelievable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tell me about it...still haven’t heard from Honda yet as to a decision. I’ll most likely call them middle of the week but I suspect silence speaks volumes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
An update...went to the dealership today for the required estimate and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the cost they have calculated out: $650 for the 2 bushings...$405 labor...and $149 for the alignment..total: $1204+ tax...we’ll see if Honda covers any of it, but I’m thinking anything less than a 50% split and I’ll say, “thanks but no thanks”..along with the wheel alignment, I know the alignment is a possibility but this dealership is notorious for telling its customers they need a wheel alignment once per year, based on road conditions, so I’m a little skeptical but I haven’t needed an alignment in quite a while so I can’t honestly say I don’t need one, but I can get one cheaper in the area from a reputable shop also..
Certainly based on American Honda’s ground rules for this TSB, they technically don’t have to pay a dime on their end, but what irks me is that they know the part is prone to premature failure and that it is an assumed substandard design, yet they very well could expect the consumer to pay a large sum of money to fix their design flaw rather than step up to the plate and address the issue. I told the dealer’s service rep that I could see if I had 150,000 miles on it but I’m essentially getting penalized for not driving it enough (the 7 year requirement).
All in all, it reinforces my feelings about dealerships. I’ll keep you posted as to the outcome.
Update: As expected, I heard from Honda...they will not cover even 1% of the cost. Their reasoning was that the car was almost 3 years out of the extended warranty (which is their right) but as I told them, if Honda knows the part is failing prematurely and I'm under the mileage requirement, I would have thought that Honda might have agreed to 50% of the cost, given the fact that this was a design flaw and that it was weak of them to not issue a recall and then to only extend the warranty just enough to essentially penalize people who don't drive the car 15,000 miles a year. I also suspect since I don't bring my car to the dealer for repairs/oil changes/inspections/to say hello, etc., they weren't going to extend me any courtesies. I'll write a letter to them explaining I'm annoyed with their customer service, but I am not expecting any change in the decision.
 

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Update: As expected, I heard from Honda...they will not cover even 1% of the cost. Their reasoning was that the car was almost 3 years out of the extended warranty (which is their right) but as I told them, if Honda knows the part is failing prematurely and I'm under the mileage requirement, I would have thought that Honda might have agreed to 50% of the cost, given the fact that this was a design flaw and that it was weak of them to not issue a recall and then to only extend the warranty just enough to essentially penalize people who don't drive the car 15,000 miles a year. I also suspect since I don't bring my car to the dealer for repairs/oil changes/inspections/to say hello, etc., they weren't going to extend me any courtesies. I'll write a letter to them explaining I'm annoyed with their customer service, but I am not expecting any change in the decision.
I'm not surprised. To be honest, if you are anywhere remotely handy and you have some tools I suggest using youtube and watch videos. Maybe Chrisfix might have one but I have learned how to do my own repairs from youtube. Buy the parts on rockauto and have some intimate time with your car.
 
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