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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 3 reliable and trouble-free lease years we decided to purchase our 2006 Pilot. Not three weeks after the check cleared I began smelling a faint coolant odor after longish trips. I checked for leaks, looked at the coolant recovery tank level and everything looked fine. The odor came and went so I wasn't particularly concerned.

Last week (now 5 weeks after buying out the lease) I started seeing coolant drips on my garage floor and made a service appointment with Herb Chambers Honda of Burlington to have them look at the vehicle.

Their verdict; a foreign object had caused the radiator leak--total repair cost: $926.06. I authorized the repair and asked that they set aside the damaged radiator so I could have a look at it.

I went to pick up the vehicle the following day. The service advisor walked me out to the service area to speak with the tech. I looked at the radiator and there wasn't a mark on it. I asked the tech and he indicated he didn't know why it leaked but pointed to the general area of the leak. Again, looking at the radiator revealed no visible damage to the front or back of the radiator.

Confusued, I asked the service advisor (there the whole time I was talking with the tech) how she had concluded the damage was caused by a foreign object. She stated that it was based on their assumption before the repair was started. Regardless the vehicle was out of warranty. Huh??

I decided to give American Honda a call, spoke to a helpful customer service rep who took all of my information, put me on hold and after several minutes came back to tell me that based on the short period of time between the end of lease buy out and the failure that she would open a case and that a case manager would call me back within 48 hours.

I just got of the phone with the case manager, who after reviewing the case and speaking with the service dealership, was told that the damage was caused by a "foreign object". I calmly and politely explained the situation, explained that I had seen the radiator, was told by the tech that he did not know the cause of the leak, and had confirmed with the service advisor that the "foreign object" damage was speculation on her part.

In short, I was told that they rely on there dealerships for assesment of damage. I reiterated that there were NO signs of physical damage to the radiator and urged him to request more information from the dealership, have someone from Honda inspect the part, etc. I was politely told that the vehicle was out warranty and I was SOL.

To me, a radiator failure at 57K miles is highly unusual. After being a GM guy for over 25 years and frequently experiencing "highly unusal" failures but getting no assistance from GM, I decided to go Honda. it's really disappointing to see that Honda doesn't treat their customers all that differently than GM does. I was hoping for so much more.

Steve
 

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I had the radiator go on my '97 CR-V, though of course that was after a lot more years and miles than your Pilot. Turns out Honda used a combination metal/plastic construction on the original radiator, and the seams where they join eventually develop leaks. The CR-V was 11 years old at that point, so it's not like the radiator didn't hold up fairly well. Not sure if the Pilot uses the same construction method, but even so 2 years/57K is pretty early for a problem like that to develop.

(RepairPal.com estimates $579-693 for radiator replacement on a 2006 Pilot with 57K miles based on a local zip code here.)
 

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I would ask the Honda regional rep to look at it.
I would ask the dealership not to do anything until it is inspected, and that you want to be there.

Ouch, I would NOT have let a dealership replace a radiator for $900 without a second quotation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I asked the case manager if there was a regional manager or rep that could look at the failure he said no.

At this point, I'll take my loss and consider the issue a done deal. However, it's left a really bad taste in my mouth. The kiccker is that we're getting ready to replace our '99 Pontiac Montana minivan soon. Not sure I'll be replacing it with a Honda product.

Steve
 

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Added a Cloud-Rider grille insert to keep "foreign objects" from damaging the radiator and for it's looks.
 

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toml said:
. . . .(RepairPal.com estimates $579-693 for radiator replacement on a 2006 Pilot with 57K miles based on a local zip code here.)
I am in the wrong business!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rocky said:
Tha part isn't very expensive. Look at Majestic Honda's price. $252.

To pull a radiator and replace it, generally isn't hard. Unless Honda did something that wierd to complicate matters. Which I doubt.

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com...+RES&catcgry4=KA5AT&catcgry5=RADIATOR+(DENSO)
A non-Honda replacement is $150-$170. Herb Chambers Honda of Burlington charged me $490.87 for the part :3: and $375 for labor :3:

The pisser is that I'm more than capable of having done the replacement. I thought for sure Honda would have provided some kind of assistance with the repair. Obviously not an option if I had done the work myself.

Steve
 

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SteveV said:
When I asked the case manager if there was a regional manager or rep that could look at the failure he said no.

At this point, I'll take my loss and consider the issue a done deal. However, it's left a really bad taste in my mouth. The kiccker is that we're getting ready to replace our '99 Pontiac Montana minivan soon. Not sure I'll be replacing it with a Honda product.

Steve
Call the dealer and ask them to make an appt with the regional rep. They make the appts based on when the rep is supposed to be at the dealreship. Normally what happens is the situation would get elevated from the dealer to the regional rep, who would be able to physically inspect it. The regional rep then has the power to OK reimbursement. The Acura case manager has to rely on info from whoever inspected for them. Since the rep step was bypassed and the dealer is not backing off of FOD, they have to use the dealer diagnosis to make a decision.

That said, I can't recall any posts about premature radiator failures since I've been on this site, so it is not a common occurance.
 

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SteveV said:


A non-Honda replacement is $150-$170. Herb Chambers Honda of Burlington charged me $490.87 for the part :3: and $375 for labor :3:

The pisser is that I'm more than capable of having done the replacement. I thought for sure Honda would have provided some kind of assistance with the repair. Obviously not an option if I had done the work myself.

Steve
$130 over list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would have a very serious talk with the manager of the dealership!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
N_Jay said:


$130 over list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would have a very serious talk with the manager of the dealership!
Let me guess where Herb got the money for the new Porche dealership 2 miles down the road from Herb Chambers Honda :3:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jl_ss said:


Call the dealer and ask them to make an appt with the regional rep. They make the appts based on when the rep is supposed to be at the dealreship. Normally what happens is the situation would get elevated from the dealer to the regional rep, who would be able to physically inspect it. The regional rep then has the power to OK reimbursement. The Acura case manager has to rely on info from whoever inspected for them. Since the rep step was bypassed and the dealer is not backing off of FOD, they have to use the dealer diagnosis to make a decision.

That said, I can't recall any posts about premature radiator failures since I've been on this site, so it is not a common occurance.
I just got off the phone with my service advisor who said she'd speak with her boss tomorrow (not in today) and ask him to make and appointment with the regional rep. When I asked if they still had the part she told me wasn't sure but she'd have someone try to pull it ouf of the dumpster.

Let's see if I really get a call back and whether they were able to find the radiator, which after having been tossed in the dumpster probably now has "foreign object damage" :rolleyes:.

Steve
 

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Hate to say this YOUR hosed. Once owned a BMW 740IL which at that time was know for leaking radiators. Well guess what 500 miles out of warranty it blew. Dealer would not help, Bmw would not help I was hosed.
 

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I was going to say the same as everyone else. I know I just bought my pilot but how much could a new radiator cost? And then coolant couldnt be more then another $40-50.

And if this honda is like any other then the new radiator just bolts on, pressure test and a few hoses.
 

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The cheapest way to protect condenser/radiator hit by road debris is buy gutter guard/mesh from Lowes / Home Depot. Cut them to the right size and secure them with zip-tie / cable tie.

I saw one poster contacted Honda reginal rep to complain it's Honda design problem, not providing enough guard on grille opening, causing the problem. That complain was a success and Honda regional rep told the dealer to replace it 'free'. Otherwise dealer refers it as accident and not cover under warranty. The only way to claim is through your auto insurance, less deductible.

Below 1 of 2 photos is the Odyssey and 2 of 2 will be follwed re installed on Dodge ...
 

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Another photo re gutter guard used. Cost is about $10 to $15
 

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You win some and you lose some. Goodwill has its limits. In this case, I agree with you that it should have been covered, but you can't insist that it be covered. I don't think your dealer went to bat for you at all, probably due to the person interfacing with the rep not being the same ones who were most familiar with the details of the case.

The fact the leak slowly developed rather than was sudden is another indicator it wasn't foreign object damage. And if the leak started while the vehicle was under warranty, then your letting it go was probably not a good move on your part. Fluid leaks almost never fix themselves.

And you get overcharged a bit on top. While its not unusual for parts to be marked up over MSRP (my local Honda dealer is consistently 5-10% higher), yours seems even higher than this. That being said, if they didn't exceed their estimate, you again are probably SOL.

While I'd let this sour your feelings towards Honda on their willingness to do goodwill repairs, I don't think something like this should influence your opinion about Honda reliability much. The cars are pretty darn good on average. But "good" never means "perfect" and I'm sure there are plenty of GM radiators that have required replacement under 60K miles. (Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if both Honda and GM use the same radiator vendor.) Stuff happens, even to the best.

- Mark
 
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