Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Insight Battery Cable Conundrum

Insight with extended negative battery cable. The battery is covered in baking soda because it was leaking.

I don't particularly like how Dealerships cater to our generation's NAME-BRAND ONLY attitude. Maybe we as customers have driven them to that. Maybe not. Regardless, it seems to me that Dealerships treat our cars as disposable sources of constant income via replacement - never worthy of being updated or modified. If it's 4 years old, it's outdated like a computer and time for a trade-in.

I've found my usual Honda Dealership to be very closed minded when it comes to car repairs. If it's not an official Honda part or something alters the original design specs, they will refuse to work on it - even if it's their own fault.

My Dealership could only get the 151R Honda FIT battery for my Insight instead of the normal 151. Because the terminals were reversed, the negative battery cable would not reach. But my Dealership refused to extend the cable the measly 3 inches to reach the battery. They said, "we will not modify the original design of the car." Two weeks later they sent me something in the mail asking me to trade in my Insight!

Since my family works at the dealership I was really surprised at this attitude. I did not want a new car. I just wanted the cable lengthened! But every single mechanic/tech refused to add a longer cable. When pressed, they said I might be able to get an independent garage to do the work, but I was looking at 3 hours of labour.

No. That's not a typo.

The Honda Dealership estimated THREE HOURS of labour to unbolt the 6 inch cable, then bolt a 9 inch cable in its place. Are you laughing? You should be. I can't make this stuff up.

Thankfully my regular mechanic is a tad more logical and intelligent. He's the kind of guy who can tell you the most boring story about some random bolt, and make it so exciting that you can't wait to rush home and tell all your friends about this boring random bolt. And it's nice he can take time away from 7 and 8 second drag cars to do an uninspired job like this. He had a new cable fitted and installed in 15 minutes... including driving the car into the bay.

So, I will let you all know if the car burns to the ground because of the extended ground cable. And if you take a shower one morning and find "the dealer was right!" scrawled across your foggy bathroom mirror, you'll know I was in the car when it happened.

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Blogger Michael Manning said...

Martini: At first I thought I was reading about American dealerships! But I had to remind myself (over my morning coffee waking up) that this isn't the case. They all go by shop manuals instead of starting the clock during a straight forward alteration like this and quote a ridiculous price. I've owned three Honda's among many carsin my life and once I even paid $200 (US) for an in-dash digital clock replacement. They thought I was nuts and I may have been. But perhaps a private mechanic who will quote a flat fee and then stick with it is the way to go. This is dealership mentality; they have no creativity in their DNA. It's not your imagination. Hang in!

11:11:00 AM

Blogger Michael Manning said...

Martini: I hope you'll consider a series of posts about John DeLorean! You would be the perfect guy to write about him, given your passion for DMC!

1:12:00 PM

Blogger Michael Manning said...


12:56:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Michael... I intend on blogging more, that is for sure. A happy 2012 to you as well.

11:20:00 PM


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