Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

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Browser
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Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Browser » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:58 am

Thinking about an Acura RDX but one concern that I have is that the nearest dealer service facility is 125 miles away, so I won't be going there except if there's a major recall or something. I'm a little nervous about having an expensive new vehicle serviced and maintained by non-Acura service, being able to document that the correct parts, fluids, etc. are always used in order to maintain the warranty and to make sure all is done correctly. Anybody else been in a similar position and can offer advice? Would you do it again if you bought a vehicle without a local dealer?
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rickberg
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by rickberg » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:05 am

You can get most of your work done at a local Honda Dealership if you want to stick with OEM parts as they will be mostly the same.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by dpc » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:54 am

Last time I checked on this, Honda dealers could not do warranty work or recall work on Acuras. They can service the vehicle, but you'd have to pay for everything.
Hey, those poor Acura garages have to make a little money. 8-) But I'd call your local Honda dealership to confirm. Maybe there is distance exception.

Seriously, I live a small town with no "luxury" dealerships within 50 miles. I'd never buy a new car that did not have a local dealership due to the hassle of dealing with the inevitable warranty repairs and recalls.
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:03 pm

I've had my 2003 Acura TL serviced by a local non-factory Honda specialist since it was new. The only times I've gone to the dealer were for 1 warranty and 1 recall visit. There were no issues related to my not using a dealer. And the warranty visit was for a new transmission (this generation of Acuras had well-documented transmission issues), so you'd think the dealer would have tried to wriggle out of it if they could have.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by dhodson » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:28 pm

While acuras are pretty good in regards to limited issues, I wouldn't buy an Acura in this situation. I'd consider a Honda if you have a local dealer instead. I have a MDX and TL by the way.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by mw1739 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:33 pm

My wife's 2008 Acura (knock on wood) hasn't had anything besides routine maintenance in it's first 80k miles. We moved and are now much closer to a Honda dealer than Acura dealer, so I take her car there for the routine maintenance. I highly doubt you will have any issues during the warranty period, and if on the off chance you do, you can drive to the Acura dealer and they will gladly give you a loaner car.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by deanbrew » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:37 pm

I've thought about buying an Infiniti or Acura but have shied away partly due to not having any dealers close to me. I just didn't want to have to drive a couple of hours to have warranty or recall work performed. Normal maintenance isn't a big deal, as independent shops or associated-brand dealers (Toyota or Honda) could do the work.
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:15 pm

> Thinking about an Acura RDX but one concern that I have is that the nearest dealer service facility is 125 miles away,

You don't say whether there is a different brand dealer that is much nearer. For all we know you live in the middle of North Dakota 125 miles away from everything.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Browser » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:32 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:> Thinking about an Acura RDX but one concern that I have is that the nearest dealer service facility is 125 miles away,

You don't say whether there is a different brand dealer that is much nearer. For all we know you live in the middle of North Dakota 125 miles away from everything.
There's a local Honda dealer. I checked with them but they seemed a little iffy about servicing an Acura so it left me unsure about it. Perhaps since they don't stock parts and fluids for Acura they were a little equivocal about servicing them when they are still under warranty -- not sure. With my current Honda, the Owner's Manual requires only Honda transmission fluid and differential fluid so I'm thinking Acura would be the same, so there are some things that are not "generic".
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:09 pm

Well if you get a new car the no-brain choice is to get it serviced at a dealer. Indeed, some brands have free service for the first few years. And even if you don't need to get it serviced at the dealer you MIGHT have warranty issues that will require it. In your circumstance you will need to drive there, wait for the car, and drive back, costing pretty much an entire day.

I think the question is do you REALLY REALLY need to buy an Acura.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:29 pm

Browser wrote:
adamthesmythe wrote:> Thinking about an Acura RDX but one concern that I have is that the nearest dealer service facility is 125 miles away,

You don't say whether there is a different brand dealer that is much nearer. For all we know you live in the middle of North Dakota 125 miles away from everything.
There's a local Honda dealer. I checked with them but they seemed a little iffy about servicing an Acura so it left me unsure about it. Perhaps since they don't stock parts and fluids for Acura they were a little equivocal about servicing them when they are still under warranty -- not sure. With my current Honda, the Owner's Manual requires only Honda transmission fluid and differential fluid so I'm thinking Acura would be the same, so there are some things that are not "generic".
The "requirement" has no legal force. As the FTC puts it, "The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part." Parts has been determined in court to include fluids like oil and transmission fluids. There is an exception if the manufacturer can prove that your part was the cause of the required warranty work. But since the burden of proof is on the manufacturer, it's almost never invoked as the cost of proving it would far outweigh the cost of fulfilling the warranty.

As long as you follow the owner's manual as far as the maintenance intervals and minimum specifications of the fluids, you will be covered by your warranty. Any dealer telling you otherwise is lying to you.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by rickberg » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:34 pm

Browser wrote:
adamthesmythe wrote:> Thinking about an Acura RDX but one concern that I have is that the nearest dealer service facility is 125 miles away,

You don't say whether there is a different brand dealer that is much nearer. For all we know you live in the middle of North Dakota 125 miles away from everything.
There's a local Honda dealer. I checked with them but they seemed a little iffy about servicing an Acura so it left me unsure about it. Perhaps since they don't stock parts and fluids for Acura they were a little equivocal about servicing them when they are still under warranty -- not sure. With my current Honda, the Owner's Manual requires only Honda transmission fluid and differential fluid so I'm thinking Acura would be the same, so there are some things that are not "generic".

An Acura RDX is essentially a rebadged Honda CRV - most if not all of the major components are shared and interchangeable between Honda and Acura vehicles. There's no such thing as "Honda" fluid vs "Acura" Fluid. I agree that in the instances where you need to perform warranty work, a Honda dealership would not do it for free. In those situations, you would need to take it to a Acura dealer. For all of your regular maintenance items, your local mechanic would also be more than capable to perform the work.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by blevine » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:40 pm

Why not just buy the top of the line Honda, with the moon roof an leather seats, and forget the Acura ?
Probably save some money, and have a very comfortable car.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by bstevlin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:43 pm

I have a 2006 Acura MDX. I go to a Honda dealer which is farther away from my home because I receive better service and I save money at the Honda dealer. The Honda dealer posts all my service work on Carfax. In addition I do not have to put up with the obnoxious upsells at the Honda dealer. I would not let the Acura dealership location stop you from buying an Acura.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Browser » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:31 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Browser wrote:
adamthesmythe wrote:> Thinking about an Acura RDX but one concern that I have is that the nearest dealer service facility is 125 miles away,

You don't say whether there is a different brand dealer that is much nearer. For all we know you live in the middle of North Dakota 125 miles away from everything.
There's a local Honda dealer. I checked with them but they seemed a little iffy about servicing an Acura so it left me unsure about it. Perhaps since they don't stock parts and fluids for Acura they were a little equivocal about servicing them when they are still under warranty -- not sure. With my current Honda, the Owner's Manual requires only Honda transmission fluid and differential fluid so I'm thinking Acura would be the same, so there are some things that are not "generic".
The "requirement" has no legal force. As the FTC puts it, "The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part." Parts has been determined in court to include fluids like oil and transmission fluids. There is an exception if the manufacturer can prove that your part was the cause of the required warranty work. But since the burden of proof is on the manufacturer, it's almost never invoked as the cost of proving it would far outweigh the cost of fulfilling the warranty.

As long as you follow the owner's manual as far as the maintenance intervals and minimum specifications of the fluids, you will be covered by your warranty. Any dealer telling you otherwise is lying to you.
It sounds like what you are saying is that I would be OK having the local Honda dealer do the routine service on an Acura and just would need to go to an Acura dealer in the case of warranty service work? Might be better to do the service with Honda, as they would have records of the service they performed in case there is a warranty issue down the road. I wonder if the same would apply if the vehicle was a Lexus -- take it to the local Toyota dealer? Maybe one reason to go with Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti as a luxo choice would be the ability to have the vehicle serviced at more dealerships around the country, as opposed to things like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volvo?
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by denovo » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:04 am

If you read his post closely, you don't have to take your car to even a Honda dealership to do your maintenance. Any licensed mechanic will do. As long as you have records, they will honor your warranty.
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Alex Frakt » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:27 am

denovo wrote:If you read his post closely, you don't have to take your car to even a Honda dealership to do your maintenance. Any licensed mechanic will do. As long as you have records, they will honor your warranty.
You don't even need a mechanic to do the work. You can do it yourself as long as you keep the receipts for the parts and keep track of the date and mileage you did the work. Most (all?) new cars have a service book that makes it easy to record this.

Like I said above, I have a local Honda specialist do all the non-warranty work on my Acura TL. This has saved me a lot of money and aggravation since my mechanic doesn't try to upsell and push non-required services. Of course, the waiting room isn't nearly as nice as the dealers and I have to bring my own coffee. :-)

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by jsandra » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:00 am

dpc wrote:Last time I checked on this, Honda dealers could not do warranty work or recall work on Acuras. They can service the vehicle, but you'd have to pay for everything.
Hey, those poor Acura garages have to make a little money. 8-) But I'd call your local Honda dealership to confirm. Maybe there is distance exception.

Seriously, I live a small town with no "luxury" dealerships within 50 miles. I'd never buy a new car that did not have a local dealership due to the hassle of dealing with the inevitable warranty repairs and recalls.
You might not necessarily be stuck paying for recalls or warranty work, or face the hassle of traveling some distance have it done. My closest Acura dealer, 90 miles away, has free pick up, loaner, and delivery for service within 100 miles. Call the Acura dealer and find out if they do something like that. I was also assured that regular maintenance could be done anywhere. Of course, this is what I was told before I bought the car, and I haven't had the opportunity to try it out yet. Hopefully it's not just lies salesmen tell you.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by sls239 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:06 am

One thing that dealerships may be better at is keeping up with the technical service bulletins. Even if a car doesn't have a recall, it probably has more than one TSB.

As an owner, you can keep up with them yourself too though.

I know that my first Honda dealer knew TSBs backwards and forwards for Hondas, but I strongly doubt they'd keep up on the Acura ones.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Browser » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:07 am

I've heard that dealerships may be making more money servicing cars than selling them. If that's the case, it's unlikely that an Acura dealer is going to tell you that it's OK to get your maintenance work done somewhere else; maybe not even to sell you a new vehicle. Just wondering.
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by tj » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:33 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
denovo wrote:If you read his post closely, you don't have to take your car to even a Honda dealership to do your maintenance. Any licensed mechanic will do. As long as you have records, they will honor your warranty.
You don't even need a mechanic to do the work. You can do it yourself as long as you keep the receipts for the parts and keep track of the date and mileage you did the work. Most (all?) new cars have a service book that makes it easy to record this.

Like I said above, I have a local Honda specialist do all the non-warranty work on my Acura TL. This has saved me a lot of money and aggravation since my mechanic doesn't try to upsell and push non-required services. Of course, the waiting room isn't nearly as nice as the dealers and I have to bring my own coffee. :-)
Do you have any tips on locating Honda specialists that are not dealers?
Last edited by tj on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by deanbrew » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:33 am

Browser wrote:I've heard that dealerships may be making more money servicing cars than selling them. If that's the case, it's unlikely that an Acura dealer is going to tell you that it's OK to get your maintenance work done somewhere else; maybe not even to sell you a new vehicle. Just wondering.
It doesn't matter what they TELL you, it's the law. You can have maintenance work done at any garage or even do it yourself and there is nothing the dealership or manufacturer can do. The only issues at play are a) warranty work, and b) recalls. For those, you need to go to a new car dealer the same brand as the vehicle if you want it paid for. For all other repairs and maintenance, you can take it anywhere or do it yourself. This has been repeated again and again.

I've bought many vehicles, and I've never once had a dealer tell me I had to bring the vehicle their for service, or even hint at such a thing. One reason is that dealerships are run with three separate departments: sales, service and parts. The car salesman doesn't give a hoot what you do with the vehicle after you buy it, or where you take it for service. And you're not going to get a different price even if you pinky-swear you will bring it back for service. The salesman and sales manager want to make the sale, and don't really care about the service department.

And the service writer doesn't give a hoot where you bought the car. He wants to service it and make his quotas. He and the mechanics will gladly work on any brand of car (within reason) bought at any store. I don't know why people make this so complicated, but I've seen people over and over think they have to take their cars back to where they bought it for service, and often get ripped off with higher prices and unnecessary "recommended maintenance" that exceeds what is really required. Now, to be fair, most dealerships seem to be more honest and ethical about service in recent years, from my experience.
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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by Alex Frakt » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:25 pm

tj wrote:Do you have any tips on locating Honda specialists that are not dealers?
I found mine through Car Talk's Mechanics Files which is a user generated list of recommended mechanics with reviews. Here's their listing for Haas, Inc (formerly The Honda Clinic), which is what I use: http://www.cartalk.com/mechanics-files/ ... corporated

Note that can you specify the make on the advanced tab, but I think the listing will only show up if the shop owner claimed the listing and filled out the form. So start with your area and read the reviews to see what they specialize in.

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Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

Post by denovo » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:05 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
denovo wrote:If you read his post closely, you don't have to take your car to even a Honda dealership to do your maintenance. Any licensed mechanic will do. As long as you have records, they will honor your warranty.
You don't even need a mechanic to do the work. You can do it yourself as long as you keep the receipts for the parts and keep track of the date and mileage you did the work. Most (all?) new cars have a service book that makes it easy to record this.

That''s correct. It's a common misconception that you have to do the service at the dealer to be eligible for warranty coverage.
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