Honda 2006 Odyssey - Dealer has a boat payment - should I go to another mechanic

To get it done at the Honda dealer or Not get it done at the dealer … that’s the question!

  1. Front control arm bushings and alignment = $1000
  2. Two tail lights to fix a water leak = $425
  3. Timing belt, water pump, seals, and tensioner = $900
  4. Plugs, brake fluid, steering fluid = $500

With some discounts $2800, including taxes …

What do you think, should I use the Honda dealer, honda parts, warranties … etc., or hunt down a lower cost mechanic?

Looks to me like a couple of boat payments especially the cost of control arm bushings and alignment. Find a good independent mechanic and save yourself some money. That’s always my recommendation.

Ditto, @missleman is right. Boat payments

Thanks missleman. I appreciate your feedback. I know the dealer is normally more expensive, but then again, my independent mechanic “Bob’s Garage”, where I take my old truck can also hit me with some big boat payments.

Unless you’re having warranty work done, stay away from the dealer. How many miles on Ody?

Sounds odd that you’d need to replace 2 tail lamp assemblies, but they’re about $50 each at Rockauto. If you know where a water leak is, I’d try some silocone.

If you live near Mpls, I’d do this for you a lot cheaper.

The prices seem plenty fair. Even a cut-rate parts house such as AutoZone gets about 225 each for those control arms. The Honda OEM parts (like every other car maker) are generally much higher.

It’s not that the dealer is gouging you. Their cost for a part is often higher than the retail price of an AutoZone part, etc.

Dealer labor rates are generally higher also and it’s out of necessity. Dealer expenses are far higher than an indendent shop and per flat rate hour charges will vary by locale.
That being said, there’s certainly nothing wrong with having this work done at an independent shop so my advice would be to price it around.

No comment on 1 & 2. #3 is a decent price, and your Odyssey is ready for it after 7 years. #4 is p or ably needed. You probably have around 100,000 miles and you should have the plugs replaced. If you never had the brake fluid replaced, then now is a good time. BTW, when was the transmission fluid last changed? And the coolant should be changed since it has to be drained as part of #3. It may just turn out that you just happen to need a lot of work all at once. You shouldn’t necessarily sell the dealer short on many of these items.

For front end work, we have a great independent tire shop that has a good alignment specialist. I trust alignment work and brake work to this shop. I think I would seek out a body shop for the water leaks around the tail lights. I would have the dealer do the timing belt and plugs.

Also keep in mind that OEM parts are, in most cases, manufactured by the same companies that manufacture the after market parts.

  1. not needed
  2. tube of silicone caulk or maybe just tighten a nut
  3. Good deal, take it.
  4. OK, do that too.

Yes the van has about 98k miles. Dealer said that the control arm bushings were cracked. Ray always warns that the tires gone a fall off. Oh and we’re taking a 6 hour drive to up state NY this Friday!

Thanks everyone for the tips

On the leaky tail gate lights, he said that the sheiks were deteriorated , which seems like a manufacturer problem. I need to see if there’s a TSB on the lights.

I don’t think you’ll be able to get all this work done for much less. Somewhat less, but not a lot less. It’s a boat payment because it’s a boat-load of work to do. Still, in my opinion the car owner will get more bang for their buck on non-warranty repairs at a good local inde shop than at the dealer. Get a few personal recommendations for local shops who specialize in Hondas or Asian cars. Then ask for some quotes. See if a local shop can do it for cheaper. None of these tasks should be a problem for a local shop to do, all routine. For out of warranty work, its best to limit the use of dealer shops to difficult to diagnose drivability problems, where the dealer shop will have all the recommended diagnostic tools and experience.

You could wait a month or two for the timing belt and associated work in #3. Prioritize the work and it won’t be a huge cost all at once.

Get another opinion on the control arms. At 8 years of age it could be that the rubber is deteriorating with dry rot a bit and that may or may not be something to fret over. It depends upon the severity of the cracking.

MrHandy2013 is correct in the statement that many OEM parts are manufactured by the same company that produces them for the aftermarket.
However, with a company like AutoZone they negotiate a certain price per part from the parts manufacturer. The car dealer has someone sticking their foot into the middle of the transaction; the car manufacturer, who bumps the unit price of that same part up considerably.

Control arm bushings check around the edges but the rubber in the center will be solid. They are good for about 20 years or more. Even in the worse case scenario, the wheels won’t fall off. The control arms are held captive by their mounts and bolts. The wheels would wobble a little and make a knocking sound, but they wont fall off.

They also won’t fail all at once either. After 20 years or so, you may start to notice excessive tire wear and the front wheels won’t hold an alignment. Then in ten or so more years, you might start hearing a slight knocking sound. It might take another ten to 20 years to see a noticeable wobble and the knocking will get louder.

I agree that Odysseys aren’t known for going through control arm bushings. Skip this unless there’s a drivability symptom.