If it breaks, should they fix for free?

I had my 2002 Honda civic in for a standard oil change. 2.5 hours later, they came back and said the hood latch had broken and it will not completely close. They’d be happy to replace it if I had a couple of hours to wait and $80 to buy the part. Is this reasonable - does the latch commonly need replaced?

12 year old parts break.
It’s a complete crap-shoot as to who’s hand is touching it at the time.

Obviously, have them show you how it’s broken. Some disreputable quick-change shops will pretend something is wrong, charge you to replace it, and then not do anything because nothing was broken in the first place.

But assuming the hood latch is actually broken, it’d be hard to prove they did it unless there are obvious signs of abuse that you didn’t put there.

Unfortunately you’re between a rock and a hard place on this one. Unless you can prove the shop damaged the latch…the cost is coming out of your pocket. Take a look at the damage first if possible.

On the bright side, if it had broken somewhere else, you might have had trouble driving it to the shop to get fixed.

I agree with what others are saying. It might have broken the next time you yourself closed the hood. It’s not like they overtorqued a bolt or forgot to fill the oil or something; the hood just sort of closes itself. I’d say go ahead and do it, if, as it seems like you’re saying, the labor will be free.

Think positively

What if the hood was closed all the way, and the latch was broken, and you couldn’t open it?

Sometimes things just break. If I’m at your house and I go to use the bathroom and the light burns out as I turn on the switch who pays for the light bulb?

Hmm…all good points. I was calling around for quotes on a different problem and mentioned my latch. One garage said many places replace it when it just needs a bit of work. The first place used pliers on it after they couldn’t get it closed, so I’m not sure I have any choice but to replace now. If I don’t take my car back, is it a doable project for me? I don’t have a garage full of tools…


Considering you “don’t have a garge full of tools…” pay the $80 and have the shop replace the latch

@db4690: i will more than likely cave in and take it back for a replacement latch

You may try and get a second opinion, or find an old timer that might see about putting in a new rivet or whatever it needs.

@klu … Best to address this asap. A broken hood latch is a critical safety issue. If you are driving down the freeway and a gust of wind hits the front of the car the hood may pop up and you won’t be able to see where you are going. And good idea to keep to low speed roads – or just park it – until the latch is properly fixed.

indeed! i’ve got an appointment on monday to have my car looked at. hopefully they’ll be able to fix the latch too

i had my car worked on for a different problem. they lubed the cable and got the hood to latch fine