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Old 18th April 2014, 22:28   #241
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

It's been over a year since this ownership thread was last updated. And I got to say that it was a tumultuous one for me with so many things, most of them related to the Civic, happening. Some were good while some were so bad that I wish they never happened. To cut a long story short, I was having a great time with the car and the Civic was making every drive out of Chennai a pleasure. In less than three months since my last post, it completed four separate long drives without a fuss, each of them not less than 500 km.

And then came the trip to this popular hill station in Tamil Nadu to beat the heat of summer. Kodaikanal it was for us, like hundreds of others in the state. While the ongoing drive from Chennai and the short runs in and around Kodaikanal went to plan, the sheer stupidity of a biker who thought that the four lane highway was his playground had something else in store while we were on our way back.

The only relief out of the whole episode was that all of us in the car were unhurt except for minor injuries to elbows that hit the car’s plastics hard. More importantly, the two of them in the bike escaped with bruises. I do not wish to narrate the incident any further as it pains to even think about it. All bad things that happen in India after a road accident, including legal implications, followed. Poor thing, the Civic took a big hit in all this and the estimate from the dealership ran well over a couple of lacs. The damage was mostly cosmetic but quite a few parts under the hood that had the misfortune of being located in close proximity to the front bumper needed replacement. Mental agony only compounded the problem.

As it always does in situations like these, there were so many thoughts running in my mind. Should I sell the car as it is given that it is costing quite a fortune to get it back on road? Or, should I take the plunge, repair and retain it? I chose to go with the latter. It may sound clichéd, but owning this car was indeed a dream come true for me and I didn’t want to lose it just like that. It took three months for things to be sorted out and to bring the car back to shape. But it took a whole lot longer for me and those close to me to come back to normalcy. And that’s when this thread went dormant too. Slowly, the confidence returned and the Civic started seeing highways again. Though I am back to my old self not hesitating one bit to take the car out on long drives, the very sight of a two-wheeler on highways scares me these days.

But the decision to retain the Civic has so far turned out to be so good. Yes, it did burn a big hole in my pocket but that was hardly the car's fault. It was such a pleasure to see this legendary Honda gleaming in all its glory after what it went through.

Now that the car is back to doing what it does best, the camera has started coming out frequently too. Here are a couple of snaps taken during our recent outings.

The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-img_6251-1.jpg
The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-img_6258-1.jpg

And here’s one from the ill-fated trip to Kodaikanal.

The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-img_1953-1.jpg

There’s hardly a difference before and after, atleast to my eyes! And that's what matters the most, isn't it?
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Old 18th April 2014, 22:41   #242
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Arvi though i am sorry to hear about the accident i am utmost glad that you have retained the Civic and that no one was hurt .It's best to leave unpleasant incidents behind and move on.I was wondering why you haven't updated the thread for so long and thought you had sold off the car. I am happy the car is still with you.Wishing you thousands of happy motoring miles.How many kms the car has done now ?
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Old 21st April 2014, 06:45   #243
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It's best to leave unpleasant incidents behind and move on.
That's exactly what I was trying to do all these months. I swear that was tough.
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Wishing you thousands of happy motoring miles.How many kms the car has done now ?
Thanks man. I too wish and hope that the Civic covers incident-free miles for years to come. The car is currently closing in on 60K milestone. I had the 60K service done a few months back and shall post the details shortly.
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Old 21st April 2014, 13:07   #244
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Sorry to hear about the mishap. I fully understand what you would have gone through and glad that you chose to retain the car. Its worth every rupee spent on it for what it gives back in return. Wishing you many more miles of pleasant driving in the years to come.
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Old 21st July 2014, 07:24   #245
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Sorry to hear about the mishap. I fully understand what you would have gone through and glad that you chose to retain the car.
Thanks rr_zen, it was sheer mental agony and am glad too that I chose to retain the car.

Meanwhile, the Civic zoomed past 60,000 km mark a couple of weeks back and, quite fittingly, the milestone was reached while on a long drive in NH 45 (Chennai-Trichy Highway). After all, that's the road in which this car has experienced everything in its time with me.

I got the 60K service done in January when the odometer read 56,970. Apart from all the regulars (Engine Oil, Air Filter & Oil Filter), I had also asked them to rotate the tyres, align the wheels, replace the wiper blades and repaint the running board which got damaged when a speeding biker came and hit the car in an intersection. On his part, the service advisor recommended AC disinfection, battery check and interior cleaning for which I obliged. The total service cost was INR 13,042.

I had also asked for replacement of the remote key as the existing one stopped working after the casing developed a crack. Unfortunately, the part wasn't in stock and the dealership couldn't get one despite me asking them to place an order a week before the car went for service. It highlighted a problem that will probably haunt Civic owners across India, I thought then. It turned out to be true, atleast in my case. Most parts are not stocked and the dealership wants us to come back to get them fixed. Over the last 6 months or so, I have got this response from the dealership on several occasions for the following parts - Brake Pads, Wiper Blades, Mirror Assy and Evaporator Coil. More on this later.

When the car came back after service, the AC didn't work. I raised a complaint immediately and said that I didn't have any problem prior to that. The dealership feigned ignorance and suspected a problem with the evaporator coil. The same thing happened once before but it turned out to be a problem with the relay, which I wanted to be checked first. This time though, the AC wasn't working even after replacing the relay with one taken from another Civic. Unsurprisingly, the part wasn't in stock and the dealership quoted approximately INR 22,000 and 10-15 days for the evaporator coil. Since I had a long drive planned shortly afterwards, I scouted the other dealerships in Chennai and the open market. Finally, I managed to source a Keihin evaporator coil (against the OE Denso part) in two days just less than half the quoted price.

The service advisor agreed to install it as they couldn't source the part in time for my scheduled long drive. They charged INR 2900 including taxes for the labour involved. In the meantime, the remote key was also available and I was charged around INR 6600 for that.

To summarize, I spent around INR 32,000 to bring the Civic back to its good old self at the 60K km mark.
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Old 21st July 2014, 11:53   #246
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Thanks rr_zen, it was sheer mental agony and am glad too that I chose to retain the car.

Meanwhile, the Civic zoomed past 60,000 km mark a couple of weeks back and, quite fittingly, the milestone was reached while on a long drive in NH 45 (Chennai-Trichy Highway). After all, that's the road in which this car has experienced everything in its time with me.

I got the 60K service done in January when the odometer read 56,970. Apart from all the regulars (Engine Oil, Air Filter & Oil Filter), I had also asked them to rotate the tyres, align the wheels, replace the wiper blades and repaint the running board which got damaged when a speeding biker came and hit the car in an intersection. On his part, the service advisor recommended AC disinfection, battery check and interior cleaning for which I obliged. The total service cost was INR 13,042.

I had also asked for replacement of the remote key as the existing one stopped working after the casing developed a crack. Unfortunately, the part wasn't in stock and the dealership couldn't get one despite me asking them to place an order a week before the car went for service. It highlighted a problem that will probably haunt Civic owners across India, I thought then. It turned out to be true, atleast in my case. Most parts are not stocked and the dealership wants us to come back to get them fixed. Over the last 6 months or so, I have got this response from the dealership on several occasions for the following parts - Brake Pads, Wiper Blades, Mirror Assy and Evaporator Coil. More on this later.

When the car came back after service, the AC didn't work. I raised a complaint immediately and said that I didn't have any problem prior to that. The dealership feigned ignorance and suspected a problem with the evaporator coil. The same thing happened once before but it turned out to be a problem with the relay, which I wanted to be checked first. This time though, the AC wasn't working even after replacing the relay with one taken from another Civic. Unsurprisingly, the part wasn't in stock and the dealership quoted approximately INR 22,000 and 10-15 days for the evaporator coil. Since I had a long drive planned shortly afterwards, I scouted the other dealerships in Chennai and the open market. Finally, I managed to source a Keihin evaporator coil (against the OE Denso part) in two days just less than half the quoted price.

The service advisor agreed to install it as they couldn't source the part in time for my scheduled long drive. They charged INR 2900 including taxes for the labour involved. In the meantime, the remote key was also available and I was charged around INR 6600 for that.

To summarize, I spent around INR 32,000 to bring the Civic back to its good old self at the 60K km mark.
I see you have encountered similar issues in terms of parts availability just like me. In my case, I was not convinced having one key with remote and another one sans it. However, the dealership was not willing to place an order for a spare key (with remote) and I had to do my bit of haggling there. They eventually obliged and asked me for a letter and a copy of the information sheet from the owner's manual that contained the key number. Finally, when the key arrived after a couple of weeks, it was found that Honda had sent the wrong key which would not match my car. I lost it and had a tough argument with the service personnel and also escalated to the regional contact in Honda after which they sourced a blank key and had the same cut out locally to fit my car. While I was apprehensive of this, the key is absolutely fine for the last two years and works without any hassle till date. I incurred the same expense as you did for this. Which HASS dealership is this BTW ?

Also, a couple of things I wanted to share:

1. I guess we Civic owners must know where to source spares outside of HASS as most of the times we are taken for a ride by them. In this context, please enlighten me with possible sources in Chennai.

2. I would suggest you get the tire job done outside at a competent tire dealer than getting it done at HASS. IMO, the work that is done outside is better and economical as well compared to HASS.

3. As an extension to point 1 above, we need to identify a competent local garage as well that could take care of all mechanical needs and body shop work at reasonable rates. Again, any pointers for this in Chennai if you could share would be appreciated.
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Old 21st July 2014, 16:03   #247
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Arvi and RR Zen guys it's time you guys look for a good independent garage rather than HASS for maintaining your Civic.Arvi i got a duplicate remote key made outside Hass for 2.5K without any drama and it was made right in front of my eyes in half n hour.Even my evaporator/cooling coil went kaput in May and i got same replaced at 12K inclusive of labor from my trusted garage man.I do not go for anything to Hass save for the sake of the HDS (Honda diagnostics).I have even stopped using their oil just so that i do not have to give the car to HASS for servicing and use Shell Helix ultra.

It's high time you guys consider a sound independant garage rather than spend your hard earned money on Hass.You could use the money saved to bling up your car like alloys,sound system etc etc.You can get whatever work done at Hass at approximate half the cost outside and the car would run just fine trust me.
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Old 21st July 2014, 18:53   #248
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Which HASS dealership is this BTW ?
My car has always been going to Capital Honda, Meenambakkam.
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Also, a couple of things I wanted to share:

1. I guess we Civic owners must know where to source spares outside of HASS as most of the times we are taken for a ride by them. In this context, please enlighten me with possible sources in Chennai.

3. As an extension to point 1 above, we need to identify a competent local garage as well that could take care of all mechanical needs and body shop work at reasonable rates. Again, any pointers for this in Chennai if you could share would be appreciated.
You took them out of my mouth rr_zen. These were precisely the reasons I bought up this 'parts not available' issue in the forum. Unfortunately, I don't have any idea currently on competent independent garages in Chennai for the Civic. Obviously, there should be a few that we need to enquire and find out. I remember an independent garage called 'Ignite' getting good reviews in Team-BHP. Probably, we should pay a visit once and know more about them. What say?
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2. I would suggest you get the tire job done outside at a competent tire dealer than getting it done at HASS. IMO, the work that is done outside is better and economical as well compared to HASS.
I always go to an external tire dealer for wheel alignment and balancing. This was an one-off incident as I had a planned long drive coming up shortly afterwards and didn't have time to go out and get the job done. As you rightly said, that's cheaper and better.
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Arvi and RR Zen guys it's time you guys look for a good independent garage rather than HASS for maintaining your Civic.
. Enough is enough.
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Arvi i got a duplicate remote key made outside Hass for 2.5K without any drama and it was made right in front of my eyes in half n hour.Even my evaporator/cooling coil went kaput in May and i got same replaced at 12K inclusive of labor from my trusted garage man.
Thank God, I was atleast able to save something on the evaporator coil. Had I waited for the dealership to source the part for me, I would have been atleast 12K poorer.
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You could use the money saved to bling up your car like alloys,sound system etc etc.You can get whatever work done at Hass at approximate half the cost outside and the car would run just fine trust me.
You are absolutely right. The 'customization' itch is upon me for some time now. Let's see how long I can hold onto the car in its current form.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 11:35   #249
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I remember an independent garage called 'Ignite' getting good reviews in Team-BHP. Probably, we should pay a visit once and know more about them. What say?
Sure, we can give this a try. We are in dire need of a competent garage for sure.
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Old 1st August 2014, 18:31   #250
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As stated before, the Civic crossed the 60,000 milestone recently, on 26th of June to be precise. Considering that I brought it home three years back on the 18th of June with the odometer reading approximately 29,500, I realize all of a sudden that I have driven the Honda Civic, what was once a far-fetched dream, for a little more than 30k kilometers. Not bad at all!

The Civic has its share of flaws - the feature list is awful unlike a friend's i20, the ride quality isn't absorbent enough like a relative's Linea, the low ground clearance never forgets to remind me to be careful enough, the availability of spare parts of late is an issue and the low-end torque is nothing to write home about. Over the last year or so, there has been numerous instances when the thought of replacing the Civic with an all-new car came up in my mind. But, one good look at the car is all it takes to shrug off those thoughts. Its a pity that the current-gen Civic doesn't look as good as this. Forget about the Civic, the newer Hondas just aren't the same as they used to be.

Over the last three years, I have learnt to live with these annoyances and have developed a knack of loving the other bits that made the Civic popular. It looks fabulous even today, the driver-focused center console and the digital speedo is a class apart and the handling, with one or two on board, is great. And, how can I forget the cunning growl the 1.8-liter iVTEC under the hood makes every time I floor the throttle?

And finally, here is the moment in which it crossed the 60k milestone. Excuse the quality and the resolution, this was taken with my mobile in pitch darkness.

The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-2014062660000-km-milestone.jpg

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Sure, we can give this a try. We are in dire need of a competent garage for sure.
Thanks, I will PM you my details shortly.
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Old 29th January 2015, 19:18   #251
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Another six months has passed and the Civic is ageing slowly but surely. Since the 60K service was done prematurely last January, Honda's 6-month service intervals meant that the car had to go for two periodic services in the last one year, both marked as 65K periodic service. One was done last July for INR 3590 while the second was done earlier this month with a bill of INR 4372. On both occasions, I hadn't asked for AC Disinfection to be done but was included nevertheless. Otherwise, both were just oil top-ups, oil filter replacement and other miscellaneous stuff that I asked for like replacement of wipers and wheel balancing.

After resisting the urge for three long years, I finally gave in and installed a Pioneer touchscreen head unit and a reverse parking camera to go with it. Once I made my mind to get this done, G.P.Road was the place to go. I initially had a few models from Pioneer and one model from Sony in mind before finalizing the AVH-X2690 BT. I had to shell out INR 22,000 in total including the dash kit (approximately INR 2500), reverse camera ('Xenos' brand, priced at around INR 1500) and the installation charges.

It was painful to see the dashboard panels, the cabin plastics and foams being ripped apart and the wires spliced to get these accessories functioning. But the experienced chaps did a pretty good job of fixing things back in place.

This is how the dashboard looks now with the new head unit in place.

The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-201411pioneer-hu-1.jpg
The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-201411pioneer-hu-2.jpg

I'm not an audiophile and was happy with the output quality from the new head unit and stock speaker combo. But a couple of long drives in the last one month made me come back in bitter taste. At highway speeds, I could hardly hear the lyrics and I had to keep increasing the volume continuously. Though I expected this before, I badly missed the speed-sensing volume control function that the stock system came with.

Of late, I also observed that the highway drives aren't the calm and serene experiences that they used to be. There is an annoying 'humming' noise filtering into the cabin and it gets louder as speeds increase beyond 70 km/h. I guess the culprits are either the front wheel bearings or the tires but will have to get it checked by a trusty mechanic before zeroing in on the cause.
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Old 30th January 2015, 08:09   #252
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There is an annoying 'humming' noise filtering into the cabin and it gets louder as speeds increase beyond 70 km/h. I guess the culprits are either the front wheel bearings or the tires but will have to get it checked by a trusty mechanic before zeroing in on the cause.
Hi arvi, feels good to to read about your new audio system.For the humming noise , i hope it's not the power steering whine.Wheel bearings would be expensive at Honda for sure.FNG is the best way to go but do get it diagnosed first.Even mine was diagnosed with wheel bearings problem by HASS around 3 years ago in 2012, i haven't done anything about it and probably will leave it as it is as i have already spent a bomb fixing a laundry list of problems with the car.

Good Luck
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:53   #253
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For the humming noise , i hope it's not the power steering whine.
I didn't feel anything wrong or unique with the power steering on both these long drives where I experienced this humming noise. What else would be the signs of a power steering whine?
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Wheel bearings would be expensive at Honda for sure.
I'm already scratching my head thinking of that!

Though I was quite prepared for a premium car's maintenance and ownership charges when I bought the Civic, what really dampens the spirit is the way other brands have priced their spares for similarly-priced cars. Take the Corolla or the Innova, for instance. Many of Toyota's spare parts, including the brake pads, oil filter, wiper blades, etc. are way cheaper than what Honda charges.
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Even mine was diagnosed with wheel bearings problem by HASS around 3 years ago in 2012, i haven't done anything about it and probably will leave it as it is as i have already spent a bomb fixing a laundry list of problems with the car.
Yeah, I am aware of the problems you faced with your car and the poor attempts by HASS to resolve them. You have been really patient all through. By the way, when your car was diagnosed with wheel bearings problem, was it noisy like mine at highway speeds?
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Old 30th January 2015, 12:23   #254
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I didn't feel anything wrong or unique with the power steering on both these long drives where I experienced this humming noise. What else would be the signs of a power steering whine?
A power steering whine will be like a whirring sound.It will be loudest in the morning and on a normal power steering a whine in the morning is ok but if it persists even after warm up ie the sound continue this usually means the PS pump has been starved of oil so check the oil levels for this.If it's low get it checked out.
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Old 30th January 2015, 13:13   #255
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You can tell when a man loves his car and this thread is the perfect tribute to that. Most people nowadays treat their cars like mules and batter them to imperfection.


Did you change the speakers as well or just the HU? I'd advise you to just get basic service done at HASS and all repairs/part replacements outside. Sourcing parts for civic from the open market is not a hassle yet, atleast in NCR.
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