If you own a Honda Accord Car from ’95, ’96 or ’97, you may be able to get a free inspection, free repairs, and a free oil change.
I recently got a letter from Honda informing me that my car had not yet received a free service. At first I was a little hesitant thinking it might be some sort of scam, but I called the local dealership and it was true. (And I can vouch for it because I waited to post until I went in and took advantage of the service, which I did on Monday– details below).
Here’s the scoop:
“We are sending you this notice to remind you that your vehicle is covered by an emissions warranty extension and to encourage you to take advantage of the free one-time 75,000-150,000 mile inspection and parts replacement offer detailed below…”
The letter then goes on the explain that there was an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency because some of the diagnostic systems do not comply with the Clean Air Act.
The breakdown is as follows. If your car has:
Between 50,000-75,000 miles– You get a free emissions control system inspection. All repairs and replacements on the emissions control system will be free of charge (both parts and labor).
Between 75,000-150,000 miles– You get a free emissions control inspection, free repairs and replacements on this system; and a free oil and oil filter change.
Over 150,000 miles- unfortunately you are no longer eligible under the extended warranty. (Though if you previously had work done on the emissions system you may still be able to get that reimbursed.)
If you fail a smog-test (in the future)- Take your car in and they will fix the emissions problem for free;
If you have already failed a smog-test and/or have had emissions related parts/repairs– You may be eligible for reimbursement. (Send copies of repairs orders and documentation to: American Honda Motor Co, Inc. Automobile Customer Service PO Box 2964 Torrance, CA 90509-2964.)
To take advantage of the offer you can call any local dealership (find one at Hondacars.com) and tell them that you want to come in and get the emissions warranty inspection (and free oil change) on your 95, 96, or 97 Honda Accord. If you bought your car used you may want to ask them to check your car’s VIN number to see if your car has already has had this done as the car is only eligible once. (You may also be able to register online with your VIN and look it up yourself–I believe I got this letter because I registered online to get updates.)
Of course, even if there’s not a catch, there’s always a catch. When I took my car in to fix one thing they found 5 other things that needed work. (I did some research on the service center before I went and so I trusted that they were telling me the truth.) In the end, this “free” oil change and inspection ended up costing me $250.
- A break light was out: Cost $15 (I knew this and had just been putting off getting it fixed)
- An engine mount was broken: Cost $235 (They showed me where it was broken. This sounded pretty serious so I got it repaired right away.)
- 4, 5) They also told me that I should get my automatic steering fluid flushed and something else and something else cleaned. I don’t know anything about these things so I said I’d wait on it. (And the total cost of getting all of this done was nearly $300. None of them were urgent, just recommended.)
There’s no doubt that I could have walked out of there without paying a cent, but just be prepared that they will recommend other services to your car when you bring it in.
I recommend Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle for use in my car.
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