Take Me For A Ride With My Car-Car

This hasn’t been our summer for car problems. Back in June you’ll recall a number of posts about how my car (a 1999 Honda Civic DX Hatchback) was tipped on its side, resulting in sufficient damage that our insurance company totalled the car. We ended up replacing it at the beginning of July with a 2006 Toyota Matrix XR.

I think the other car was jealous.

Just before vacation, while my wife was getting on the freeway, the check engine light came on and the car died. They were able to get the car started sufficiently to get it on the tow truck, and they towed it to the closest Honda dealer (Keyes Honda, Woodland Hills). After four days of diagnosing things (because the engine computer kept giving inconsistent answers), they came up with a verdict: the car toasted a valve or piston (I don’t recall which), and they are going to have to open the head to fix it. It looks like this has happened before on CR-Vs.

This afternoon we debated whether to have the dealer repair the problem ($1400 est.), or towing it to our favorite Honda repair shop and having them do it (a diagnosis fee to Keyes+towing+$800 est.). We have more confidence in our favorite shop (experiential assurance, no EAL). However, given the diagnosis cost, towing cost, and then repair, we’re letting Keyes do it. It should be done Friday.