I have since then mailed a certified letter to American Honda, in December 08 (per their requirements on the website) with a complaint. I made sure to send it certified and got a signature from someone at American Hinda. Waited a week and got no response. Called them and nobody knew who the person was that signed for my letter. I was advised to fax in the complaint letter, and so I did. I waited another week or so and called back because I had heard nothing back from them. I finally spoke to a lady and got an attitude and she said they would call me back when they got to my case.
About a week or so went by and got a lady that called. She started a case and registered it. She advised I take my quad to another dealership. I begged her to help me get this new dealership to help "duplicate my problem" so I could get it fixed and finally use it.
After the letter I needed to take my quad out 1 more time. The pull cord was stuck out and didn't have the confidence to take it back to the same dealer. Well needless to say this quad died on me and couldn't get it started. The battery died trying to start it and of course since the pull cord was stuck I was stuck. Some buddies came later and found me and jumped the quad. We finally got it started. Needles to say I was pretty upset!
On this trip one of the guys that was with us was an EX-Honda mechanic and he said that it was my carb that was the problem. He was there when next to me in a Rhino when it stalled on me twice and then helped with getting it started later. There is an excess of a raw gas smell and it acts like it is flooding. When it stalls and I press the gas it has no power. It sounds just like a deisel engine with kind of a loud nocking. There is a big build up of carbon around the tail pipe that started right away after my purchase. The plugs seem to foul quickly. There is definitely a problem! My quad would not start after a cold night at less than 1,500 ' elevation. Every revoloution then engine had a hiss but had no intention of starting. The guy said it was the pressure relase making the noise. He seemed to think the carb was seized at that point. It finally started after about 45 minutes and a few jumps.
I took the quad to another dealer here in AZ. I took a copy of my complaint letter and spoke to the service supervisor and then to the service manager. I exlpained my troubles and pleaded for their help. Well days later I got the call and they "couldn't duplicate my problem". I asked them to please try to take it in the field and "duplicate my problem" if needed. The main trouble I am having is this quad will stall/die when going up/down steep hills... You know, using a UTV like it was designed. They said it was a liability and couldn't do that. Of course they can't duplicate climbing hills and decending them in a little city track.
Not too long after I get a call from a different service guy saying my quad is ready to be picked up. I asked them what happened to the supervisor and manager that was handling my issues and he said they are no longer at this location. Great! Now I start over with this guy. My quad has been at this dealership since Feb 14th of this year! Over 4 mos. now!!!
I have spoken to my case manager at American Honda several times, probably close to ten different times. They even had the DSM go and try to "duplicate the problem", but of course can't use it in the conditions that it is failing me in. I have told her multiple times that it was probably the carb. I told her about my last trip and the EX-Honda mechanic said it was the carb. She said she'd pass the info along to the Tech. support and the DSM. I guess that fell on deaf ears as well.
I filed a complaint with the BBB in April and got a quick call back from my contact from Honda and that is when the DSM got involved. They responded to the complaint by saying they are happy to have the opportunity to investigate my problem. Well they made it sound good in writing for the people who now view the compliant but at this point I am no closer to having my quad fixed than the day I drove it home in Jan. 2006.
I have had problems with it since my first trip with. On these trips 2 of my buddies that Own Honda Foremans 4x4's have been right beside me. 1 was even purchased at that same dealership. They both run like champs.
I was suprised to have the problems with a Honda. The entire reason I bought a Honda is because of their reliability and reputation. I also had a friend who owned a Foreman 4x4 and he dug his. I was told about how great Honda was and their customer service. I had great confidence when I bought my quad, but now you can guess how much confidence I have in them. Everyone I speak to is surprised to hear about my problems and that is unlike Hondas. Including the Manager at the dealership it is at now.
My 4 yr warranty now runs out in less than 6 mos. and at this point I have no confidence in Honda. I paid a lot of money for the quad and extened warranty. They seem to not care enough to help me and I feel Honda is just stalling until my warranty runs out. This quad is useless to me and might as well just be a pile of rocks! I have only used it a handfull of times because of the problems. I am an avid outdoorsman and I bought it to be used in places I cannot get my truck. This thing will leave me stranded or killed if I rely on using it like it was intended, especially since it stalls up/down steep hills. You all know how bad it can be having to back down a steep and nasty hill. There are only a few hundred miles on the quad and not many hours.
I need some serious help and advice on what to do. At this point it has been in 3 or more times for the same problem and that falls under the lemon law. What should I do? Should I pursue that? Get a lawyer? File a complaint with the Attourney General Consumer Affairs division? I am lost and helpless and Honda won't step up to the plate. Who is out there to protect the consumer and help them when they are in need? I am in need big time.
I now realize that it is Honda that is the problem, and not really as much as the dealerships as I initially thought . Honda won't authorize warranty work on a vehilce unless the dealership can duplicate the problem. I guess I don't blame the dealerships for not wanting to get paid.
Once again sorry for the super long posts, it's just one thing after another with this. All help is appreciated. Thank you again!
You mentioned that it stalls on hills. Sounds to me like a stuck float that gives even worse symptoms when the machine is not on the level. It's flooding out, and that is why it dies and is so hard to restart again. Fits a pattern real nice.....
I'm kind of guessing you aren't too comfortable working on machines yourself...
If I were you, I'd suggest inviting an experienced buddy over (pizza and beer works good for baiting the trap) to yank the carb to confirm the correct jets are installed and tight, that the float valve and seat are in good condition and the float level is correct, and that the tank vent is working properly.
I have not rebuilt or adjusted the carb. I did mess with the screws on the side that are made to turn by hand, to help even out the idle, and did not help the way it actually ran. I have not adjusted the valves either. When is stalls it acts exactly like I pull the choke all the way out, and give it gas and nothing, no power. The diesel sound gets louder. It probably it the float sticking thats giving me problems.
I am not a mechanic and don't know how to rebuild a carb. This has happened since the first time I drove it so didn't think I should even need to rebuild it since it was brand new. I did not want to void the warranty or screw something up, nor should I have to pay for it myself when it's still under warranty though so I haven't. Should I?
Should I just say screw Honda and pay someone to fix it? Maybe mess with it myself? Can't really afford it right now is another problem.
Thanks. As far as the correct jets are you saying for the correct elevation? It acts up at all elevations and the elevation isn't the problem. It is the hills and climbing/decending. I don't have any experienced buddys that work on or really know bikes. The guy that was with us at the time that was the ex mechanic was a friend of a friend that I met only once.
It was hot and overheated the last time I was driving continuously under 25-30 mph. The next time (the time I had all the other problems) the light didn't come on but still felt and smelled hot. When I brought it in to the dealer this last on time 02-14-09 they said the coolant was low in the primary. I guess I had been looking at the white fill container the whole time which showed full, and they said that was a seondary/overflow.
I had it in the other dealership a few times and said they had filled the fluid levels and I still had overheating problems after that. Hopefully that is the problem, but with my luck probably not.
I didn't mean the jets would need to be changed for elevation, I meant that while you had the carb apart it would be worthwhile to make sure the correct jets were installed from the factory... Unlikely, but while you've got it apart...
I also think the float is the likely cause. The noise could be the compression release system. It aids in allowing the starter to crank up the engine, and deactivates at normal idle RPM and above. Its likely making noise as the engine is stalling.
If you haven't, adjusting the valves would be a good idea.
Really make sure the radiator is totally clean. You will likely have to remove side shrouds to get good access.
The "can't duplicate the problem" thing is always the hangup on getting warranty work done on something like this....
Perhaps the float was never adjusted properly, from the factory. I would take it to the dealer and ask them to do it on warranty. If they won't, make a bet with them and offer to pay for it yourself if that isn't the cause of the problem.
You need to do a valve adjustment, no matter what! The first adjustment at 20 hours, just after breakin, is crucial.
Thanks for the responses guys.
I called the dealer and spoke to my service advisor shortly after Recons post. I did as he stated. The advisor said they might be able to look at it but likely wouldn't be under warranty. Went on to say that many things could cause it, maybe sitting for so long and not using fuel stabilzer and a few other excuses. So sounds like I paid for a warranty and was a waste of money. I paid for one for this exact reason, incase something goes wrong.
I'll likely get stuck paying them hundreds, if not more.
I spoke to a friend, who has a cousin, who knows a guys who could probably work on it. We'll see what he says when I can get it to him. I'll pick up my quad this weekend from the dealership and try to figure something out.
This is my first quad I have owned and bought it brand new from a dealer with the 4 year extended warrany. I bought a Honda because of thier reputation. I think at this point it goes without saying how I feel about Honda now as well their service/customer satisfaction after all my trouble and stress. It was between a Honda and an Arctic Cat, it was a tough decision. Unfortunately I now regret my choice.
I think you need to bite the bullet and get it sorted out at your own expense, or sit around with nothing to ride for years to come! If it turns out to be something that should be covered by the warranty, then make an issue about it. Sure it may cost you a few hundred to get it sorted out, but the way things are now, you are getting nothing for the thousands of dollars you originally invested.....which doesn't make a lot of sense.
I know you are down on Honda, but I have owned 20 of them over the years and never had one single issue on any of them, except a new set of rear bearings on the 400EX...and that was mostly my own fault. That is thousands and thousands of trouble free miles. Four of my machines are 10 years old now, and running as good as the day they were new. I also bought an extended warranty on the 450R, and never needed to use it!
You got a lemon, plain and simple! Try to see of your state's lemon law is applicable???
I think someone mentioned checking the tank vent, to be sure it is not blocked. I have seen people dumfounded endlessly by very simple little things like that!
Also, your name is 4X4Hunter. The "hunters" I know, tend to let their quads sit most of the year, then roll them out of the garage in the fall and expect them to run like new. When they sit, the fuel cruds up the carb and things get interesting.....
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