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Seeking Advice on Handling Discrepancy in Diagnostics and Repairs Between Two Honda Dealers

  • 10-07-2024 2:29pm
    Registered Users Posts: 9

    Hi everyone,

    Apologies for the long post.

    I’m looking for advice on a car repair issue. Recently, my Honda showed a check engine light. Dealer One found error code P0181 (Fuel Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance) and replaced the fuel temperature sensor.

    The next day, the check engine light came back. I returned to Dealer One, and they found another error code P2199 (Intake Air Temperature Sensor 1/2 Correlation). They cleaned the sensor, but the light came back the next morning. After spending over 500 quid on sensor replacements and cleaning, they said it might be an "internal engine problem."

    I decided to get a second opinion from Dealer Two, who diagnosed the same P2199 error and replaced the MAP sensor for just over 50 quid. Since then, my car has been running perfectly with no warning lights. They said the root cause was the MAP sensor and that there was no need to replace or clean other sensors.

    When I contacted Dealer One, they said my car had two separate issues and that they followed Honda's guidelines. They also mentioned that because I didn’t go back, they couldn’t fully fix the problem. After spending over 500 and being told there was an "internal engine problem," I started to think something was off. Besides the check engine light, I didn’t notice anything wrong with the car.

    I reached out to Honda Ireland about this, but haven’t heard back yet.

    Should I take this to small claims court or just forget about it? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,112 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    All garages do this unfortunately as it's a troubleshooting process that you entered into and not a guaranteed first-fix. Dealer two had the easier job as one sensor had already been replaced (for a different event-code) and one had been cleaned, so the logical step there was to replace the cleaned unit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 917 ✭✭✭drury..

    You'd probably have no case

    The dealers will follow a procedure whether it works or not is another matter

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    Thanks for your reply, but Dealer Two told me it was the MAP sensor the moment I mentioned the error codes, without even seeing the car or knowing the history of what had been done. Dealer One replaced fuel temperature sensor and cleaned the intake air temperature sensor. I thought troubleshooting should be the same within one brand.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,112 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    Without getting into the ins and outs of it all, check-codes are indicative of hardware faults and are not always useful for identifying the exact cause. A fair amount of intuition and knowledge is still required to come up with plausible possibilities.

    A good example of this is the brilliant O'Reily over in the UK - he's very good a documenting these issues and he'll give you an overview of the complexity of the process.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,676 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hellrazer

    Is it a CRV?

    P0181 actual description on most diagnostics is Fuel Temperature / Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor Incorrect Voltage Correlation

    P2199 is Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor ½ Incorrect Voltage Correlation.

    Thats usually what the Honda diagnostic reads. So the first dealer was wrong completely and should have read the codes correctly as both of them directly lead to IAT (air intake temperature sensor)

    Instead they jumped to the fuel temperature sensor when the actual fix is the Intake air temperature sensor - which is built into the map sensor on most Hondas - they arent separate sensors so they also were spoofing about cleaning the air intake temperature sensor.

    What parts were you actually charged with?

    The part number that fixes it should start with 37830 if I remember right.

    From memory there might have been a Service bulletin on it as well.

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  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,676 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hellrazer

    I could probably guess who dealer 1 and 2 are - If its who I think it is dealer 1 are useless and dealer 2 are who I would bring my own Honda to :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 263 ✭✭Birka

    @Hellrazer would you mind PMing me details for dealer 2? - my sister has a Jazz and is on the lookout for a dealer who'll look after it properly

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes. It is CRV.

    I know that Dealer One was completely wrong (either due to a lack of knowledge or, worse, an attempt to mislead me), but without any procedure or service bulletin from Honda, it can be hard to prove they were incorrect. They claim they followed Honda's procedure, but I assume Dealer Two did as well. So, how do you explain such a difference?

    I found Honda service bulletin SN 03-011-00 UK, which addresses these specific error codes but applies only to cars manufactured until 2014. My CRV is a 2015, so they told me this bulletin doesn't apply to my car, even though it clearly does.

    On other Honda forums, I found the following information:


    1. The MIL light illuminates, and some customers may experience the vehicle going into limp home mode.

    2. The following DTC codes may be found:

    - DTC P2199 - Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor 1/2 Incorrect Voltage Correlation.

    - DTC P0181 - Fuel Temperature / Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) / Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor Incorrect Voltage Correlation.

    Repair Method:

    1. Clear DTC.

    2. Rewrite the engine ECM using software version HDS 3.013.023 May 2014 or later.

    3. Replace the MAP Sensor.

    This suggests it is a common problem in Honda vehicles.

    To answer your question they charged me for:

    H37895-RSR-E01- fuel temperature sensor - 371 euro

    And next day 136 euro for cleaning IAT sensor (giving me 50% discount and less diagnostic fee).

    Since both solutions didn't work, they suggested an "internal engine problem". This led me to consider getting rid of the car due to the potential repair cost, which could have gone into thousands if they had to dismantle the engine. In reality, it was a 40-minute fix costing only 50 euro.

    I will push Honda Ireland more, as they have ignored me completely so far.

    Additionally, Dealer One, where I have been a loyal customer for years, made me go through past invoices. I found that in 2022, my front brake pads were reported as 70% remaining, but a year later, they were reported as 80%. It may seem trivial, but this raises questions about the quality of their service.

    Small claims court or a hard lesson? That is the question.

    Post edited by Dr Hater on

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,478 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    Its a hard lesson, I would not waste your time going to small claims.

    Can you prove in a court that the fuel temp sensor wasn't faulty? Can you prove in a court that the engine cleaning (whatever that is) wasn't a necessary step to be cleared so that the final fix could work?

    Can you prove that the first garage was unreasonable in the steps they took?

    Sensors often give false results that obscure the actual root problem, its common as muck to change a sensor and then a new fault occurs. Dealer one could plausibly claim that they did the groundwork and then dealer 2 comes along and looks good for the last step. For example, perhaps they lie and say that they changed the MAP sensor first and it didn't clear the first fault, so they refitted the old one and continued diagnosis? And that only after the other work was done did the MAP sensor fix apply?

    It would be technobabble and I'm not saying I agree with them, I'm just making the point that they can easily make a plausible defence in a court, especially to judges who aren't mechanically minded.

    To me this is too easy to defend against, so I wouldn't waste the time and money on it.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,676 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hellrazer

    Firstly 37895-RSR-E01 was completely the wrong part to fix the problem -I think the only time I ever sold them was when someone broke it by mistake doing injectors or glow plugs.

    It should have been the one I listed above 37830-pgk-a01 (I think or 37830-r3l-g01) but thats a MAP sensor.

    Secondly from memory there is no separate IAT on the CRV - its made into the map sensor- so Id be asking what did they clean??

    Where did you get the Map sensor and what part number did they use - as far as I remember it was an updated / modified part from Honda and fixed the issue once and for all.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    Thank you for your reply.

    As I mentioned, I realize it would be difficult to prove that Dealer One was wrong or acted dishonestly, but:

    What if I had a service bulletin or other guidance from Honda on how to deal with the error codes mentioned? (Since Dealer Two identified it as a MAP sensor issue immediately based solely on the error codes, there must be some documentation on this). That's what I'm looking for and what I asked Dealer One and Honda Ireland to provide (which they didn't). Perhaps someone on a forum could help?

    What if the judge was a Honda enthusiast? :)

    I'd find satisfaction in catching them lying in court, plus the extra 25 euro and day off aren't a big deal. But I need solid support first. Based on what I've found and what Hellrazer wrote, I might have a case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,478 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    The existence of a service bulletin isn't a silver bullet, there are thousands of bulletins within the industry and there is no legal requirement for every technician to immediately know every detail of every one of them. The good technicians make a point of keeping up to date and reading them, but thats a different question.

    And even at that, the existence of a service bulletin does not necessarily mean that your individual, specific case did not need the work done by dealer one. And thats what you would have to demonstrate.

    As a hypothetical, they could say they were aware of the bulletin so immediately changed the MAP sensor. Fault P0181 did not clear so they refitted original sensor and proceeded with different investigation. The work they did cleared the root cause and then the 2nd dealer retried the service bulletin which worked this time because the other faults had been fixed.

    How do you disprove that?

    I know this is all just the result of a bad technician in one garage versus an experienced technician in the other, and its a pain for you to get caught out by the bad one. I'm just trying to illustrate why diagnostics are very murky when it comes to whether the service was provided or not.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,676 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hellrazer

    Honda Ireland will never provide technical bulletins to the public - you can be 100% guaranteed of that.

    I honestly doubt you`d get anywhere in a court case - the first dealer misdiagnosed the problem and the second dealer fixed it supposedly.

    But honestly you didnt really give dealer one a chance to fix the issue - you really should have went back to them and insisted that any further work was credited against the work that you already paid for that didnt fix the issue. And you still havent answered what part was actually fitted to fix the problem and what part number.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    Please see screenshots of invoices from Dealer One. The next day possible sensor issue or intermittent fault evolved over the phone into internal engine problem and that was the reason I didn't go there again.

    Few days later Dealer Two diagnostic:

    Remedy: replacing MAP sensor part number: H37830-RZ0-G12.

    I'm puzzled why Dealer One charged 136 euro (with generous discount) just for cleaning a sensor (even if they cleaned the correct one), when a new sensor costs just over 30 euro.

    The mechanic at Dealer Two mentioned he couldn't recall ever replacing a fuel temperature sensor in a Honda (he's not young), and it seems this part isn't a common failure, given that it had to be ordered and took 3 weeks to arrive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,478 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    But it does read as if changing that sensor cleared the P0181 fault you listed in the OP. If P0181 did not reoccur, then can you definitively say the fuel sensor wasn't needed?

    And cleaning a sensor is incredibly common, to save costs on parts as you guessed. You say it was only €30, but that doesn't mean the labour cost would have been any less than 136 had they fitted a new one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    You are right. I can't prove that the fuel temperature sensor wasn't faulty, but what is the point of cleaning a sensor for 136 euro (which should have been over 270 euro without the discount) when a new sensor with fitting at Dealer Two cost 53 euro? Does that seem reasonable?

    Anyway, no more business with Dealer One, as I feel they were more interested in draining my pocket than fixing the problem.

    Whether I pursue small claims or not, time will tell. The most annoying thing ever: everyone knows I was taken advantage of, but there's nothing I can prove :(

    I hope this case will help other Honda users in the future if they encounter the same problem.

    Thanks to all for the input.

    Post edited by Dr Hater on

  • Registered Users Posts: 64 ✭✭trindade

    Hi, would you mind sending their names please? I am considering a Honda and this story makes me feel worried. Thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,478 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    I'm just assuming that the labour would have been 136 whether they replaced the part or not, because thats the labour time spent including diagnostics. A supply and fit only price isn't the same thing.

    If cleaning the sensor worked, then the cost is €136. If they had replaced the part, then its €136 + €30.

    Again, not defending these guys, but we've often cleaned contacts on a sensor and its sorted the issue, its not something unheard of.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭User1998

    Why did you even go to a main dealer in the first place? How old is the car?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    Honda website states: "Don't open your bonnet to strangers. Bring your Honda to your local authorised Honda Dealer as they know best how to take care of it…"

    Post edited by Dr Hater on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭User1998

    Well they sure proved their point didn’t they

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Dr Hater

    The same website states:

    "As well as renowned reliability, sophisticated innovative engineering and competitive pricing, we also offer you the best customer service. If you have any issues with your Honda vehicle or products, or your customer experience please don’t hesitate to get in touch".

    Almost two weeks since I sent them an email and didn't even get an acknowledgement.

    I encourage you to review the situation and form your own conclusions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,740 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler

    To be fair, they just said to get in touch. They didn't say anything about getting back to you. 🤷