Feb 11 2009

Say NO to Honda

Published by at 7:05 pm under All,Miscellaneous

I used to drive a 2-door sedan, and when I was pregnant 5 years ago, hubby bought a Honda CVT car for me as it is more convenient to put a car seat for the baby.

The car has a very nice aesthetic, as well as received good reviews in terms of fuels saving. We loved the car a lot and thought we could keep it for 10 years.

We soon found out that the car has had a lot of small problems, which we could fore-go. But when it reached 4 years, soon outside of manufactuerer’s warranty, we experienced very bad jerking. It was just after servicing the car – we always go back to Honda authorized service center.

So, we went back again and they said it could be caused by the gear oil, which they changed/topped-up previously. They said it could be due to too much gear oil added into the gear box. So they drained a little out. They charged us a fee (not small) for that. :(

Then, I continue to experience the jerking and it was getting worse. We went back and insisted they change the gear oil entirely. They charged us for a full gear oil change fees. Fine – IF IT WORKS, but it DID NOT.

The car got worse every day, and up to one point the engine even stalled when I was exiting at a round-about.

After going in and out of the workshop many times, we decided to go to a different Honda workshop. Guess what? We found out that many of this model has the same problem. Some branches even recorded 40+ replacement, and still have those damaged gear boxes at their backyards. Most were ‘luckier’ that their gear box damaged during warranty period, so they got it exchanged without cost.

I don’t use the car very much, so logically it only shows its signs after warranty expires.

Later, we learnt from 2 independant sources that this is a common problem in the first batch of the Honda CVT gear boxes in Malaysia. It is caused by the factory-filled gear oil: they used the same type that was filled for Japan cars, which they didn’t expect it not suitable for Malaysia climate. The factory filled gear oil actually damaged the gear box!!! But Honda covered the news so well, it did not get published.

To me, if it is a manufacturing fault, the manufacturer should recall the product instead of waiting for the product to damage due to ‘wear and tear’ (so they said in our case!).

If we get it replaced, it would cost about 1/3 of the new car’s price. We are in dilemma now… :(

Seriously, due to their dishonest and irresponsible practice, I would NEVER buy any Honda cars in the future.


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41 responses on Say NO to Honda

41 Responses to “Say NO to Honda”

  1. Harryon 12 Feb 2009 at 12:45 pm

    cant this matter be referred to the consumer court?

    its too much.

    it is very obvious this is totally the manufacturers’ fault all along.

  2. Merrynon 12 Feb 2009 at 1:40 pm

    my Darling’s driving a Proton Perdana V6 since like 6-7 years ago? oso heard of the gear box problem.. who havent lah? Perdana was famous for it recently kan? oso in dilemma.. coz to replace it will costs a bomb.. how? change car? we are in da same dilemma here eh? albeit different car lah!

  3. suzetteon 12 Feb 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Harry, I really wanted to, but we have no proof of that, although this has been a known issue in the industry. They never admit it openly, but quietly agreed to replace damaged CVT gear boxes, which are under warranty, and quietly charged those outside of warranty. But most of the CVT gear boxes in Malaysia are affected. We checked many car related forums, apparently this issue is only in Malaysia!! :(

  4. rickyon 12 Feb 2009 at 2:00 pm

    NEVER buy the first batch from HONDA. The behind meaning of warranty is somewhere will break after warranty end.

    Actually, during the second service, you can mad to the service center as the first problem is not solve. Tell them to fixed it.

  5. suzetteon 12 Feb 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Marryn: But for Honda, it is clearly manufacturing fault as they used the wrong gear oil as factory fill. They knew this and rectified for the following batches of cars. Just didn’t want to recall or change our gear boxes – very expensive ler… :(

  6. suzetteon 12 Feb 2009 at 2:17 pm

    ricky: we did that, but in the initial stage, the issue was intermittent. So, when the guys from service center test-drove it, he couldn’t find any problems. We were seen like idiots. :(

  7. calvinon 12 Feb 2009 at 4:16 pm

    but honda’s my dream car wo…..*sad*

  8. Alexon 19 Feb 2009 at 12:00 am

    Suzette, my wife’s honda jazz I-dsi has got exactly the same problem as yours. She bought this car in Nov 2004, it was serving us pretty well, convertable seats, fuel saving, nice manuvouring etc. Until recently there is vibration when running from stationary, went to service at honda and the mechanic said need to replace flywheel, wheelcase (don’t understand, but it’ll cost a bomb) yet he can’t guarantee it will solve the problem! I went to Honda Malaysia and complaint about this, yet they rebuke saying that the car is over warranty period, yet it wasn’t consistently serviced at Honda after warranty period. So now we’ve given up on Honda and are planning to get rid of the car and get a Myvi ! Today I found out from another friend that Honda did sent her mail in 2003 asking owners to come back and replace the gearbox. I’ll try to send you this if she manage to find the letter. This will be a very very solid proof that Honda is at fault! For us its the end of Honda, wish them suffer another 47% profit drop worldwide this year! Hope that you could replace your gearbox.

  9. suzetteon 19 Feb 2009 at 11:16 am

    Alex: Thanks for sharing your case. Now I really wish that your friend can find her letter! If it is 2003, the chance would be quite slim unless your friend really files all letters! I believe with that, it would make our cases more strongly. They are just so dishonest!

  10. Leonon 27 Apr 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Dear Suzette, I just bought a new CRV for my wife but the CD player was faulty on the first day. Honda says send in for repairs and it takes 3 weeks but after the repairs the display screen has water condensation when the interior temperature is cold. Honda says send in for 3 weeks repair again but I ask for a new set replacement and Honda says no such policy. This is as good as cheating the customer so I’m gonna tell all my friends to boycott Honda vehicles from now. Honda is irresponsible period! They do not show appreciation to customers.

  11. Terryon 15 May 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I have just aquired a 2004 jazz cvt and the gearbox vibrates on initial takeoff from stationary.This only happens when the car has reached normal operating temperature and never when cold.This is very disappointing as the vehicle has only 18000 on the clock which was a key factor in deciding to purchase it in the first place.I have arranged to return the car to the dealership and they have agreed to have it looked at by their honda outlet.I will let you know the outcome.I am reluctant to name the dealership until they have had a chance to rectify this problem and am at the time of writing still hopeful of a positive result.Watch this space. Terry

  12. suzetteon 16 May 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Terry, so sorry to hear this. Hope the dealer would rectify for you. Do let us know the outcome. Actually 2004, or end 2003, is the first batch of this Honda CVT imported to Malaysia!!

  13. DinKnighton 17 Jun 2009 at 12:00 am

    The previous Honda City with CVT transmission is a well-known failure for being both ugly and unreliable at the same time. Die-hard Honda fans will cover it up, but many mature customers know that if you want reliability, best to get a Nissan or Toyota.

    Also, the latest City launched late last year comes with a normal auto gearbox instead of the previous CVT gearbox, with Honda Management saying they chose the autobox to give a ‘sporty feel’ to the customers they cheat. The only reason they only offer normal auto gearbox now is because Honda doesn’t know how to make a CVT work properly, thus give up trying and don’t offer CVT anymore.

    Contrast that to the X-CVT used in Nissans like the Murano and Sylphy which do not give problems, and you will see why many people cannot respect Honda and will never consider buying a Honda in their lives.

  14. suzetteon 17 Jun 2009 at 11:06 am

    DK, thanks for offering this insights. Well said about this. And I am one of those, that will not buy any Honda any more!! No matter how good looking or how well it sound on other features.

  15. eddyon 27 Jun 2009 at 3:07 pm

    guys, these are the facts..

    Just replaced my gb recently. 2004 idsi. Cost me 3k for the gb (2nd hand) and 485 labour charges. Lucky ive been covered by am extended waranty insurance. But the SC only give me 1mnth warranty for the gb. Dont care coz plan to sell it off.. Call honda SC Global ammity Sri Kembangan, they got plenty of 2nd hand gb. But aggreed with DinKnight, will never buy honda anymore.. Gudluck suzette..

  16. suzetteon 27 Jun 2009 at 3:56 pm

    eddy: sounds like you had the same batch as mine, also 2004. I am selling it off TODAY! Yes, I’m getting a new car, and of course – NOT Honda. Will never buy it any more as well. Too much of dishonesty there… I heard that the bearing also is an issue. 5 years car, changed bearing twice – something common, but not so common for other makes.

  17. eddyon 29 Jun 2009 at 2:30 pm

    congrats suzette.. am still looking a buyer for my car.. Yup u r rite.. i’ve just changed my bearing both rear n front. U need to do so when yr tyre start produce a sound like plane. So that’s the call for u to change it… the cost?? almost 1k…

  18. suzetteon 29 Jun 2009 at 3:05 pm

    eddy: That’s true, overall maintenance. Every few months, something bound to have problem. Just last month, water tank leaked too. My husband said he is so scared of hearing me reporting problems on the car – too much money spent. 5 years car, not much used, yet lots of problems… If it is common for ALL makes, then we understand, but not. :(

  19. Terryon 02 Jul 2009 at 4:42 am

    Hello again Suzette.Happy to report that a repair has been effected and my Honda gearbox is now silky smooth.Credit where credit is due and my thanks go to Evans Halshaw for sorting this problem out.Particular appreciation to the Wakefield Peugot dealership who made all the arrangements for the car to be taken to the Honda people in Leeds and also supplied a courtesy vehicle for me.Great customer care and well done indeed. Terry

  20. suzetteon 02 Jul 2009 at 8:58 am

    Terry: Good to hear that. Wow, you have the right connections then. Over here, nothing would be done, unless I fork out about 1/3 of the car’s value to change the gb. I sold it already last week. LOL!

  21. adibon 02 Sep 2009 at 3:56 am

    how to differentiate between cvt gearbox and normal auto gearbox on jazz 2004?it seems i also had an intermitten juddering problem on low rpm.i was so worried right now as i bought it second hand from used car dealer.do pm me at adib1510@gmail on what should i do.


  22. Naza Kamaruddinon 23 Sep 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Now i know . I think iam in the problem now. Oh my god…. pheww….hah …..money , money, money . want to sell also means loose money. New honda but spend on repairs like old car !!!

  23. Terryon 24 Sep 2009 at 4:36 am

    I did try to resond to Adib but the link failed twice so I gave up.The Honda dealer that effected the repair reported a quick clutch problem,whatever that is and because the car was less than five years old Honda underwrote the work.I can confirm that the car has clocked up another 5000 trouble free miles since then and I can only report ,what a “sweet little mover” it is proving to be.When I aquired this car from Evans Halshaw I also bought an M.O.T and service package and it is due for this at the end of the month.I have arranged for Stratstone Honda in Leeds to do the work as they were the dealership who fixed the gearbox and will report back when this is completed.Let’s hope they keep up the exceptional customer service they have provided thus far.On the present evidence I know who will provide my next car and yes,it will be a Honda. Kindest regards. Terry.

  24. Terryon 01 Oct 2009 at 4:29 am

    Well now, it seems I have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and fallen foul of Evans Halshaw’s two year service package.When I purchased the car I thought It seemed a good deal to buy the package too.Honda services are known to be expensive and so I did the math and decided that two sevices and two m.o.t’s for three hundred quid was a no brainer.Stratstone Honda at Leeds is now part of Pendragon and the sensible course of action was to let them do the work,wrong.Stratstone claim not to be a participating dealership even though section F in the terms and conditions clearly states”Evans Halshaw participating dealership”means any motor vehicle dealership owned and operated by the Pendragon Plc group of companies.A very discernable curling of the lip at the mention of Evans Halshaw from the manager confirmed that I was wasting my time there and so I cancelled the booking and returned home to Wakefield much chastened by my experience.If you buy a second hand Honda from these people, don’t expect any Honda Pendragon dealership to service it under this two year package, they won’t,and what is more there is no Honda franchise under the flag of Evans Halshaw in any case.If I want Honda expertise,and I do, then Pendragon will need to include Stratstone In order to deliver their promise.They will also need as a matter of urgency ,to retrain their staff at the two year service package helpdesk in appropriate customer relations,the wholly unacceptable attitude to my complaint had to be heard to be believed.Rule no 1, never let personal feelings cloud your judgement,I am the reason for your work,not an impediment to it.Rule no 2, see rule no 1,or better still find another job, customer relations are not for you.As for the manager at Stratstone’s Leeds,see all above and try to to conceal your contempt at being associated with Evans Halshaw and Pendragon,they pay your wages now.In conclusion I am delighted with my Jazz and will be buying another in a couple of years but not at Stratstone Leeds,and that is the real shame. Terry.

  25. JerryTanon 05 Apr 2010 at 1:09 am

    i am planning to get a used Honda city…..but after read all the comments, i am thinking it twice. does all Honda City CVT have this problem? how bout the facelift model (2005 onwards).

  26. eddyon 05 Apr 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Mr Jerry Tan: 2005 model n above seems not 2 hav any similar problems.. but my strong recommendation… giv it up… buy another car… not city…

  27. Zarifon 04 Jun 2010 at 1:52 am

    Ooooo…. plsss… i just bought a second hand honda city idsi 2003. U guyz no what? My gearbox just got failure. I am now thinking what’s the best thing to do since many people said that the cost of new gb cost a bomb. It was jerking last time and i thought there’s nothing to do with it. Suddenly, it failed. Luckily i was almost reach my house. Pls guys, i need advice..

  28. Zarifon 04 Jun 2010 at 1:54 am

    Anyone can help me.. i need to know which honda sc is the best that can replace my gb at a lower price. If possible, pls give me the contact no as well..

  29. eddyon 04 Jun 2010 at 11:46 am

    Zarif: if u r at klang valley area im suggesting u to go to Global Ammity honda service center at Seri Kembangan.. They can replace your gearbox with 2nd hand unit… Cost will be around RM3-4k.. contact no. 03-89459508.. well gud luck zarif.. one more boooo’sss to city…

  30. Zarifon 07 Jun 2010 at 10:34 am

    thanks eddy.. i will contact Global Ammity as soon as possible. thank u so much..

  31. Idreeson 19 Aug 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Hello dear

    i have honday city IDSI 2005 model and i am living in dubai, my car have problem that when i am shifting Gear from N to D, at the starting point it will vibrate and car will move slowly, by increasing accelerator, vibration will be more, but if i will move it slow then it will show small vibration, but when i am on the signal and we have to move fast then this problem is big headache.
    i show my car to one mechanic in dubai, according to him this is gearbox problem, and it will cost near to 800 $ to replace the old gear box not the new one. can you advice me how i can solve this problem.

  32. suzetteon 20 Aug 2010 at 9:05 am

    Idress, pls find response from Terry to you below:

    Replace the “quick clutch” mechanism on the gearbox….Kind regards. Terry.

  33. JerryTanon 24 Aug 2010 at 10:11 pm

    most of Honda service centre now they have re-cond City CVT gearbox around rm4k if not mistaken

  34. Michaelon 07 Feb 2011 at 12:05 am

    I using a honda city 2006 model, also facing the same problem,
    in and out fr the SC many many time, still the same, i think we should file a complain to tribunal pengguna together…. obviously this is the manufacturers’ fault all along.


  35. lukson 04 Oct 2013 at 3:11 am

    I have a Honda Jazz 1.4 IDSI manual… the result is AWESOME. Is strong, is cheap, have a nice quality, is very easy to drive. The CVT is not bad, but requires fluid change more frecuently. The manual is a beautiful car. But much women are beast for driving cars and no mainteinance and a bad use of the car. This is not a problem at the car, are the people. This car with good mainteinance is eternal. Buy a toyota hilux if you’re a cheapskate

  36. suzetteon 04 Oct 2013 at 12:53 pm

    luks, manual is different from auto. The make up is completely different for your gear box, and require different gear oil. Please do your homework first before barking here in my blog and calling people cheapskate. Don’t come here and insult all females, your mother is also a woman, please remember that. Also, don’t bother to come back to leave any more insulting comments, all will be deleted.

  37. Yenon 03 Jan 2014 at 11:00 am


    After my last service, just one day ago… engine, gear oil & replace spark coils (to address jerking problem)… now jerking stopped but the car gets worse by shuddering/vibrating when trying to pick up and accelerate.

    I service outside of Honda SC (2004 idsi)… my mechanic suspects might be gearbox issue… most frightening one. What is your opinion?

    Jerking vs vibrating is quite different… lately (b4 this service) when stationary at D gear there is a sound from the gearbox so i have to change to N.

    What are my best options? What is the real problem? I change gear oil every 20K… Honda semi-synthetic. So if i had changed at 15K intervals this would not happen??

    Would I need to get a second hand gearbox and what are the risks? Do it at Honda SC better guarantee? Thanks.

  38. Yenon 03 Jan 2014 at 11:04 am

    What is the “quick clutch” mechanism? Is it referring to the gearbox? TQ.

  39. suzetteon 03 Jan 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Yen, so sorry to hear that you are another victim in this. I would think the best option is to replace the gearbox but it is very expensive. As for the risk of a second hand gearbox, we can just imagine why there is a second hand available? Someone must have changed theirs to a new one, most likely during the warranty period. If they got theirs changed, there must be some issues, might be minor jerking/vibrating. It might last you a while, but eventually you might need another change, maybe. Just my 2 cents.

  40. clairrence ngon 12 Aug 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I’m a mechanical engineer and now work as a music teacher. I’ve got an city idsi year 2003 till today.Along these years, I do encounter lots of issues on this car, searching for a good mechanics everywhere. It seems most mechanics like to tell different stories when issues arrive. Cause I like to ask in detail.

    Since last year I found a reliable mechanic, he’s been work as a senior tech. in a famous honda SC, and running his own SC now. Now, I only depend on him for service my honda city. I prefer his work as all question I ask, I’ve got a satisfy answer and he really solve most problem. sometimes if the problem not solve, he will not charge again when I bring back with the same issue. if u do live around setapak area, I do recommend him to all honda owner. This young man call ah hou: 017-3323285

  41. faridon 17 Feb 2017 at 9:09 pm

    my suggestion

    1.replace flywheel
    2.flushing gb
    3.use cvt oil by honda

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