The Honda Difference
What makes Honda one of the preferred brands of High Road Automotive? We were recently asked this question by a client who needed to replace their old car. The client wanted to know which brand we, as mechanics, would recommend to them. Every automotive repair shop gets this question from time to time, and we have a lot of fun answering it. The stated joke is always that it depends on our mood, what we had for breakfast and a thousand other variables that could influence our answer. But just for fun, I asked several members of our staff and I was surprised by the single answer that I got.
The answer at High Road Automotive was universally Honda. However, there were some qualifications to this. Honda has a quality culture that goes far beyond just reliability and we rarely do major repairs.
The construction of the Honda automobile shows careful touches even in the places that are never seen by the vehicle owner. The standards that are upheld in welding and assembly are the best from our point of view.
Lower Service Costs
As we explore the Honda method of manufacture from a service technicians point of view, there are several things that we notice. The design allows easier access to frequently serviced areas which reduces labor costs for the owner. The hoses and wires are anchored and stabilized securely which prevents excessive vibration and extends their life. The small parts that are known to fail on certain other brands, like fuel pumps, never seem to fail on a Honda. It becomes obvious that Honda designed the car to be inexpensive to own and maintain.
What about other Brands?
Where does this leave Toyota? Well, tied for 1st place actually. Toyota produces a wider product range with more engine and transmission choices, so we tend to see a few more issues come into our shop. But upon a comparison, it appears that the rate of repair is too close to call without a statistical analysis. Given that this is a blog written with data collected by anecdote and only for fun, we will leave it there. No one can argue with the quality of a Toyota, though.
A couple of staff members mentioned Subaru as a close second for mountain sports. High Road Automotive is close to the Cascade Mountains and there are a lot of people that prefer a Subaru even with the attendant service requirements. The inclement weather of the Pacific Northwest ensures that there will always be a Subaru fan close by.
Several High Road technicians mentioned single models of other brands like Infiniti, Mazda or Acura. In a room full of car experts, there is never a shortage of opinions on cool cars! But for normal, dependable and trouble-free driving and ownership, it seems that Honda is the winner in this lunch-time poll.