Brake Service? - MM Code 9

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ClarityAlex, May 18, 2018.

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  1. ClarityAlex

    ClarityAlex New Member

    Hi folks, I'm new to the forum but got my Clarity Touring (Canadian version) in January. I just got my first Maintenance Minder message - code A19.
    Code 9 = brake service & chassis inspection. Similar to code 0 for US cars but the wording is "brake service" for Canada vs "brake inspection" in the US.

    This "brake service" will be $170 at the dealer (plus the $60 oil change). They couldn't explain what it involves but said if I skip it my warranty could be affected. My primary reason to buy the Clarity was to save money long-term, so paying for bogus "service" every 4 months will drive up the cost of ownership significantly, but I don't want to throw away my warranty on such a complicated car. I also paid for the extended 7yr/160K warranty. I'm pretty pissed off.

    I figure I have three options:
    1. Suck it up and pay. See how frequently it comes up again.
    2. Do it myself, document it (possibly by video). Hope that satisfies their warranty people someday.
    3. Take it somewhere else for the service? Hope that satisfies their warranty people.

    I'm not a mechanic but normally do all my own vehicle repairs. I'm more than capable of greasing my calipers and doing a visual inspection under the car. I only planned to take the car to Honda for oil changes to stay in the warranty "good books" but it would be faster and more convenient to do myself, not to mention the savings.

    Normally I don't care so much but I worry about how complicated the Clarity is and want to keep my warranty happy where I can. But I am leaning towards doing everything myself at this point. Just wondering what other people's feelings are here. Or if anyone has experience with Honda's warranty department they could share. Thanks in advance.
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  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Manufacturers are ALWAYS looking for a way to avoid warranty repairs, and one of the easiest is to show you didn't do maintenance - and you will hear this if you skip the Code (or if you do it yourself and can't prove factory compliant work).
  4. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    I've not heard anyone else mention this particular service before. Seems to be an extremely high price for such an early service. Is it listed in the owners/maintenance manual?
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Dstrauss is right; you want to make sure you don’t give Honda a valid reason to deny a warranty claim. But this is just an inspection and is overpriced to boot.
    May I suggest you go to your manual, print out the list of what’s to be inspected, and take it to a local mechanic. Mine charges $20 US and gives me a receipt and signs the list. I keep this with all my service records in case of a warranty claim. So I am protected. I also change my own oil and keep those receipts to “stay in warranty”. You don’t have to have a Honda dealer do the service just like you don’t have to use Honda filters/lubricants/etc as long as they meet Honda’s requirements. That’s per the US Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Don’t know if Canada has a similar law. This saves me a boat load of $. Dealer sevice is hugely overpriced for things you can DIY like air and cabin filters. All you have to do is document that the service was done.
    I’ve looked at the maintenance requirements and the only thing I plan on paying my dealer to do is the coolant because it has 3 loops (engine, inverter/battery) and manual does not explain how to change all 3. All the rest I or my mechanic will do.
    Kendalf likes this.
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    The Canadian 9 is the same as the US 0. It is just an inspection. The only difference is the Canadian manual uses the word service instead of inspect for the brakes. No way would I pay $170 for this. This can also be found on p 477 of the American manual.
    Here is what is inspected:
    SUB-ITEM 9
    Factory Recommended Maintenance
    • Tie rod ends, steering gearbox, and boots.
    • Service front and rear brakes.
    • Check expiration date for Temporary Tire Repair Kit.
    • Suspension components
    • Driveshaft boots
    • Brake hoses and lines (including ABS/VSA)
    • All fluid levels and condition of fluids
    • Exhaust system#
    • Fuel lines and connections#
    • Stay RR, RR Subframe
    • Under body battery cover
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  8. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    Our dealer gives free oil changes to the original purchasers so our A01 service a couple of weeks ago was $26 (US) for the tire rotation with the oil change and inspection for free - I'd definitely find another service location if possible.

  9. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    K8QM, Your groundhog avatar needs a name!
  10. ClarityAlex

    ClarityAlex New Member

    I think it should be free too, but from what I can tell that is the standard price for a #9 service at all Honda dealers. The person I spoke with said it takes them about 2 hours and their shop rate is $120/hr so she didn't understand what my problem was. There is no possible way it takes them 2 hours to inspect the brakes. The whole thing is bizarre.

    This sounds like a good option. We don't have the same protection under the Magnuson-Moss act but it is well established that we can take our cars to non-dealer shops for service. I'll try to find a local shop who will do this, and probably get them to do the oil too so it's worth their while. Thanks.
  11. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    I am sorry but I don't understand how a 4-5 months old new car requires a brake service/inspection especially considering this is a hybrid with regen being used most of the time
    David A and KenG like this.
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  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’m with you; it doesn’t make a lot of sense!
    Only thing I can speculate on is that the tire rotation might be based on 6 months on a clock that started at production. I do know that I read somewhere that the Maintenance Minder will move up things to reduce the number separate service calls. Like moving up tire rotation to coincide with oil change if they are close. But who really knows since Honda won’t say how the MM does it’s calculations.
  14. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    The "0" part of the A01 or A09 is actually an inspection of a bunch items not just brakes (see KentuckyKens post) - it's just that the brakes are listed first.

    Of course it seems reasonable to me at $26 but I would also find it annoying if it was costing me $100+!

  15. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    I believe my point still apply. Unless ClarityAlex drove like 30 or 40,000km in the last 4-5 months, even the A (oil change) should not be coming up let alone the '9' code coming up.

    I thought one of the main selling point of a hybrid (let alone a PHEV/EV) is to have very limited maintenance. If Honda program it's maintenance minder to have us do an oil change every 3-4 months and pay $160+tax every 4-5 months for all the inspection, then I don't know if I want to buy this car...
    David A likes this.
  16. Jaketesla

    Jaketesla Member

    I just passed 10,000 km and mine is also showing that an A19 service is due. My previous car was a 2016 Accord and I would regularly go 15,000 km between oil changes. How is it possible that the Clarity needs more frequent oil changes when the engine only runs maybe 50 km per week. I also noticed that the service reminder changed from 4 weeks to 3 weeks during a week when the engine never started at all. That is not cool, Honda.
    Daniel M W likes this.
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’m at 2,000 miles and 3 months and my MM is showing service in 9 months which would be one year from purchase.
    This makes sense since I think tire rotation is called for once a year w normal milage (just a guess and what I think my old CR-V did). And since so far my miles are on track for only 8,000 per yr, I would expect the oil change would not trigger very soon. I think the MM on my old CR-V calculates oil change based on temp and number/duration of trips (among other factors) not just milage. I wonder if it’s using the total miles instead of just miles with ICE on? If it is it would be as bogus as the HV range.

    I wish the MM would indicate what service it calculates is due in 9 m.
    Anybody know if the sub code 1 for tire rotation is milage, time or both based?
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  18. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    Brake inspection shouldn't be that expensive. It is a visual inpection. The most they will do is to take the wheels off and check the pads and rotor for uneven wear. I would try a different dealer.
  19. ClarityAlex

    ClarityAlex New Member

    I just submitted the following request to Honda Canada. I will keep you all updated as things progress, but right now I'm very disappointed that this issue has come up at all. Hopefully they will have a positive response. I'm also planning to visit my local mechanic tonight to see if he feels he can meet their warranty requirements for service on my car.


    I purchased a Honda Clarity PHEV in January 2018. This was one of the first in Canada, and as an early adopter of this electric vehicle I bought the car primarily to save money over gas. My family has enjoyed the car for 4 months and about 10,000km without issue, but the maintenance minder in the car has recently stated that the car is due for A19 maintenance. A1 being oil change & tire rotation which is expected, but 9 being brake service. My local dealership quoted the #9 service at $170 but was unable to explain why my new vehicle needs this or why it is so expensive (I do not accept that it takes 1.5 hours at a shop rate of $120/hr to do a visual inspection). However they threatened that if I miss it my warranty will be affected.

    I purchased a brand new Honda with an extended warranty exactly to avoid unexpected expenses like this. I feel this is unreasonable so I have some questions.
    1. Why does a brand new hybrid vehicle require a brake service so early? The hybrid regenerative braking system means the car brakes are hardly used at all; I expect them to last years before needing replacement.
    2. Why is the brake service so expensive? I've spoken with some Clarity owners in the USA where this is a #0 service and is typically completed for free during an oil change. That is what I would have expected here as well.
    3. If I wanted to perform my own maintenance or take the car to an independent shop, what exactly needs to be done for a #9 service to ensure my warranty is protected?

    I hope you can understand how disappointed I am with this requirement, as this will cost me over $500/year if it is required at every oil change. I am actively promoting this car as a viable solution to high gas prices so hope you will take the time to answer my questions and that we can come to an agreement moving forward.

    V8Power, Chooch and Kendalf like this.
  20. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I feel your pain, especially about the brakes that we know have hardly been used. The short answer to 1 and to is dealer profit. Many dealers make more money from sevice than sales

    The Canadian sub code 9 does includes more than just brakes, but even so, that’s a lot of dealer profit at your expense.
    Here is the list from the Canadian Honda web site for sub code 9

    Factory Recommended Maintenance
    • Tie rod ends, steering gearbox, and boots.
    • Service front and rear brakes.
    • Check expiration date for Temporary Tire Repair Kit.
    • Suspension components
    • Driveshaft boots
    • Brake hoses and lines (including ABS/VSA)
    • All fluid levels and condition of fluids
    • Exhaust system#
    • Fuel lines and connections#
    • Stay RR, RR Subframe
    • Under body battery cover
    Note that the Canadian 9 is the same as US 9 except it says sevice brakes instead of inspect brakes. Honestly, this is just a visual inspection and is way over priced.

    In the US we are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This allows us to service our cars outside the dealerships and use non-Honda wear items (oil, filters, pads, etc.) without having our warranty questioned as long as they meet Honda’s standards.
    I change my own fluids, filters amd plugs and have my own mechanic do the inspections and things like brake fluid changes that I don’t want to fool with. He only charges me $30 for the inspection. I give him a list and he signs it and gives me a receipt. For work I do, I keep receipts and a log. This way I am covered for any future warranty claims. I also do my own research and usually find what I think are better fluids, filters, and plugs than what Honda has and for less money.
    No way would I pay $170 for this but I would want to not give Honda any reason to deny a future warranty claim. So if you have a trusted mechanic, just give him this list and pay him to do this but be sure to document it. Then if he finds a problem, you go to dealer for free warranty repair.
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  21. djohan621

    djohan621 Member

    Hi, is the warning only occur with the Clarity PHEV or with the Clarity BEV as well?
    any member that owned the Clarity BEV?
  22. ResilientMtl

    ResilientMtl New Member

    Hi ClarityAlex, I bought my Clarity PHEV on March 23rd, I'm at 11,000 km and my MM was indicating that I go for service soon and then all of sudden went to "Service Now" with a A 1 9 code. I'm on holiday, and will take this in to a local dealer as I have a long drive to get home and also have the extended warranty which I need to preserve. Same code, same low mileage (brakes only saw a week of winter), lot's of electric km's. Still waiting on a replacement windshield (on back order) as it cracked after a stone chip. My insurance will be paying the $2700 Canadian to replace, with the windshield itself at just over $2000 (the rest is installation and tax). Cost of ownership is not looking good, not to mention that Honda hasn't advised me if they fixed the software glitches for the "pre-conditioning" that turns off the satellite radio. Do you think that they sold this vehicle at a super skinny margin (given the high cost of batteries) and are going to make it all up on service costs? The overall driving experience is great, but the service end of things is disappointing.
    Daniel M W and Smitty74 like this.
  23. JJim

    JJim Active Member

    Did you get the answer from Honda Canada?

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