Ask the Best and Brightest: What's in YOUR Inbox?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I just had to put the page break in there, somewhere.

I purchased a 2006 Honda Civic and loved the vehicle right up until I went over a speed bump now the car is NOT the same and I am so frustrated and heartbroken. I went over a speed bump this month and as soon as I went over it there was a horrible grinding noise that appeared to be coming from the sterring rack. Then to my horror, the car was NOT in Drive but somehow, having gone over the bump caused the vehicle to go into Neutral. When I tried to steer, the wheel did NOT have the tightness but rather was very loose! The steering would not go in the direction that I wanted it to. Immediately, I put the car in Park turned the ignition off and just sat in shock. My car is only 3 years old and it only has 18,400.00 klm on it. I thought to myself, how can this be happening? I haven’t had a problem before! The very next day, I took it in to the Honda dealership. They had it on the rack and also took it out for a test drive. The service person who took all my information looked into the computer and said I have the extended warranty for 5 years and this should be covered. It was a relieve to have the 5 years. However, the service guy told me that they can’t find anything wrong with my vehicle. I can’t believe that! I again was in shock! I know I am NOT loosing my mind! The car slipped into Neutral from Drive and a horrible loud griding noise from the sterring wheel could be heard OVER MY MUSIC! The steering wheel would not turn in the direction I wanted it too. I explained to the service guy what I had experienced from the car and that there is something terribly wrong and what I went through with this car is NOT NORMAL! The serviceman said there is nothing more that they can do for me! I asked what was done to the car. He said the mechanic looked at the brake line and all underneath the vehicle and that they went on a test drive with it and it appears to be FINE! At this point, I did’nt know what to do. In shock, frustrated and very upset, I drove home. The steering was way off! I had to oversteer just to do a basic right and left turn. Before the speed bump incident that was NOT THE CASE! I can differentiate between tight steering and a loose steering wheel. The steering wheel does not sit in center nor does it go back smoothing. Instead, it goes back in increments as if something is caught, broken, holding it. I have to bring the wheel back myself. Yet, I am NOT a MECHANIC and the mechanic and staff can’t see the problem. I can’t help but ask myself if I didn’t have the extended warranty would they be able to find the problem, fix it and how much $$$$ would I be out of pocket?

Due to it being late in the day while going home, I thought the next day I would call another dealership and get a second opinion! I phoned another dealership. The person said that the steering rack is binding up to have Honda check the subframe because it may be out of wack due to the speed bump. I am at the Honda dealership and told the same service person who looked after me the other day what the other dealership said. He said they don’t need to check the subframe because I need to be in big accident for the subframe to go out of wack. I stated, that the speed bump caused my car to go OUT OF WACK! and isn’t that a reason enough. He looked at me like I am stupid! He kept shaking his head no it is not the subframe. What can I say at this point? Is the other guy wrong and this one right? How do I know. I let it go and said nothing. The service guy said lets take it for a test drive. I drove and make the basic right and left turns and the steering wheel kept going back in increments and not smoothing like it did. The tightness was not there at all. As if I am not frustrated enough having this happen to me. A car that I loved so much and the best feature that I loved was the tightness on the steering. The serviceman could NOT SEE A PROBLEM! He looked and said it appears fine to him! Fine to him? The car is not FINE! The more he said it appears fine the more frustrated and upset I got! I was showing him the wheel how it doesn’t go back smoothly and he said he doesn’t see it! We switched seats and he drove the car. He made some turns and then did some “donut turns” and said the car appears fine. I told him that I don’t do “donut turns” but just doing basic turns the steering wheel has to be brought back. I saw him bring the wheel back a few times on his basic turns and immediately pointed it out to him. He said that is all normal. I asked him if he can’t feel the steering loose and he said he can’t. I kept telling him that I am so frustrated that no one from Honda can see or find the problem. He then said no one knows your vehicle better than you. That is the most and only intelligent thing that he said. We went back to the Honda dealership and he had the manager come out and speak with me. The manager sits on the passenger side of my vehicle and he is ready for me to take him on a test drive. Before I drove off, I explained all over again the problem my car has been giving me since the speed bump incident. He listened then said that we should forgo the test drive but that he will have the mechanic hoist the car and check the alighment and that should return the wheel to normal. My car is returned to me and the serviceman stated that the alignment was way off for some reason on the left side. They fixed it and everything should be fine. I should give the car one more day and see what I thing and get back to them. I didn’t need ONE WHOLE DAY! Just the drive back home, was an indication in itself that my car is not back to normal. The steering wheel doesn’t even sit centred, it is off a bit. The tightness is GONE! I have to oversteer when doing the turns. Getting into my driveway is an effort in itself. Before, all I needed was to turn the wheel slightly and it cooperated. The best feature of my car that I was hooked on and loved was the tight steering and now I don’t have it. What do I do? The so called experts don’t know what is wrong with it! Do I take it in to another dealership? Do I wait after my warranty is over and then get the problem looked at? I waited one day and phoned Honda back and I spoke to the manager. He assured he that he “signed off” on the vehicle meaning that he finds it safe to drive. I explained to him that having a relatively new car with a few kilm that it is not normal for it to act up and slip out of gear all on its own and for a loud grinding noise come out of the steering rack and now to have loose steering. How can this be normal? He said that he has done all that he can do. I asked him what would happen if my warranty expires and then the problem shows itself, would it be covered? He said that would be up to the Dealership and they would decide. I asked shocked, it wouldn’t be a definate yes? He said no, it is up to them! I don’t know what to do! On one hand, I feel silly making a big fuss about this and on the other hand, I am very concerned for my safety! If I go over a bad pot hole and I am surrounded by traffic, will the car slip gears again? Could there be a flaw in the workmanship? The steering, do I put up with loose steering? I paid for the extended warranty and at this point I feel lost, frustrated and upset! Does anyone out there know what is wrong with my car? Has anyone had a similar incident? I would really like to hear from someone because right now, I just don’t know what to do!

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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2 of 47 comments
  • CRacK hEaD aLLeY CRacK hEaD aLLeY on Jul 17, 2009

    1) Switch! to decaf!!! Now! 3) Get an alignment! LIKE! NOW!

  • Ronman Ronman on Jul 20, 2009

    Maybe he was typing on a Phone? anyway my favorite quote is "The best feature of my car that I was hooked on and loved was the tight steering and now I don’t have it. What do I do? well what you do, since as it seems your Honda dealer in in denial is go to an independent, known to be honest repair shop. if warranty wont cover, i have a feeling your insurance should cover accidental damage, since an unexpected, unmarked speed bump would be categorized under accidental, because that speed bump you talk of should have been unmarked and unexpected for you to go over at a speed that would knock your Civic into steering disobedience. my comment on the lack of paragraphs and grammatical mistakes is that they shouldn't be criticized, it's very obvious that it's very emotional and follows a P***ed off line of thought, and anyway it's not like he's writing to the truth about grammar,,,,it's about cars lighten up...

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.
  • Geozinger Up until recently this was on my short list of cars to replace my old car. However, it didn't pass the "knee test" with my wife as her bad knee makes it difficult for her to get in and out of a sedan. I saw a number of videos about the car and it seems like the real deal as a sporting sedan. In addition I like the low price, too, but it was bad luck/timing that we didn't get to pull the trigger on this one.
  • ToolGuy I agree with everyone here. Of course there are exceptions to what I just said, don't take everything so literally. The important thing is that I weighed in with my opinion, which is helping to move things forward. I believe we can all agree that I make an important contribution (some will differ, that is their prerogative). A stitch in time saves nine. Life isn't fair, you know. I have more to say but will continue at our next meeting. You can count on that, for I am a man of my word. We will make it happen. There might be challenges. I mean, it is what it is. This too shall pass. All we can do is all we can do. These meetings are never really long enough for me to completely express all the greatness within me, are they? Let's meet to discuss. All in a day's work. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day. At the end of the day, I must say I agree with you. I think you will agree. When all is said and done, there is more said than done. But of course that is just one man's opinion. You are free to disagree. As I like to say...(I am working on my middle management skills -- how am I doing?)
  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.