Montreal: Excel Honda Garage Service Review

I've used Excel Honda garage services on Pare street (near the Orange Julep) for about five years now and I've never had any major issues...until now. I've literally spent thousands of dollars in car services and repairs with them over the past five years and have not complained about anything.

For any major car repairs I've already moved away from car dealer garages, but for regular maintenance like oil changes and changing tires I figured that they were good enough. In general, I always thought that while dealer garage service is very often overpriced, they at least offered good quality work. I was wrong.

Honda car service has seen better days at this year's 2013 Car Show

I've once heard a concerning comment regarding the quality of Excel Honda's work from another mechanic, when he mentioned that my air filter was not changed (even after I went in for an oil/air filter change at Excel Honda only a week earlier). Paying for a service that never happened would tick off many people, but I'm probably way too forgiving. I should have complained to them, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and I didn't give it much thought after that. If they short changed me in other ways, I honestly don't know at this point.

This week was another story. About week or two after another routine oil change and changing from winter to summer tires, a rumbling could be heard while driving. The sound was definitely not normal and we went to a nearby independent car garage who checked it out. The car mechanic himself freaked out when discovered that the wheel was not bolted on properly (likely only manually tightened) and the wheel was in danger from rolling right off the car. How could Excel Honda's mechanics allow this? The car is used pretty much everyday on the Decarie expressway, imagine the chaos this would have caused if it came off during high speed driving!

I contacted Excel Honda and informed them of the situation. And what did they offer? Effectively nothing (unless you count "loyalty credits"). They offered the cost of our trip to the independent garage and an additional $50 as store credit. That's right, store credit. No refund on the faulty tire change that they did, and not even a penny for the life-threatening risk they exposed us to (and all the other people on the road with us). Not even to mention the loss of time for all our trouble. That's not a great or smart way to treat a former long-time (and pretty good spending) customer. Although with customer service these days I didn't expect much from them.

If you buy a TV from Wal-Mart or Best Buy you can take back after a week if it breaks on its own. Even one-man independent car garage shops will warranty their work for more than a week. Unfortunately, Excel Honda does not guarantee their work at all. Some people may feel anger over such carelessness, and disappointment in the weak response to rectify the situation. Most importantly, I'm just thankful no one was hurt as a result of all this. At the end of the day, I will be taking my business elsewhere and write this post as a cautionary tale to others.

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  1. I agree with what you have discussed here. Please provide more updates.

  2. thanks for the info! I need to find a reliable Honda mechanic - can you recommend something - where do you go now?

  3. I've been going to this small no-frills garage in Cotes-des-Neiges whom I have begun to trust over time.

    I've been there a few times by now, and they are honest and recommend only the fixes that you really need.

    I don't recall the name of the garage...It's at the corner (there are a lot of other garages in the area, which I have not tried) and if you speak Mandarin it does help. The owner owns an old Honda Civic himself.

    He even commented on the good condition of my car engine. Car problems are never fun, and he's been very helpful on more than one occasion. I once had a flat tire late at night, and he was very responsive and got it fixed as fast as can be expected. Prices are also very reasonable and that's why I keep going back.

    Here's an old Google street view link of the car garage I currently go to now.

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