Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great Example of Poor Maintenance Design

I  have been a huge fan of Honda.  I have owned a 1986 Accord an a 1987 Civic Si - both very nice cars.   My oldest son owns a 2001 Accord Coupe.  His headlight was out, no problem, replacing a headlight bulb is not a big deal.  Taking a closer look at the manual, I found it interesting that replacing the headlight assembly should be basically a straightforward job?  Not, with a 2001 Accord.  Why would you need to remove or replace the headlight assembly?  Headlight assemblies get cracked or damaged over time and sometimes replacement is the only option.

What do you have to do?  You have to remove the entire front bumper to replace the headlight assembly.  When I read this in Honda's Official Service Manual, I was so surprised that I called the repair shop that works on my cars to make sure that there was not some workaround that I was simply not aware of.  What did the repair shop tell me?  "Yes, it's a nightmare, you have to take the entire front bumper off.  That is why people who have done it once, never want to do it again."  

This design philosophy goes along with what you have to do in order to replace the Accord's in cabin air filter which is a pain as well.

This is headlight assembly replacement is one of the worst designs that I have ever seen.   The only thought I have is that it is true that Honda Accords are one of the top stolen cars.  Unless Honda designed it this way to make it more difficult to steal headlight assemblies (I seriously doubt it) then this design was not well thought out.

It has prompted me to include a new list of basic maintenance questions that I will ask before I buy another car.