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Problems with a main dealer service [UK]

Bunzena

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Hi. Need some advice on problems with a recent main dealer service. on my 2021 NC750.

It's a relatively new bike - so to keep the warranty going - just had the first, full-year service done by my local dealer - last Tuesday.

Where I bought the bike in the first place.

I then rode the bike home [around 12 miles] and it's sat in the garage since then.

Just gone out to discover a large pool of oil under the bike.

Crawling underneath - I discovered the sump plug hadn't been tightened. So loose I could rotate it with my fingers.

I'll be going back to the dealer on Monday to rant about this.

But my question relates this the next issue.

I spy the oil filter - which has been changed.

There are copious amounts of red grease around the seal - enough to be spilling over on to the crankcase/oil pan.

It's ugly and filthy. I have a slight suspicion that there's a little oil leak there too.

My question is this.

Whenever I've replaced an oil filter, I NEVER use grease. Just a little rub of engine oil on to the O-ring and then tighten it up - gently.

I understood that using grease is completely the wrong thing to do - and can even damage the O-ring.

Maybe they had to use grease because they over-tightened the oil filter when fitting it in the first place? Like plumber's putty. The filter certainly feels tighter than 'hand tight'.

It feels as if the whole service has been done by the trainee - no care or attention paid.

Before I go back to the dealer on Monday and let rip - any thoughts on this?

Thank you.
 

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670cc

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Why would you want to go back to the dealer? Be thankful they didn’t mess it up worse, and don’t ever take the bike back there. It sounds like you have the skills the set the bike right, so just do it yourself and move on. In the US, we get one year Honda warranty and we are not required to have recommended service done by the dealer. I figure it’s a Honda, the chance of ever needing warranty service is slim, so I don’t worry about the warranty. None of the 4 motorcycles (Honda, Kawasaki, Zero) I have bought new in the last two decades have ever needed warranty service.

I don’t know about UK dealers in general, but this is the type of poor service I would expect from a USA dealer, and is the reason why my motorcycles rarely, if ever, return to the dealer after the initial purchase.
 

Bunzena

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Why would you want to go back to the dealer? Be thankful they didn’t mess it up worse, and don’t ever take the bike back there. It sounds like you have the skills the set the bike right, so just do it yourself and move on. In the US, we get one year Honda warranty and we are not required to have recommended service done by the dealer. I figure it’s a Honda, so the chance of ever needing warranty service is slim, so I don’t worry about the warranty. None of the 4 motorcycles (Honda, Kawasaki, Zero) I have bought new in the last two decades have ever needed warranty service.

I don’t know about UK dealers in general, but this is the type of poor service I would expect from a USA dealer, and is the reason why my motorcycles rarely, if ever, return to the dealer after the initial purchase.
Thanks 670cc.

You are right about the dealer - and this isn't the only problem I've had with them in the very short time since I bought the bike. And you're right that the good news is that they didn't mess things up even more! Perhaps I was naive to go back to them in the first place.

I'm saddened that it seems increasingly hard to get good service from skilled people anywhere, these days.

However, I'm keen to keep the warranty going [2 years here in the UK] - and without main dealer servicing it's an issue. Even if it's home serviced with Honda oil and parts - I do know that it can be tricky to make a claim. But you are also right - an NC750 is pretty under-stressed and it is a Honda! ;)

I do have some skills when it comes to cars and motorcycles - I used to be happy to rebuild engines, etc - but that was 40 years ago. Really what I'm keen to know is just how incompetent this dealer is - hence the question about the oil filter and the use of grease. Using grease on a filter was 'no-no' in my day.

Perhaps a bad mechanic would use it if they'd overtightened the filter - to stop it leaking?

Once I'm on firm ground - I will go back to the dealer. Not necessarily to get them to put things right - but to get my money back.
 

670cc

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Thanks 670cc.

You are right about the dealer - and this isn't the only problem I've had with them in the very short time since I bought the bike. And you're right that the good news is that they didn't mess things up even more! Perhaps I was naive to go back to them in the first place.

I'm saddened that it seems increasingly hard to get good service from skilled people anywhere, these days.

However, I'm keen to keep the warranty going [2 years here in the UK] - and without main dealer servicing it's an issue. Even if it's home serviced with Honda oil and parts - I do know that it can be tricky to make a claim. But you are also right - an NC750 is pretty under-stressed and it is a Honda! ;)

I do have some skills when it comes to cars and motorcycles - I used to be happy to rebuild engines, etc - but that was 40 years ago. Really what I'm keen to know is just how incompetent this dealer is - hence the question about the oil filter and the use of grease. Using grease on a filter was 'no-no' in my day.

Perhaps a bad mechanic would use it if they'd overtightened the filter - to stop it leaking?

Once I'm on firm ground - I will go back to the dealer. Not necessarily to get them to put things right - but to get my money back.
Pursuing a refund for the shoddy work done seems like a worthwhile endeavor.
 

Finklejag

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I wouldn’t take my bike back to that dealer if they couldn’t even do an oil change correctly. I would go there with your pics and show the owner or general manager and get your money back. The OEM Honda filter gasket comes pre lubed already.
 

Bunzena

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I wouldn’t take my bike back to that dealer if they couldn’t even do an oil change correctly. I would go there with your pics and show the owner or general manager and get your money back. The OEM Honda filter gasket comes pre lubed already.
Thanks Finkeljag. Thanks for the information on the oil filter.

As far as not taking the bike back to be fixed - my thoughts exactly.

If the bike hadn't been on a hard surface, I might have missed the oil leaking. Outside, a 'patch of wet'? Would I have noticed?

Imagine riding the bike and then the sump plug drops out and covers the back tyre in oil?

This is not an "Oh I'm sorry, it's never happened before" excuse. It's dangerous and potentially life changing. [And it's not the only problem I've had.]

I will get my money back for the service, I will then replace the oil and filter - triple checking that everything is tight - and then plan to "name and shame".

They are a large, long established, main dealer in the South East of the UK. Clearly with a service department that's incompetent [from my experience] and a General Manager who doesn't 'manage'.

On their website they say this:

"Our purpose-built workshop here at XXXXXXX Honda is operated by qualified and highly skilled technicians. We have the latest tools and equipment needed to provide the high standard of care you want for your motorcycle or scooter. As an official Honda dealer we are able to undertake all service, MOT and motorcycle maintenance work on all Honda motorcycles and scooters."

As "an official Honda dealer", I will also talk to Honda. Be interesting to see what they say. Their credibility is impacted too.

Perhaps I was lucky to spot the problem. I wonder how many other customers have also been affected?
 

GregC

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I've always run a bit of oil around the oil filter o-ring. Never considered grease. However, a few minutes with Mr. Google reveals a great debate on the subject with little agreement on which is better, or worse, and some "lifelong" mechanics swearing grease is better. Some saying using grease is a holdover from many, many years ago when oil filters were not the one-piece designs they are now.

So, as with many things related to vehicle maintenance ... who knows?
 

Bunzena

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I've always run a bit of oil around the oil filter o-ring. Never considered grease. However, a few minutes with Mr. Google reveals a great debate on the subject with little agreement on which is better, or worse, and some "lifelong" mechanics swearing grease is better. Some saying using grease is a holdover from many, many years ago when oil filters were not the one-piece designs they are now.

So, as with many things related to vehicle maintenance ... who knows?
Interesting. I came to the same conclusion that it's not absolutely clear cut about greasing the seal.

I was only ever told to use a smear of engine oil - not grease.

Main reason? To keep everything clean 'externally' [neatness?] and to minimise any chance to pick-up dirt on the mating surfaces when replacing the filter.

Okay - it's possible to wipe everything down/clean - but it's easier when it's not 'buttered with grease' everywhere.

Grease makes sense when you've got a gasket to keep in place - so maybe not relevant when it's an O-ring?

If there's a balance in the advice - it seems that the more recent posts on Google say 'oil' - the older ones 'grease'.

But who knows.

I'm just suspicious that the mechanic who forgot to tighten the sump plug, and then used grease [and a ton of it] on the oil filter - was a bodger.
 

jeremyr62

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Can’t see it matters either way. At least they used red rubber grease.

The motor trade never fails to disappoint in my experience.
 

zoomin

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More than anything else - messy oil-covered floor, gooey oil filter - my principal concern would be that there was sufficient oil in the sump to satisfy the motor's needs in that 12 miles. If there was enough oil, then your worst fears didn't happen. I'd take the issue up with the dealer and not expect much. But, you never know - the dealer may make it right.
 

Bunzena

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More than anything else - messy oil-covered floor, gooey oil filter - my principal concern would be that there was sufficient oil in the sump to satisfy the motor's needs in that 12 miles. If there was enough oil, then your worst fears didn't happen. I'd take the issue up with the dealer and not expect much. But, you never know - the dealer may make it right.
That is a concern.

There is now not enough oil in the sump to wet the bottom of the dipstick. However, that's after it dropped a ton on the floor after getting home.

As I understand it with this motor - if the oil level had fallen sufficiently on the journey home to cause an issue, then the oil light on the dash would have triggered?

Any thoughts?
 

jeremyr62

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Engines can run for a surprisingly long time with no oil at light loads. Unless you raced back from the dealers at full throttle, your engine will be fine. As a further example of the motor trade mainly populated by useless morons, my wife's car was main VW dealer serviced, and they left the sump plug loose too. I spotted it after a week when I noticed drops of oil on my driveway.
 

670cc

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That is a concern.

There is now not enough oil in the sump to wet the bottom of the dipstick. However, that's after it dropped a ton on the floor after getting home.

As I understand it with this motor - if the oil level had fallen sufficiently on the journey home to cause an issue, then the oil light on the dash would have triggered?

Any thoughts?
The dashboard oil light will illuminate if there is insufficient engine oil pressure. If the light stayed off during your journey home, then the oil pump was pumping oil through the engine.
 

Bunzena

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Thanks to all who contributed with advice, support and thoughts. Very helpful.

Went back to the dealer yesterday and saw the dealership owner. I was armed to the teeth with photos, a video of the not-even-finger-tight-sump-plug and a letter [checked over by a solicitor] detailing the issues with this service and all the other issues from before.

The owner said "he would investigate" and "come back to me". I stood my ground and asked for my money back. It was a vigorous discussion - but I think the owner could see the game was up - and I got my money back there and then.

The owner protested that the problems I had had were a "one off". I countered that having now looked at more reviews of the dealership - this was not the case.

I got berated for not having complained about all the other issues with the bike at the time. I explained I had a life to lead and a job to hold down rather than be their Quality Control department. And that Quality Control was something that should happen before crap work is handed back to the customer - and then becomes their responsibility.

I also explained that dealing with some of the loony car drivers round here is dangerous enough without the service department trying to kill me.

I won't be going back. My next service is due outside of warranty - so I'll be doing that myself.

Angry?

No - just disappointed.

Naive?

Probably.

Satisfied?

Not really. Well only that the bunch of Charlies in the workshop aren't responsible for servicing the plane I'm flying on this Friday.

I tried to find someone senior at Honda UK with 'Customer Service' in their title so I could talk to them. I'm still looking.

Now all I need is to find a way to get the full workshop manual from Helm here to the UK.

I communicated with them a couple of weeks ago.

The manual is $50. That's fine.

The cost for handling is $39.95 - which is just about okay.

The cost for shipping is $196.55 - which is just nuts. Unless it's being flown first class on Concorde.

Total bill is $286.50. Ironically this is about the price of the service I just had done.

The response from Helm was "Unfortunately, I can only tell you we ship Fed-Ex and I cannot justify or change the price."

I need a beer and lie down! ;)
 

jeremyr62

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You wont really need a workshop manual. I think the reliability of modern bikes is such that they have become kind of redundant. Probably why they are so hard to source. Nice to have but unnecessary. The NC is a very reliable bike too.
 

670cc

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You wont really need a workshop manual. I think the reliability of modern bikes is such that they have become kind of redundant. Probably why they are so hard to source. Nice to have but unnecessary. The NC is a very reliable bike too.
The latest ‘21-‘22 owner’s manuals, unlike the earlier ones, don’t even mention how to remove and install wheels. So, there are few, if any, torque specs in the owner’s manual. Even for routine maintenance it’s nice to have torque specs, as well as diagrams and instructions for removing and installing the bodywork.

The motorcycle doesn’t need to break for you to be working on it; you may just be making modifications. I got a service manual for every bike, trike, and scooter, tractor, mower, etc that I own.
 

zoomin

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I always purchase a Service Manual for every bike I have. Well, except for the BMWs that are closely guarded though some older models' manuals are available. For the present, I bought a 2018 from a dealer 2 months ago and it had 121 total miles on it. It'd essentially been in storage (owner bought it for his wife who just couldn't get into it. So it sat.).
At more or less $100.00/hr for dealer work, there are things a reasonably competent owner can accomplish. Or even if the bike has to go to a dealer an owner has some idea of the scope of repair/replacement. I generally agree with the reliability of contemporary motos but I feel better knowing I've got the SM. Too, it can answer the question, "Do I really want to get into this?"
 
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670cc

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I always purchase a Service Manual for every bike I have. Well, except for the BMWs that are closely guarded though some older models' manuals are available. For the present, I bought a 2018 from a dealer 2 months ago and it had 121 total miles on it. It'd essentially been in storage (owner bought it for his wife who just couldn't get into it. So it sat.).
At more or less $100.00/hr for dealer work, there are things a reasonably competent owner can accomplish. Or even if the bike has to go to a dealer an owner has some idea of the scope of repair/replacement. I generally agree with the reliability of contemporary motos but I feel better knowing I've got the SM. Too, it can answer the question, "Do I really want to get into this?"
The moderator removed your reference to purchase of stolen copyrighted material. The forum does not condone links or references to such. Helm, Inc is the only authorized distributor of official Honda NC7x0X service manuals. Honda or Helm does not offer a .pdf NC service manual version for sale in the USA.
 
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Bunzena

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The latest ‘21-‘22 owner’s manuals, unlike the earlier ones, don’t even mention how to remove and install wheels. So, there are few, if any, torque specs in the owner’s manual. Even for routine maintenance it’s nice to have torque specs, as well as diagrams and instructions for removing and installing the bodywork.

The motorcycle doesn’t need to break for you to be working on it; you may just be making modifications. I got a service manual for every bike, trike, and scooter, tractor, mower, etc that I own.
That's really interesting that it doesn't cover things like the wheels.

I wonder if I'm better off buying a manual for the older model [2016-2020]. Okay - it may have a different wiring diagram and won't feature upgraded parts [such as LED lights] that the 2021 model has - but it will be 95% 'right'.

Any thoughts?
 
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