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Discussion Starter #1
I am not out to hijack Will's thread or take away from his great efforts, but would like to try and help field some of the questions here at this site. Hopefully, between the two threads, we can answer as many questions as possible in a reasonable amount of time. Will, and any other dealers/salespeople you are welcome to chime in at any time you like.

There seems to be a growing concern over several issues and I will try to have some answers this week and address them in this thread as well as replying to the initial threads.

1)Windshields (holy moly, what a mess). I have not received much information from our tecnicians, because we have not had any "reported" troubles yet with windshields. Our service manager has promised me that he would talk to our Honda rep this week and get to the bottom of Honda's plan and find out how widespread this issue is.

2)Window leaks. Again, our dealership must be quite fortunate, or our customers just haven't made us aware of any troubles. Another topic that I hope to have our Honda rep address this week.

3)Availability. I can do a search for any of you interested in purchasing Elements and tell you which dealers have the model you are looking for. Either on hand on incoming. I can even give you the names and numbers to contact these dealers.

4)Price. I know this is important to many of you, as you deserve to keep as much of your hard earned money as we do :lol: I will provide up to date pricing information on MSRP's, etc. I would also be glad to help anyone in determining the correct fee's that they should pay. Thousands of people choose the dealer with the lowest price and then give all their hard earned money back in bogus fees and options they didn't ask for. Don't let it happen to YOU. I don't frequent this board to sell vehicles, but I will also give you a quote on what I would sell a particular Element for. There is a very real chance I will not be the lowest, because 95% of our E's bring MSRP right now. That may change, but for now it is just giving away "guaranteed" money. Again, I'll do my best.

5)Negotiations. I will try to answer openly my thoughts on the whole negotiation process, including giving my opinion (don't shoot me) on trade in's, etc. Many of these topics have been covered in several threads and can also be found through a search.

6)Surveys. Sometimes a pain in the rear, but it isn't changing anytime soon. Honda is dedicated to customer satisfaction and although the system in place is not perfect, it shows Honda's tolerance level for lack of professionalism.

Well, those are a few things off the top of my head. Let me know how I can help. Those who already own E's, congrats. Those thinking about buying one, best wishes.
 

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Supamann,

I gave a deposit to a dealer who told me that Honda "accepted" my order (for a 4wd, 5spd, side airbag E) on 4/22, but that he would not get "confirmation" from Honda until ~5/20.

Is this how the ordering process works, or am I waiting for a phantom car?

Different dealers seem to give different stories here...

Thanks.

Rob
 

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supamann -

i copied this from a separate post i made earlier:

I am going to buy an E before a 4 month cross-country trip I'm going to be taking from July - Nov. I would love to be able to get my hands on a 5sp/4wd before I leave (July 10). I talked to 2 dealers in the last week (here in Louisville, KY) and both said 2nd week of July for estimated delivery.

Obviously, that is cutting it a little close. I am willing to put down a non-refundable deposit for a guaranteed ship date as late as July 1. Is there any way in heck this might happen for me or should I just suck it up and get the auto?

For those dealers that respond, can you please let me know what timeframe you're quoting for these.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
[quote:44f3957f32="dexter19"]sup,

i asked will but heard no reply. the maitainence reccommendation of changing oil at 10,000/1 yr intervals. what's that all about? is it safe?[/quote:44f3957f32]

Well, that is what the owners manual states and the Honda tech guide shows. I did ask the one technician who I trust and respect the most and he stated that if it were his car he wouldn't wait until 10,000 miles (but then an oil change only costs him about $6), but said warranty wise that is acceptable. The oil used is a 5W/20 which is affected a little more by our conditions in Texas, but I think that you are safe following the owner's manual and changing every 10k. The Element was designed to be a very effecient vehicle and this is part of Honda's commitment to their customers, so you should take advantage of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
robkap, this should be fairly accurate as far as the dealer's confirmation. The trouble with the 5spd 4WD is the supply of these vehicles initially will be low. Normally, I could put in for your vehicle and tell you it's done and we can expect your new car on X day to be built and shipped on Y day. The 5spd's however are a different story.

When we "order" cars, we basically are given an allocation or allotment of a certain number of vehicles and can then choose trim lines, transmissions, etc. This happens once a month. Our allocations are tied into the national and zones sales, and vehicles available. I have ordered a 5spd 4WD EX on my last two allocations (2 months) and still have not received confirmation that this vehicle is being built. Both times, the Honda system accepted my order, but the first time the EX 4WD was changed (by Honda) to an automatic. I didn't find this out until I called my Honda rep and said "hey, where is my 5spd 4WD"? I am hoping to receive confirmation soon, as this time I was allowed to order 5 of these vehicles.

If you will PM me, give me all the details of your E (color, dealer ordered from and state, trim line - EX 5spd 4WD w SRS) I can check to see if your vehicle shows on order yet and keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, you might certainly be cutting it too close by waiting for those 2 dealers. I don't show any 5 spds 4WD EX's on order for the whole state of Kentucky. There are several in the surrounding states, but I am not an expert on how far away each dealer might be. For instance, there are 2 that are being built on 5/13 at 2 dealers in St.Louis, MO. There are about 4 dealers in Illinois with 5spds being built about the same time 5/3 to 5/13. Several in Virginia (just don't try to get Littledogbox's, she's been waiting patiently).

If this distance is something you can do, I will give you the dealer's numbers to call and tell you what cities, state, etc. Hope that helps some.
 

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[snip]
If this distance is something you can do, I will give you the dealer's numbers to call and tell you what cities, state, etc. Hope that helps some.
[/snip]

supamann - I would be interested in those dealers, but I'm confused as to what those dates mean. Are those expected delivery dates to the dealer or are those production dates? When I ordered my current car (BMW 318ti), the dealer was able to tell me its scheduled production start date, VIN assignment date, final build date and arrival date. The dates slipped a couple days here and there and the boat from germany took longer than I would have liked, but I had a pretty firm delivery date. Does Honda work in a similar way?

When my dealer quoted me the 2nd week of July, is that because the existing orders from other dealers had eaten up all earlier delivery dates? If that is the case, I would like to find a dealer with one on order to try and secure it (assuming it doesn't already belong to any of the other wonderful members of this forum).

Thanks for the quick response. Your and Will's help are a huge benefit to us all. I'll gladly send you business from anyone I know in your area (although I know you're not helping us out for that reason).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
jg, good questions. I'll do my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Honda's do in fact go through a similar process, from ordering, to build date, to ship date. The dates that I qouted you were the manufacturers scheduled build dates. Delivery from that time is usually within 2 weeks. The Elements don't have to come on the "slow boat from Japan" as we like to call it, so that helps.

The dealers that quoted you the July time frame, are probably being optimistic at this point that their order is filled and confirmed by Honda soon. I am sorry that I don't have more knowledge of this area, as I have only been doing the ordering for the last month here at our dealership. I have many things to learn about this whole process.

Thanks for the kind words and support. I'll try to PM the dealers that show E's on order (confirmed) in the nearby areas. I also forgot to ask if you had a color preference.
 

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supa-

thanks for the help. i'm looking for an eternal blue ex 4wd 5sp. i would be willing to go to any city within about a 12 hr drive of louisville, ky which would cover the panhandle of fl up to the great lakes, east to the sea, west to, well, west to 12 hours west of louisville (st louis is 6 hrs).

thanks for the help.

jgmoore
 

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I asked Will and got no response, So I'll ask you. What do the tech think of durablend or synthetic oil? I asked the tech where I took my first oil change to and he basically talked it down and talked me out of it. Yet, when I got it back and looked at the sticker reminding me when to change it, it had the ad for Castrol Durablend and full synthetic. What gives?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
[quote:2011ee51af="Ger Brassfield"]I asked Will and got no response, So I'll ask you. What do the tech think of durablend or synthetic oil? I asked the tech where I took my first oil change to and he basically talked it down and talked me out of it. Yet, when I got it back and looked at the sticker reminding me when to change it, it had the ad for Castrol Durablend and full synthetic. What gives?[/quote:2011ee51af]

Ger, I will be golfing in a tournament today with my best service advisor and my service manager. I shall ask them both their opinions and report back this afternoon.
 

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Supamann rulez?

Well. I will then.

Supamann rulez!

Thank you for your kind help with answering questions. You da bomb!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
[quote:53bd895d77="Ger Brassfield"]I asked Will and got no response, So I'll ask you. What do the tech think of durablend or synthetic oil? I asked the tech where I took my first oil change to and he basically talked it down and talked me out of it. Yet, when I got it back and looked at the sticker reminding me when to change it, it had the ad for Castrol Durablend and full synthetic. What gives?[/quote:53bd895d77]

Ger, ok I got with the service guys and asked why they are leary of using synthetic oils. It seems that it is more "old school" reasoning. They just aren't comfortable trusting an oil to last 15,000 - 20,000 mile intervals. I brought up a good customer of ours, who owned a Prelude, and swore by using synthetic oil. We looked at his car often (because he brings it here exclusively, has a lot of mods, etc) and at 120,000 miles, it was one of the cleanest engines any of our techs had ever seen. The logic seems to be that synthetic oils are fine and proven to be very beneficial. The techs biggest comments all say the same though, if you go synthetic, then always use synthetic (not a blend) and don't change back and forth with conventional oils.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
[quote:706944c949="TheLusciousHellcat"]Supamann rulez?

Well. I will then.

Supamann rulez!

Thank you for your kind help with answering questions. You da bomb![/quote:706944c949]

Thanks Hellcat :wink:
 

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Supaman,

First of all thanks for your candidness on the forum. It is refreshing and the way you and your dealership do business is the ideal way of doing business. :D

Quick question. I spoke with my salesperson yesterday and was told that the Element I had ordered (Green, EX, 2WD Automatic Trans, Side Air Bags) would be built on June 16th. and that delivery would follow in a week or so. He never used the term "confirmation". Based on the specific date given, do you think it is a build date or just an estimate?

Following up on another post, if the build is confirmed, will the salesperson have a VIN and a way to track its progress? I ordered a PT Cruiser three years ago, and was able to track it from various stages of production and transportation. Even the railroad and where the train was from Mexico to New Jersey!

Thanks again for your valued information.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pb, your E will get the VIN number shortly after the build date. At that time it will also be pre-assigned a ship date and the dealership can then track it better. Honda also will tell us what city your vehicle is in/near as it gets closer to our dealerships. I believe there is also a link that you can follow once you have the VIN number. I'll check back and find out.
 

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supaa...

I have requested quotes from my local dealerships on the following.

Orange 4WD EX /w Fog Lamps installed @ Dealership

I also have asked about what other fee's they have specifically "documentation fee's".

Can you give me a price I can expect to pay for this and any other fee's I should look out for?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
San,
The MSRP for an EX 4WD auto is $21,310. The price our dealership charges for Fog Lights is $565 installed. That gives you a beginning price of $21,875. I have a standing offer to all memebers of this forum of $500 off MSRP. I will be the first to tell you, I am not the lowest price out there and won't be in most cases. There are others at this forum that have posted prices up to $1000 and $1200 off MSRP, so it is possible I suppose to get that type of deal (which BTW I think is an exceptional price).

As for the fees and other charges.......this is what separates the good dealers from the "jicky" dealers. I understand the reason for adding extra fees, extra accessories and things customers don't request and it's all about profit. So, on to the fees you can expect to pay:

Dealer documentation fee (we call it a Doc Fee) - $50 (that's what we charge, but some might charge more, just get the exact amount up front).

Tax (depends on your state, in Texas it is 6.25% of the sale price)

Title (again varies by state, in Texas it is $13.00)

License (Texas it is 59.80)

Texas also has a road and bridge fee ($10) as well as a 2 year inspection ($21.75) and an inventory tax (usually from $30-$50).

Just make sure that when you get your price quote, whether it is by phone, in person, fax or email, that the dealer includes a breakdown of all fees and a TOTAL price you can expect to pay. Dealers will use the terms "protection package, dealer services, customer fee, paint sealant/fabric guard" and all sorts of terms to add to the price of the vehicle. All those fees are bogus and you should make them aware that you will wait for a vehicle that is fresh off the truck, with nothing added. Then let them try to explain how all their cars already have this. They don't come from Honda that way, I can assure you of that.

There are some fees that other states might charge that could be legitimate charges. All you have to do to find this out, is call a couple of dealers in surrounding areas and verify the fees as legit. Hope this helps. If you need more information on which dealers have specific vehicles, let me know and I'll try to provide you a list once you know exactly which E that you want. Never hurts to arm yourself with all the dealers in the areas phone numbers and what they show to have in stock or in route.
 
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