If only they were all as reliable as.... - type's'
Japanese manufacturers have dominated a poll of the Top 100 most reliable used cars over the past decade.

The list, compiled by independent mechanical breakdown insurer, Warranty Direct, found that every car in the Top 10, and 16 out of the Top 20, were Japanese models. The Honda Accord was at number one, with Honda also taking the 6th place with the the Civic and 8th with the CR-V.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - bell boy
gosh that does surprise me ;)
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Malcolm_L
No surprise to most of us, however there's a lot behind those figures.

First of all European marques have to compete with Far east manufacturers, to keep their cars competitive this has meant the sourcing of components is migrating to the old Eastern bloc.

Fine, this gets the labour costs down, but components are being specced to do the job and no more, there isn't the amount over-engineering that we had.

In general, Japanese firms specify lower component failure rates and reap the benefits in long term reliability.

As regards the Accord being 1st, it's only the latest Accord model that's caught on, previous versions were typically owner driver and usually owned by more mature types. Certainly not driven by a typical cross-section of drivers which would potentially impact reliability ratings.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
No surprise to most of us, however there's a lot behind
those figures.
First of all European marques have to compete with Far east
manufacturers, to keep their cars competitive this has meant the sourcing
of components is migrating to the old Eastern bloc.
Fine, this gets the labour costs down, but components are being
specced to do the job and no more, there isn't the
amount over-engineering that we had.

>>

Japanese car companies (in Japan) face some of the highest labour costs in the world and offer relatively generous employment packages. They are able to produce cars economically thanks to the thoroughness of their design (a Japanese car co typically employs 4x the number of design engineers that a similarly sized European company would). Furthermore, many failures on modern cars are electronic system failures and the Japanese have a big lead in manufacturing highly reliable electronic systems at low cost. Just look at the connectors on a Japanese car and then look at the connectors on a French car!!
If only they were all as relaible as.... - L'escargot
First of all European marques have to compete with Far east
manufacturers, to keep their cars competitive this has meant the sourcing
of components is migrating to the old Eastern bloc.
Fine, this gets the labour costs down, but components are being
specced to do the job and no more, there isn't the
amount over-engineering that we had.


In this day and age of automated and computerised production it doesn't generally make any difference where things are manufactured. The design is specified by the car manufacturer and in a great deal of instances the machinery they are made on will be the same. I've bought shirts of the same brand but variously made in Bangladesh, Camdodia, and Indonesia and I can't tell the difference in either the design, the cloth or the quality . I've bought trousers of the same brand but variously made in Sri Lanka, Morocco and Israel and again I can't tell the difference. It will be the same for cars. The thing that matters is the brand.
--
L\'escargot.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Altea Ego
Before you all gallop down the Jap cars are the most reliable route AGAIN then also read warranty direct where they rate manufacturers reliability index

The top manufacturer is NOT japanese.

Yes shock horror NOT Japanese.

SKODA 50.59
MAZDA 52.74
HONDA 61.24
SUZUKI 61.9
FORD 78.68
LEXUS 82.59
HYUNDAI 84.15
BMW 84.95
VOLKSWAGEN 85.92
SEAT 89.22
DAEWOO 89.55
PEUGEOT 94.05
MG 98.73
FIAT 98.76
MITSUBISHI 101.23
CITROEN 101.29
TOYOTA 101.78
VOLVO 105.35
VAUXHALL 106.32
ROVER 108.91
NISSAN 115.25
MERCEDES 116.66
CHRYSLER 122.47
RENAULT 129.4
SAAB 141.02
AUDI 156.91
ALFA ROMEO 164.76
JAGUAR 167.6
LANDROVER 191.9
SUBARU 203.05
JEEP 250.25
PORSCHE 257.97






------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Malcolm_L
Good on Skoda, who's laughing now!

However, this resurrects the VAG marque perception issue again,
Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda all share major components (Drive train, floorpan etc,), in general Volkswagen get bad press on this and other forums, Audi get a mixed bag, Seat's come in for mild praise and it's rare to see a bad word against a Skoda.

Same components, very difference perceptions, what's very telling is the >100 point difference between Skoda and Audi. If I'd bought the most expensive incarnation of the Golf, I'd expect a lot from the car, wouldn't you?

If only they were all as relaible as.... - wemyss
Good point Malcom and it would be interesting to know the answer.
Is it different components or perhaps better assembly and quality control?.
Or is it the type of driver who buys these different badge names.
Or is it all a myth...
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Malcolm_L
Wife had a Skoda from new, had a paint problem which was covered under warranty at 30 months without a quibble and a door lock broke which was fixed the next day.

I had a Passat which had over £3.5k of warranty work in 3 years, did I expect the Passat to be better than the Felica, damn right I did!

If only they were all as relaible as.... - JamesH
Worst specific car in the list (according to the newspsper that reported it) was the Toyota Corolla!

Not what I would expect but as with this sort of survey there are too many issues to draw many conclusions.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
Warranty Direct figures are NOT a measure of reliability - they are actually a measure of (number of faults x cost to fix). This is a different thing to what I understand as reliability. Also bear in mind that these figures derive from cars insured by Warranty Direct which have faults that WD pay out on. Might be of value to someone, but not to me....

However, Japanese cars are the most reliable - just ask someone who fixes cars for a living.

Incidentally, to all of you who reckon VW are unfairly maligned - I was asked to check over a late 2003 Polo today - tyres, coolant etc (the owner is somewhat disabled so I so a once-a-month check-over FOC for him). I spotted some grease low down on the N/S bulkhead. Put the car over the pit and the N/S inner driveshaft gaitor is splitting! The car has only done about 18k and is in otherwise pristine condition. The gaiters seem to be made of a thin flexible plastic - not really like rubber. Looks like a weak spot to me. Anyway, the car is still under warranty so its back to the dealer.....
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Malcolm_L
Incidentally, to all of you who reckon VW are unfairly maligned

In fairness, any bit of road debris on a gaiter can cause a weak point - the car is around 2 1/2 years old after all.

Wouldn't a gaiter be exempt from the warranty in any case?

If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
Incidentally, to all of you who reckon VW are unfairly maligned
In fairness, any bit of road debris on a gaiter can
cause a weak point - the car is around 2 1/2
years old after all.
Wouldn't a gaiter be exempt from the warranty in any case?


Looks like its splitting around the first fold. Unless someone crept under with a Stanley knife I can't see how this happened unless its a manufacturing defect. Its the inner CV gaiter and well out of the way of road debris. I seldom see failed inner gaiters - there is not much movement in the joint and they are usually out of the line of fine for stones and the like. Outer gaiters are much more prone to damage.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - P 2501
Going back to your earlier post Aprilia and the difference between french and jap wiring connectors, i had a peugeot which i tinkered with in the past and now a honda, and the wiring connectors seemed to me to be very similar (to my uneducated eye) on both of them. Just plastic blocks or joins at the end of the wiring. How different can they be?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - stevied
I read with interest the reasons WHY Japanese cars are reliable. However, I have to say, if I were a private car buyer who had no interest with dealing with weaselly garages every week after having bought a brand new product, I would buy a Japanese car. I don't care WHY it's more reliable, I just care that it is.

If only they were all as relaible as.... - turbo11
I bought japanese for the first time in twenty five years of driving.So far my Mazda 6 has had one fault in 30 months and 28000 miles.On my OWN ownership experience the two most reliable cars I owned/in my family, were both BMW's.Both owned from new.The E30 318i went twelve years without any major fault before being written off in an accident.The other E46 320i is now 7 years old and has only required a new multi cd player.
I would like another BMW but they are now too expensive for me, and I also dislike their latest design.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - v0n
>I bought japanese for the first time in twenty five years of driving.So far my Mazda 6 has had one
> fault in 30 months and 28000 miles.

Mazda 6 isn't really Japanese. It's modular Mondeo with different skin. ;)
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
Going back to your earlier post Aprilia and the difference between
french and jap wiring connectors, i had a peugeot which i
tinkered with in the past and now a honda, and the
wiring connectors seemed to me to be very similar (to my
uneducated eye) on both of them. Just plastic blocks or joins
at the end of the wiring. How different can they be?


Don't get me started on French electrics! Some years ago I used to get all the electrical jobs in our garage. I used to hate Citroens (mainly BX's) where all the wires are the same colour (usually green!), apart from a tiny coloured trace on the end. A nightmare to fault find.
Take a look at a Renault and note the poor quality of the wiring and connectors. The wires are thin and prone to breakage. Similarly the French are keen on big block connectors - like the big bulkhead connectors on the Pugs which fail due to water ingress. The only solution is a complete new loom (rarely economical) or removing the connector and painstakingly soldering each wire.

The Japanese are in a different league. Usually on 'important' connectors the terminals sit in a rubber/neoprene so they have strain relief and are sealed against the elements. Also there is often a seal in the connector shell itself so the terminals are sealed when the connector is mated. Its a rare thing on a Jap car to pull a connector apart and find the terminals corroded - pretty common on French (and Italian) though....
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Roly93
Don't get me started on French electrics!

I think the achilles heal of French car electrics is their use of multiplex wiring. In principle it is a good idea as it cuts down on weight and complexity of the wiring loom, but mixed with the use of poor quality connectors etc, it becomes a liability. My wifes Citroen Xsara was an otherwise good little car spoilt by constant electrical woes due to this fact.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - mike hannon
I may have mentioned this before but I've noticed recently that some of the national 'quick fit' chains in France are now offering a special fixed price service deal for post-2000 cars that includes normal items plus fault identification and re-progamming for the electronics.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - P 2501
Cheers for that reply Aprilia. Very interesting to hear about the (important) bits of a car that the average motorist will never see.

One of the major differences i have noticed after extensive poking under the bonnets of my present car (Honda Accord) and my old car (pug 306) is that absolutely everything on the honda is secured down by a fixing or bracket. All piping, wiring, components, nothing moves or is loose. On the Peugeot, the reverse was true. Tubes and pipes and parts flying around everywhere.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - rhino
I'm staggered to see Fiat and Citroen above Toyota in the reliability stakes.

What's going on there?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Xileno {P}
It's not a measure of reliability. It's number of faults X cost to fix. Read Aprilia's post.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - caesar
If its number of faults then that is reliabillity in my book?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Xileno {P}
Hypothetical case:

What would you rather have:

Car 1: 10 faults in a year, £100 each fault, total cost £1000

Car 2: 1 fault in a year, £1100 each fault, total cost £1100.

So car 1 more reliable? Not in my book.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
Its not just that...

The figures from WD reflect the 'payout' on their insurance policies. They insure against 'mechanical breakdown' - i.e. something goes 'bang' and car stops moving. Things like starting problems, weeping gaskets, brake judder, etc etc are not covered and so not reflected in the stats - i.e. all the little reliability niggles that most people are most concerned about.

Take Subaru, for example; incredibly reliable cars (most reliable car in GErmany according to German ADAC stats) yet they produce a lot of turbo'd cars which are highly stressed and the odd one has a terminal failure with a big bill. Hence Subaru appear low down in the WD listing.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Altea Ego
Xil

its not as black and white as that and well you know it.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Dalglish
its not as black and white as that and well you know it

>>

everyone who bothers to look at the details should know.

warranty-direct's reliability index (link at the top of this thread) lists for each manufacturer :

Choose which criteria to display

Reliability Index
Average Mileage
Average Age
Time off the Road
Maximum Labour Cost
Average Repair Cost
Air Conditioning
Axle & Suspension
Braking System
Cooling & Heating System
Electrical
Engine
Fuel system
Transmission


If only they were all as relaible as.... - Dalglish
as for aprilia's ">> Don't get me started on French electrics! "; well see the result for electrical failures and surprise surprise the worst offender is lexus - japanese!

ALFA ROMEO 18.30%
AUDI 21.36%
BMW 19.37%
CHRYSLER 20.51%
CITROEN 19.71%
DAEWOO 7.64%
FIAT 14.10%
FORD 17.40%
HONDA 17.14%
HYUNDAI 33.33%
JAGUAR 17.10%
JEEP 9.06%
LANDROVER 15.52%
LEXUS 35.62%
MAZDA 22.45%
MERCEDES 24.74%
MG 26.78%
MITSUBISHI 13.95%
NISSAN 24.38%
PEUGEOT 23.80%
PORSCHE 19.30%
RENAULT 23.77%
ROVER 24.98%
SAAB 30.71%
SEAT 23.43%
SKODA 26.32%
SUBARU 7.56%
SUZUKI 20.45%
TOYOTA 19.50%
VAUXHALL 23.09%
VOLKSWAGEN 27.56%
VOLVO 19.25%


If only they were all as relaible as.... - caesar

surprise surprise the worst offender is lexus - japanese!

Dalglish
You cant say that.
Not on this here pro jap forum.
Suppose you will get posts now on how lexus figures dont really count or they are wrong?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Vin {P}
Whichever side of the argument you're on, those stats in isolation don't really tell you much. However, there's something you might infer from at least one line:

HYUNDAI 33.33%

Which suggests that the sample size for Hyundai at least is pretty small - 3/6/9 would be my guess, though it could of course be coincidence in a very large sample, .e. it could be exactly 5000 out of 15000

What I'm saying is, don't draw too many conclusions from unsupported statistics.

V
If only they were all as relaible as.... - geoff1248
Be interesting to know just where we place reliability in our car buying decision making. OK so you decide you need say a 5 door family hatch, you then decide on the budget and then see what's around at that price. But where does everyone go from there. Do you then look at NCAP safety next or economy or reliability or depreciation? Just where do we put reliability in our decision making process? 307s seem to be around in great numbers but are reported to be unreliable, someone's still buying them.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Altea Ego
the funny thing is - the electrics data is true in my experience

12 years of Renault ownership = one electrical problem

8 months of VW ownership - well you wanna buy the book? its a long read.

and hey presto - the data states VW is Worse than Renault

Tick - Correct.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
If only they were all as relaible as.... - P 2501
They're a funny thing, car reliability stats. For every person who says french cars are crap there will be a person with an L reg Xantia which has only ever needed 1 brake light bulb.

Endlessly debatable because noone really knows or can prove at least, the real answer.

Personally, the more i read his posts the more i consider Aprilia's word to be gospel. Sad perhaps, but i always believe in taking advice from those who know best.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - R75
Be interesting to know just where we place reliability in our
car buying decision making.


Quite high up in our case, last car was purchased with this being the 2nd requirement, the 1st, it being an MPV. As a result we went for a Honda (plus it was being offered at a very good price). Next time we replace a car it will be 1st or 2nd requirement again, can't afford to keep spending money on repairs!!
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Brit_in_Germany
What I'm saying is, don't draw too many conclusions from unsupported
statistics.

Especially if the percentage figure given relates to the percentage of all claims made against that company's cars, i.e. for Lexi, one third of all warranty claims were due to failures in the electrical system.

BIG
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Dalglish
Especially if the percentage figure given relates to the

>>

b.i.g.: - you are on the right track. just goes to show how people can be easily led astray by statistics.

lexus were 6th overall in reliability, as per firt table posted by tvm.
the table i posted shows that within those lexus brand cars that had problems, a third of those problems were due to electrics.

subaru weere near the bottom of the table in terms of overall performance, but electrics were to blame in less than 8% of their faults.

wheras peugeot were 12th overall and elcetrics contributed to about a quarter of their faults.

it is the axle&suspension which is the major contributor to faults for most manufacturers.

as for people trusting anecdotal evidence. what can i say. except you have to learn to trust people who can see the wood for the trees. unfortunately, anecdotal evidence is what sways a majority of innumerate people.

If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
As I tried to point out further up this thread, WD figures are pretty meaningless IMHO. They are an insurance co. who insure a relatively small number of 3+ year old vehicles against a specific eventuality (breakdown). Having been personally involved with after-market warranty companies (NOT WD, but we used to get customers wanting us to do repairs through other warranty companies) I don't think the figures will mean much. For example, a typical warranty might cover failure of the inlet manifold, but not failure of its gasket (very relevant if you have a K-series). The car has to actually 'break down' so a faulty headlamp circuit would not be covered etc etc. In other words the list of 'claimable items' is actually quite a small subset of what actually goes wrong.
In the end we stopped dealing with warranty companies - the reason being that the majority of claims were turned down and then the customer got angry with US (the garage has to act as the 'go between' providing the technical evidence).
A case that springs to mind was a Merc that refused to start. It was due to failure of the idle air valve. This was not covered and the owner actually threatened to hit me when I told him (actually just pass the message on) - he couldn't understand that it was the company turning him down and not us.

Extremely good reliability data is available from the German organisations DEKRA/TuV (who inspect every car in Germany and produce highly detailed data tables showing failure items for every year of every model) and also ADAC (German Auto Club) who again provide detailed data tables showing breakdown causes for all models/years etc. Both these organisations produce yearly reports which you can buy from German newsagents.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - T Lucas
A lot of the data from MBI companies will be inaccurate because often the part claimed for,say an alternator is not the part that has failed but can be claimed for to cover the cost of perhaps a worn out clutch.
As Aprilia says,if you want to know about reliability talk to the people that do repairs,or if you are thinking of buying a Renault,Fiat,Citroen etc spend some time in their service reception departments,it can really be an eye opener.
For me reliability is number one so when i'm spending my own money its Toyota or Honda with any of the other far east brands coming under consideration.No Eurosheds for me thank you.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Vin {P}
"Not on this here pro jap forum."

Perhaps there's a reason people are "pro jap". Perhaps people have had good experiences. Or can you suggest another reason?

I don't see Japanese companies advertising their reliability. A good wine needs no bush.

V
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Altea Ego
Oh blimey

who did O level english lit then!

However these days I dont think too many oddbins have a bush hanging outside them on Beaujolais Nouveau day.

It does not stand modern scrutiny either. A wine needs vines, a vine needs a roshbush planted at the end to prevent mildew.

SO a good wine does need a bush. As you like it.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Vin {P}
"who did O level english lit then!"

When I was at Junior school, so about 34 years ago, one of my teachers used to have a saying of the day. She'd write it on the board then explain it. This was one of them.

That was the first time I've used it, I think.

V
If only they were all as relaible as.... - type's'
>>as for aprilia's ">> Don't get me started on French electrics! "; well see the result for electrical failures and surprise surprise the worst offender is lexus - japanese!<<

I think you guys may have missed the point of the scoring system - it is not saying that Lexus has the worst electrics of all makes at 35% - it is saying that of the few times that do break down 35% of these problems are with electrics. Other makes may actually have more electrical faults but probably have more mechanical faults as well.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - rhino
Well, that's cleared that up then.....

I've read through these posts, and the only conclusion I can draw is that the old 'lies, damned lies and statistics' adage is yet again proven, and that there is no genuine reliabilty yardstick.

If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
I think you guys may have missed the point of the
scoring system - it is not saying that Lexus has the
worst electrics of all makes at 35% - it is saying
that of the few times that do break down 35% of
these problems are with electrics. Other makes may actually have more
electrical faults but probably have more mechanical faults as well.


Yes, I do indeed understand this. If, of all the Lexus covered, only one breaks down - and its due to electrics then the Lexus score for electrical faults is 100%. I think it was Dalglish who implied Lexus have a high electrical breakdown rate - to know that you would have to know the total percentage of insured Lexus which had broken down and then multiply by 0.35. Then do the same for all the other brands and compare!
As I have said further up, the WD data is more or less meaningless. The DEKRA/TuV is very good IMHO.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Xileno {P}
So who do DEKRA/TuV say are the most reliable?
Are there any links to their findings?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
The Subaru Forester came out top IIRC. Along with all the 'usual suspects' (Honda, Toyota etc).

I have the paper report (published as quite a thick 'magazine'). The results are also published in abbreviated form on the web - someone on this board did post a link earlier this year I think. But I can't remember what the URL was.

In general, if you look at all the various reliability surveys from around the world (Which? and its US equivalent, JD Power US/UK, ADAC, DEKRA etc) then a pattern does emerge. The Japanese brands (wherever they are built) tend to come out top. French and Italian cars tend to fare worse.

Its hardly rocket science to find out for yourself. Just go into any independent 'all makes' repairer and most will tell you that they'd go out of business if everyone bought Japanese. That's not to say they **never** go wrong - but, with a few exception (e.g. Micra AFM's) they don't suffer the 'stock faults' that are money-spinners for the repairers.

The big downside with Japanese is that because they are so reliable there is very little supply of aftermarket parts - its not worth anyone's while to supply them (there is the odd exception, e.g. Nissan upper suspension links, Micra AFM's). Blueprint-ADL supply SOME aftermarket parts, but IME they are not a whole lot cheaper than the dealer. Consequently dealer parts prices tend to be high. Also you can find that repair expertise is a bit thin on the ground because independent technicians are not often called on to fix Jap cars.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - type's'
Aprilla >>Yes, I do indeed understand this. If, of all the Lexus covered, only one breaks down - and its due to electrics then the Lexus score for electrical faults is 100%. I think it was Dalglish who implied Lexus have a high electrical breakdown rate - to know that you would have to know the total percentage of insured Lexus which had broken down and then multiply by 0.35. Then do the same for all the other brands and compare!
As I have said further up, the WD data is more or less meaningless. The DEKRA/TuV is very good IMHO<<

I agree with everything you say above Aprilla -it was Dalglish who made the implication and the data is suspect having reviewed it in detail - I'm now off to review DEKRA site.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - drbe
The most reliable reliability statistics are those provided by Which? www.which.co.uk they buy their own vehicles, take no advertising and are completely independent.

They also test tyres, mobile phones, hands-free devices apart from all the domestic paraphernalia one needs around the home.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - barchettaman
I´ve got to go to the Dekra/TüV office here next week - I will try to get their statistics and put them up here, assuming my rubbish German language skills can decipher them (only lived here for 4 years.....)
If only they were all as relaible as.... - paulb {P}
Have to say my faith in Japanese reliability was a little shaken by having had to fork out £450-odd on repairs to my 2.5 y.o. Honda's air-con system, having been politely informed that it wasn't covered by the manufacturer warranty (as it is indeed 3-year manufacturer with Hondas). Deep joy. Wouldn't mind so much if I had neglected it.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - type's'
paulb - could you eloborate on what the problem was please ?
I would be interesting in avoiding a similar experience with my Honda.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
I can imagine that they wouldn't cover accidental damage (e.g. stone through the condensor) but surely the components should be covered as per the rest of the car? What went wrong?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - paulb {P}
I>> paulb - could you eloborate on what the problem was please
?
I would be interesting in avoiding a similar experience with my
Honda.


Sure - I have a 53-reg pre-facelift Civic 1.6. As Aprilia with eerie prescience says below your post, it was indeed a stone biffing a hole in the condenser, so I concede that this is probably stretching the term "unreliability" a little.

However, the reason why I am miffed about it is that the owner's manual says something like "The condenser and radiator cooling fins are easily bent - only use a low-pressure spray or soft-bristled brush to clean them" and yet these things are mounted behind a grille in which the openings measure about 13 cm by 4 cm (or 4 1/4 in by 1 1/2 in if you prefer), which is clearly not going to (and indeed in my case didn't) offer much protection against stones.

Now, to my non-engineer mind, this is just plain daft; I know very well that air has to pass over the fins to cool them but it must surely be possible to fit a grille with smaller openings without impeding the air-flow (my Dad's new 1.9-litre Grande Punto 1.9 has such a grille and the radiator, condenser, intercooler etc etc all work fine) - or, a condenser made of more robust material that can withstand this sort of impact.

The thing that worries me is that I was driving down the A23 on my way home, minding my own business, when this happened, and it could clearly happen again at any time, landing me with another unhelpfully large bill for something which, to my mind, is a design fault.

I have written to Honda asking whether it is possible to fit mesh or something behind the existing grille so that if another stone flies in it will at least get slowed down a bit and not do so much damage - hopefully, they'll be able to get some technical bod to give me an answer. Together with re-gassing last December this brings the total spent on the car's a/c system in the last 5 months to somewhere quite a long way the wrong side of £500, so you can imagine that I am keen to avoid further expenditure. I have never had this trouble with any a/c-equipped car before.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
paulb

This is a problem with lots and lots of cars, not just Honda. I agree that some kind of mesh in front would be a good idea, but I guess they are concerned about impeding airflow - very few cars have such a mesh.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - type's'
Many thanks Paulb
If only they were all as relaible as.... - P 2501
I have noticed this problem with my Honda Accord Paulb. The gap at the base of the grille is about 4 inches deep and the a/c condenser behind this gap has obviously taken a bit of a pummeling over time (car is 5 years old).Broken fins, lots of debris in it etc.

I think mesh would be a very good idea. But i think they save that stuff for the sporty models!

At least the cooling system radiator is behind the condensor. I would rather lose my a/c charge suddenly then all the coolant.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - paulb {P}
At least the cooling system radiator is behind the condensor. I
would rather lose my a/c charge suddenly then all the coolant.


Oh, absolutely. The thought of the car widdling coolant all over the road did not appeal - the 1.6 VTEC is a jolly nice engine, that with regular use of Tesco 99-octane unleaded thinks it's a 1.8, and I want to keep it that way!

Interesting (although also slightly depressing and not surprising in roughly equal measure) to know that other cars have this same issue, though.

On the subject of mesh, I saw just the sort today. The only problem was that it was rather inconveniently attached to a Jaguar S-Type R. Bah! :-)

If only they were all as relaible as.... - Aprilia
There's LOADS of cars that have this design - in fact I would say that the vast majority do. Usually, if you look below the bumper level, there's an opening that leads directly to the condensor and radiator.
You could buy stainless steel mesh to fit behine the opening, but I'm not sure what that would do to the airflow. It might have more of an impact than you'd think.
If only they were all as relaible as.... - P 2501
Of course, i wasn't implying that it is only Honda that do this. My old Peugeot was the same (only not quite as bad) and i have noticed actually most cars have this.

I think you would be right about restricting airflow to some degree. I wondered if they put a big gap there simply because the rest of the rad isn't going to get much air flow - stuck behind a grille or bumper with no direct visibility.Over compensating perhaps?
If only they were all as relaible as.... - P 2501
BTW- I live near a chap who owns a Peugeot 407 and having a nose at the front of it the other day, couldn't believe the amount of free access to the Rad. It almost looks as if you could replace the rad without opening the bonnet!
 

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