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Picked up my 2002 RrP Ody LX a few nights ago. Thought I'd share my experience, which wasn't totally smooth, but I've endured much worse and everything has worked out to my satisfaction so far.

First, a little history - this is my second Ody. My first Ody was a 2000 GG LX that needed to have its first two transmissions replaced. All three transmissions had a bad shift-cable/torque converter (TC) noise at TC lockup around 50 mph that worsened with age. They also had the "reverse clunk" noise that has been discussed in the Problems and Concerns Forum. When transmission number three also exhibited a bad TC-related noise at 50 mph, my wife and I knew we didn't want to pay the $4500 for an out-of-warranty transmission replacement, so we embarked on the search for a new vehicle. Due to past troubles, the Honda dealership waived the deposit on a new Ody, so we ordered the 2002 model. While awaiting the 2002 Ody's arrival, I researched other vehicles (Sienna, SUVs, even sedans), but the Ody seemed to fit our needs best.

We also wrote to the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General (CPD/OAG) for the state of Maryland (our home state) and to Honda Customer Relations. To make a long story shorter, Honda Customer Relations was useless, but the CPD/OAG got the attention of the dealer that sold us the car. The end result of this was a $1200 discount on the purchase of the 2002 Ody. $1200 was offered as a 50/50 split of the profit, which was represented as only the difference between MSRP and the invoice price. Apparently, profit is not to be confused with holdback, but I digress - this is perhaps a discussion for another post.

I couldn't sell the 00 Ody on my own. Once I disclosed the transmission history on the vehicle, potential buyers went away. CarMax beat the dealer's offer on a trade-in for the 00 Ody by $500, so we sold the 00 Ody to CarMax. BTW, this was a very smooth process. No surprises.

OK, so the 2002 RrP Ody arrives to the dealer and my wife and I go to pick it up and sign the papers. A special thanks to the people who put together the pre-delivery checklist - with the help of our son, we went over the van in great detail and it passed with flying colors. Although the brakes seem to require slightly greater pressure than those in the 00 Ody - may need to have them checked. We were prepared to walk away without the 2002 Ody if the transmission exhibited the reverse clunk or the shift-cable torque converter noise. We couldn't elicit either of these noises from the Ody despite our best efforts.

The last step - meet with the business department to sign the papers. Prior to entering the business office, a reasonably pleasant fellow explained some of the add-on services that the dealer can perform or install - Lo-Jack, upholstery protection, paint protection, etc. "No thanks" and he didn't press the sale. Once inside the business office, the first paper was some kind of odometer disclosure, but it included (among other things) the sales price, which I noticed was precisely $199 more than our agreement. I shouldn't have been surprised - after all, I'm in an automobile dealership, right?! But, it raised my sensitivities, since these people had dealt with me in a full-disclosure manner in the past. As I could have predicted, the very last paper we signed was the sales agreement, which had a line item entitled "Window Security Engraving," with a $199 price. This is the first time that I had seen or even heard of this item, so I asked, "What's this?" To which, we received the explanation that it is a security feature installed by the dealer that allows law enforcement officials another way to identify the vehicle in the event of theft or … other situations. I asked my wife, "Did you request this?" Of course, I knew her answer, to which she added, "Do I sign this or not?" (The car was placed in her name.) I asked, "Why were we not asked whether we wanted this option?" The reply, " because we were not there when the van arrived to the dealership." Hmmmmmmmmmm. Well, I'm not exactly sure why - perhaps I looked very angry, perhaps it was my reputation for getting the CPD/OAG involved with the previous Ody, or maybe the business rep suddenly realized the full weight of the indiscretion in a Grinch-like heart-growing moment (Naaaaaaaaah!) - but, we were told that the charge could be removed. They would simply not register the vehicle in the Window Security Engraving system. My wife signed and we drove the vehicle home.

So far, the van is performing very well. We are keeping a keen ear to the transmission, but it shifts very smoothly and does not exhibit the noises of our past Ody transmissions.


Cauchy
 

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cauchy, hopefully you will enjoy your new Ody more than the last one.

What was the name of the dealer?

Although I have never done it, I have heard on this board that you can purchase a do-it-yourself window etching kit starting at around $30.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cauchy:
As I could have predicted, the very last paper we signed was the sales agreement, which had a line item entitled "Window Security Engraving," with a $199 price.
we were told that the charge could be removed. They would simply not register the vehicle in the Window Security Engraving system. Cauchy
</font>
Did you look at the window glass to see if the etching was actually done? It probably was. Just look for your VIN number etched in small letters in the lower corners of the windows. You don't need to be "registered" to have the protection. In fact, I have no idea what "registering" would accomplish (reminds me of those phony "star naming" ripoffs). A thief who steals the car will have problems selling it with VIN number etched windows.

The other poster who said kits can be purchased for $30 was correct. There was a thread on this very topic last week or so, and one Web site had kits for $20 I believe.
 

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We bought our new Odyssey last week. When it came time to write the sign the final paperwork, the finance manager told us that all of the Hondas at their dealership had the glass etching and if we wanted to we could register it for $99. We declined and the transaction was finished without further discussion of window etching. He did give us a brochure in case we changed our mind. Overall, a very pleasant buying experience. We have ordered the kit to do the window etching ourselves for about $30.

------------------
Debby and Jeff
02 Ody LX GG
93 Civic EX
92 Camry XL (son's car)
 

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The glass etching is a classic rip-off. The VIN is already on some major components. It costs the dealer vitually zero to do the glass etching so it's pure profit. Doing it without the owner's authorization is unconscionable IMO. When you order a car always specify that you will pay with a cashier's check and you expect the dealer to furnish the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, mileage statement and bill of sale on delivery. You can also specify that no additional items may be added without your prior written authorization. I add that no dealer advertisement may be placed on the vehicle. This puts the dealer on notice that you are and educated consumer and will not be jerked around.
 

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The window etching Topic, i posted about week or so ago, included one site having the kit for $30 but only has 6 window kit and they say they do register your VIN# on their computer system and pays for your deductable if your car is stolen(thats the reson for registering), but it does have a "*" next to that statement and can not find the fine print on their site and never got reply to my Email. There are 2 other sites under that Topic, both cost $19.95, free shipping and 2nd set for for $14.95, this kit comes with 8window set. Also, some of the post states, some insurance companys will do the window etching for free and i notice some police dept will also do it for free or around $10. I think the dealer backed off the $199 price for etching your window is, because it cost them next to nothing, to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the great info on window engraving. To answer some of the questions: Yes, the engraving was actually done - it is on the slider door windows. And, the dealer was Heritage in Westminster, MD. Thanks again,

Cauchy
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cauchy:
d, the dealer was Heritage in Westminster, MD...</font>
Aaah! I live in Westminster. I am NOT a fan of the service department at Heritage.
 
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