A remanufactured OEM starter for a 2001 Accord LX goes for
about $230 at www.HondaAutomotiveParts.com . The latter's
part prices are usually better than the dealer's. $70 more
for installation sounds very fair.
The question remains whether the starter actually needed replacement or
just new solenoid contacts and plunger.It cost me $30 for new contacts and
plunger for my 94 GSR's starter,but getting the starter out to work on was
a trial,that lower bolt was frozen tight,not much room for a breaker
bar.Took me 3 hours total.
Yes, I saw your other post. (I generally don't respond if I
agree with subsequent posts or feel the post is offering a
differing opinion, but one with merit. I post enough here at
certain times, and I'm only an amateur.)
Yours is certainly a fair and very important point, and
should I have starter problems, I'll check and do what you
This reminds me of alternator replacements at dealers. I
posted some about this recently, based on my own experiences
(where I was likely taken for a ride). How often do dealer
shops just replace the brushes on alternators, especially
given that this is likely the #1 cause of an alternator
Dealer shops seem to take a shotgun approach. Sometimes
maybe that's a good idea to prevent comebacks (as well as
make more money). But it sounds like that's particularly
inappropriate for starters having mere bad solenoids. What
you say sounds reasonable to me, and it's very specific, so
I defer to your experience.
I think it is part of the realities of doing business. I almost always have
a shot at repairing things like brushes because it makes good economic sense
to me. But if I took the car into a shop where they replaced the brushes and
the alternator or starter (or whatever) failed again, I'd expect the shop to
make good on it. So the alternatives from the shop's perspective are to
re-use a major component that is known to be old and to make a pittance on
parts, or to put in a new part while making a decent mark-up. Which to
I agree and was trying to convey similar above when I
mentioned 'avoiding comebacks.' Plus in the same vein, the
time it takes a dealer technician to diagnose exactly what
is wrong with a certain component may cost just about the
same as slapping a whole new component into place.
There is a saying among industrial (that is, hands on and
not necessarily college degreed) engineers who work with
apprentices: Engineers replace; apprentices (= young folks
in training) always want to repair. The engineers know the
sure fix lies in replacement.
I'm sure this will vary depending on the part. Maybe dealers
are particularly ripping people off with starters by not
just replacing the solenoid yada. OTOH, if a person knows
enough to say the starter just needs a new solenoid yada,
then maybe s/he shouldn't be taking it to the dealer in the
first place but instead doing it him/herself.
I was never annoyed when I learned that I got a whole new
alternator several years ago at a dealer then more recently
learned it probably only needed new brushes and/or maybe new
bearings. They fixed the problem and thoroughly (presuming I
did get a thoroughly remanned or brand new alternator). I
didn't know how to. Even if I had a manual back then and
knew about this newsgroup, I didn't have time to monkey with
it, being employed full-time. I got expertise and should
have to pay for it.
It also depends on how accessible the component is;like the alternators on
Honda/Acura,they are a bitch to access,require major disassembly,and
there's much to go wrong with them;diodes,bearings,brushes,worn contact
rings. But for the starters,there's not really much to go wear out on
them,they are only used for starting,not continuous like an alternator.
Prices for some of these rebuilt components are IMO,out of line,too.
Considering that the starter solenoid contacts were probably the real
problem,and when I replaced them in my 94 Integra GSR,new contacts and
plunger only cost me $30 from an Internet company specializing in starter
Getting the lower bolt of the starter broken loose was a real bitch.
Replacing the worn contacts was easy.
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