Amazing wee Honda Specialist in Edinburgh

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Amazing wee Honda Specialist in Edinburgh

Oct 1, 2017
Edinburgh Scotland
I've just had an experience anyone interested in Honda, and living around the Edinburgh area, may find interesting.

Due to family illness (covid unrelated) and major developement work on their house my daughter-in-law's 2008 Honda Jazz has done almost no mileage at all this year, except one trip to Devon and back with my son driving. Otherwise it's been sitting at the kerbside outside their house.

Life is now almost back to normal so my boy decided to bring the car round to our house Saturday just past, for me to check over before they start using it again for daily travel. Surprisingly it started first turn of the key (I was fully expecting it would need a jump!) but when only about a mile away from us there was an almighty bang and a "funny" noise when turning the steering. Yes, you guessed it, broken front road spring - O/S to be exact.

I rang the local factors but no-one had stock on the shelf. Then I had a really careful look at the set up - it's very similar to our wee Pandas and Puntos - Mcpherson struts, top mounts, two pinch bolts holding the shocker tube to the hub assembly and drop links. The shockers looked old with a bit of surface corrosion but no leaks, damper rods looked nice and shiny, no sign of any fluid leaks and they passed the "bounce test" so probably it can be made usable with just new springs. Yes I know that in an ideal world it would be good practice to renew everything related but the owner does not have very deep pockets!

Then I looked more closely and realized that the pinch bolts in particular looked VERY badly rusted and I know what a pig they can be to get out when in this state. Becky's weren't nearly so bad and two of them snapped! The only fixing I found in good order was the top mount nut which I tried and it slackened easily, which was a nice surprise compared to the trouble most of us have with our Fiat ones!

I was also only too aware that "little voices" (Daughter-in-law and Mrs J in particular) were saying things like "Oh I hope this won't take too long because the car's really needed next week" Well, I found myself sitting in my garage thinking to myself "You don't need all this crap young Jock" I'm up for helping anyone but I'm not going to start something which will then cause family rift.

Then I remembered that some time ago I'd been trying to find out something about the Jazz last time I worked on it and I'd stuck my head in the door of Bonnington Mill Garage who advertise themselves as Honda specialists:
Both the chaps were very obliging and I ended up having a quite in depth conversation with Steven - or is it Stephen? - and came away with a very good impression of them and their setup (the shop was beautifully kept, tidy with clean flooring, always a good sign of good things to come) So, I gave them a ring late on the Saturday morning.

Luckily it was Steven who picked up the phone and he remembered me well. Yes they'd be happy to do the job! Wonderful, but when could you do it? He explained they have a policy of keeping enough slack in their daily schedule to accommodate customer emergencies and he said he rated this a customer emergency. Just bring it in first thing Monday. Great! Oh but wait, first thing Monday morning I'll be miles away taking my granddaughter to school (long story, for another time - if ever) "Don't worry we'll pick it up from your house, you're only about 15 minutes away" Well, Ok. But what's that going to cost? "Nothing, we do free collection and delivery for locals".

So, the car was picked up around half eight, I think (I wasn't there) and they delivered it back, again for free, around lunchtime. I am just so impressed! I jumped in Becky (our Panda) and went straight round there to thank them and pay the bill - They were so trusting they returned the car before payment! Steven talked to me for some time explaining that they'd only been able to shift the pinch bolts by using their induction heater - OOOw I'd like one of those please Santa? so thank goodness I didn't try it, snapped bolts all over the place would have been the outcome I'm sure! He then showed me the spring which came off the N/S (I'd agreed to both springs being done) It looked good over most of it's length except near the top where there was about half a turn heavily pitted with rust. The broken spring looked the same with the break being where the corroded section was so I'm sure the N/S one would have performed the same "trick" within quite a short period of time. I'd also mentioned to him that if the top mounts &/or bearings looked dodgy to just renew them but he told me he'd dismantled them, the rubbers were genuine Honda and still had lots of life in them and he'd cleaned out and regreased the bearings. Now he could easily have fitted new top mounts (I think around £80 a piece from Honda) if he'd been maximizing profit, but he didn't and didn't detail any cost for refurbishing the old mounts - I think that speaks volumes for the integrity of these chaps!

Steven explained that they prefer to fit only actual Honda parts to younger vehicles but they are expensive so on older cars, like our Jazz which is now 12 years old, they are happy to fit OE quality pattern parts. I think he said he's fitted Sachs springs in this instance but to be honest, we talked about so many things I've forgotten! I'd mentioned to him that the car had been laid up for a while and he told me he'd given it a quick once over for sticky brakes and the like and everything was just fine. He only charged for springs and fitting and his price was very reasonable indeed - I was happy to pay it. Especially as it was raining cats and dogs on Monday and I'd have been working in my driveway!

So folks, this looks like another wee gem of a garage I've found and I just felt you might like to all know about it?
Being tied up with childcare I had to call on these chaps again to do an emergency brake repair on the Honda a few days ago, so daughter in law could get home in time to pick up her other child from school (our wee ones have been back at school for a while now).

Being part of the childcare bubble with them I thought it would be Ok to give her a lift down to the garage so she could pick up the car when they'd finished with it - masks on and windows open - and I though you all, but especially anyone up here in the North Edinburgh area, might like to know that I've been living under a misapprehension. Although these guys specialize in Hondas, and it's always Hondas I've seen in their workshop, they are happy to look at nearly any other make of vehicle if they think they can help.

I just thought you might like to know that because my original post does rather make out that they only look at Hondas - which I now know is not the case.