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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Glad to be here. My last motorcycle was an old 1990 EX500 but I haven't ridden in over 5 years so I decided to start small again with the 300. Its been an amazing bike so far but it ran out of oil on the road this past Monday and the whole engine ground to a halt. I had just had my 600 mile service done by the dealer only 1400 miles ago so I'm hoping Honda is going to cover it. I've just OK'd them to tear down the motor but I'm getting this feeling from both the dealer and the honda factory reps that lack of oil isn't going to be covered unless there's some special mitigating circumstances like a clear defect (in other words if they open it up and just find it ran out of oil they'll say to pound sand). I hope that's incorrect and I just misinterpreted the information I've been given. I will know more later today after the dealer finishes tearing it down.

Other than that its been such a fun little bike. I am hoping I can get this covered and back up and running. I can't afford a $1k+ repair bill but I have been doing some searching and think I can get a used motor for under $1k.

View from the road near Crystal Lake in Southern California. Its too bad people have decided to tag the ground but the view is spectacular still.
https://i.imgur.com/zXMUF10.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/KpDV5Vv.jpg
 

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Welcome, nice part of the country you live in by the looks.

That's a shame about the motor but if you hadn't been checking the oil for the previous 1400 miles then that will give them a 'get out' as it's generally listed in the owners manual under the pre ride inspection list.
I've got into the habit over the years of glancing at the oil sight glass (and the coolant bottle) before every ride. It can save you a mishap.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Welcome from Oregon, nice looking dog!
Thanks! That's our basset hound MacDougal.


Welcome, nice part of the country you live in by the looks.

That's a shame about the motor but if you hadn't been checking the oil for the previous 1400 miles then that will give them a 'get out' as it's generally listed in the owners manual under the pre ride inspection list.
I've got into the habit over the years of glancing at the oil sight glass (and the coolant bottle) before every ride. It can save you a mishap.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
That's what I'm afraid of but I am praying they will do it on their own goodwill. I will know more next week after honda has time to review the dealer's findings. One thing's for sure, I'm going to check that oil window every time I ride from now on. :D
 

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Just my 2 cents here, but Hondas do not burn oil, and if leaking 2 quarts you would have noticed it. In 1400 miles with a bike that just had been serviced by a dealer, I'd say the dealer didn't put oil in it. It's on him, not American Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just my 2 cents here, but Hondas do not burn oil, and if leaking 2 quarts you would have noticed it. In 1400 miles with a bike that just had been serviced by a dealer, I'd say the dealer didn't put oil in it. It's on him, not American Honda.
Very odd to be sure. Mine uses no oil.
That was my initial reaction as well, although from further reading I'm thinking my driving style may have lead to increased burn. I commute around 80 MPH which is in the higher end of the rpm range. But I've also read that's total bs and even at higher RPM it shouldn't burn that much oil. I was worried my break-in procedure was the culprit but the dealer seems to think It was fine and that it wouldn't be the cause anyway. They are still disassembling the engine but I'm hoping to hear from them in the next few days with final word on whether or not Honda is ultimately going to cover the damage.


Next time you go to your Honda Dealership's, take MacDougal with you. Maybe put on one of those mean-looking, studded collars, too. Just so's they'll know.. You, and your enforcer, mean business. ;)
That's an awesome idea! She may look cute but she's one tough cookie. I'm sure they'll start scrambling to get the bike fixed before she gets to the door. :D I'll bring along her son Rascal too, just in-case they think one little basset isn't cause for alarm: https://i.imgur.com/b2aJkhN.jpg They'll rue the day they denied my claim when they are covered in dog hair and slobber. :laugh:
 

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My dog we lost two winters ago was a border collie-basset hound. We attributed all his neurosis to the border collie side, but his aggression issues to the basset side ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Called up the dealer today to see what was up and was told that they finished the teardown and found the piston was melted in half and there were metal bits throughout the engine. Total bill for repair is $4100. Because of the holiday weekend it won't be until Tuesday that the representative at Honda gets the information. The final cause of failure according to the dealer is just lack of oil. Seems pretty open and shut now, nothing crazy.


My dog we lost two winters ago was a border collie-basset hound. We attributed all his neurosis to the border collie side, but his aggression issues to the basset side ;-)
Heh yeah, bassets are stubborn little things with an attitude problem but they are really sweet under it all.
 

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Called up the dealer today to see what was up and was told that they finished the teardown and found the piston was melted in half and there were metal bits throughout the engine. Total bill for repair is $4100. Because of the holiday weekend it won't be until Tuesday that the representative at Honda gets the information. The final cause of failure according to the dealer is just lack of oil. Seems pretty open and shut now, nothing crazy.
Thanks for the update, will be real interesting to see which way Honda swing with this one.
 

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This is a really crazy situation. But it seems that you should be covered. You went to the 600 mile service and dealer changed the oil and then 1400 miles later it is empty. It would seems that the cause was

a) Dealer did not put the washer or gasket or filter or bolt back to the proper torque foot pounds OR
b) Bike has a defect

I mean I dont see how they can hold you responsible for this. I mean this whole excuse about pre-ride inspection......Lets be honest, who actually does all that inspection before every daily ride? I know that I sure dont check the psi of my tires and so forth. And since it requires 2 people to look at the oil sight glass even that step is hard to accomplish if you live alone.

Mr T: I live alone! I train alone! I'll win the title alone! I check my oil sight glass alone!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
So I called the dealer on Friday to touch base and they told me it was all in the hands of Honda now and they were simply waiting for approval. I just now called the Honda Factory number and they told me it was the technician's call as to whether its covered or not. The dealer has promised to get in touch with Honda today and figure things out. I feel like I'm starting to get the run around here. Hopefully this is just a little chaos near the end.

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EDIT: An update, got a call from both the dealer and the factory rep handling my case. The verdict is this:

Honda factory says pound sand because there weren't any defects found in the teardown (even though the condition of the internals were in such a poor state I question whether a defect could have even been found). They said I should have been checking my sight glass every single ride, and although I explained I am incapable of doing the check myself and don't have daily assistance they were not receptive. I also tried to argue that since Honda stipulates the engine should have its oil changed every 4000 miles (not that it would run out, that it needed to change) and since it ran out of oil at only 1400 miles after it was last changed (by a qualified Honda technician) there is something majorly wrong there. Either there was a defect in the engine, the dealer messed up and didn't put the correct amount in, or I personally drained my oil just so I could be put into a life threatening situation when the engine died on the road. They were also not impressed by these arguments.

The dealer also says "pound sand, we aren't covering it". They don't accept that the engine ran out of oil due to any negligence on their part. Their entire defense is that these engines burn oil fast and only have small capacities so they need to be constantly checked. Which is absolute malarkey if honda says to change it every 4000. Someone is wrong, either Honda or the dealer. Either way none of the parties involved gave any explanation as to how this is MY fault that it ran out of oil. For all intents and purposes, as far as the dealer and the honda factory is concerned, the oil loss was perfectly normal and Its my fault I didn't check it constantly.

At this point its absolutely clear what I am going to do. I'm going to go pick up my bike and the myriad parts they have strewn across their workshop. I'm going to ask for copies of all the service orders, information on what oil they put in, the filter they used, how much they put in, and who exactly did it. I'm going to scour my warranty agreement and make sure there aren't any clever outs that the dealer has in this situation, and I'm going to take them to small claims court. They've already quoted me a price for just a new engine plus work to install (~$3700). I'm going to try and get all my ducks in a row on this one and hope that the small claims court judge will be more sympathetic to my situation than the dealer and honda is being. As long as the warranty isn't cleverly worded I think I might have a chance.

One things for sure, I'm definitely changing my yelp review to reflect this disastrous excuse for "service" they are giving me.

edit2: Oh cool turns out the service order receipt they gave me for the 600 mile service has pretty much all the information I needed on it.
 

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Kyle, this may be the worst nightmare any of us could dream. Good luck, I hope your tenacity pays off. OH, and don't forget to take that mean looking dog with you whenever the situation requires additional muscle, and moral support. :D
 

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Kyle.... man I hate this for you....



You can probably get out of this for a grand or less when all the dust settles. I have bought salvaged motors on ebay before (for other bikes) with great success. Luckily, ours are small enough to be shipped UPS. Make sure you save all the parts!!! usually, salvagers will take out the starters and other things you'll need to complete the swap.


One of the good things (....and bad I guess....) about our bikes is they are beginners bikes that look like MotoGP bikes. So some beginners think they are MotoGP riders and with all the CBR bodywork total em out pretty easy. I've also noticed on Facebook Marketplace where people are selling wrecked CBR250's/300's dirt cheap (more extra parts for the parts bin.... :) )


I don't check the sightglass on my bike everytime, and the fact they say these little 4 strokes burn up that oil in 600 miles is a bunch of bull hockey..... I do thank you though. I am checking my sightglass more now after your story. I hope something else good will come of it for you.....


Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the support, I don't think I could have gone through this situation with as much confidence as I have without you all. You've been a massive help both technically and morally and I greatly appreciate it.

After scouring my extended warranty agreement I was delighted to find out that my damage was indeed covered with the Aegis protection level I bought. So I called up Aegis Powersports and asked if they could help me out in any way. Unfortunately, they said that because the manufacturer warranty is still valid the extended coverage I purchased from them doesn't yet apply. Rats! However the rep I talked to gave me an extra avenue of inquiry with Honda by mentioning something called a District Service Manager or DSM. He said that this person would actually come out to the honda dealership to look over the parts themselves. It sounded like the DSM's inspection would be more comprehensive than the dealer's technician and that it may reveal an actual cause for the loss of oil or a defect that was difficult to find. It was too late to call and request this today but I plan on doing that tomorrow at my earliest convenience.

Thanks again everyone, and I will keep you updated as things develop. I still believe there will be a good ending to this one.
 

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All the best with the avenues you are pursuing Kyle. Shame you haven't been shown any good will so far from Honda or your dealer. That you weren't checking the oil level gives them such an easy out and they have grasped that with both hands. But in reality we know most riders don't do this pre-ride check and one of the reasons they don't is because (contrary to what your dealer says) these little Hondas dont burn oil when new.
 

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Wow Kyle,

I am so sorry to hear how they are trying to screw you over like this. It sounds like the dealer drained the old oil and then forgot to add new oil. Thats what I think happened. Because if 1.6 quarts of oil leaked out I am sure you would have noticed a puddle on the floor. Or if it leaked while driving there would be stains on the bike and on your pants/boots?

If there is a lesson for others to learn from your ordeal it would be to "second-check" the work that the dealer does and not to just assume everything was done properly. Do you think maybe you can ask to speak to a supervisor over at Honda headquarters? I would not bother going up the totem pole of the Dealership because it sounds like they are just trying to cover up the mistakes of their mechanic
 
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