Ken Garff Honda Downtown Review

My Honda S2000 (I call her Jezebel) has been having a hard time as of late. Her ride has been a lot rougher than normal (!), her clutch has been slipping really badly, I just got my registration stuff so it was time for emission and inspection, and a couple of weeks ago, she developed a rattle near the front of her engine. Obviously she was long overdue for a trip to the mechanic, which always makes me really nervous.

To give a little background as to why I get uptight- aside from normal fears of shady mechanics- allow me to explain. When I first got my S2000, I had a recurring problem with my wheel studs shearing off, and despite numerous visits to the Ken Garff Honda dealership down here in Orem, they didn’t figure out what the problem was (it ended up being simple and obvious in the end) until I had already paid hundreds of dollars for repairs that were basically worthless. That problem was compounded by the fact that every time I took my car into them, she would always have something new broken when I got her back. One time it was the map lights, the next time it was a side marker light, etc. etc.

So needless to say, I wasn’t too stoked about taking my car into yet another sheisty mechanic or another incompetent dealership. I spent literally hours researching mechanics and dealerships online, running down recommendations, and placing phone calls for quotes. I started to see a pattern emerge, and after several glowing online reviews, a strong recommendation from a longtime UT Honda owner and a feeling in my gut, I took Jez into the Ken Garff Honda dealership in downtown SLC. It was a great decision.

The experience was pretty great from the get-go. When I called the dealership to get a quote, Erin, the service manager helping me quoted a price that was a little higher than other places I had called. When I told her as much, she cheerfully offered to price-match any dealership in the valley; and when I found cheaper prices at a rival dealership,  she was true to her word. And what was even better, she had the parts in stock, which is great because S2000 clutches aren’t that easy to find.

I dropped off my car and virtually everybody I talked to about the necessary repairs was polite, helpful, and informative. The repair bays were busy (which is a good sign) but everything was really clean and neat. I walked away feeling confident that my car was in good hands.

Over the next few days, I received courtesy updates on the status of my repairs (apparently an S2000 clutch job is a fairly significant endeavor) but at no point did they attempt to upsell me or apprise me of other ticky-tack repairs that “needed” to be done. In fact, they even saved me money.

Finally, the long-awaited time came for me to be reunited with my car. I showed up at the dealership, where Erin walked me through the repairs that had been made, along with their cost, line by line. I was amazed when they came in under the quoted cost for the clutch job, even with the price match, and all the other repairs were reasonably priced. (Also, there was no upselling! I can hardly describe how great it was to not be harassed about other “needed” repairs. Apparently that’s a pet peeve.) They also took care of my inspection and even renewed my registration for me so I wouldn’t have to mess with mailing anything in or waiting for my stickers to show up.

I’ll stop gushing, but first I wanted to drop just a quick word about Erin – she was incredibly friendly, professional, and took extra good care of me. She even went so far as having the tech she uses personally with her own cars work on mine! Oh yeah, and the car? Jezebel runs better now than she has as long as I’ve owned her. Her clutch works like a charm, the ride’s back to normal, and the rattle is completely gone. She’s a joy to drive again!

I really can’t say enough about how great my experience with this dealership was. It’s no wonder that they’ve won the prestigious Honda President’s Award for almost ten years running. I’ll be taking my Hondas to Ken Garff Honda Downtown from now on. Kudos to you guys for running a great business.

(Disclosure: I was not paid for this review, nor was I given any other kind of compensation for it. I’m merely a satisfied customer who wants to share about how awesome this dealership is.)

2 Comments

  1. I am having the same issue that you noted with the lugs shearing off. I am interested in what the solution was

  2. Turns out that they had rotated my tires, which is a terrible idea when the front and rear tires are different widths. Also turns out that the rims are designed specifically for the front and rear hubs, so when the wheels get switched, they don’t fit on the hubs correctly, and it puts the whole weight of the car on the lugs. The lugs can’t handle the weight, and thus, they shear.

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