Today is another beautiful day in Waterloo, Ontario! Streets are full with snowmud, wind is blowing from the east, and my car is in the repair shop so I have ample opportunity to enjoy the sight of slowly melting snowflakes on my glasses. I've just been told the reason why the horn doesn't work is that some electric device with an impressive name has a broken circuit. The device can not be fixed, just be replaced. The part is $500, plus an estimated $200 service. Besides this it turns out that the whole brake system needs to be replaced (I didn't dare to ask for a price), and that nobody has a clue what to do about the driver's seat adjustment that doesn't work. Oh, and the remote control to open the door which is broken is not 'an original Honda part' and btw one that isn't manufactured anymore (? am I supposed to believe that ?), so it can't be fixed at all (but ductape so far works quite well). Further, they will need to replace at least 2 tires for reasons that eluded my shocked ears. I suggested they keep the steering wheel and replace the rest, it might be easier.
Update 5pm: I just picked up the car. The guy who presented the bill got annoyed because I dared to ask for details. He obviously didn't know what the files said that he was waving around with and 'Rob has already left'. He got more annoyed when I told him an explanation he'd just given me didn't make sense. It didn't improve his mood that his colleague confirmed what he just told me was indeed wrong. Neither did it help that I pointed out from the four problems that I came in for they didn't fix a single one. They did however cause a new one: the mechanic lost the remote control and as a result I can't lock the car. Summa summarum I paid $ 350 for nothing than new trouble, and the knowledge that I've been driving around more than a year with the driver's airbag not working. Should you live in Waterloo, Ontario, I'd give the local Honda dealer a stunning zero stars.
Update Feb. 2nd: I dug out the spare remote from the bottom of an (still not unpacked) moving box. Since the battery was dead and I couldn't even open the tiny screws I went into the next hardware store - on a Saturday afternoon it was full with men in their late fifties investigating scarily looking tools that I have no clue what they possibly could be good for (or why one would spend a Saturday afternoon with them). I replaced the battery, but was stupid enough to drop one of the tiny screws which vanished somewhere under the passenger's seat. Without much hope to ever see it again, I crawled under the seat where I found (among several empty coke bottles and a textbook I had missed for a while) the other remote. While I was already crawling on the floor I fixed the driver's seat adjustment. Turned out all it took was half a meter of wire. That means the next time Stefan comes for a visit, I can get drunk and he has to drive ;-)