NTPOG Reviews Page - Dealers and Speedshops

 
 


If you bought your Prelude in North Texas, you already know that we've got an impressive number of new and used Honda dealers in this area. We're attempting to create a helpful list of the best and worst of local shops (prices, service, etc.) based on personal experiences. This part of the site, more than any other part, is where we *really* need input from you folks. If you've got an opinion, we want to hear it. If you've got an experience to relate, please take a few minutes and email us about it. (we reserve the right to edit contributions for grammar, spelling, etc.).

Alamo Autosports (Ft. Worth)
Asia Imports (Garland) John Eagle Honda (Houston)
First Texas Honda (Austin)
Huggins Honda (Ft. Worth)
David McDavid Honda (Irving)
David McDavid Acura Body Shop (Plano)
Jim McNatt Honda (Lewisville)
Meineke Discount Mufflers (Richardson)
Lute Riley Honda (Richardson)
Triple A Mufflers (Garland)
Vandergriff Honda (Grand Prairie)

Alamo Autosports (Iain Peebles)
Whatever you do, no matter how bad you just have to have that new exhaust system or set of coilovers, DON'T EVER TAKE YOUR CAR TO ALAMO AUTOSPORTS, NOT EVEN IF IT IS ON FIRE AND THEY HAVE THE ONLY EXTINGUISHER IN A FIFTY MILE RADIUS! Is that absolutely clear? Good. Think I'm being extreme? Read on...
I took my car to this miserable little hole-in-the-wall in March of '99 looking for a couple of things to tweak the handling, sort of improve on perfection, if you know what I mean. I was looking for a set of stiffer sway bars and a strut tower brace, and Alamo said they could take care of me. They could install a set of Suspension Techniques swaybars, and a tower brace, all for a reasonable amount of money. Sounded good, so I took my car down and dropped it off. When I went back a few hours later to pick it up, I started the engine. Right away, the entire front end of the car started to vibrate, in direct proportion to engine speed. Not good. I asked the tech what the hell they had done to my car, and he said that the clearance on the front bar had been a little tight, but they thought they had fixed it. So they put my car back up on the lift, and they take off the spacers between the bushing bracket for the sway bar and the frame of the car, hoping to increase the clearance between the bar and the catalytic converter. They had already removed the heat shield to the cat, but they still couldn't make the fit right. The tech even said "we've never had this kind of trouble with any other Preludes..." Anyway, they seem to get another 1/2 inch or so of clearance, so I drive it home. On the way home, every time I hit a bump the bar clanks off of the top of the cat. So I take my car back in to them the following Monday evening to have it fixed. How do they solve the problem? By taking the catalytic converter off, and HAMMERING the outside flange flat with a five-pound hammer. Needless to say, I was NOT impressed with their professionalism, although the bar was no longer rubbing. To make a longer story a little shorter, time goes by, I meet Billy & John & Todd & company, and I join NTPOG. One day we're sitting around, and I mention my little experience. Billy says that this sounds very suspicious, as he has ST bars also and has no fitment problems at all. He also mentions that the first set of bars ST sent to him were meant for a 4th gen, and that they didn't fit at all... So we get up under Billy's car and mine and compare the bars, and they are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Turns out Alamo had jimmied a 4th gen bar to fit my 5th gen, even though they are completely different parts, with different diameters and different locations and degrees of bends. After six weeks of threatening legal action and to reverse the charge on my credit card (don't EVER pay cash for anything at a speed shop), Alamo finally owned up to the problem and replaced the rigged bar with a proper 5th gen bar, but they obviously didn't care enough to do the work right in the first place. Moral of the story? You would be better off handing a drunken gorilla a twenty-pound sledgehammer and your new Mugen muffler than taking it to Alamo. They are a bunch of world class idiots, and I will NEVER be using their services again.

Asia Imports, Garland (Aldo Sanchez)
Just wanted to share with you guys that I've had a great experience with "Asia Imports." This is a small performance shop that have provided excellent service at relatively low prices. I have gotten all my performance parts from them and they have done some work to my car, like timing belt and water pump replacement, for less than $600 with brand new belts, High performance underdrive pulley, and labor.

First Texas Honda, Austin (Jason Leiker)
I recently moved to Houston from Austin, and I drove up to Austin for the Labor Day weekend in my '93 VTEC. Anyway, while I was up there I had an oil seal fail. It was a very polite failure and occured monday (Labor Day) just before I got back to my dad's house from getting groceries. Anyway, my dad towed me to First Texas Honda (I didn't feel like doing it myself, I wanted it done right, and I had a friend who had worked there and she had good things to say). They were closed for Labor Day but they had a guarded overnight drop area with forms and a drop slot for keys. The car was ready Wednesday at noon, but it was no problem leaving it there until the weekend when I could pick it up. The service rep was very polite and informative. We discussed what work needed to be done and other work that could be done while they had it all apart. Valve clearance adjustment and 100k service were discussed but I decided those were things I could do for $150. The leak was from a seal on the rear balancer. I had the timing and balancer belts replaced (101k miles, I needed to anyway...), all new oil seals on that end of the engine, new water pump (preventative maintenance, though the old one looks fine), new seals on the valve cover, new oil, and new antifreeze for less than $600. When I picked the car up on Sunday, the service center was closed but the receptionist on the floor had my keys and receipts etc. ready. They had placed all the old parts in a thick plastic ziplock in my trunk. I drove to my dad's place and took the valve cover off to set my valve clearance. The belts were indeed new, and all the visible seals looked good. The only complaint I could have is that they didn't noticabely clean up any of the covers. They still had all the leaked oil all over them still which I thought might get on the new belts and deteriorate them.

John Eagle, Houston (Ryan Earl)
John-Eagle Honda in Houston is a very cool dealership. The head tech there, Marcelo Ortiz is an awesome guy. Whenever you take in your Prelude, it will most likely be him doing the work. He is very thorough and careful. John-Eagle stocks a lot of aftermarket parts, and do JR SC installs. I think they even warranty them. I ended up having Marcello install my Eibachs since I couldn't figure out how to do it on the SH without proper tools, and to tap an oil feed for my turbo. Bottom line, I highly recommend service at John-Eagle Honda in Houston, for maintence or aftermarket stuff. Very cool guys.

Huggins Honda (Sales), North Richland Hills (Iain Peebles)
I bought my Prelude new ('98) at Huggins Honda in North Richland Hills, after visiting both David McDavid in Irving (didn't have one) and Vandergriff in Arlington. I bought my car from Huggins for a couple of reasons. First, I had a figure I wanted to pay in mind for a base '98 five speed when I walked in the door which was reasonable, not low-as-you-can-go, but it gave me the payments that I wanted. The salesman agreed to the price with no haggling, no pressure tactics, no add-on sales pressure, and all in about five minutes (I paid $23,200 - right off the showroom floor). On top of it, when he could not locate the color I wanted in a five speed (the green, cause black interiors are not fun in Texas), he gave me the Sportshift, which retails for about $1000 more, for the same price we had already agreed upon. Granted, I bought mine in late September of '98, right as the '99's were starting to arrive (great time to buy a car), but he made me feel like I got a good deal. I also got a rebate card good for 10% off any parts, accesories, or service that I have done @ the dealership (which I recently used on my wife's '95 Civic 60,000 mile service). And to top it all off, he pulled a four wheel drift @ about 50mph in the demo all the way through an underpass u-turn during the test drive! My kinda salesman! More importantly, their service center is up to the task of keeping my ride on the road. After I had my sway bars ghetto-installed by Alamo (the front one was rubbing on the cat, causing the whole front end to vibrate through the steering wheel), I took my car by Huggins to see if they could determine the problem (I had already been twice to the idiots @ Alamo, which is about 45min from where I live - Huggins is right down the street), they had me fixed up and rolling in 40 minutes - at no charge. I also got a thorough look under the car courtesy of the mechanic, who pointed out all of the screwups caused by Alamo, and then what they could do to fix it. I would definitely recommend Huggins for your next Honda, and if my wife does decide on a '00 Accord V6 (she can't decide between it or a Passat) we will definitely be going back there.

Huggins Honda (Service), North Richland Hills (B. Paul Brackin)
Huggins Honda service sucks:
Bad experience 1:
Back in 97 - I had one of the first occurances of the infamous ATTS 'whizzing' problem. Huggins told me they didn't know anything about it. But, (thanks to the prelude mailing list) I knew there was a TSB for this problem - so I told then to check their 'wire' (thats actually what they call it) for said TSB. They still claimed there was nothing. I had to get American Honda on the horn to straigten them out - and - BOOYEAH! - they got their ass in gear then - QUICK. They fixed the problem (a very easy fix) - but I got my car back with mud splatters behind the wheels. I got my car out of there ASAP.
Bad experience 2:
In summer 99 - I had my Lude in for a wheel balancing & rotate. Got the car back & one wheel was all banged up where the guy on the impact wrench couldn't find the damn holes. Huggins agreed they caused the problem. They took the wheel in to have it 'repaired' at a local paint shop. Basically, they painted right over the existing paint, ONLY ON THE FRONT, OVER DIRT, and WRONG COLOR!!! I had the wheel sent back again 2 more times - with similarly shoddy results. Finally I contacted the manager and told him the wheel would be replaced, or I'd be back on the horn with American Honda. VOILA! New wheel. The whole ordeal took about six weeks and went right over my birthday. Fortunately, I had my trusty CBR to count on & the weather was fair. I've also had problems with grease stains on the seats (mine are tan & dirt shows up well). I WON'T be going back there, EVER. In fairness, I've actually had a few good experiences at Huggins. But the bad ones far outweigh the good ones. IMHO - if you take your car to Huggins for service - you are ROLLING THE BONES - BIG TIME.

Huggins Honda (Service), North Richland Hills (Iain Peebles)
Just got around to reading Paul's review of Huggins and the old one that I had posted and it reminded me of my last (and final) experience with Huggins Honda. I took my car in around October with some front end vibration problems. I dropped the car off on a Monday morning, and it took them more than two days to get around to even looking at my car, even after making an appointment 2 weeks in advance. Not only could they not diagnose the source of the problem, they even lied to me and told me that they had pulled a set of stock wheels off a new Prelude on the lot and mounted them on my car to determine if my Konigs were the source of the problem. Now, can someone explain how they accomplished this when I realized three days later that the key to my wheel locks had been in my backpack the whole time my car was in the shop? And the best part? I get my car back with three new door dings in the driver's side door! As far as I'm concerned, the service department at Huggins are a group of worthless lying bastards, and that's the edited version of my opinion.

David McDavid (Body Shop), Irving (Evan Poole-Ford)
Well about a month ago, I had to take my Prelude into DMD to be repaired for suspension work, and scraped rims, from a curb check. I dropped the car off on Monday. The Body shop rep called me back the same day to tell me the estimate, and I called my insurance company to go over there to check it out. Well, the dealer told them it would take 3 to 5 days once the parts were in. The insurance company went to DMD on Wednesday to inspect my car, and gave DMD the go-ahead. Well, I found out they didn't order the parts until the following Monday. I called the guy there every day to check, and he told me they were working on it. Well, I happened to around there that weekend to hang out with my friend and we went up there. My car was still sitting in the far corner of the lot. A week went by with no phone call, so I called them and got the same story: "we are working on it." So I call my insurance rep to go over there and put some fire under their butts. Still didn't work. They've had my car for two weeks at this point. So on the Thursday of the 2nd week I called down there and they told me it wouldbe ready by the end of the week. Cool, I'm going to get my car. So Friday I called to see what's up. The guy told me that the car would be ready on Saturday. I called Saturday for the body shop and the lady told me that they are closed on Saturdays. I didn't call them back until Thursday that week, and they had the nerve to tell me that my car was being aligned and that it would be ready that night. At this time it had been 3 weeks. I had to drive 210 miles (since I'm stationed in Oklahoma) to get my car. I get to DMD and my car is outside, in the front parking lot, dirty as hell, grease all over it. I asked the rep for my old rims, since the insurance company replaced them. He told me " I had to send them back." I drove home to wash my car, only to find out that they sanded my rims down and resurfaced them to look like new. They didn't replace any rims. He lied right in my face. Three weeks for a 5-day job, insurance fraud, and poor customer service. I hope that none of you guys ever have to take your car to them.

David McDavid (Service Department), Irving (Iain Peebles)
I know that at least one of our members has had problems with David McDavid's body shop, and they did some repair work on my wife's Civic a few years back that was substandard. However, I recently had a very pleasant experience with their service department that I felt deserved a little recognition. I took my car in the first week of February to have a potential oil leak looked at, and also to confirm what I suspected were a warped pair of front rotors. I night dropped the car in the care of service advisor Matt Gilpin, who is somewhat familiar with our little internet family of Honda nuts. Not only was the car ready by 11:00 a.m. the following day (a mere FOUR HOURS after the service department had opened), but Matt took care of the problem in a most professional manner and even ground my rotors back to true FOR FREE, even though I had not bought my car there. On top of this, my car came back without a single new scratch or dent, which is unfortunately pretty rare when having your car serviced. I would highly recommend this individual for any service or problems you have, even if you don't live near Irving (I live about 30 minutes away). He is definitely that rarest of breeds, a competent and honest service advisor.

David McDavid Acura (Body Shop), Plano (Dennis Walker)
I had a nightmarish experience at David McDavid's Acura body shop in Plano back in '96. I was working in Richardson at the time, commuting daily from northwest Fort Worth, and I decided to select what I thought would be a reputable shop close to my workplace to get the hail damage fixed on my 1 year old GS-R (sniff!). After waiting for three months to get in, I was understandably excited about the prospects of finally putting my car back into fighting shape. The whole thing seemed to be routine. I didn't think to actually go check for myself when the body shop manager told me they had a paint booth; I made it imminently clear that I wanted the job done correctly, which meant downdraft paint booth, proper filtration, quality paint, near-humanoid technicians, etc, etc. I left the car and drove off into the sunset, blissfully ignorant of my soon to be screwed status in my State Farm provided Grand Am, complete with it's custom warped front left rotor.... Time passed. I found myself trapped in the Hell of 'It'll be ready tomorrow...', but it seemed tomorrow would never come. When the day finally arrived I picked the car up at about 7:30 a.m. I was so excited I only gave the car a cursory examination before I was V-TECing my way to work, leaving carnage and mayhem in my wake. The mayhem caught up with me when I got the car home that night and my sweet wife went over her car with the same level of diligence a mother gorilla searches her young for fleas. The sun was high overhead, and much was revealed about the quality of work, or distinct lack thereof, we received from Mickey D's. I was aghast. Both flanks of the car were scarred and scratched, as if something had repeatedly rubbed up and down the entire length of the car from tip to tail. A number of sags, voids and contamination were evident which had been totally invisible at sunrise (something my wife has said of my own manly finish upon occasion, this occasion in particular). To make a long story short: DMD'oh! proved to be utterly incapable of making thier foul up right. After being accused of lying and insurance fraud by the dealership's general manager, a particularly noxious wart named Ed Kenningham, I decided to dig in and do whatever it took to get them to fix the car to my satisfaction. The car was color sanded and repainted twice before I gave up in favor of waiting for the next Fort Worth hailstorm and the accompanying battle of the bodyshops, round 2.
Lessons learned: The David McDavid Acura body shop should be avoided at all costs. Spread the word!
P.S. Here's a ding on Acura USA: I contacted them and related the whole story. They replied that body shops attached to dealers were not under their authority so Acura couldn't exert any influence on the situation. Ahhhh but they have; as much as I loved my GSR, I've replaced it with a Honda and don't anticipate ever darkening the door of ANY Acura dealership EVER again.

Jim McNatt (Service), Lewisville (John O'Keefe)
I went to Jim McNatt Honda in Lewisville. While they aligned my car like I asked them too (because it pulled to the right) they seemed to not check the tire pressure, suspension, or test drive the car after the alignment! When I got the car back it still pulled to the right. After some inspection on my own I noticed that the tire pressure on the right tire was 22 psi versus the left side which was at 32 psi. It turns out the car was pulling because the right side tire was low on air. There is no way the service technician could have over looked the low tire if he would have (a) taken the car for a test drive and noticed it still pulled to the right and (b) if he would have actually checked the tire pressures. Before I knew about the tire pressure I called the dealer and told them the car still pulled to the right. The service guy said they checked everything out so it must be a bad tire. If they checked everything out why didn't they tell me it still pulled to the right and they couldn't find out what was wrong!?!?!?!?! Anyway just wanted to warn all you guys about this dealer. I'm doing all my own work from now on!

Meineke Discount Mufflers, Richardson (Jerry Huang)
Excellent service and very reasonable prices. Just recently I swapped my Tanabe Racing Medallion and BW rear bumper at their place. They let us work on our cars briefly for the bumper swap. They were quick and thorough and very receptive to aftermarket exhausts and lowered cars. Next to us was a 'stang getting custom work and it looked nice. Best of all, install of any exhaust that is a pure bolt-on is only $25. They even did minor welding for us because the MORONS at some carrollton muffler place did a crap job and my exhaust had a minor leak. $25 for any new install or swap of bolt-on. They did it in less than an hour.

Lute Riley (Service) (Josh Luse)
I took my car in for an oil change, and when they were pulling it around, they ran it up on the curb and scratched two of my rims. I showed the Manager what happened and he said that there was no curb behind the oil change place. I took him back there and showed him the curb and the scratches but he still denied it and said that they wouldn't pay for the new wheels. I wrote the General Manager and he told me the same thing. Moral of the story: STAY AWAY FROM LUTE RILEY HONDA!!!

Lute Riley (Service) (Jerry Huang)
When you buy a new car from Lute Riley they give you a service maintenance schedule. Here you get 3 free oil changes, filter changes, quick inspection at their Quick Service Department. I always watch the service guys to see what their doing when they change my oil. On my third free oil change, the technician was asked if he knew how much oil to put in my car (FYI - 5.1 quart for 99 lude) and he shrugged his shoulders. I got scared. So he started pumping oil into the engine with that pump they have. After he filled it, he started the car. Checked the dipstick and shrugged his shoulders again. He realized it was not enough and pumped more into it. I got more scared. Then all of a sudden he pull the pump out without turning it off. Pressurized oil pumps all over the engine bay, then onto my shoe, up my pants and shirt and on my face. I got mad. The manager apologized and offered to clean my engine bay and pay for my clothes replacement. The guy cleaned the engine and of course it was smoking for a few days. He gave me a replacement shirt (Honda baby blue polo) and his business card to send the receipts for my clothes replacement. I did after 2 weeks and no hassle. I received a check in two days. You decide for yourself if this is a good or bad review.

Lute Riley (Service) (Alex Soo)
I have a comment to make about the service shop at Lute Riley Honda. Always inspect your car afterwards. I took my Prelude there for 90K service and when I got it back, they forgot to screw on a bolt to the engine. Not to mention my wallet was significantly lighter. And whatever deal you made with the service rep, make sure you have it in writing, or it will tend not to show up on your bill.

Lute Riley (Service) (Eric Siegel)
When I had my 45,000 mile service done at Lute Riley, they rotated my tires. The tech didn't bother to notice that the tires I had were directional, and he had put them on backwards. I discovered this problem first time I hit the brakes in a panic situation and lost control of my car. Be very careful about all things done there. They do not seem to appreciate how to handle any aftermarket parts.

Lute Riley (Service) (James Rhee)
I have a comment on Lute Riley Honda. I took my car into their shop to get my electrical systems checked because the ABS light was on. I had already replaced the fuse because it had blown out, but the light was still on... They charged me $60 for a "mandatory" check they do (which I have to say is the ultimate BS). That of course didn't help, and I knew it wouldn't since everything else is fine. Two whole days later they told me it was a blown fuse and tried to give it back. But NO the ABS light was still on, and now the whole air conditioning panel wouldn't turn off when the key was removed. They tried to blame the wiring of my alarm system, which I actually got professionally wired 2 months earlier. In the end, the whole procedure took one week.  Not only did they create more problems, I also found they disconnected my engine fan. They charged me a total of more than $250. I just have to say if your car has something aftermarket on it, please don't take it there. As far as body work and so on, I'll respect, but Lute Riley is overrated. You can find much more experienced people in crappy looking shops, with a smaller name and cheaper prices. Just look for them.

Triple A Mufflers (Alex Soo)
I have another comment about Triple A Mufflers in downtown Garland. Don't go there! I got my muffler installed there and they didn't do a good job. They didn't have the materials needed to properly install it nor did they place the muffler where I wanted it.

Vandergriff Honda (Sales), Arlington (Iain Peebles)
The salesperson at Vandergriff knew less than I did about the car (he SWORE it had a V6 in it, until I popped the hood and made him count the spark plug leads - can you believe it?), and things got even worse when I went for a test drive. As I'm getting onto 360 Southbound @ Division, I popped the car down into 2nd and buried my right foot. Just as the VTEC was kicking in, the salesman reached over and actually grabbed hold of the wheel, telling me not to "abuse the car." Now tell me how you are going to comparison shop performance cars if you can't see what they are capable of? To top it all off, they had the gall to appraise my trade in, a '96 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 (V6, extended cab, all the bells and whistles, blah, blah, blah) with 26k miles on it for only $11,000?!? Needless to say, I hope this guy found a better calling, 'cause he wasn't much of a car salesman.

Vandergriff Honda (Sales), Arlington (Casey Harris)
When I went to start negotiating on my Prelude, I took the help of a close friend of the family who is an exceptional car buyer. We spoke to a sales rep, who will remain nameless to protect us from libel, who made us a deal on a white, sport shifter for $22,300 with the floor mats (WOOHOO! Big freakin deal floor mats!). He told me to bring my car up there that day, a Friday, to have it appraised for trade. I got out of school at 1:00pm and had to be at work at 2:00pm so there was no time to take it. I called the sales person the next day to reschedule. The first thing out of his mouth was "Is ***** your dad?" Obviously the guy who did the negotiating was not my dad ... he is not even the same race as me ... so the sales person began to tell me how much of a liar I was and how my friend had said this and that... It boils down to a poor attempt to satisfy a customer ...

Vandergriff Honda (Sales), Arlington (Mike Malphurs)
I drove to Vandergriff Acura in Arlington because they had a Pearl White '98 Prelude SH. Exactly what I was looking for! Dealing with a salesman that felt it necessary to tell me all about his wonderful Kung-Fu skills ("go for the eyes" he kept repeating), I began negotiating on the price. It started at $24,000 and he jumped all the way down to $23,000. He would not budge one inch, so I walked on 'em. Two days later I sent a friend (who buys cars at auctions) back up to Vandergriff and he negotiated a different salesman down to $20,500. My friend drove the car out to the front of the dealership, handed me my keys and I drove off with a '98 Type Sh Prelude with only 10,000 miles on it. After saving $2,500, all I can say is "Go for the eyes Jack!"



This page last updated 4/3/01.