Shame: Chiswick Honda


Been going here a while, and generally found them okay, if a little expensive.

Went in last week with a flat battery.  They told me battery was dead so replaced.  Two days later, dead battery again.  Went in and it turned out the regulator / rectifier was gone.  So £350 to replace that.  Really annoyed they didn’t pick up on that first time, and I am dubious that the first battery was truly dead, but gave them benefit of the doubt.

Had rear brake lever replaced at the same time, then riding home yesterday the pin connecting the lever to the… rest of the bike just dropped off.  Clearly wasn’t installed properly, and now I have no rear brake until next week when I can get a chance to take it back to get fixed.

Not impressed at all.


I bet the mechanic assumed your battery was dead from winter and didn’t bother checking any other symptoms. 

Letchworth Honda (paired with Chiswick IIRC) told my GF that because she’d jump started the bike when it had a dead battery that she’d damaged the regrec and needed a new one. I wasn’t convinced.


That’s unfortunate. I’ve generally had good experiences there. If they put the battery on a diagnostic machine it may have come back as deceased so they replaced that and didn’t investigate further. They are assessed on a Japanese appraisal scale so nothing short of excellent is considered terrible. They’ll give you a call for feedback so if you feed back your experience to the service manager they should see you right.


350 quid for a rectifier…was it made of solid gold​:frowning::frowning::frowning:


£331 I think to be exact.  I think £260 odd for the parts, the rest labour.

Had no choice as needed the bike for the next day.


My experiences with Honda Chiswick which aren’t many and going back more than ten years I’ve never felt that I have anything other than mediocre service at best.  I would use any other Honda dealer.  It was sad when Slocombes lost the Honda franchise.


honda r/r  … i bumped my cbr 600 and fried the HISS  … that was an expensive day


What are the odds of it being a dead battery and a faulty reg/rec?

Personally, when anything is changed, unless I see the mechanic actually changing the item, I ask for the old old back.  


I agree. I wrote a shame post for Honda Chiswick on this site a few years ago. I’ve never been back and from the sound of it that was a good decision.


A faulty reg can muller the battery before you know you have a problem, mine was overcharging and boiling the battery contents. They should have checked all on first report,


The problem is Honda’s procedure for testing the battery and charging system. Which is to test in order 1) the battery, 2) the regulator and 3) the alternator. The first component to fail gets replaced and there ends the diagnostic procedure :frowning:

I’d expect a proper test of the charging system including testing the (fully charged) battery, the regulator and the alternator. This being, as you have discovered, the only way to achieve any meaningful diagnosis and because a flat battery will most likely appear faulty during a battery condition test.


You can’t really test reg/recs directly, all you can do is fit another one and see if the problem persists. But a faulty reg/rec will ruin a new battery (or at least cause it to go flat) and what testing you can do on a reg/rec is meaningless on anything but a known-good battery.

I think the problem here is less the work they did and more the explaining they didn’t do. This is an entirely normal process - replace the battery and see if the problem persists. If it does, then replace the reg/rec.

Is there a reason you went to the dealership? That’s almost always the most-expensive way to go, and most of the reason for many people to go to them is either to keep on good terms so the warranty is easier to abuse or because they’ve got a good taste in courtesy bike.


They are 500m from where I live so I could wheel the bike there.

As I say, the reg/rec was annoying but I can understand.  the brake not being fitted properly, that was the bit that genuinely made me angry.

Also after complaining yesterday and I was promised a call back from a manager I heard nothing.  So double fail.


And battery is dead again…

Back to the shop tomorrow morning.

Apparently could be an alternator which is “even more expensive” so they would have confirmed the other stuff first before looking at this.

If so they have replaced a battery - didn’t work (£100 odd).  Replaced the regulator / rectifier - didn’t work (£350 odd) then only now found the true fault.

I will be interested to see what they say tomorrow.  Plus obviously that is yet another morning off work while I get bike sorted.


Seems to me they should be able to test the charging circuit as it leaves the alternator as well as it’s input on the reg/rec and output from the reg/rec. All at the same time. 


As above and above that too, Honda’s procedure for testing the battery and charging system is to test in order 1) the battery, 2) the regulator and 3) the alternator.

The first component to fail gets replaced and there ends the diagnostic procedure :frowning:
Before you let the dealer get his grubbies on it again why not test the battery for standby current drain. All you need is a multimeter, connect the red probe to the 10A DC socket, connect the black probe to the COM/Earth socket and set the dial to the 10A DC range. With the ignition and all the electrics switched off remove the battery negative lead and connect the multimeter between the battery’s negative lead and battery negative terminal. Standby current drain should be less than 35mA (0.035A). If the current drain is higher than that you need to find out what is draining the battery, easily done by removing the fuses one by one. Remove fuse, take another reading, if no change re-fit fuse and move on to next fuse until you find the circuit that is draining the battery.
Its not too difficult to test the alternator yourself either. All you need is that multimeter again, connect the red probe to the VΩmA socket,  connect the black probe to the COM/Earth socket and with the engine running at a fast idle (1500 rpm) attach a multimeter across the alternator terminals (the large red cable to the battery and an engine earth point will do). An output voltage reading of between 13.2v – 14.2v is OK. If the output voltage reading is less than 13v or more than 14.4v then suspect an alternator fault.


I’m always impressed with National Treasure’s response and engineering skills.


Perhaps a stupid question. Why are you going back to Honda Chiswick? Why not go to an independent mechanic who is more experienced than a Honda trainee, will do a thorough job and not in Hondas clockwork order and will be cheaper?


Well fuck me. Borrowed my brothers battery charger with intention of at least staring the bike to get it to the shop tomorrow. I can’t get the battery out. I swear they welded the screws on. Lucky they are only half a mile away so I can just wheel it there.

As to why I am going back. I have spent 500 on this now. I refuse to start over and pay someone else again. I expect Chiswick Honda to fix. For sure after this I will never return. The brake pedal they replaced fell off, the battery has been 4 visits now and frankly I would rather trust the drunk around the corner who repairs BMX bikes than Honda going forward.


And thank you national treasure. Genuinely appreciate the info. I will try to check before going in.