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I took my car into the Acura dealership service department and they said I need a new control unit that will cost me $1100 for the part and labor. Basically they said that the sensors were fine it’s the unit that it’s attached to that also works with the keyless entry that needs to be replaced. I guess it’s a bad unit. What cost effective way should I go about this? It’s so expensive.
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If you are capable of changing the module out yourself then search out one of the aggressive dealers that sell parts online. Once you swap it you'll still need to have the ECM recognize it, so either a shop or the dealer will have to handle that and will probably charge an hour labor or $150-200. The down side to going that route is if there is another problem and that doesn't fix it you are SOL, where you have leverage if the dealer that diagnosed the problem replaces it. A 3rd party shop that specializes in Honda/Acura may be cheaper on the labor, but you likely won't save on the part and sometimes they actually charge more depending on the discount they get from the dealer on the part. This will be a dealer only part, so it's tough any way you do it.
 

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If you are capable of changing the module out yourself then search out one of the aggressive dealers that sell parts online. Once you swap it you'll still need to have the ECM recognize it, so either a shop or the dealer will have to handle that and will probably charge an hour labor or $150-200. The down side to going that route is if there is another problem and that doesn't fix it you are SOL, where you have leverage if the dealer that diagnosed the problem replaces it. A 3rd party shop that specializes in Honda/Acura may be cheaper on the labor, but you likely won't save on the part and sometimes they actually charge more depending on the discount they get from the dealer on the part. This will be a dealer only part, so it's tough any way you do it.
 

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I did find the part online for a discounted $360 but I’d still need to get an independent shop to install it. The dealership said that I need to have my keys reprogrammed to the module so not sure if an independent shop would even know how to do that too. Maybe I should just slap down the money and have the dealership do it all.
 

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That is a tough one. The best path to save money is likely independent shop that specializes in Honda/Acura so that they have all the necessary software to diagnose and program. I would make a few phone calls and just feel them out, especially asking if they will allow you to purchase the part and bring it in. I'd be right up front when you call that you are trying to save money, but you also want to confirm a diagnosis, though I wouldn't tell them what diagnosis you have. It will take you two appointments to get it right IMO. First appointment to confirm diagnosis, then you order the part online, then return for install and program. Ask them how much to diagnose, probably $150, and then you'll likely have $150-225 for install and program, so in the $750-800 range. Is the extra hassle worth saving $300? Did you already pay diagnostic at the dealer and the $1,100 is in addition? Lastly, check with the dealer to see if they have any coupons or discounts floating around out there. This can be a slower time of the year for them, so if you can catch a 10% parts and labor discount that shrinks the price and potential savings.
 

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A competent independent shop that specializes in Acura/Honda and keeps up with their training can install and program keys. I can disable and program immobilizer keys with my $60 HT200 Scanner.
Call around and check. Most shops won’t install parts you supply so check on that as well.
 

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That is a tough one. The best path to save money is likely independent shop that specializes in Honda/Acura so that they have all the necessary software to diagnose and program. I would make a few phone calls and just feel them out, especially asking if they will allow you to purchase the part and bring it in. I'd be right up front when you call that you are trying to save money, but you also want to confirm a diagnosis, though I wouldn't tell them what diagnosis you have. It will take you two appointments to get it right IMO. First appointment to confirm diagnosis, then you order the part online, then return for install and program. Ask them how much to diagnose, probably $150, and then you'll likely have $150-225 for install and program, so in the $750-800 range. Is the extra hassle worth saving $300? Did you already pay diagnostic at the dealer and the $1,100 is in addition? Lastly, check with the dealer to see if they have any coupons or discounts floating around out there. This can be a slower time of the year for them, so if you can catch a 10% parts and labor discount that shrinks the price and potential savings.
 

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The dealership didn’t charge me anything to diagnose it. But after reading your reply I called them back and asked for a discount and they said they would take off $200 so instead of $1100 I’ll be paying $900. I think I’m just going to go ahead with that so in case something should happen they will be held accountable. Thanks for your suggestions and help on this one.
 

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The dealership didn’t charge me anything to diagnose it. But after reading your reply I called them back and asked for a discount and they said they would take off $200 so instead of $1100 I’ll be paying $900. I think I’m just going to go ahead with that so in case something should happen they will be held accountable. Thanks for your suggestions and help on this one.
That's a strong discount from a dealer! Most people don't realize that major repairs or service can often be negotiated. Two things that helped in this case. It was not a breakdown repair, and you had left the dealership.

In the sales department they understand, probably more than parts or service, that when the customer is not there they will have to make a case for the customer coming back. Service people it is often more of a subconscious thing. I almost always negotiate my car deals over the phone after having seen and driven the car. I'll leave saying there is one more contender I want to look at then will make my decision even if I am to the point of the decision being made and just trying to negotiate. Calling back I tell them I like their car a bit better, but not enough to pay X more for it and can they take X. Because they don't have me sitting at the desk they have to come up with a price that will cause me to return. Making an offer and walking out if it isn't accepted often works too. If they let you walk you can be pretty certain you are close to your best price, but if you walk at $1,000 apart then call them back and raise your offer a couple hundred they will often make their last pricing move if they still have one.

Full disclosure since the new platform cuts off our signatures...I have 30+ years of being in and around dealerships working in both sales and service.
 

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Also negotiate with the service department before declined the service. There is room for discount on their "DEFAULT" price. My dealer often offers 10~20% discounts if I bring the car in early or late hours.
 
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