Honda Certified Pre-Owned Review

Written by Ray Shefska

My career in the retail automotive business started in 1977. Buying a car doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing, stressful, or painful. Instead it can be confidence inspiring, fun, and convenient. Let me show you how.

April 30, 2020

Used car buying can be stressful. Our Honda Certified Pre-Owned review is meant to help.

One of the perks of buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is knowing that it meets the manufacturer’s standards for quality and worthiness. That being said, every manufacturer has a slightly different certified pre-owned program, and Honda actually offers two variants.

HondaTrue Certified, and HondaTrue Certified+ are two levels of certified pre-owned offered by Honda on their vehicles. Below we’ll tell you what you need to know about both before you buy your next Accord, Civic, Odyssey, or CRV.

Is Honda Certified Pre-owned Worth It?

HondaTrue Certified+

Your Auto Advocate score: 7/10

HondaTrue Certified+ is Honda’s premier CPO program. Vehicles that are less than one year old qualify for Certified+ distinction.

HondaTrue Certified

Your Auto Advocate score: 6/10

Honda’s “non-plus” variant of certified pre-owned is valuable for customers. Below we breakdown what we like and dislike about both CPO programs.

Highlights

What’s to love about Honda’s CPO program?

  • Two tiers provides better perks for newer vehicles.
  • Trip-Interruption Expense Reimbursement is a nice perk.
  • 7 years/100,000 mile powertrain warranty is comprehensive.

Lowlights

What’s missing or lacking about the program?

  • If you drive a certified pre-owned Honda for Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare company, your future repairs will not be covered by the warranty.
  • Warranty excludes coverage for A LOT of items.

Full Honda Certified Pre-Owned Review

If you’re interested in reading all the fine print, you can click here to access the entire CPO warranty booklet. Below we’ll go in depth into key aspects of the certified pre-owned program.

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Honda Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

What is not covered by Honda’s CPO warranty

Expendable Parts

  • Distributor cap
  • Rotor;
  • spark plug wires;
  • spark plugs;
  • PCV valves;
  • Filters;
  • Fluids;
  • Lubricants;
  • refrigerants (unless required as part of a covered repair);
  • belts with the exception of the timing belt (for failure only);
  • wiper blades;
  • clamps and fasteners.

Maintenance Procedures

  • Tune-ups;
  • Adjustments;
  • Reprogramming;
  • Updates;
  • Calibrations;
  • Tightening;
  • tire rotation;
  • wheel balancing and wheel alignment (unless required as part of a covered repair).

Clutch, Brakes & Tires

  • Clutch disc; pressure plate;
  • throwout bearing;
  • pilot bearing/bushing;
  • disc brake pads;
  • disc brake rotors;
  • brake drums;
  • brake shoes;
  • parking brake shoes;
  • brake hardware and tire valve stems, except for failed TPMS sensors.

Batteries & Bulbs

  • Batteries (except for nickel-metal hydride, lithium-ion and polymer lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid vehicles);
  • battery cables;
  • high-intensity discharge (HID) headlight assembly;
  • sealed beams;
  • bulbs (with the exception of the instrument cluster bulbs)
  • LEDs (light-emitting diodes) equipped lighting assemblies and fuses.

This limited warranty does not cover any emission-related repairs, including but not limited to the following:

  • Head pipes;
  • catalytic converters;
  • Mufflers;
  • Resonators;
  • Tailpipes;
  • Hangers;
  • heat shields;
  • gaskets and related fastening hardware.

This limited warranty does not cover any item concerning the vehicle’s general appearance including cleaning, polishing, normal wear and deterioration of any part.

Body Parts & Trim

  • Frame;
  • body mount bushings;
  • subframe(s);
  • subframe mounting bushings;
  • primary body structure/welded assemblies;
  • core support;
  • header panel;
  • Grille;
  • Hood;
  • Fenders;
  • inner fenders;
  • Doors;
  • rear hatch;
  • trunk lid;
  • Tailgate;
  • Spoilers;
  • Fascia;
  • air dams;
  • composite panels;
  • Bumpers;
  • bumper covers;
  • outside ornamentation;
  • Emblems;
  • Garnish;
  • Moldings;
  • roof ditch moldings;
  • bright metal;
  • chrome trim;
  • stainless trim;
  • paint; headlight housings;
  • taillight housings;
  • side marker lamp housings;
  • lenses and bezels.

Interior Parts, Upholstery & Trim

  • Steering wheel;
  • dash panel;
  • dash pad;
  • glove compartment door;
  • floor or overhead consoles;
  • door and other interior panels;
  • armrests; seat upholstery;
  • seat padding;
  • headliner; cargo covers/sunshades (except for failure of the retractor mechanism);
  • sun visors (except for the sun visor support);
  • Carpet;
  • floor mats;
  • door handles;
  • window handles;
  • Buttons;
  • Knobs;
  • Boots;
  • beverage holders and gas-, brake- and clutch-pedal pads.

Glass & Mirrors

  • All window glass, sun-/moonroof glass, all mirror glass (except for electronic failure of the auto-dimming mirror), all rear or sideview mirror housings/frames and brackets.

Wheels

  • Wheels;
  • wheel covers;
  • trim rings;
  • center caps;
  • wheel studs;
  • lug nuts and wheel locks.

As you can see, a lot of items are not covered by the CPO warranty. This is one of our biggest frustrations with Honda’s certified pre-owned program. Unfortunately for the customer, they will likely end up having to pay out of pocket for something on their CPO vehicle, even though they are paying for the privilege of it coming with this extra warranty.

Honda Certified Pre-Owned Roadside Assistance

Similar to Toyota’s certified pre-owned program, Honda also offers a 12 month roadside assistance program for CPO vehicles. This is a nice perk, and one that more and more manufacturers are offering.

The specific benefits that come from Roadside Assistance are:

  • Emergency towing to the nearest authorized Honda dealership or repair facility required as a result of a mechanical breakdown† or vehicle accident/collision
  • Flat-tire change (with spare)
  • Battery boost (jump-start)
  • Emergency fuel delivery (up to 3 gallons)
  • Lockout assistance
  • Winch service (within 10 feet of paved road)

Honda Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

For a vehicle to qualify for CPO status, it must pass a rigorous 182-point inspection by a Honda certified technician. The inspection includes confirming that no aftermarket parts have been added to the vehicle, that the entire interior, exterior, and underside of the vehicle are of high quality, and that the tires, brakes, and engine are in good working condition.

For a complete list of what is included in the inspection, you can click here.

We hope you found this Honda Certified Pre-Owned review helpful. Navigating the car buying journey can be challenging, and we’re here to help!

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3 Comments

  1. Christine Taylor

    Hi Ray & Zach:
    I think it’s interesting that after studying a few of these “182 point inspection checklists” I’ve discovered some “errors”. I haven’t called the dealers to inquire about them as I see them because I’m not in a position to buy yet. The errors, what looks like errors, are common things that are checked as N/A. That part is curious to me; why would a differential fluid be listed as N/A on an automatic drive vehicle? Nothing is ever checked as “No”, ever. N/A implies that you can ignore that one because it’s Non-Applicable.
    I’m taking my time to research what’s currently out there, but I’m very tempted to use those errors as leverage for a discount. Sure, they might insist that it is just an error, but wouldn’t that raise suspicion if the paper had to be re-issued on a later date?
    Curious about your thoughts on this.
    Thank You Guys for FANTASTIC YouTube channel!
    It’s a stimulating diversion during my furlough form live theater.
    All the Best!
    Christine.

    Reply
  2. Kevin S Davis

    How about more of these?

    Reply
  3. Gary Lee Simms

    It would be interesting to see an actuarial report on what really breaks on a Honda and how much profit Honda makes on the various warranties they sell.

    Reply

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