Life has a way of serving up little surprises when you least expect them, a fact made clear on a recent Sunday morning. What started out as a simple exercise in automotive hygiene suddenly turned into a pricey object lesson. Following some uncharacteristically sloppy spring weather in Los Angeles, the time had come to give our Accord Hybrid long-termer a much-needed bath. During the past 20 years, I’d run at least a hundred vehicles through a local favorite brush-style car wash–without incident. This despite an admittedly less-than-meticulous adherence to certain pre-wash admonishments. Antennas retracted or removed, always. Mirrors folded, not so much. OK, pretty much never. But that failure to comply also had never previously produced any downside. Unfortunately, that streak was about to end. 

Sound of one mirror flopping

Things ran true to form during the Accord’s initial spray down, but the rinsing reverie turned into a rude awakening when the first pass of the rotating brushes seriously dislodged the driver’s side mirror from its moorings. Although not a complete removal, the damage went well beyond just a pop-it-back-into-place fix and required a visit to our local Honda dealer to see what repairs were needed. It took about 10 seconds to assess that the entire unit would have to be replaced and that it would take about two weeks to get the part shipped from Ohio.

Also: Class of 2018: The New and Redesigned Cars, Trucks and SUVs

In fairness, that delivery interval would have been cut in half had my service rep done a slightly better job of pointing out the power mirror assembly (which lists at $290.20) would need to be paid for prior to the order actually being placed. Once that detail had been resolved and the part arrived, the installation went smoothly, although not without an accompanying $202 in additional labor charges. As a public service to Honda Accord owners – Hybrid or other – as well as anyone who owns a vehicle with breakaway mirrors, spare yourself this kind of potential high-dollar grief and always fold them back out of harm’s way before entering any kind of mechanized car wash, even a trusted one. That’s one bit of hard-learned advice I’ll definitely be following from here on.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2017

Now sporting its new and fully functional power mirror, our Accord Hybrid long-termer continues to roll on in problem-free form. Now with over 10,000 in-service miles, our car’s average fuel economy is still hanging just above 43 mpg. Granted that’s 5 mpg less than the EPA’s combined figure, but it’s hard to complain much given this frugal midsize sedan’s ability to consistently travel well over 600 miles on a tank of gas.

See Past Reports on our Long-Term 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid:





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