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Old 31-08-2015, 22:42   #1
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Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

My dinghy outboard was not idling without the choke out so I took it to an outboard repair shop. It also was not peeing water, they said that they swapped the impeller and fixed that, they think, if mine is the one they are thinking of. Well a month later they still haven't fixed it. They said they've spent hours trying to get it to work and it might need a new carburetor, they don't really remember which one was mine and will call me tomorrow.(they never call back)

What would be the best way to get it back without being overcharged? I don't think they really know what they are doing and I need my engine, it's been a month. They initially did tell me they were busy but said one and a half to two weeks.

I'm worried they will try to charge me hundreds of dollars for labor when they weren't able to resolve the problem.
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Old 01-09-2015, 00:32   #2
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

The squeaky door always gets the oil so call them back and get a definitive update on how it is now running.....

If they don't know status, make an appointment for a few days later when you can test it in their tank.

Odds are that will push them to solve the problem, which may mean a new carb or rebuild kit

Farce to face decide if you trust them to take the repair any further.

If not, accept that they have fixed part of the problem, pay accordingly and find someone else.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:10   #3
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Good advice. I'm being too much of a pushover. Just calling, getting put off and calling back a week later. I'll go down there and stick it in the tank.
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Old 01-09-2015, 14:12   #4
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

I hired a diesel mechanic with a rep for being the best in the area. Trouble is I can't get him out to the boat. After 3 months I told him I was getting another mech who would actually show up. He had no problem with that but charged me $650 for the starter motor he installed and the compression test.

The new guy showed up the day after I called him. When the people I hire think they're doing me a favor, time to move on.


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Old 01-09-2015, 14:36   #5
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Haha, you don't know how many people I've talked to that act like they are doing me a favor by getting something done months in the future. It was like this in Washington too. It's busy season now. I think they all forget building customers now will help them get hero ugh the slow season.

Anyways, here is what they said.

It is an older Honda 7.5 four stroke. They said they have put two hours into it, so that is over $200. Plus a used starter piece for $50 and whatever the impeller costs. I think I'm looking at $300 right now.

It starts and runs but won't go below 1500 rpms without dying. So they want to put a new carburetor in It. That costs $150 plus another hour of labor.

Any suggestions about what to do? Can I run around in it if I can't go below 1500 rpm? Would I hurt it? Is it better to just get a new motor? This one is pretty big for the boat anyways.
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Old 01-09-2015, 14:48   #6
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

It should take you about 15 min to put a new carb on - less for them. $100/ hr?? wow !!
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Old 01-09-2015, 15:19   #7
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

This is a textbook example of when it's time to DIY.
Really it's not that hard, little outboards aren't even heavy and you don't even get sweaty or dirty working on them.
Really sounds like the idle circuit is clogged, a one, maybe two beer job to clean it out.
Find someone to show you how, or maybe a book or youtube video


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Old 01-09-2015, 15:29   #8
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Really sounds like the idle circuit is clogged, a one, maybe two beer job to clean it out.
Really? Just pour a couple of beers through it and call it a day eh?
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Old 01-09-2015, 15:33   #9
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Yup, beer is a really great carb cleaner. Doesn't say whose carb, though.

I've had issues with two marine vendors in the past 18 months. In both cases my boat was essentially a hostage. Since they had the boat, or parts of it that made it unusable, I tried every "be nice" trick in the book: regular visits, discussions, questions... They still finished on their own time.

I took to writing detailed reviews on Yelp after they were done.

I also had a luthier setup my new brithday present guitar from my son. He said it'd be ready the following Thursday. He called on Wednesday and said come pick it up.

I took to Yelp for that, too!

Also took him sailing!
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Old 01-09-2015, 15:43   #10
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Sounds like time to do it myself as well.
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Old 01-09-2015, 15:44   #11
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
This is a textbook example of when it's time to DIY.
Really it's not that hard, little outboards aren't even heavy and you don't even get sweaty or dirty working on them.
Really sounds like the idle circuit is clogged, a one, maybe two beer job to clean it out.
Find someone to show you how, or maybe a book or youtube video


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Unfortunately small outboard repair is a basic sailing skill. There are good manuals and lots of good posts. They are pretty simple.

Change the impeller every few years, use a good additive (Biobor EB, Seafoam) and keep the vent closed when not in use, to minimize water absorption. Add a small fuel filter in-line if it does not have one (some small kickers do not).
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Old 01-09-2015, 16:14   #12
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

OK, so I time maintenance tasks by how many beers are consumed, Oil change =1 beer, clean and grease a winch = 1 beer.
When I think of it, most tasks are one beer jobs?
You know how many things I can get done on a deferred maintenance list, if I consider them to be one beer apiece?
Course after five or six tasks, for some reason I don't get much done?


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Old 01-09-2015, 17:34   #13
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
OK, so I time maintenance tasks by how many beers are consumed, Oil change =1 beer, clean and grease a winch = 1 beer.
When I think of it, most tasks are one beer jobs?
You know how many things I can get done on a deferred maintenance list, if I consider them to be one beer apiece?
Course after five or six tasks, for some reason I don't get much done?


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I finally had to just give it up. I'd have a beer thinking about the job, TWO while doing the job, another thinking about how well (or not) I'd done the job...

And then my head felt like this:


Well you get the picture.

It is truly amazing how much more I got done after I quit.
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Old 01-09-2015, 17:52   #14
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

I watch people pulling and pulling on a stupid outboard and think they should buy a new one. Then have a beer as a reward. I have enough trouble keeping the boat working well without dealing with a dink that won't make it to shore or back to the boat.
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Old 01-09-2015, 18:25   #15
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

I agree with the others. This is a job worth learning to do because with four stroke dingy motors this will not be the last time you'll do this.

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