Outboard motor shop scam? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
View Poll Results: Do you think this is a scam?
Yes 8 24.24%
No 25 75.76%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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post #21 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Old out board engines, old electronics, old sails...old anything on a boat...With labor rates at $75-$100 you toss the old and buy new unless you can fix it yourself.

We once received a quote on a main diesel rebuild with 9,000 hours on it that was 85% of the cost of a new one...

Phil
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post #22 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Like many others have suggested, I do all my own work on my motor, which is worth <$200. It takes forever. I spend hours reading forums, getting books from the library, looking through my SELOC manual, trying out one test, not understanding what the results of the test are telling me, staring at the thing, taking bits off and putting them back on, etc. In one trip to the boat to work on the motor, I can get at most one simple operation done.

I would love to have had it all done in 10 hours but I don't have enough free time in my schedule, the right tools, a good workspace, or the know-how.

On the other hand I have enough experience to know that motors can have a million things wrong with them and that when you start trying to test/fix one thing, you discover several other things that must be done first.

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post #23 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Another important lesson is to ask up front "what else could be the problem?" For the over heating issue, a good mechanic should be able to list off several possible causes and estimated costs, so you can get a feel for where this might go if their first hunch is not correct. Of course, some problems end up being really bizarre, but those are the out liers.

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post #24 of 49 Old 03-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions! Big help. I just about came to a conclusion to pay for the service and keep the motor. If I were to get a new one, I am looking at around $1350 (free shipping online) for a 6 hp 4-stroke Tohatsu or Nissan. Sure I have a brand new motor but I am now spending $400 more and I will have a large downgrade in power. That 9.8 hp 2-stroke is much more powerful then what the 6 hp would be. As I always heard, never go less on horsepower since you never know when you might need it.

So this time, I pay it but from now on I will do the work on it myself. After this punishment, I will never bring this motor to an outboard shop again. I just thought I would bring it in the shop and pay them a couple hundred at most, never dreamed over $900 all said and done. I never thought about doing it myself or even tried because I thought it would be inexpensive to get a small outboard like this worked on. I definitely learned and in the end, I don't think it was a scam. I do however feel I have been taken advantage of for reasons people have listed in this thread. I do realize auto service centers are famous for this, I never thought an outboard motor shop would also do the same. I opened the doors for them, they took the opportunity. If for some reason my thoughts are correct, I won't go back there ever again nor will I recommend that shop to anyone. The bottomline, they are just way overpriced thats the end result. Of course I was not going to just pay the $365 and get it back still overheating. So when he came back with the $400 more what am I going to say? I am just going to come get it and still have problems? No, may as well finish it at this point.

Well I will probably pick it up tomorrow, maybe after I talk to them I will feel a bit different after seeing all they done on paper. I will post the end result here see what others think. Once again thanks all!
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post #25 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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working on your own outboard is fun, and you begin to understand more about it. you wont always be able to drop it off at the shop.

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post #26 of 49 Old 03-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailguy40 View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions! Big help. I just about came to a conclusion to pay for the service and keep the motor. If I were to get a new one, I am looking at around $1350 (free shipping online) for a 6 hp 4-stroke Tohatsu or Nissan. Sure I have a brand new motor but I am now spending $400 more and I will have a large downgrade in power. That 9.8 hp 2-stroke is much more powerful then what the 6 hp would be. As I always heard, never go less on horsepower since you never know when you might need it.

So this time, I pay it but from now on I will do the work on it myself. After this punishment, I will never bring this motor to an outboard shop again. I just thought I would bring it in the shop and pay them a couple hundred at most, never dreamed over $900 all said and done. I never thought about doing it myself or even tried because I thought it would be inexpensive to get a small outboard like this worked on. I definitely learned and in the end, I don't think it was a scam. I do however feel I have been taken advantage of for reasons people have listed in this thread. I do realize auto service centers are famous for this, I never thought an outboard motor shop would also do the same. I opened the doors for them, they took the opportunity. If for some reason my thoughts are correct, I won't go back there ever again nor will I recommend that shop to anyone. The bottomline, they are just way overpriced thats the end result. Of course I was not going to just pay the $365 and get it back still overheating. So when he came back with the $400 more what am I going to say? I am just going to come get it and still have problems? No, may as well finish it at this point.

Well I will probably pick it up tomorrow, maybe after I talk to them I will feel a bit different after seeing all they done on paper. I will post the end result here see what others think. Once again thanks all!
IMHO you most probably are getting what you are paying for, its just that boat stuff is expensive, you'll get used to that fact after a few more trips to the bank on other items. Sigh.

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post #27 of 49 Old 03-17-2011
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The charges sound reasonable. It's always hard to accept, as a customer, that "something as simple as fixing the damn motor" could cost this much. But - the reality is, that once you try to do it yourself, you will often find that it takes many more hours of hard, dirty and, unless you are into motors, unpleasant work. It really depends on ones priorities.

I recently had an outboard repaired - total bill came to $330 or so for a relatively small repair. However, after trying to "do it myself", wasting at least 5 hours of my time, and having to deal with gasoline and oil, two substances I do not appreciate, I am happy to pay someone else.

I think it is worth making sure that:
1. there is an itemized bill of what was done, including cost of parts and labor
2. that the shop stands behind their repair.

Otherwise - seems reasonable. Boats are expensive in either time, money or both.
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post #28 of 49 Old 03-17-2011
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Originally Posted by sailguy40 View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions! Big help. I just about came to a conclusion to pay for the service and keep the motor. If I were to get a new one, I am looking at around $1350 (free shipping online) for a 6 hp 4-stroke Tohatsu or Nissan.
Oh, btw - that motor I had just repaired, is a 6hp 4 stroke Nissan, 2005. I would gladly trade that POS for an older 2-stroke, if I could find one that runs.
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post #29 of 49 Old 03-17-2011
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The labor rate to fix a 9.9 hp used outboard is the same as to repair a 250 hp outboard costing well into 5 figures. Same as with cars.

The more you can do yourself the better off you are. Both in saving money and in learning more about whatever it is.

Brian
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post #30 of 49 Old 03-17-2011
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Good on you for paying up and committing to do it yourself in the future.

In addition to the ditties you can find on the internet forums, I recommend getting a copy of the SELOC manual for your motor (there are several volumes; each one covers a brand or two and a range of model years) and Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual.

The former is great for step-by-step procedures and generally good diagrams, and I love the writing style. (Mine has the paragraph, "Label your wiring before you disconnect it. I mean it. Look, we all do this, we say, I'll remember. But then the phone rings or the wife calls us over for something, and then you can never remember which wire was which.") The diagrams seem to all be taken from manufacturers' publications and can be hit-and-miss in terms of how clear they are, but it's still a wealth of useful info.

The second is a more general "here's how these systems work, and here are some general rules for keeping your stuff in good working order." Excellent explanations on all manner of technical levels, and covers all sorts of systems, not just engines.

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27
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