· Over Hill Sailing Club
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A live test is for sure worth a few bucks IF the technician is actually capable. I've had any number of supposedly capable, "trained" mechanics screw up much simpler tasks and have learned to be very cynical and wary about letting anyone touch pieces of equipment I depend upon. That "24 point checkup" you mentioned above is usually nothing more than permission to invent something else to overcharge for. Honest garages are few and far between. Most of them are, quite simply, thieves.smurph, but no one is asking you to be a $200 ass. Bear in mind, that $200 service charge also includes a new o-ring or gasket seal (worth maybe fifty cents to a dollar retail?) plus an electrical test (and if it isn't a live test in a casket or a faraday room, that's worthless, but a live test could be worth $50?)...
So you're not just paying for batteries, you're getting a gasket and an hour of questionably skilled labor.
I'll be that makes it feel much better, like paying an auto dealership for a $99 oil change that "includes a 24-point checkup!" huh? (G)
ACR would have rejected my EPIRB because one of the internal mounting posts in the plastic casting was spalling out from the brass threaded insert in it. Why was it spalling out? Uh, because when they made it, they goofed?
A little epoxy made me happy enough. And a lighter hand torqueing the case shut. Oh, yeah, I also greased the gasket with silicone grease, since I have no idea where to get a new one to match.
As I explained to the nice man, "You don't understand. I would rather pack my own parachute, I don't know your man from Adam."
The galling thing is that your gasket and battery packs are very consciously and unethically kept off the market by companies trying to force you to pay exorbitant prices.