turkeyfoot

My experience with Volvo dealers

8 posts in this topic

Ive decided to sell the 310. I had it transported upstate away from the local "talent" and have a guy whose regarded as the best in that area. He's addressing a number of things I want made right for a potential buyer. Im finding just how dogged he is because in the first email he described something most people would view as incompetence and/or dangerous.

I have Volvo Penta out drives and engines.

Heres what he said and the photo.

"Sir, during inspection of the drives and transom I noticed an unsecured bonding cable on BOTH transom shields that should be installed under the hose clamp for the bellows.  I intend to correct this.  I thought you should know.  Pic attached."

I asked him to explain about the nature of disconnected electrical parts.

He sent this. http://www.rjwsurvey.com/uploads/Grounding.pdf

The author sites a dramatic story that happened when a boat owner jerry rigged his power cord. And he goes on about stray current.

My boat was essentially jerry rigged when the previous technician failed to re-secure the bonding cables.

It was done by a certified, dues paying, current Volvo dealer.

In the last repair done by this guy he replaced an out drive due to a failed bellows causing corrosion along with a failed seal which caused oil to migrate into the engine compartment. Because I had a poor experience with a previous Merc tech I went with this Volvo dealer thinking he had the resources and would solve it. Immediately after getting the boat back with a new out drive the throttle was so tight I considered it a hazard. I was reluctant to address this with him knowing that he had crimped it when pulling the drive off so I forgave it, had him replace the cable and moved on. It was mostly covered by insurance. 

Then 4 months later an interesting thing happened when I reported to him the boat was having similar symptoms to his first repair. Again, an oil sheen was seen off the transom and oil had found its way underneath the engine. He was busy but said he'd stop by. The time came and went. I knew he was blowing me off but I confronted him personally asking if I was to assume he didn't want to work it. He said, he was slammed but I have some time now, I'll be over tomorrow. The next morning I came to a realization. The boat had to go.

Note: Im not cut out for boat ownership.

Getting the boat off the lake I met a transporter at the marina who was to take it upstate. He decided to adjust the load with a maneuver I can only describe as HAIR RAISING! Thinking back to the moment I tell myself I should have known better because the boat needed to come up on the bunks 3 ft. I didnt know about the other gearing on the winch assy, nor did he, when he decided to put his truck in motion and step on the brakes. All 12,000 lbs and 31 ft of boat jolted forward bending the winch assy all to heck narrowly missing the gel coat. He spent another 4 hours on it. His excuse......the bunks have poly sleeves!

I met the boat again that dreadful day 8 hours later when I saw him turn the corner. He bought and installed another winch assy the following day.

The people in this story shall remain nameless in order to protect the guilty.

I'm going to stop short of mentioning the name of the retired Navy AT/Volvo dealer/tech who is getting to the bottom of this. 

bonding cable.jpg

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boats break like anything else and have to be fixed, people that buy boats thinking they can put gas in them and go are well you know.  Not saying that's you and sounds like a few bad eggs you've had to deal with.  Mechanics are mechanics this sort of stuff happens at car dealers of all brands and for toys as well.  That's why personally I don't buy into this go to a dealer stuff because it means nothing.  For me I can do 70-80%  so the stuff I cant do, I bring it to the people that can do the job right the first time and at a fair cost whether that's a dealer,  and independent, or the guy down the street.

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My mechanic comes to my house - and we both work on the boat - that way I learn, and can let him know if I think something doesn't meet my standards. The other day he looked at me and said, Roy - this is the cleanest boat I work on! :)

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My current Volvo certified tech found additional issues. 

A locking lug on the replaced drive.

I called the previous tech. Eureka, turns out he has the key. Why I ask does he do this.

"I put a lock on every time that I install a new out drive."

I already knew the answer, Im sure he regards it as job security.

Every aspect of what he did can be filed under job security.

The boat has the same symptomas it had before bringing him the boat. In addition Im spending $K deer to undo what he did and what he missed.

Summing up, he missed attaching the bonding cables which necessitated removal of the drive a second time and put the boat at high risk of future electrolysis damage and personal safety (death by electrocution swimming in close proximity of boat). He crimped a throttle cable, ignored it, billed me and walked away causing a driveability and safety hazard. He missed a roached hub when removing and reinstalling a prop. He locked the drive, kept the key, didnt inform me and I paid the price of shipping it to the current dealer. I was given a bill for services rendered amounting to 14k deer, insurance covered 12 of it. 

He was the most responsive, mature tech in my area and seemingly the most qualified on paper 

You cant make this up.

Theres a booming cottage industry at work among boat technicians who are wiling and able to separate a customer from their deer and keep them coming back for more.

The two best days of boat ownership, one of them I cant remember.

And heres the thing. The most important part of my experience, the name of the dealer, stays anonymous, because it would be unfair to him!!

I'll encrypt it.

Steer clear of CBW at SML.

 

 

 

 

 

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I understand your frustrations. Just about all of us feel that we are bent over every time we go to any type of new mechanic, boat or auto. It`s just a shame of the time loss and money spent in your situation. Hopefully now you have found someone trustworthy and can start a new relationship for the future. The bad guys will suffer in the long run as business will go elsewhere.  As mentioned above, I try to know my boat, engine and drive so that a lot of the maintenance things I feel confident in doing myself. I have a relationship with a traveling mechanic for the things that I am uncertain of. Hopefully you are on the right now.

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On 10/4/2017 at 11:51 AM, Chap243 said:

I understand your frustrations. Just about all of us feel that we are bent over every time we go to any type of new mechanic, boat or auto. It`s just a shame of the time loss and money spent in your situation. Hopefully now you have found someone trustworthy and can start a new relationship for the future. The bad guys will suffer in the long run as business will go elsewhere.  As mentioned above, I try to know my boat, engine and drive so that a lot of the maintenance things I feel confident in doing myself. I have a relationship with a traveling mechanic for the things that I am uncertain of. Hopefully you are on the right now.

I appreciate the sentiments Chap243!  But, as I said Im leaving the boat with a broker to be sold. The current technician is having a field day making it ready for sale.

Ive spent the summer on an Indian Roadmaster. Ive never gotten riding out of my system whereas I could do boating for one day a yr and scratch that itch.

I havent got the yearning that many of you have for wanting a boat. This was my introduction to the industry and I have learned valuable lessons.

My interest wasnt ever to learn the ins and outs of a boat or to spend time second guessing or looking over a mechanics shoulder. Just not my idea of fun.

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On 10/4/2017 at 11:51 AM, Rip5 said:

One common theme among all the mechanics mentioned.

Mercs not Volvos.

Except for Magnum. Been there done it.

Thank you. Never had any trouble finding a guy who would wrench on the boat.

 

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