I purchased a Centurion from a good friend for a great price recently. I am pretty mechanically inclined, but based on the price I got it for I wanted a shop to run through the 100 hour service, as well as diagnose a hesitation issue it was having (suspected fuel pump). So I went to wakeworld and took a few people's suggestions and took it to a local shop. I ponied up $650, explained that I just purchased it, please run through it, and make sure she's ready for summer. I had the following work done:
1) Fluid change (oil, trans), fuel/water separator change
2) Check spark plugs, change if necessary (which was done)
3) Impeller change
4) check gauges, lights, switches etc
5) Check fuel pump. Previous owner said it was hesitating under load (bogging), and he suspected the pump was going out. He tested it out of the water, never had an issue. In the water would bog down occasionally after warmed up.
I picked up the boat, and they said they couldn't get it to bog at the shop. They said the motor ran great, they tested the pump ran 45psi all day. I was charged 1 hour additional (on top of the 100 hour service) to test the pump. I know for a fact it only takes 10 minutes to test (hook the gauge to the test port, start motor) out of the water, but I didn't say anything and paid the bill.
I checked the "old" spark plugs, they were literally almost brand new. Theres $200 (including labor) down the drain. I would have appreciated a call after they pulled one saying there was no need to change the plugs.
I get it on the water the next day. After 10 minutes of driving, it starts bogging. Theres $110 down the drain to test the fuel pump. I took the mentality that "If you want something done right, do it yourself" and tore down the fuel system, blew air in the lines, checked the antisiphon valve, cleaned wiring, etc, until I replaced the high pressure pump, you know the one they checked for $110. Never had a problem since.
I take the boat out last weekend, thinking I had everything good to go. Overheated. What the hell, I just replaced the impeller! I call the shop, bring it by, they hook up the hose and run the boat, runs perfect. They tell me it must have been an air pocket in the line. Put it in the water, overheats again. They say I must have fried the new impeller. I tear down the cooling system myself at this point, and impeller is perfect. Low and behold, there are broken pieces of impeller at the transmission cooler (apparently pretty common, thanks Wakeworld for helping). I would assume a 100 hour service would pull the hose and check the honeycomb at the cooler for any blockages.
I checked the ballast pump when I got on the water. Not working. Luckily, the previous owner gave me a brand new spare, but why didn't the shop catch that as part of "check all gauges, switches, pumps" that is included in 100hr service?
On top of all that, I decide to check my fluid levels the shop just changed. Oh great, the transmission fluid is low. Thanks guys.
I paid $650 for the following:
1) Change fluids. Fluids are low (Ive had on the water ONCE) Topped myself.
2) Change impeller. Cooling system is blocked from old impeller debris. Fixed myself.
3) Check fuel pumpFuel pump had to be replaced after shop tested OK, then charged additional 1 hour labor for 10 mins of work. Replaced myself.
4) Check switches Ballast pump not working, which I replaced myself. Part of the service is to check all switches, gauges, pumps, why was this not mentioned? Changed myself
5) Check/replace spark plugs Spark plugs were like new, I would have appreciated a phone call saying it was not necessary
In short, I feel bit irritated. I paid $650 essentially for an oil change and spark plugs which I didnt even need. All other work had to be re-done or done myself, which I am fully capable of doing, but the point was to have DONE so I didn't spend each work night working in the driveway. Its all good now, and I learned a lot - especially about boats (I build my own engines, cars, but never boats), but I feel a bit shorted. Would you agree or am I over reacting? I thought about voicing my opinion to the owner, but I think I will just move on to another shop for my service, or just do them all myself from now on.
Seems hight o me. I always get really cranky how much these guys are charging for simple service that would otherwise be cheap if it were a car.
Keep in mind, this is a highly recommended shop on wakeworld. I guess if all you need is an oil change, it's probably fine. They sure didn't do much to go out of their way to make sure I had everything good to go after I left.
You will quickly find that SOME boat shops are the shadiest places around. Way overcharge and will never not do something that they say they will just check. I am really luck that I have a guy that is a certified Malibu mechanic that does work on the side since the shop he worked at closed. It has saved me over $1200 having him service my boat. I would try and find a boat guy that will do jobs on the side.
BTW I learned my lesson when I took my old boat to a "reputable" shop and they said I needed a carb rebuild for $500. I told the guy it was just rebuilt 2 weeks ago and he did not know what to say. They didn't even check the boat out to diagnose it, just went off what I said. I have never been back
My first boat I purchase brand new was from one of those 'shady' dealers. The sales experience was good, but it became apparent quickly that this place could not be trusted. The sales guy told me that its normal practice to 'steal' parts off boats they have sitting in the yard in order to satisfy other customer service issues. Funny thing was, after I had purchased the boat, the sales guy wanted to show me a new boat with the same stereo that I was getting (as my boat was awaiting toarrive) he opened up 3 brand new boats and each of them had holes of where depth finders were 'borrowed' or missing tower speaker (wires hanging) and one had the walkthrough window missing. I asked him why all their brand new boats were missing parts, and he said because they use them to fix peoples boats.. Also, I have hear many complaints about this dealer. Dealer shut down a few years ago. thank god.
Why not say something? Be polite about it and lay out your findings (what you listed above). They will, at least, know you felt you were wronged and you will, at least, know what kind of shop they truly are.
I try to give (someone) at least one chance to recover. Sometimes you find that it's best to move on. Sometimes you find you developed a better relationship.
Those pieces of impeller at 100 hours would indicate somebody fried an impeller. If the impeller they took out had all find present there would be no reason to look further.
What shop did you take it to?
Find a shop that specializes in v drives and is on the water so they can water test for you.
Also checking yelp is a good idea
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