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AaronMefford

Why does my blood boil everytime I talk to my dealer?

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AaronMefford

It seems pretty clear that my dealer only wants to work with those who have bottomless pockets and don't ask questions beyond how much more can I spend.

I took the boat in to have the touch screen replaced earlier this year.  The dealer insisted on doing the installation themselves because they needed to flash the firmware.  I acquiesced and got my boat back and the touch screen still thinks it's a 2014.  I pushed them to send me the firmware as I was about to hit the road but had no luck with the update myself.  It took quite the effort to make that happen though the suggestion that I might flash my own firmware was in their mind ludicrous.  In fact while they insisted they needed to do the install to do the firmware flash, they also seem quite insistent that because it is a 2014 screen it will always think that I have surfgate.  Based on what I have read here that is not the case, but who knows.  I finally gave up though I have asked them to try and resolve it with the winterizing of the boat.

And that brings me to today.  I dropped the boat off to be winterized, after failure last year I am not messing around with a third party or waiting any later than I already have.   I was desperately hoping for one more trip.  Which is where I ran affowl the dealer today.  I desperately want to be able to do the necessary steps to anti-freeze my boat so that I have the option to do so this week, and potentially go back out if it warms up or if I find some time to head south, without having to pay the dealer to do it again, which is pretty pricey.  The owners manual lists the steps, but without sufficient detail to complete them.   Making matters worse, there seems to be a conflict in the owners manual about my specific engine needing or not needing to be flushed with anti-freeze, alluding to it being a closed loop system.  

My question to the dealer, is it possible to have a technician spend a few minutes with me and walk me through it.   I am more than capable, if I have complete information.

The dealers response, due to liability we cannot do that, what I can do is direct you to the owners manual. 

What a load of malarkey, liability.  Due to the potential loss of revenue from lubing you up and bending you over each year we are unwilling to help you understand how to maintain your own boat.  We need to be able to charge you $150 for an oil change and $600 to winterize your boat, and $1000 * X for any other repair.

And I think I finally know why I start to loose my cool everytime I talk to them.  They treat me as though it is there boat that I have borrowed for a time, but that I have no right to do anything to.

Are all the dealers like this or am I just lucky?  If not I envy you.

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justgary

For a minute there, I thought you were ranting about health care.  I'm not the customer, my insurance company is.  I'm just the patient.  Why would they explain anything or be nice to me?

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Michigan boarder
35 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

There is no freaking way a dealer is ever going to allow their tech to walk you through winterization.  You are being unreasonable.  This is not a loss of revenue issue. It is a - techs are busy, as well as we don't need you in here next year telling us it is our fault after you cracked your block issue

You have 3 options

1) Figure it out yourself (there are a thousand threads on TMC on how to do it)

2) Find a local TMC person to walk you through it/help you with it - I've done this for a couple folks and they did it themselves the next season

3) Pay the dealer

^^This^^

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Raimie
39 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

There is no freaking way a dealer is ever going to allow their tech to walk you through winterization.  You are being unreasonable.  This is not a loss of revenue issue. It is a - techs are busy, as well as we don't need you in here next year telling us it is our fault after you cracked your block issue

You have 3 options

1) Figure it out yourself (there are a thousand threads on TMC on how to do it)

2) Find a local TMC person to walk you through it/help you with it - I've done this for a couple folks and they did it themselves the next season

3) Pay the dealer

For option #1, there are some really good walkthrough winterization videos on YouTube.

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efjeld
39 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

There is no freaking way a dealer is ever going to allow their tech to walk you through winterization.  You are being unreasonable.  This is not a loss of revenue issue. It is a - techs are busy, as well as we don't need you in here next year telling us it is our fault after you cracked your block issue

You have 3 options

1) Figure it out yourself (there are a thousand threads on TMC on how to do it)

2) Find a local TMC person to walk you through it/help you with it - I've done this for a couple folks and they did it themselves the next season

3) Pay the dealer

Second this...the first part of the OP thread makes me happy I have an older boat, touchscreens everywhere to control everything concerns me once the warranty is gone.

 On the other hand, the first year I owned my boat I took it to the dealer for oil change and winterizing.  I don't remember the exact amount, but it was around $500.  They even scammed me into "winterizing" the ballast, which as far as I can tell they just ran the pumps make sure they were empty.  After paying them I was determined to never pay a dealer for something I can do myself ever again.  Winterizing legit takes 15 minutes.  The oil change, the longest wait is waiting for the oil to get sucked out.  

Did I ever expect that a dealer tech was going to walk me through it, no way!  Not their job, not in the least.  First time I checked, double checked and triple checked that the water was drained.  Went through every possible winterization thread known to man so I didn't eff anything up.  

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oldjeep

I don't know about 15 minutes, but it isn't that hard. ;) I'd say I've got an hour into it with draining everything, yanking hoses, oil change and filling it all with AF.  And changing the trans and v-drive fluid every couple seasons.

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Eagleboy99

Find a third party mechanic to do it for you.  Up here there is a mobile guy that will do it for half dealer rates.  Licensed and all that.

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carguy79ta

Also get a copy of the pcm or whatever engine manual. I am going to do it myself this year.  My sales person also works on boats so he gave me a few tips.

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Nitrousbird

My concern is you aren't even sure if you have partial closed cooling.  Open the engine hatch and look.

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Nitrousbird
21 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Its a pretty good video, but if you have a heater makes sure you deal with that too. 

Unless you have partial closed cooling...then this block draining and heater winterizing don't apply.  

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oldjeep
8 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

Unless you have partial closed cooling...then this block draining and heater winterizing don't apply.  

True, but that woukd be pretty unusual for a 2012 monsoon 350.  His other thread is all about replacement of his heater core, so it seems like he should know if he has partial closed cooling 😁

Edited by oldjeep

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isellacuras
4 hours ago, AaronMefford said:

It seems pretty clear that my dealer only wants to work with those who have bottomless pockets and don't ask questions beyond how much more can I spend.

I took the boat in to have the touch screen replaced earlier this year.  The dealer insisted on doing the installation themselves because they needed to flash the firmware.  I acquiesced and got my boat back and the touch screen still thinks it's a 2014.  I pushed them to send me the firmware as I was about to hit the road but had no luck with the update myself.  It took quite the effort to make that happen though the suggestion that I might flash my own firmware was in their mind ludicrous.  In fact while they insisted they needed to do the install to do the firmware flash, they also seem quite insistent that because it is a 2014 screen it will always think that I have surfgate.  Based on what I have read here that is not the case, but who knows.  I finally gave up though I have asked them to try and resolve it with the winterizing of the boat.

And that brings me to today.  I dropped the boat off to be winterized, after failure last year I am not messing around with a third party or waiting any later than I already have.   I was desperately hoping for one more trip.  Which is where I ran affowl the dealer today.  I desperately want to be able to do the necessary steps to anti-freeze my boat so that I have the option to do so this week, and potentially go back out if it warms up or if I find some time to head south, without having to pay the dealer to do it again, which is pretty pricey.  The owners manual lists the steps, but without sufficient detail to complete them.   Making matters worse, there seems to be a conflict in the owners manual about my specific engine needing or not needing to be flushed with anti-freeze, alluding to it being a closed loop system.  

My question to the dealer, is it possible to have a technician spend a few minutes with me and walk me through it.   I am more than capable, if I have complete information.

The dealers response, due to liability we cannot do that, what I can do is direct you to the owners manual. 

What a load of malarkey, liability.  Due to the potential loss of revenue from lubing you up and bending you over each year we are unwilling to help you understand how to maintain your own boat.  We need to be able to charge you $150 for an oil change and $600 to winterize your boat, and $1000 * X for any other repair.

And I think I finally know why I start to loose my cool everytime I talk to them.  They treat me as though it is there boat that I have borrowed for a time, but that I have no right to do anything to.

Are all the dealers like this or am I just lucky?  If not I envy you.

For what it's worth, i have a 2012, pre surfgate boat. I had my screen replaced and it says surfgate on it. No biggie. I would also agree with the others that it would not be normal, nor acceptable to have you stand over them while they winterizing your boat. Either you do it and deal with the consequences or they do it and they are responsible for it. I don't think they are out of line one bit by saying no. That's thier business and thier livelyhood. They make a living off people that don't know or don't want to deal with fixing/maintaining their boats. They are not there to teach you how to work on it. My .02

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ID AX

If I was that upset I would be looking for a new place to work on my boat.  Pretty sure almost any boat dealer can winterize a boat.  Also pretty sure they are all going to charge you similar prices and tell you no when asked if you can watch and learn.   I know you’re upset but stop and think about what you are asking them to do.  As others have said, it’s their lively hood.  I have had countless homeowners and business owners ask me how to do electrical.  There IS a liability factor and I have always said no, not because I am a jerk but simply put that’s how I feed my family. 

Are all dealers the same?  Nope but I believe that finding a good dealer has a lot to do with the customer.  

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Gavin17
5 hours ago, oldjeep said:

I don't know about 15 minutes, but it isn't that hard. ;) I'd say I've got an hour into it with draining everything, yanking hoses, oil change and filling it all with AF.  And changing the trans and v-drive fluid every couple seasons.

Takes me about 2.5 beers.  I go ahead and change the fluids every time and do some cleaning. 

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justgary

There's a thought: offer the kid in the service department $20 and a six pack to drop by and teach you how to do it.  And if he takes the deal, don't buy him cheap beer; you want to make him happy to come back some other time.

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RyanB

For the record, on my last boat (granted it was a sterndrive) the dealer went through everything I needed to do for winterization. Crawled into the engine compartment and showed me which hoses to remove, as well as all the plugs. 

I knew how to do the oil change and drive fluid. 

I haven’t asked the dealer about doing the same on my Malibu because it isn’t important to me to winterize. 

Either way, you’re out of warranty and if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, find someone else to work with on the boat 

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Fman
9 hours ago, AaronMefford said:

It seems pretty clear that my dealer only wants to work with those who have bottomless pockets and don't ask questions beyond how much more can I spend.

I took the boat in to have the touch screen replaced earlier this year.  The dealer insisted on doing the installation themselves because they needed to flash the firmware.  I acquiesced and got my boat back and the touch screen still thinks it's a 2014.  I pushed them to send me the firmware as I was about to hit the road but had no luck with the update myself.  It took quite the effort to make that happen though the suggestion that I might flash my own firmware was in their mind ludicrous.  In fact while they insisted they needed to do the install to do the firmware flash, they also seem quite insistent that because it is a 2014 screen it will always think that I have surfgate.  Based on what I have read here that is not the case, but who knows.  I finally gave up though I have asked them to try and resolve it with the winterizing of the boat.

And that brings me to today.  I dropped the boat off to be winterized, after failure last year I am not messing around with a third party or waiting any later than I already have.   I was desperately hoping for one more trip.  Which is where I ran affowl the dealer today.  I desperately want to be able to do the necessary steps to anti-freeze my boat so that I have the option to do so this week, and potentially go back out if it warms up or if I find some time to head south, without having to pay the dealer to do it again, which is pretty pricey.  The owners manual lists the steps, but without sufficient detail to complete them.   Making matters worse, there seems to be a conflict in the owners manual about my specific engine needing or not needing to be flushed with anti-freeze, alluding to it being a closed loop system.  

My question to the dealer, is it possible to have a technician spend a few minutes with me and walk me through it.   I am more than capable, if I have complete information.

The dealers response, due to liability we cannot do that, what I can do is direct you to the owners manual. 

What a load of malarkey, liability.  Due to the potential loss of revenue from lubing you up and bending you over each year we are unwilling to help you understand how to maintain your own boat.  We need to be able to charge you $150 for an oil change and $600 to winterize your boat, and $1000 * X for any other repair.

And I think I finally know why I start to loose my cool everytime I talk to them.  They treat me as though it is there boat that I have borrowed for a time, but that I have no right to do anything to.

Are all the dealers like this or am I just lucky?  If not I envy you.

BOAT = Bust Out Another Thousand

You gotta put on the big boy pants and figure it out yourself, it ain't rocket science.  Ask some questions and watch some videos.... Google, TMC, You Tube, etc. etc. lots of different learning tools out there.  IMHO Your dealer is not out of line, and its laughable you think they should teach you how to winterize your boat! Seriously?  Go take your vehicle to a dealer or any repair shop and see if they will teach you how to do a tune up.  NOT gonna happen.

And remember when you winterize all risk is put on your shoulders.  There have been plenty of posts on here about people who thought they winterized properly and ended up with a cracked block or other major repairs.

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formulaben
On 10/10/2018 at 12:50 PM, AaronMefford said:

My question to the dealer, is it possible to have a technician spend a few minutes with me and walk me through it.   I am more than capable, if I have complete information.

Aaron, you will find some of the most helpful people here at TMC, and you said you're capable.  My experience has been that nobody is going to take better care of their boat than yourself, so dive in, do some reading and like @oldjeep said, there are literally hundreds of threads/posts/videos out there to be had for free.  I'm certain there is someone nearby that would gladly lend a hand to supervise if you let us know where you're located. 

On a side note, to me it simply isn't worth the time to drag the boat to the dealer even if money wasn't an issue.  I'm not sure of your engine configuration, but for my boat after installing an oil-relocation kit, a spin-on fuel filter, and flush kit (to recirculate antifreeze) my winterizations are now stupid simple and quick.  That small investment pays huge dividends each fall for me, so that's worth considering if it is needed on your boat.  But even without, the hardest part is removing the oil filter if it's not remotely located, but the rest is all pretty basic and simple.  Like others mentioned, it won't be 15 minutes, but a couple beers and some cleaning and it is a "fun" couple hours with the boat given the situation. 

IMHO you can do it, and you'll be much happier with the work done.

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minnmarker
1 hour ago, formulaben said:

On a side note, to me it simply isn't worth the time to drag the boat to the dealer even if money wasn't an issue.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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wedge88
22 hours ago, minnmarker said:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

+1

I keep toying with the idea of outfitting one of our old service vehicles as a mobile boat maintenance vehicle.  It amazes me at the amount of people that drag boats in for winterizations and the prices they pay.   I can do fluid changes and winterization on my boat for about $90 in materials and that includes a new impeller that I install in the spring, oil, filters, trans fluid and antifreeze.  I could charge people $300 and come to their house.  They would pay $200-$300 less and I could make $100/hr.   I wouldn't want to give up my full time gig but ponder taking vacation for the month of November and make enough scratch to cover all boating expenses and vacations for the following year.

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