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27 hp kolher service problems

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by superbad, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. superbad

    superbad LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Hey guys.
    This is my first post, however I have been a lurker for a while. Here's some background. I have been in business full time for a few years now and we (myself and 1 employee) run around 100 accounts. We only have 2 exmarks currently and I don't plan to buy a third until next spring.

    This is my problem. Two weeks ago on Friday we were finishing up our last yard of the day and as I drove my lazer Z to the trailer it began to make some mechanical noise. I shut it down as I was waiting for the other mower to load up and checked the oil level. The oil was fine but the mower wouldn't't start back up. The motor seemed to not have any compression and just spun freely. I couldn't't find my spark plug socket on the truck to check it out and my dealer was right around the corner so we headed there. The service manager said I had thrown both rods and that they no longer did rebuilds on thrown rods so I would have to order either a short block or a complete motor. With only $300 difference I told him to get a complete one, but I asked him to take the front cover off the old one and make sure that that was indeed the problem. Total price motor and labor was $2280. When I picked up my mower the next week I told him I wanted the old motor for parts. He seemed like he didn't want me to have it but I got it anyway. Today was a rain day so I stayed home and did equipment maintenance. This afternoon I uncrated the "blown" motor and tore it down. My old motor only has 1200 hours on it and until now ran great. I check my oil daily and change it like clock work. There were four teeth missing on the camshaft gear and that was it! Everything else looked like new rods, pistons, valves and everything. The service manager misdiagnosed my engine! Now Im out $2300 bucks! I decided not to back up to the dealer this afternoon as I was pretty pissed. I plan to do that tomorrow. I have always felt as though they have treated me fairly in the past and they are the only game in town for parts and service on Exmarks so I have to deal with them. How would you handle this? What options (rights) do you think I have?
    I'm very grateful for any sound advice.

  2. jgarner

    jgarner LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Posts: 6

    Being that they are the only game in town, your hands are probably tied. I wish Exmark would ship parts directly, but I am sure you could find a parts retailer on line.

    If you could find contact information for the local Exmark distributor rep that services this dealer, he may be your best ally. First talk to the dealer. Then contact Exmark to get the distributor info. I have a great relationship with my local distributor. He values end user feedback, because it helps him sell more equipment if he can meet our needs through the dealers. However, be prepared for him t be loyal to the dealer too, especially if he moves a lot of equipment. Good luck.
  3. AmsoilPower

    AmsoilPower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 938

    I would go back to the dealer and request some type of in store credit for the problem. Take the old engine back with you and show them. Contacting Exmark may not help you. Exmark did not build the engine, Kohler did.
  4. viper00085

    viper00085 LawnSite Member
    from NC/VA
    Posts: 237

    i would fight for some credit from the dealer or even kohler. Depending of serial numbers and the date of purchase, kohler has had some cam and crank gear issues over the last 2-3 years and have been known to help out a lot under warranty even if its over the 2 year period. I would get all your eng info and date of purchase and contact your local kohler rep. You might be able to ge something from them or the dealer.
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    Viper posted sound advice ^^^^.....

    Man, You need to make the trip to the next town for parts/repairs. I have a couple guy's driving up to 75 miles because they know when I'm finished their unit will be right.

    What a klutz !!! :dizzy:
  6. Grouch

    Grouch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    A missed diagnosis for sure. Hopefully, it was an honest mistake, but not wanting to give you the "blown" engine makes one wonder. A dealer can't remain in business too long doing this kind of thing, and shouldn't. At this kind of cost the dealer should have been positive as to the problem.
  7. Phil G

    Phil G LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 843

    Unfortunately this business, like any another, has people who want to take the short-cut.
    Some years ago a guy brought me his Honda 21" power drive.

    Another local shop had quoted him £250 UK ($400) to repair the drive. I had a look and it was the wood-ruff key on the blade boss. I fitted a new one and charged him £20 ($35). He went away happy as a pig in the smelly stuff.

    I would pursue some sort of compensation.:drinkup:

    Good luck, Phil
  8. VegetiveSteam

    VegetiveSteam LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    You're not really out 2300.00 bucks. You did get a brand new engine. So you're only out the difference between the cost of the real repair and the engine price. I'm curious why there was only 300.00 difference between the engine and short block. Even with the additional labor involved in a short block they still shouldn't have been that close in price. I'd probably fix up the old engine and keep it for a spare. The other point is if you had teeth off the cam gear you wouldn't want to put it back together without a new crankshaft. Those gears run together and putting it back together with the old crank would probably get you another broken gear in 20 or 30 hours and you be right back where you started. I would want to know why it wasn't diagnosed correctly but I don't think they were out to screw you. The dealer would have made more money off of you had he repaired the engine or installed a short block instead of selling you a complete engine. Plus now you have a 2 year factory warranty.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  9. subhunter

    subhunter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    Some very good points there. I agree, also, that the diagnosis should have been correct to begin with. The dealer could have then presented all of the repair options and allowed the customer to choose the one they wanted.

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