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Stihl Dealer problems

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Yuanding, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Yuanding

    Yuanding LawnSite Member
    from England
    Messages: 82

    Two of my Stihl brushcutters developed slow fuel leaks and one of them intermittent running problems (cutting out after a few minutes work). I renewed the fuel lines, and the spark plug in the one with starting problems; made no difference in either case; problems still there.

    I took them to my Stihl dealer, asking them to let me know what was what wrong with them and to give me a price before I gave them the go-ahead to do the work. They said fine, we won't charge you anything until we have had approval from you to do work.

    They got back to me and said there was nothing really wrong with the machines but they would both need servicing, with new air filters, fuel pick-up bodies, spark plugs, and regreasing the gear heads. Problem is, I do the servicing myself, and there is no way they needed new spark plugs, fuel pick-ups, or gear heads regreasing. What they need is the fuel leaks and running problem sorting.

    So I said I can do all that servicing work myself and the reason I brought them in for you to look at was to let me know what was needed to sort the fuel leaks and running problem, not for a service. They said they did tests and the machines don't have fuel leaks or a running problem. I told them they definitely do, explaining that the fuel leaks take a few days to show up and then the tanks drain their contents over the course of a few days. I repeated that the leaks and running probs are the things I need fixing. I said if you can't fix them I'll take them back off you and have a rethink about what I should do. They said "fine, we''ll just have to charge you £40 ($70) for diagnosing what was wrong with them."

    So I am left in a position where I can pay out $120 for them to "service" machines (when they don't need it anyway, and this won't solve the fuel leaks) or $70 just to get my machines back and be right back where I started.

    My question is first is it normal for Stihl dealers to charge you just for telling you what is wrong with your machinery, without them having actually done any repair work? I have never heard of this. And secondly if I agree to the service work they suggest what will my position be if the machines show fuel leakage again soon after, as they surely will?

    What would YOU do?
  2. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    let them do the work ,and when you get them back and they still leak gas bring them back and have them fix it free .
    Checking out equipment takes time ,nobody wants to work for free ,so yes charging for diagnosis is normal ,but often you dont pay if you have them carry out the repairs .
  3. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    the dealer is correct. there is no fuel problem. fuel is used up when the engine is ran. not sure how you get them to even last a day without filling them up......:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:
  4. Yuanding

    Yuanding LawnSite Member
    from England
    Messages: 82

    Ecurbthims, thanks for the answer.

    The only problem I can foresee is that if the machines turn out to still leak after I've paid for the service work (and I don't know of many leaks that fix themselves) the dealer may turn round and say we tested the machines and found no leaks, so any leak must have only just happened. And this is in spite of the fact that when I first took the machines into the shop I made it plain that the main problem they had was fuel leaks.

    Am I entitled to ask for a copy of a job sheet showing the reason I brought the machines in and what tests they did on them? If I don't get one will I have a leg to stand on if I find the machines are leaking again on the first day back in service?

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