Got hammered at the shop, Ouch! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Got hammered at the shop, Ouch!

Took my '05 in for its 12,000 mile service and valve check and, along with the cost of a new front tire and a fan motor, it was to have cost me around $400.

The guy called me this morning to tell me all of what needed to be done (because I told him to have the mechanic do a thorough job) and he prefaced his comments with "Are you sitting down?" and then informed me that the bill would come out to (are YOU sitting down?) $1,550!!

I nearly went into cardiac arrest ... as he went on to explain that the rinkydink fan motor was a few dimes less than $400! I can't figure out how something as simple and so void of substance can cost THAT much, unless it's due to the clever fellows at Kawasaki deliberately putting in a component they knew would likely fail sometime past the warrantee expiring, hence, they could then charge whatever ridiculous price they wanted, as they knew they'd have owners over a barrel.

The cost for all the rest of the parts and oil and such, along with labor, rounded out the rest of the costs. What a deal.

Oh, forgot, they also said the clutch plates were in serious need of being replaced. That seemed odd to me because I wasn't having any problem with it. But, I called another Kaw shop and bounced this stuff off a service guy there and he made the point that with the clutch one can get used to it slowly going bad while thinking all is fine. He also told me that the fan motor does indeed cost that much but that I should find out if he tested the motor (with an easy test) and that it could in fact be an $89 part involving a simple switch mechanism that opens and shuts at various temperatures.

I put the Thermo-Bob's (outside thermostat) on it myself a year or so ago and that's when the temp gauge stopped working, or rather, the fan stopped working. I was told it could be just a coincidence, don't know.

I must say that I don't actually believe that these folks are scamming me because I've done business with them before and never had reason to distrust them, but considering what's going on with the economy one can't help but wonder.

Anyway, my bike should be in good shape soon and I look forward to putting some miles on it this summer, though I doubt I could ever again recommend one of these "tough as a can-opener" bikes to anyone inquiring, sad to say.

Anyone else have a similar horror story they'd like to share (as misery loves company)?
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 06:42 AM
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Hammered

Well that really sucks. Too late maybe but I always tell any service department that any fees over the initial estimate will not be paid unless they get my approval. Well you have your bike back (hopefully) and it is the time to ride.

Yet another reason to do your own wrenching.
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post #3 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 07:55 AM
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Wow! That was pricey! Though with the current labor rates at shops (at least here in Canada) I'm not really surprised. He should have called you before doing the work though, especially as he almost quadrupled the original estimate! As the other fellow said, all the more reason to do your own wrenching. If I was going to replace a high dollar part like that I would be inclined to try to find one on ebay or something, lot's of guys parting out bikes. The prices aren't KLR specific though, all Japanese bike parts are pricey. Hope she runs great for you now and you get lots of riding time!


Last edited by 650Stew; 04-30-2011 at 08:00 AM.
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post #4 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 08:20 AM
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Testing the fan motor is easy; ground the lead to the fan switch in the radiator. Fan oughta turn; if not--check fan fuse, fan relay. Final test: 12 VDC across fan electrical terminals.

Further, a defective fan switch (thermally-actuated gizmo in the radiator) can be responsible for inoperative fan.

Clutch plates? Most robust, typically, on KLR650's. Unless you've slipped the clutch excessively, I'd be surprised if replacement is warranted. If the clutch disengaged and engaged smoothly, and did not slip when fully engaged and under load, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Yet, without examination, hard to say whether the repairs/replacements were justified or not.

Labor rate hereabouts (northern Virginia) are about $ 100/shop hour; doesn't take long to run up a sizeable bill.

Given the scenario related, I see no choice other than "eating" the bill. Next time, you might ask for the shop to hold off pending your approval of operations, and . . . some self-examination and diagnosis may be useful.

And, next time, you might consult the website FIRST!

Last edited by Damocles; 04-30-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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post #5 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlvinTostig View Post

Took my '05 in for its 12,000 mile service and valve check and, along with the cost of a new front tire and a fan motor, it was to have cost me around $400.

Not dogging on you...

For <$400 you can get all the tools, supplies, manuals, etc. and do the work yourself. The KLR is a simple machine and an ideal introduction to DIY maintenance.

The KLR community is great for helping each other out. There are tech days and plenty of knowledgeable people right here.

Do your own work. Be nice to know the truth about you bike wouldn't it?

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #6 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlvinTostig View Post
Took my '05 in for its 12,000 mile service and valve check and, along with the cost of a new front tire and a fan motor, it was to have cost me around $400.

The guy called me this morning to tell me all of what needed to be done (because I told him to have the mechanic do a thorough job) and he prefaced his comments with "Are you sitting down?" and then informed me that the bill would come out to (are YOU sitting down?) $1,550!!

I nearly went into cardiac arrest ... as he went on to explain that the rinkydink fan motor was a few dimes less than $400! I can't figure out how something as simple and so void of substance can cost THAT much, unless it's due to the clever fellows at Kawasaki deliberately putting in a component they knew would likely fail sometime past the warrantee expiring, hence, they could then charge whatever ridiculous price they wanted, as they knew they'd have owners over a barrel.

The cost for all the rest of the parts and oil and such, along with labor, rounded out the rest of the costs. What a deal.

Oh, forgot, they also said the clutch plates were in serious need of being replaced. That seemed odd to me because I wasn't having any problem with it. But, I called another Kaw shop and bounced this stuff off a service guy there and he made the point that with the clutch one can get used to it slowly going bad while thinking all is fine. He also told me that the fan motor does indeed cost that much but that I should find out if he tested the motor (with an easy test) and that it could in fact be an $89 part involving a simple switch mechanism that opens and shuts at various temperatures.

I put the Thermo-Bob's (outside thermostat) on it myself a year or so ago and that's when the temp gauge stopped working, or rather, the fan stopped working. I was told it could be just a coincidence, don't know.

I must say that I don't actually believe that these folks are scamming me because I've done business with them before and never had reason to distrust them, but considering what's going on with the economy one can't help but wonder.

Anyway, my bike should be in good shape soon and I look forward to putting some miles on it this summer, though I doubt I could ever again recommend one of these "tough as a can-opener" bikes to anyone inquiring, sad to say.

Anyone else have a similar horror story they'd like to share (as misery loves company)?
Sad to say but this is a owner knowing nothing about his bike and not doing any resreach threw any foruims.
I have not seen a a KLR yet that can not be repaired by a owner that has the simpless of mech skills. It's just a matter of asking your fellow riders on a foruim like this for help. I think you would find a member near by that would be glad to take a look at it for you or give you a hand.

The dealer saw you coming...it is what it is..! Maybe by the next time you will have schooled yourself on these bikes a bit and save yourself alot of money.

In this case it's owner not bike !

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post #7 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 10:38 AM
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Tell the shop that you want your old parts back - the fan motor and clutch plates. You are entitled by law to have them returned to you, since there is no "core" involved. (If there was a core, you would still be entitled to inspect the old parts).

The fan motor can be tested quite simply, and a visual inspection of the clutch plates would tell the tale as to the integrity of the shop.

If you have evidence that the shop performed un-needed replacement of parts, you would have a very good chance of getting the majority of your money refunded. A letter and phone call to your Attorney General's office, and your local consumer protection / better business bureau could help - a lot of the time just the threat of such action can cause a shady service department to fold their hand and refund some money. Contact Kawasaki if you do find anything fraudulent - all manufacturers have agreements with their independant dealers mandating proper and ethical service guidelines.

I would have a very, very hard time not calling BS on a worn out wet clutch at 12k miles unless the motorcycle had been extraordinarily abused and neglected.

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Oh, and I ran two quarts of hot oil through before filling her up cause I'm anal.
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post #8 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Mook View Post
Tell the shop that you want your old parts back - the fan motor and clutch plates. You are entitled by law to have them returned to you, since there is no "core" involved. (If there was a core, you would still be entitled to inspect the old parts).

The fan motor can be tested quite simply, and a visual inspection of the clutch plates would tell the tale as to the integrity of the shop.

If you have evidence that the shop performed un-needed replacement of parts, you would have a very good chance of getting the majority of your money refunded. A letter and phone call to your Attorney General's office, and your local consumer protection / better business bureau could help - a lot of the time just the threat of such action can cause a shady service department to fold their hand and refund some money. Contact Kawasaki if you do find anything fraudulent - all manufacturers have agreements with their independant dealers mandating proper and ethical service guidelines.

I would have a very, very hard time not calling BS on a worn out wet clutch at 12k miles unless the motorcycle had been extraordinarily abused and neglected.
I have to agree.
How did they figure that the clutch was bad?? Did they pull the clutch cover and look at the fibers and rings??

Really looks like a case of not kissing you as they bend you over at the dearlship....you being a nice gent and all.

Understand I'm not being rude here, well maybe, but dealers like nice guys like yourself. Your a easy mark!

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post #9 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 11:44 AM
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Thinking it over . . . can't comment on the fan motor, without the opportunity to test or to inspect; curious that a PM DC motor would wear out after 12,000 miles; especially considering the fan rarely runs in most service life scenarios, but . . . could be.

The clutch, however, presents another consideration. As owner, you experienced no problem; and--clutch didn't slip under load when engaged. How could a mechanic somehow divine the clutch plates are SHREDDED?????????

Without symptoms of clutch failure, he took off the clutch case cover and inspected the clutch? That's a flat-rate shop hour or more, right there (plus gasket, etc.).

While possibly even a robust, hearty wet clutch like the KLR's could be shot in 12,000 miles, how would you tell, without symptoms?

The diagnoses and repairs appear fishy to me; I'd be most careful authorizing that shop any future work.
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post #10 of 46 Old 04-30-2011, 12:55 PM
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Its unfortunate, but in todays world, businesses are in a fight for survival, and integrity can be one of the first and greatest casualties.

Welcome aboard, I hope you find open mindedness and support in what you need for you and your ride here. Maybe with some new information and good moral backup, your need for dealer services can be trimmed down quite a bit.

Repairs and Maintenance 101, School of Hard Knocks.

I hope you being here turns it into a short course.

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