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Diesel Smoke Tester
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Discussion Starter #1
Went out to start up the bike this am for a morning "constitutional" ride while the weather was fair (northern California) .........and only got a "click....click" when pushing the starter button. I remembered some of the articles from this and other forums about loose battery (ground) cables so check them first.
Negative post was definitely not tight....but did no good to tighten it.

Next thing: diagnosed noise comming from under air box cover as a relay clicking sound; so checked relay operation by swithching the Starter Relay with the matching Fan Rely(exactly the same) on the other end of the relay box. The relay was ok.

Previous experience told me ....."bad starter solenoid"(?)

Luckily (or maybe not so luckily) the starter solenoid is right there on the left side of center, next to the radiator (lower) fan. It is very easy to get to......and... very easy to bump or disturb when cleaning the bike. Sure enough... the left side small solenoid wire was pulled out about a quarter inch from the push-on post on the outside connection. Pused it back on firmly.......and away I went!!

Took about 20 minutes for entire process; thanks to Service Manual photos, and easiness of access.

Hope this might save somebody else from taking their machine into the "stealer" for $300+ diagonsis and "fix". I hate having problems with a new bike...but mine have been very few; and it feels really good to fix it myself!

Also:

I know some of you have written about the futility of using high octane fuel; but I have had great luck and results for over 5 years now mixing about 1/2 gal of Unocal 110+ racing fuel with every tank of gas in my Softail; and the first tank I mixed in my new (1,000 mi) V-rod proved the same! Much smoother idle, stronger pull in mid-range, and never any ping. ( I know....V-Rods can't ping). I pay $25 to fill up my 5gal. can at a local whoesaler, and it last me quite a while. Has never harmed my 80 incher a bit , and has helped it run cooler in hot weather. My latest batch was mixed with Sunoco's "Standard Purple" 110+ because Unocal is not available for some reason.

Good Luck, and keep on posting those great ideas and scoops!

This is, by far, the BEST V-Rod forum!!
 

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Moderator
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Thanks for sharing the information with everyone...:icon_mrgr :icon_mrgr :icon_mrgr
 

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Why is everyone so convinced that dealers are really stealers??? I think you will find that most dealerships actually value their customers. Yes, H-D can be expensive at times. But, generally the quality of parts & service personell are beyond the average outside of H-D. There is nothing wrong with liking the dealership where you do business.

BART
 

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Bart, Not everyone has had good experience with their dealerships. As with any service industry, there are good (or even great) providers, and some that are flat out crooks.

For me, I do business with only two of the six local dealerships. And then it's one for parts (great discounts / parts service), and one for service (good garage service / close to home), and I won't even enter the other four for anything.

It sounds like you have had good experiences with your dealer. That's great, but not everyone has had the same.
 

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Sometimes, I think it can be our attitude that changes how we get treated. However, I will admit that many dealers do not care about their customers much. It is much easier to simply vote with your wallet, and not do business there, instead of complaining about dealers being stealers. I have had bad experiences, I currently work at a H-D dealership and see many a customer come in with a chip on their shoulder. One of the things to remember is that the H-D culture somewhat encourages a very forward attitude on people that are being difucult...if you know what I mean. This is not to say that it is right for us to treat anyone differently, but we all know, you get more with honey than with vinegar. We all try hard to satisfy customers, but some people simply go through life looking for a fight. It pains me to see a group of people constantly talking about "stealers", beleive me, I know how you feel, I have been there. But on the flip side, my job day in & day out is to satisfy customers and help them in any way that I can. I try very hard, our dealership is a riders dealership we all ride, and enjoy the bikes. We just hope that our customers will cut us a bit of slack from time to time.

Not trying to start a pissing match, just getting my opinion out.

BART
 

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O-FNG
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321 Posts
Bart...if a task takes actual shop time of 30 minutes to complete, and the labor code may call for 1.1 hours to complete, how come we get charged 2.5 hours (for example)? Most of the problems we run into, because these bikes are so new, are warranty related. Either we feel something should be covered under warranty, and the service manager sees it differently, or we have a mod done by the dealer to avoid warranty issues. Bottom line, we are at the mercy of the dealer, and just like in life sometimes you have good experiences, and sometimes you feel like you are being taken advantage of. I have begun to fully appreciate the knowledge gained at this forum in regards to dealer chargers - because now I have a relative basis to judge from about the dealer charges in my area.

PS...not trying to reply to the pissing match, just my .5 cents opinion that got marked up to 2.5.
 

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Vrod-less...........
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Bart said:
Sometimes, I think it can be our attitude that changes how we get treated. However, I will admit that many dealers do not care about their customers much. It is much easier to simply vote with your wallet, and not do business there, instead of complaining about dealers being stealers. I have had bad experiences, I currently work at a H-D dealership and see many a customer come in with a chip on their shoulder. One of the things to remember is that the H-D culture somewhat encourages a very forward attitude on people that are being difucult...if you know what I mean. This is not to say that it is right for us to treat anyone differently, but we all know, you get more with honey than with vinegar. We all try hard to satisfy customers, but some people simply go through life looking for a fight. It pains me to see a group of people constantly talking about "stealers", beleive me, I know how you feel, I have been there. But on the flip side, my job day in & day out is to satisfy customers and help them in any way that I can. I try very hard, our dealership is a riders dealership we all ride, and enjoy the bikes. We just hope that our customers will cut us a bit of slack from time to time.

Not trying to start a pissing match, just getting my opinion out.

BART
Bart,

From my personal experience I understand HD charges top dollar for there products. I can live with that. My issue is when getting service work done and being slammed with rediculous labor time. For example:

I was just quoted 4 hours labor to switch out the stock wheels to chrome. HD labor sheet says .5hr for front and .8hr for rear. Slightly over an hour for both. WTF! That my friend is stealing if you ask me. I have spent about $30,000 in the last year with this dealer. It would be nice to be quoted fairly.

BTW, I told them to keep the wheels........... :chair:
 

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Call the motor company, we all have the number. page 2 of your owners manual. I am serious, if it took 30 minutes, book time is 1.1 hours and they charged 2.5, thats bullshit. I would not stand for that either, the key is not to be a prick but also not to be a pushover. Some dealerships are used to getting their way, just let them know that you are not going to accept charges that are not warranted. if you receive no response from the dealership....call the customer service number. They will and I mean WILL address the situation, the motor company likes you and they value you. H-D realizes that their customers are what saved them in the early 80's, and they remember. Dealerships have much, much shorter memories. I used the customer service line for my Buells before I was a dealership employee, i got my situations rectified within a week. After becoming an employee, I had an issue getting engine cases from H-D for my Rodney (another story for somewhere else). It took them 4 months to get them to me, and in that situation I also called the customer service line. I didnt get the cases any sooner but I did get a detailed explanation of the issue, which was out of H-D's control. The stamping machine for the V-rod cases is quite complicated, and at that time brand new, and it broke. The technicians from Germany were making parts to fix the machine and it just simply took time. They even commented that we would notice that no V-Rods were even being produced during that time due to that issue.

Anyways, I feel you pain. Vote with you wallet.

BART
 

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Also, just to let you know......book time on some parts can be way low. This is of course according to our service manager. He said it is quite common for it to take a tech about twice the book time on many items. He also commented that because of the relativly short time that the Rodney has been around, the techs really dont have their rythm down with the bikes. Another thing to keep in mind is that some of the chrome parts we put on our bike complicate the installation of parts. I.E. to get the rear wheel off, if you have swing arm covers, it requires the removal of the shocks.

just giving a heads up....of course our shop rate is a FAIR $65 per hour.

BART
 

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I work for a dealership in southern Minnesota.
 

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I was told that it would cost $35 to change my tire over to 200. When I brought the rim and new rubber in they told me it would be $49 as I did not buy the tire thru them. I told them if they want the work I will pay $35 but they would not touch it for that. I went to the Honda dealer and they where happy to do it for $20.
 

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Bart...We like to provide business to those that participate in the forum, what is the name of the dealership you work for?
 

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Chad 02 V-ROD
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Stealer

I think it is sad that the dealers/stealers are responible for alot of people not buying harley bikes I looked at some dealers around the Houston area nobody sells bikes for msrp or even that close which I think is sad msrp is setup for most dealers to make plenty of profit on bike sells. Plus the mark up is out of control on parts and merchandise I think the dealers send alot of people that don't make 90 grand a year of to buy vtx or warriors and intruders. I looked at all my local dealers for a good deal on a bike had to buy from a custom bike dealer and they agreed 100 %. O well just my experiance glad I didn't buy a VTX haha
:twisted: :twisted: :lamer:
 

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As far as where I work goes, I would like to keep it confidential. These are the dealerships in southern Minnesota, we are all very good dealerships. Faribault H-D in Faribault, MN; Mankato H-D in Mankato, MN;Bergdale H-D in Albert Lea, MN; and Rochester H-D in Rochester, MN. Someday when I become more familiar and comfortable with this forum I may let you guys know. Nothing personal, just got burnt once before.

The dealerships in our area must be much different, all the ones i listed sell at msrp, you will find reasonable labor rates, and book pricing for all accessories.

Thanks again,
BART
 

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Tired of the crap
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I think we should welcome Bart to the Forum, and respect his desire to maintain confidentiality.

I share some of his concerns about the blanket use of the term "stealer." If you enter into what is essentially a business relationship with the attitude that your supplier is just trying to rip you off, then it is hardly conducive to a mutually satisfying transaction.

Granted - due to "shortages" there have been many instances of H-D dealerships price gouging. This is a practice that the MoCo us aware of, and has taken steps to correct. The MoCo also pays a great deal of attention to customer feedback. The CSI (Customer Service Index) number for each dealership plays a very large part in determining that dealerships allocation of "hot selling" bikes. So whenever you receive one of those mail-in surveys asking about your experience with your dealer - take the time to fill it out, and relate your experiences, be they good or bad.
 

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And even a single dealer can be different to different folks. I have had no complaints about HD N Dallas, and Max has. Guess it depends.
 

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Color me Gone
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Daniii I suggest that you don't start looking at there work to closely or ask for anything that is not pre paid for with the contract. I also think they tore your head off with labor to install that tire on the prepaid tire contract but thats just me.

I still think that after fixing my rear valve cover leak or should I say fixing at it 4 times and then to ask for a $50 deductible as soon as the extended warranty kicked in to repair the same leak for the fifth time in 12 months was total bullshit. Then they quoted me 3.5 hours for fork tubes when the labor guide calls for .8, so far Daniii everything they have done had to be re-done or they ask 4 times the going rate for labor.

They also did the make ready on my bike when brand new and missed the fact that one of the rear belt tensioner eccentrics was on back wards and then wanted to argue with me about it until they compared it to another bike and then explained that was not part of the make ready process even though the rear tire was so crooked in the bike that I noticed it the second I stood behind the bike.
 

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Guess I have been lucky (so far). And while I was charged labor for the tire change, it wasn't as much as someone else was quoted (and besides, they picked the bike up). Thank goodness I haven't had any leaks. I was worried about the 10k checkup. But everything is tight. Besides, I am stuck with them, at least for the tires.
 
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