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John E Powell

Volvo D4 service tech near Wilson NY

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Does anyone know of a good Diesel Tech near Wilson? I looked online and Volvo only lists certified marine techs and the closest is well over the border into Canada. It doesn’t look like there’s a single “certified” Volvo diesel tech anywhere along the south shore.

 

Was considering a boat that was repowered, but if you can’t get it routine maintenance and minor troubleshooting done down the road then that doesn’t make much sense.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Posted (edited)

Dan the Diesel Man  ( Dan Chappman   ) works independently out of his service truck. Keeps his boat at Bootleggers and is there at least every          weekend and then some from mid April to late fall.Dont know what his expertise is with Volvos, but to me a diesel is a diesel with the only factor being the electronics involved.  Probably can get his number if you want to pick his brain.

Edited by Bozeman Bob

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Unless it's a newer engine and must be serviced by a " certified " Volvo tech to remain in warranty I see no big upside in " certification" . I call on mechanics all week long and the certified ones at dealers in most cases is just a piece of paper. The independents might not have the car makers dedicated scanners ( can't buy them )    which makes it easier for trouble shooting, but they figure the problem out ,might take a few more minutes because of that.

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I worked for a heavy equipment distributor for many years and disagree with the thought that “certification” of techs and dealers is merely a piece of paper.  The manufacturers have some pretty rigid standards of both training for techs and purchases of required service tooling.  Each tech would get several weeks training per year and hardware/software would run several thousand per location.  Beyond basic engine oil or fuel filter changes, there is not much that can be done on modern diesels without having electronic diagnostics most of which are proprietary to the manufacturer.  I have seen $10,000 ECM’s fried by a misplaced electrical probe.  It’s fine to have a local guy do routine PM’s, but when you have a problem it is a good idea to know where trained people are.  Travel time and mileage for these techs are big dollars.

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I did write " in most cases " and did mention diagnostic equipment as the biggest difference. There is no real differences in the actual design/ working parts of any diesel. The main differences are USUALLY found in the electronics and fuel delivery. Pistons,glow plugs,injectors, crank. cooling system are all basically the same, whether a Cat/ Volvo/Detroit etc.  Just like all 4 stroke engines work the same ,except the Wankle .There is a Volvo dealership with certified technicians in Batavia. Just down the street from Milton Cat. One of the techs in there is a big speed boater on Ontario, but I haven't been in there in years to be able to give you a name. They have road technicians.

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Agree that basic designs are similar.   Where the OEM’s make it more difficult is in the diagnostics and there is no standard in cabling and software.  When I retired about 5 years ago some of our road techs were carrying 2 laptops in their trucks for various vendors.  I was the guy who bought this stuff and negotiated with the vendors for multiple locations so I know how it works.  If I were looking for Volvo service in WNY, I would talk to Vantage in Batavia or a Volvo truck dealer to see what their thoughts were on marine engine service.  

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Yes Advantage is the dealer I was thinking of ,a few doors down from Milton. The bigger question may be what year is the Volvo he is looking at. Marine engines seem to be a few years behind land engines, so it may have minimal electronics on it to even worry about. If the boat was what I was looking for along within my price point and the engine was a "basic" diesel I don't think I would back off the deal worrying about a mechanic to work on it, [ knowing who is in the area ,or having the ability to pull and trailer it to a shop if need be ]. They are fairly bullet proof , can run twice as long as a gasser if maintained ,gobs of torque, more efficient ,not to smelly if you have a side exhaust or run a additive.  

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Original post references Volvo D4 which shows to be a common rail design likely mid to late 2000’s vintage.  This would be an electronically controlled system.  If memory serves me right, we started seeing electronic controls in the mid to late 90’s.  Most of the mechanical systems were gone by 2010.  Emissions drove much of the changes.  The electronics are generally trouble free, but when you do have an issue proper diagnostics are critical.  Not a good idea to just start swapping parts.  I think Mr. Powell is making a good choice in checking service options before purchase.  Another person to contact that might have some insight on Volvo diesel service would be Fran Brobeil at Brobeil Marine.  I know he is Volvo dealer for gas engines and might know where one could get help with diesels.

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Not sure where the original post is, this one does not mention Volvo D4. Correct in doing your homework ! Personally anything under 30 or so I would prefer gas ,from a cost standpoint , ease of replacement, troubleshooting and being more familiar with working on them.

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Topic description “Volvo D4 service tech near Wilson, NY” is where I got model reference.   I looked it up as I was curious as to who was servicing Volvo marine diesels and I did see the Canadian dealer listed. 

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