I Don't Believe it!
Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 15 Apr 2012 20:03
Good news and bad news again! Our faulty oil pipes were ordered the Thursday before Easter and could have taken a couple of weeks to arrive from Sweden, but knowing our time constraints the central Volvo supplier in New Zealand had stamped urgent in all the right places and they came by courier. We were mightily impressed to find that they had arrived in the country on the Tuesday after Easter and at Gulf Harbour by Wednesday. The Volvo agent here fitted them the same day and despite increasing winds and rain, we headed out of the harbour in the afternoon to give the engine a good test at cruising speed for an hour or so. Came back and all looked good, apart from a little weeping round the nuts, so the engineer came back on Thursday morning to nip them up and we prepared to go out again as a final check. The engine was warming up while we sorted out the ropes and just before letting go I decide to have a last quick look. Oil! A pool of it under the engine and a constant drip coming from the crimped rubber hoses on the new pipes. This was far worse that the previous new pipes - they had lasted all of 18 hours before producing a small leak, these had lasted just an hour and produced a much bigger leak!
We couldn't believe it - we were back where we started! Volvo has no central help line at all to call or complain to - all communications can only be via an agent/dealer, and the Volvo warranty process appears very inflexible, so all the agent chain in New Zealand felt they could do was order a 3rd set and try yet again. The new pipes are a new design compared with the originals and look far less substantial. It was obvious to all involved that the rubber crimping was just not up to the job - not fit for purpose. We wondered how many they had on the shelf in Sweden and how long it would take us to go through the lot - would we leave New Zealand this year?! After an email or two and further discussion here a pragmatic spark was lit and alternatives considered. It was decided it had to be the Hose Doctor - a company that makes hydraulic hoses for trucks and heavy machinery. On Friday they took the first set of failing pipes ( the latest failing set are still on the engine) and replaced the hose (garden hose he called it!) with 2000psi hose joined to the pipes with heavy duty swages. They are now substantial and wouldn't look out of place on a Chieftain Tank! But will they fit on our engine - we'll find out on Monday. It looks like Volvo might pay for them and all the fitting involved, as they should as their parts keep failing, but will not take any responsibility if they fail. But we have no choice, we can't stay here for ever. And Hose Doctor guarantee their hoses for 5 years against Volvo's 12 months, so it seems a reasonable risk to take. Fingers, and everything else, crossed that it works.
To cheer us up a bit, a friendly couple came to visit and things didn't seem so bad! And yes, they did get fed.
Here's lookin' at you, kid......