OT: Gas mix in outboard incorrect, not enough oil?, how long to ruin the engine?

Page 1 of 2  
Vacation, rented "cottage" with rented pontoon. Return of the security deposits quite late....now the story is "not returning the deposit 'cause you trashed the outboard". It was a 20-something foot pontoon, no idea size of engine (the guys will remember and they aren't here right now). I have photos of our grandkids tubing on the last day we were there....proof the boat was operating.
This was an "upscale" rental, complete with decorator coordinated bed linens. $200 non-returnable cleaning charge, $750 dam. deposit. It was cleaner when we left than when we arrived, thanks to grandma (me).
All of the adults made their own "final inspection" to look for forgotten belongings, but owner wasn't present when we departed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This would be why to not include a boat with a vacation rental.
Most are pretty forgiving about the exact mix. I'm guessing it was an older outbard since most new ones would not use premix and would have seperate oil and gas tanks. Which suggests it could have been anything that broke it. I'd request reciepts from a commercial repair shop with diagnosis on it.
Bottom line though is unless your'e willing to upscale the battle you're pretty much at their mercy. I'd leave bad reviews where ever I could though. Unless you get some pretty convincing evidence that it was your fault.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If they are "upscale" they should have left you enough "mix" for you to use...so as to protect their property. I would assume they don't expect you back! :^/
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm reading between the lines and think that we heard about the decorator linens but nothing about what they did regarding putting fuel in the engine for a reason......
If it was supposed to be 32:1 and you mixed it 40:1 I would say it would be fine. If you put straight gas in, I'd say significant damage could start within minutes and the engine could seize quickly. A lot would depend on how it was used. Sitting idling at the dock it would run longer. At full power, I would think it could be over in minutes. It's like running your car without engine oil.
Some related issues. Do you know for a fact that you did not put oil in it? Was it clearly explained what you were required to do or not do? If they are demanding payment and/or keeping the deposit you have a right to see a diagnosis/bill, etc from a reputable repair place that says the engine failed from lack of oil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/7/2011 10:02 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I know nothing about the required mix, except that it is normal for outboards and lawnmowers....there were five adults who had some hand, at different times, in fueling or operating the boat. All experienced boaters and careful.

There was a book of "rules" sent to us during the contracting for the stay...one week. All who were inclined to operate the boat had to provide copies of driv. license prior to arrival. Rules included no smoking on premises, which I presume meant outdoors as well as in :o)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The remaining gas should be checked. Early motors required more oil. Mostly because the oil didn't mix as well as current oils.
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Tell us the whole story, please. Did you add any gas to what was provided when you took possession of the boat? Did you mix any oil and gas? How much gas and how much oil? Questions are a lot easier to answer when facts are given.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/7/2011 9:52 AM, Steve B wrote:

are careful and experienced. I'll know more after I speak with my son. I believe that the arrangement was to provide fuel for us, but there was none. One of the running lights on the boat was broken, so couldn't use it after dark until my son and daughter repaired it. The owner said nothing about the engine until my daughter asked for the deposit, which was already two weeks overdue and a month after we left the cottage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you did not refuel it after your last use then it's very unlikely that it was your fault.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would check the rental laws in the state where this occured. Many now have strict limits on how long a landlord has to return a deposit or tell you why they are keeping it. And the ones I've seen require it to done in 30 days or less.
That might be the only defense you need. If the landlord cannot show that he notified you in writing within the required period, you get the deposit back. Some even give you 2X the deposit back if it was wrongfully withheld. You'd also need to make sure those laws apply to short term vacation rentals. I've seen them come into play in normal month to month rentals.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not only that, but automix technology (auto oil injection) came to 2-strokes over 35 yrs ago.
I did a stint as an outboard motor mechanic back in the early 70s. The biggest motor killer wasn't oil/gas mix, but running the motors aground and clogging the cooling water intake. Even then, the motors would seize up, then run fine after cool down.
The whole thing sounds like your basic get-a-piece-of-the-refund scam, to me.
nb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/7/2011 11:03 AM, notbob wrote:

I did a google search on law for the state and got some very good info; the state law is very specific about time limits to return dep, notice of damages as basis for not returning, etc. I'm just curious about what could possibly have gone wrong with the engine, as I'm sure it is a bogus claim. Will know more later.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The short answer is no one here can tell you what happened or did not happen to the engine. You can't even tell us if you know oil was required to be mixed for the engine, if anyone mixed it, what ratio, if you ran it normally after it was refilled for an extended period, or just filled it incorrectly prior to leaving and left it to seize later with the landlord.
If it was a 2 stroke and required oil to be mixed, the tank was empty and you filled it with straight gas, then ran it at full power for even 10 mins, I would think that is long enough to trash it. If the tank was half full and you topped it off, then it would probably survive. But since you don't know much at all about what really went on, I don't know how you can expect anyone here to cover all the endless possibilites. Nor do I see how you are so sure the landlord is lying.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/7/2011 12:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

My ignorance shows ... didn't know how many combinations there might be (like, are they all 2:3 oil:gas) or whether a minor miscalculation might ruin an engine.....I've never even used a gas mower :o)

I'm not SURE the landlord is lying, but their written terms and rules were so explicit, I expected the same level of conduct in return. Informing us a month after we left the rental is a little stinky, considering their otherwise very strict requirements.
My gut feeling is that they inherited a nice lake place, blew their wad remodeling and decorating, expected to make another wad renting it out.... And I fully understand the difference between being wrong and lying.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree it's not right that they notified you more than a month later. If it's a popular area they probably would have had other renters in those weeks after you. Meanng it seems odd that either the landlord or some other renter didn't find out the boat didn't work. But, in the landlord's defense, that could have happened and it might have taken a long time to get a marine mechanic to look at it. They can be busy this time of year. In that case, while they would have know that the boat wasn't working, they might not have had a report saying what caused it. Still, no excuse for not getting back to you much earlier to at least tell you something.
I guess if it were me, I'd figure out who put gas in it last and what they did or think they did. Based on that, I'd then ask the landlord for documentation that shows what exactly was wrong with it and what it says caused it.
What does the state law that you looked at say with regard to amount of time to return deposits? Is it an out for you?
And even if you did ruin the engine, you're only responsible for what it was worth, not a brand new engine. If it was 20 years old, that may not be that much. Knowing the engine you could maybe find similar ones on Ebay.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

large margin, the VAST majority of operational outboards in North America are 2 stroke. And yes, MANY 2 stroke engines are now oil injected - but again - the LARGE MAJORITY of operational outboards in North America run pre-mix.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/7/2011 7:33 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

four-stroke, but that's all I know.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

the engine with the fuel mix as it flows through the crankcase. Oil injection has an oil tank and a gas tank.A pump on the engine meters the proper amount of oil according to engine speed and load. Premix means you put the proper amount of oil in the gas.
4 stroke means the oil is in the crankcase and is not (in an ideal world) burned by the engine.Wet sump means the oil stays in the crancase and is pumped around to lubricate the engine - dry sump stores the oil in a tank and pumps it through the engine to lubricate it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Which is what I eluded to long ago in this post.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Which kinda makes one wonder where the rentee got the gas from. The marina I once worked at was the only source, so wasn't an issue. Other vendors would probably be likewise savvy and unless they purposely wanted to screw the original renter, why would they allow a rentee to use straight gas. Frankly, I think the whole story is bogus.
nb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.