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Old 06-03-2019, 10:24 AM   #1
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Ottawa, Canada, Diesel Mechanics: Recommendations?

Dear irv2 forum members, in a bit of a conundrum here visiting Canada needing engine repairs on my '99 diesel pusher. I hit some bad potholes along the route to Ottawa (I believe it may have happened on I-80 in Illinois, in-fact - it's a horrible moonscape-like freeway) which caused the muffler on the ISB-275 Cummins engine to come off right where the turbo connects to the muffler assembly. It looks like it snapped because the edges are straight and sharp around the pipe, so its not a lose clamp. I didnt find out about the problem until I was in Michigan, stressed about it for 4 hours and made it to Ottawa by strengthening the support for the huge muffler so it wouldn't outright fall out, and the heat coming out of the turbo in that spot doesnt have anything immediately close (rubber or other hoses) to melt, so it seemed okay to continue. Yes, it is noisy especially when using the jake brake. Im not sure of the long-term damage that could be caused by not having the muffler fully attached there, but at least in terms of damage due to heat so far everything is okay. Regardless, I'd like to get it repaired before I leave Ottawa back to the states, but unsure where to take it around here that is worth their salt.

Im no spring chicken to diesel shops, and I've tried one place in Ottawa last year, the official Freightliner dealer "Francis Canada Truck Centre" but there was an uncomfortable level of competence and even reticence working on a motorhome. They kept passing me off between mechanics who definitely overcharged for the work performed, made a couple of very obvious errors (that I didnt find until I left Ottawa!), so it wasn't a good experience. For example, I found they missed replacing one of the two fuel filters, did a bad job on the front hub-oil replacement, used weird "wet grease" on the fittings, etc. - all work I had to get re-done later in the states. I do not have the energy to go back to Francis Canada and complain because they look at the motorhome as if its a UFO from the 5th dimension. I dont know how else to explain it. I'd be truly reticent to go back there again.

This is why im posting on here to ask if anyone might know of any decent diesel mechanics in the Ottawa area that may work on Cummins engines on motorhomes/RVs without freaking out and can get the job done right the first (and only) time. Any advice or comments welcome. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:11 AM   #2
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I live in Ottawa and have a 2002 DSDP. Diesel service in Ottawa is not great. I agree that Francis Freightliner is not the place to take your rig. They are overpriced and under serviced. Their labor rate on an RV is $225/hr.
Another place to avoid is Malenberg Truck. I used them last year and never again. There is a custom exhaust place in Greely which is south of Ottawa (Wicked Garage Inc (613-788-3701). I've never used them. There is a place in Kemptville called 43 Autoworks 613-258-5800. I haven't used them either.
This year I plan to go to Ed's Truck Service, 35 Bentley Ave 613-226-3081. I had some custom battery cables made last year. I'm only going in for an oil change and fuel filter service.
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:26 PM   #3
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Just south of Ottawa (about 20-30 mins) on highway 31 in Winchester there is Precision Diesel.
I've been using them for the last 7 or 8 years and am happy with their service.
Rates are better than most. My son is an OTR trucker and had brake issues on his tractor, in and out within hours and back on the road.

They've change fuel rails, pumps, idler arms brought AC back to life, solved lighting issues check alignment (and recommend a great shop )and have been helpful all around. Oil changes on both engine and genny, belt changes(on both), fuel filters etc. I always ask them to check everything and let me know. Never a rip -off, if its got problems they explain. They can be busy though.

https://www.precisiondiesel.ca/

I've been very happy with them even though they laugh at me for getting so many oil changes with so few miles. My extended warranty requires once a year oil changes regardless of miles.

Best guy to talk to is Richard, the owner (actually co-owner, his wife runs the business, he turns wrenches).
The service writer on the front desk can be so-so. Used to be a real good guy but the new guy can be careless. Talk to the mechanics to make sure everything was done - he billed me for things not done (not on purpose, just careless and maybe too busy and didn't talk to the mechanics to confirm what was done - as I said if it doesn't need to be done, they don't). As always buyer beware!

P.S. I believe their labour rate is $100 per hour and they have no issue with working on a MH. Mine has not been the only one there over the years.

P.P.S. Just check my invoice from last fall, their labour rate is (was) $90 CAD per hour. Might be higher now.

Chris
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:37 AM   #4
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dear CVBDSL, just wanted to thank you profusely for recommending Precision Diesel in Winchester, Ontario. You were spot on, Richard is not only a super nice guy, he's very down to earth, his crew is superb, and they're not scared to work on UFOs (as long as they run on diesel!). I cannot say enough about this place. I got the primary engine issue fixed, but once I saw how capable and attentive to detail they were I proceeded to do other engine and underbody work done on my coach. VERY SATISFIED, highly recommended. Hope to be back there for regular maintenance next year & make Precision Diesel a regular stop from now on!!!! Thanks again
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofyziggy View Post
dear CVBDSL, just wanted to thank you profusely for recommending Precision Diesel in Winchester, Ontario. You were spot on, Richard is not only a super nice guy, he's very down to earth, his crew is superb, and they're not scared to work on UFOs (as long as they run on diesel!). I cannot say enough about this place. I got the primary engine issue fixed, but once I saw how capable and attentive to detail they were I proceeded to do other engine and underbody work done on my coach. VERY SATISFIED, highly recommended. Hope to be back there for regular maintenance next year & make Precision Diesel a regular stop from now on!!!! Thanks again
Glad I could help. It's unusual to find a great shop in a small town but I guess between the schools buses, farm equipment, pickups and occasional MH they manage to stay in business.
There is also a great automotive mechanic in Winchester where I take my vehicles and have even had them work on a gasser MH years ago. It's also a small shop and very busy but they do great work as well, a place called Kelly's Garage and Towing.

Living in a small town has some drawbacks but you can get great personal service and they get to know you, unlike the big dealerships.
Heck, I even pay a bit more for my meats using the local butcher because he will drop everything to get a cut of meat for you if its not on the shelf. He knows where the meat came from (the joke is that he even knows the cow's name) Try that in the big chain stores.

The only place we don't frequent too often is the large chain grocery store here. It's cheaper for us to drive 40KM to get groceries.

Enjoy your travels.

Chris
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