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Hi, folks.

I've owned my JD826 for about 10 years. I would guess it's a late-80s model. I typically do all of my own work and service, but time is tight now and I need to find a qualified professional to go through my machine: tune up, grease, general inspection. It's having a hard time staying on and I've checked all the usual culprits.

When I say "professional," I just mean someone who knows what they're doing -- even if it's one guy working out of his garage. I've checked local ads and craigslist, but there's little to go off of when it comes to reputation. How would you recommend I find someone? I'm in the Detroit, MI, area.

I know I'll need to fork over a few hundred dollars for comprehensive work, but it is worth keeping this machine going.

Thanks for the guidance!

Zayd
 

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:welcome: to SBF Zayd


Location, location, location. You should add your's to your profile so if someone in your area has a suggestion or is the local guru they can chime in with a recommendation.
Next would be word of mouth. Ask your co-workers, neighbors, ...
Then there is online like this forum. Do you have "Nextdoor" ?? - - > https://nextdoor.com/login/?ucl=1 I find that pretty handy in getting local recommendations for all kinds of stuff. Or a google or Yelp search looking for 4 star + reviews ??

(Edit Yup, saw the Detroit MI too late, silly me. :sad2:)

.
 

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You would just as you would find a good MD, DDS, DVM, LD or other professional. Recommendation from a trusted source/friend/ acquaintance. Hopefully someone from SW MI can provide a name/shop who does a good job at a fair price. I am always leary of online "reviews" as many of these are FAKE.


Too bad you aren't up in NW MI, as we have an outstanding outdoor equipment dealer up here! Should be able to readily find one in your area. Good Luck.


NB
 

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i would stop and ask a lawn care team as to who they would go to if in need, if they can't fix it they have to trust someone
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good info -- thanks! I put my location in the post, but didn't add it to my profile. I'll do that.

As for Nextdoor, I did that and cannot get a consistent response. The same number of people who endorse a repair service will slam it as well. There wasn't anyone who seemed to please the majority of folks.

Woodie -- the lawn service idea is a great idea. If I can find someone still running around and getting the last of the leaves, I'll stop and ask.

Zayd
 

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Sometimes, necessity forces your hand in whom to place trust in. I generally fix EVERYTHING I break nowadays, so I don't need repair shops very often. But when I do, I make sure I help them as absolutely much as possible to fix what I want fixed.

Research places in the metro close by. Chances are the internet will tell you who to trust and who not to. As mentioned, ask friends. But my best piece of advice is to exhaust all avenues you can to fixing the issue yourself first. I know time is precious...but I have a sort of method to engaging repair shops that I believe helps significantly when I do need to find them and hire them.

I trained people at my last job for years. When training them, I told them that we old timers, we're busy also when you'll inevitably come to us for help. We won't mind the interruption and will bust our butts to help you if you follow one simple rule.

"Make it as easy as possible for us to help you." By this I meant, show us your work. "Show me you can describe exactly what the issue is, show me it actually doing what is not working, show me the research you've performed, show me the fixes you tried."

I do this when looking for a repair shop. I can quote the year, make and model of the machine, the correct terms for the parts and features that aren't working if applicable, what I have tried to remedy the issue myself - and most of all exactly what I want the repair shop to do for me.

I find I get less surprises that way, the issue gets fixed correct the first time, and I'm betting I get it done as cheaply as possible outside of me doing the work myself - every time.


This site is a great resource...chances are, someone here has fixed what you got before, and there is a thread detailing exactly how to do it. Every single thing I've fixed on my 3 snowblowers the last year, I did not know how to fix before I visited this site - and every solution in one way or the other, I found it here (or in concert with a Youtube video). In short, if you can...keep digging.
 

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I really don't think that person\place exists anymore. The labor rate is so high it exceeds the value of the machine in many cases. Older snowblowers are a hobby now. At some point if a person can't do the work themselves, you are better off to sell it and buy something new.
 

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I really don't think that person\place exists anymore. The labor rate is so high it exceeds the value of the machine in many cases. Older snowblowers are a hobby now. At some point if a person can't do the work themselves, you are better off to sell it and buy something new.
so true. you'd have to find an old fart like me that does it for pizza and beer......
 

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How do you find reliable service

Not many small repair shops left anymore.Owners get old have health issues pass on [no disrespect to our seniors members] I'm 63 and close up We lost some smaller dealers this way in the last few years. Toro dealer 15 minutes from my house closed last year. In business since i was in grammar school Any thing i buy now will have to come from ariens dealer about 25 minute drive or 2 other Toro dealers about 20 minute drive for either I did find a guy who had a sign on his van was able to jot his number while driving gave him a call he is about 20 minutes from home but what are the chances. Some dealers won't even look at a different brand. So you go to the small independent repair shop if you can find one. Next Door is a good site. See what people or places get used the most Some people sell their equipment get what they can and buy another or throw out for the scrappers
 

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I have an Ariens dealer who has three of the best small engine mechanics around...that said, there are many jobs they don't bother with....I end up with most of them.....It is hard knowing who is good in a trade unless you know a lot about the subject yourself.
 

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The problem with asking your local landscaper is the Repair/dealership they go to likes them because the constantly bring them business/$$$$. A lot of times if you bring them a one time job once in a blue moon you get resistance and lack of care.
 

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color me cynical but I don't think you can find a reliable service anymore. maybe there are a few out there but you'll pay the price.or the wait time.

that's what is so great about snowblowerforum.com . either do it yourself and save time and money learning here or from videos on youtube also.

my father always used to say "if you want something done right , then do it yourself." It may take me 2-3 tries but I eventually get it right. I also have worked on some neighbors machines that were not done right by the the local dealer. Actually I was surprised how mickey moused something was done or some service points not even covered.

good luck.
 

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I agree.....I've bought machines on CL non running and the owner told me the service history......once I got the machine home and saw how hacked up it was, I called the owner and told him he may want to consider a new service person....
 

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i call myself, somewhat reliable but has very few referrals if at all, crap shoot at best but he is the cheapest in my area so i cant complain .
i think my wife has a thing for him, or i seem to think so, but atleast it keeps her out of my hair :devil:
 

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I agree with what was just said. A commercial John Deer dealer would charge an arm and a leg.


There are some traveling small engine guys in most areas. Ask around. Sometimes they are on Craigs List. They will come to you and do the work on your property.



That may be your best bet other than selling it and buying what you want. As suggested earlier.
 

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Most reliable person/place. I have found is the old guy who works back in my little shop out back of my house.
 

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there has been a long time small engine mechanic who runs a shop at a local Ace Hardware mom n pop joint. Been there for years. Been going there since I was in high school and he is super bright. He is in his early 60s now though and has arthritis and other stuff so no longer turns wrenches most of the time, but he does have the heart of a teacher as Dave Ramsey would say- and he tries to teach the kids he hires well.
 
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