Engel Repair or Replace

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:25
ThreadID: 104290 Views:7971 Replies:10 FollowUps:9
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good day every one.
My 32 litre Engel which I have had for about 8 years with light to moderate use decided to give up the ghost on the week end. The motor ran but it would not cool down. I took it to the Engel agent (Dario caravans repairs) at St Marys (Adelaide) who rang me yesterday & stated it needed a new cooling system which would be about $650 to replace with a 12 month warranty, My dilemma is whether to part with my hard earned cash on repairing or buy a replacement. Dario are quoting a 40 litre Eva Cool for about $770 with three year warranty. What to do. I am a bit disappointed with the Engel after I hear of 20 plus years hassle free from other Engel owners. What to do repair or replace ??????
Daz
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Reply By: garrycol - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:36

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:36
Yes - if you believe people here Engel are gods gift to fridges and never break down. I have a cheap 55l ebay job that cost $550 delivered that has so far given 4 years sterling service - much cheaper that a Engel repair so if mine plays up just through away and but a new one.

Be wary of EvaKool - there are good ones and bad ones. I also have a 25litre EvaKool for weekends and it is not good - insulation is too thin, so does not cool well and uses a lot of power - certainly more than the bigger cheaper which has very thick insulation.

If you are looking at the white or yellow Eva Cool fridges with the compressor that hangs on the end are are different - these are very good.

Garry
AnswerID: 517993

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:58

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:58
Hi
You Have been unually UNLUCKY
That is not typical of Engels
It would seem you may have lost the gas
Bad vibration[broken tubing ]or damageded evaportator[inside the fridge] which would entail a new cooling unit

Unfortunately the general attitude these days is just fit an entire NEW gassed unit & motor, just retaining the case & electrics.
Perhaps you could find a fridge mechanic who would simply regas it IF the leak can be repaired


PeterQ
AnswerID: 517994

Reply By: Member - neville G (QLD) - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 13:15

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 13:15
Daz,
Before you despatch your fridge to the rubbish bin do this.....
With the motor RUNNING, turn it upside down and let it run like that for 30 minutes, right it again and observe results. Worked for one of mine but of course yours may be a different problem, worth a try.
Cheers, Nev.
AnswerID: 517995

Follow Up By: K Croft - NSW - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 14:25

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 14:25
Yes,I have to agree with Nev. I have done that with 3ways before, tapping on the coils with a stick also works
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FollowupID: 797753

Follow Up By: krimnl - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 19:58

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 19:58
Do not turn a compressor fridge upside down and run it , you are asking for trouble.

If the compressor runs then chances are its got a leak and needs regassing. Find a proper fridge mechanic as some have suggested and they will check gas pressures etc.
Generally the main things that can go wrong are:power supply failure , compressor failure (either burn out or mechanical failure ) Thermostat failure or refrigerant (gas) leak.
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FollowupID: 797765

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 13:50

Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 13:50
HI
Ditto
DO NOT TURN ANY Compressor fridge upside down
That can do serious damage!1

3way ABSORPTION fridges are often turned upside down if they fail to work due to gas locks , fluid concentration in the wrong place or possibly even internal scale causing a blockage


PeterQ
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FollowupID: 797935

Reply By: transtar - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 14:40

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 14:40
I've used Engel in trucks for many years . Must have had 20 or 30 of them. Never had repair bills that expensive. Give Rees engineering at Pennington a call 84472161. I've always found them very reasonable for repairs

Richard
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AnswerID: 517997

Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 17:06

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 17:06
Richard

If you had 20 or 30 of them, does that mean they broke down and you had to replace them? Wow that wuld be one per year (+-)
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FollowupID: 797758

Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Friday, Sep 13, 2013 at 12:04

Friday, Sep 13, 2013 at 12:04
Thank you Richard
i will give Rees Engineering a try

Daz
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FollowupID: 797792

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 14:55

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 14:55
Daz,
I bought an Engel in 1972 and it lost its gas due to a bad crimp at about year 2.5. Had it regassed and it is still running fine. I would get another quote, can't understand why the cooling system needs replacement. Sounds more like a gas leak and should be fixable.

cheers
AnswerID: 517999

Reply By: Member - wicket - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 15:15

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 15:15
I used SA Caravan Refrigeration Services (08) 85272106 or 0418 844472. He used to be mobile but some time ago started an exhaust business in Prospect which he works from now, excellent service and a very reasonable price.
AnswerID: 518000

Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Friday, Sep 13, 2013 at 12:09

Friday, Sep 13, 2013 at 12:09
thanks Wicket
I am going to try Rees Engineering first & then if that is unsuitable will give your man a call
Daz
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 19:29

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 19:29
My Engel manual states that you shouldn’t let your fridge stand idle, and if it's not in your vehicle, use it as a normal fridge at home. I do that – it’s run full time for the last 6 years and hasn’t missed a beat.
AnswerID: 518019

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 13:53

Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 13:53
Hi Dennis
No need to run continuiosly
Just a periodic run for an hour every couple of months, is all it needs to prevent oil possibly jelling & blocking SMALL tubes,etc
PeterQ
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FollowupID: 797936

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 19:55

Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 19:55
Hi PeterQ thanks for the tip.
I find it convenient to run it as a second fridge anyway.
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FollowupID: 797959

Reply By: Member - daz (SA) - Friday, Sep 13, 2013 at 12:10

Friday, Sep 13, 2013 at 12:10
Thank you all for taking the time to reply
Daz
AnswerID: 518056

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Sep 14, 2013 at 14:08

Saturday, Sep 14, 2013 at 14:08
I bought an Engel in 1977 and it still performs beautifully to this day. I do make sure I use on regular occasions, though, so it doesn't suffer from lack of use.
It has a fully insulated cover and a spring base for protection as well.
I don't think the later model Engels (the electronic models) are as reliable as the old non-electronic models.
As always, descriptions of "improvements in design" often just means "we found a cheaper method of constructing it, so we can counter the cheap Chinese models".
AnswerID: 518130

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 04:51

Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 04:51
A non affiliated repair centre said the same
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FollowupID: 797903

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 11:59

Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 11:59
Ray's Caravan and Camping website has an exceptionally comprehensive, 2 page investigation of portable fridges - although his webpage ranges between 8 and 5 yrs old.
He delves into the two main differences between the Engel and the other brands - the Sawafuji swing motor or the Danfoss compressor style.

Ray examines every feature of every brand and took particular interest in the material the fridge body was made from, because it was important to him.

The bottom line is that the swing motor is not quite as efficient as the compressor-style - but I don't recall ever having had a major problem with the Engel's efficiency with the insulated cover assisting it.

Interestingly, Ray was convinced the Waeco was the ducks gonads and bought one - and the electronics on it crapped themselves in 28 mths. Waeco did repair it under warranty.

By far the most interesting comment, Ray re-posted from another forum - from an Army mechanic/electrician who repaired a lot of Engels. He stated that on the newer Engels with the electronic circuit board (which was installed specifically to reduce power draw), the circuit board was always the part that failed.

The older Engels with no electronics draw more power, but are more reliable - thus their great reputation.
Unfortunately, there's not a single fridge today that is designed to last more than 10 yrs - they all have electronic circuit boards in their designs, and this is nearly always the section that fails - and it's guaranteed, in this day and age of "no user serviceable parts inside" - that even if you can get parts for the unit, the parts cost coupled with installation cost, will nearly always equal the purchase price of a new fridge.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/rfh/portablefridges.html
AnswerID: 518184

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