Evakool vs Engel vs Waeco

Hey everyone,

I have just been to the Geraldton boating and camping show, and was looking at the portable car fridges.

Came across a brand called Evakool. I have heard of them but haven't seen many of them about.
Of course I came across Engel and Waeco.

Evakool has the domus compressor? Engel has the sawafuji compressor? Not sure what Waeco has?

Has anyone had any experience with Evakool? They look like a neat little fridge and would probably work for what I want it for. It will be plugged into a 110ah deep cycle battery.

For the price that they are not bad at all.
$629 for 30L
$679 for 45L
And I think for the 60L was around $729? Also includes power inverter and transit bag!

Interested to see what people think.

Cheers
Misha
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Reply By: Shaker - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:34

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:34
I have had all three & rate as follows:

1. Engel
2. EvaKool (Australian model)
3. Waeco (last by a country mile)

I currently have 15 & 40 litre Engels & an 80 litre EvaKool fridge/freezer.
2 previously owned Waecos have convinced me, never again!


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Follow Up By: misha_boi - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:43

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:43
Hey Shaker,

I have heard Waeco are bleep house.
Engel are very good but the price disturbs me.

Misha
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:50

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:50
But they work ........ & in 10 or 12 years time you will have forgotten the price!

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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:53

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:53
Like Shaker I have had all three.

The Engel still goes like new 7 years old. 45 lt

The Evakool runs like new 10 years old 60 lt

Bith have been around the block once or twice the hard way ( in the camper trailer )

The Waeco I through it out 2 years ago after 5 years. 45 lt

Forget the price as my moto is you get what you pay for, the Engel and Evakool are worth the extra and if you what the best go to Trail blazer.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 09:54

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 09:54
I must admit to only owning an Engel - the original 15 litre cream-colour model that I purchased in 1974. At the recent Perth C&C Show I bought an Engel Thermo15 cooler (Peltier type) but it never delivered half of what it claimed. Returned it to the dealer who readily refunded.

Disappointed and needing something, I pulled the '74 unit out of storage (hasn't been used in 20 years) and put it on extended testing, mainly to rediscover what dial settings gave what results - and it still runs like new. In so doing I found that it used LESS electricity to give a far better result than the Thermo15. If anyone wants the numbers I can provide them.

As Shaker and Aussi Traveller said, buy quality and you'll forget the price long before the machine wears out.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:34

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:34
Zippo, was your original 74 Engel a thermo cooler or a compressor fridge ?

If it was a compressor fridge then you're comparing apples and oranges. Thermo fridges are notoriously power hungry - up to 10 times more than a compressor fridge on both 12 & 240 volts. Also they will only cool to a plus or minus range of ambient temperature ...

Comparing compressor and thermo fridges is an unfair comparison....

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 14:09

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 14:09
Scott M. of course the 74 Engel was a compressor job.

The exercise/comparison was simply to determine if the Thermo (Peltier) unit could keep food/drink satisfactorily cool - and it failed to do even that in a 22C controlled environment. The manufacturer's website claims "up to 22degC below ambient" and I was expecting something near that but it only managed to get down to 10C after 10 hours operation. That's not a useable cooler IMO. It would be an abject failure on a 35C day, and certainly useless for any dairy product.

And yes it did pull more power in the process (numbers available as they were logged). The ONLY advantage it would have offered was that its fan noise was less than the compressor hum.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 15:47

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 15:47
Zippo, I'm not denying that some of the claims regarding thermo fridges are sometimes shonky, however I stand by my comments - plenty of references online regarding power usage and effectiveness of compressor verses thermo fridges.

Nothing in your statement would surprise anyone, including most reputable dealers..
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Reply By: disco driver - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:36

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:36
Type the three names into the search facility on this forum and wait for all the replies.
Read the lot and then make up your mind.


In reality they are all much of a muchness, not very different in performance, power usage so it boils down to your personal preferences.

For me it an Engel, first one was a cream/green 15ltr which was about 20yrs old when I aquired it from the "old man", kept it for around 5 yrs and now have a grey 40ltr which I bought new in 92. I've had no trouble with either other than the old green one was too small for extended camping with a family in tow

Disco.
AnswerID: 531206

Follow Up By: misha_boi - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:45

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:45
disco driver,

Might have to do that, I bet something comes up.
Have heard Engel are the best of the best, but your never really going to know what each brand is like until you get one.

Misha
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Reply By: lizard - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:41

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:41
We had an engel - dark grey model - never again - just out of warranty the motor burnt out($550) - replaced that & 13 months later the whole refrigeration unit replaced ($700) ... gave it to son and we got a Waeco - very happy with it for last 5 years
AnswerID: 531207

Follow Up By: misha_boi - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:47

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:47
G'day lizard,

I have heard a few people say that about Engel and that's what turns me off, few people have said Waeco are great but use a power? I mean come on... All fridges use power. Sounds like the Engel cost you a bit!

Misha
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Reply By: new boy - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:47

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 18:47
Hi Misha
Don,t know anything about Evakool been arround for quite a while.Waeco use the German danfoss compressors as used in most large freezer setups.Might be worth going again on Sunday and seeing if you can screw them some more save them having to take it back to the shop.
Apart from damp which is great mind you what was the show like???
AnswerID: 531209

Follow Up By: misha_boi - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:52

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:52
Hey new boy,

Do which compressors are the best then? I suppose they are all the same really. As long as it keeps the beer cold, I don't mind.
The show was great, just went and had a sticky beak. Planning on travelling around OZ next year when I have the coin, but like to work around as well, so just sent to see what's out there. I managed to set up my dual battery in my tribute so all that's missing is a fridge.

Misha
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 07:07

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 07:07
Waeco no longer uses the German made compressor, its all Chinese now for the last 2 years.

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Reply By: pepper2 - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:15

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:15
I have a bushman great after sales , simple to repair , low power usage but the major difference between the bushman and my mates engle is that if he turns his off at say 10pm (to save power ) by 7am next morning the thermometer suggests the engle has only increased its temp about 3 deg c and frozen stuff still frozen , the bushmans temp would rise much more...possibly 10 deg c and frozen stuff thawed.
Eg if it was minus 10 at night and turned off over night your frozen stuff will be thawed in the morning.
Just my experience.
AnswerID: 531215

Follow Up By: misha_boi - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:54

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:54
pepper2,

Never even have that a thought. So that means the engel is more sealed? Or the engel just freezes better?

Misha
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Reply By: pepper2 - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:16

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:16
I feel the everkool has the best insulation because of the fiberglass box.
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Reply By: HarryH - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:56

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:56
The higher end Evakool fridges are very good IMHO, they have the Danfoss compressor which is the compressor id prefer over the Domus. I've got a 70L Evakool fridge mate for over 5 years and never had a problem, not that id call the fridge mate high end -that would be the white fibreglass fridges but its got the Danfoss compressor and thick insulation. Engel are obviously a top notch fridge as well, not sure about Waeco. If you're looking at cheaper options Engel also do a cheaper plastic/poly version of their metal fridge which I'm assuming has the same sawafuji compressor and internals as the steel version, not 100% sure though. I've also got a 47L ARB which I love as well, The mid $600 range is really at the lower end so I guess you takes your chances with reliability.
Good luck with whatever you go with.
AnswerID: 531217

Follow Up By: HarryH - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:59

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:59
Forgot to mention that the cheaper Evakool fridges have the Domus compressor not the Danfoss, hence the price difference.
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Follow Up By: misha_boi - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:59

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 21:59
Hi HarryH,

What is the difference between the compressors? The papers I got today state these have the domus.
I have looked at the Engel Eclipse but doesn't have a digital thermo , just a twist knob for the temp. Just know sure.
Your never going to know what a brand is like unless you buy it.
Have looked at the ARB they look great as well, didn't see any attune show today,

Misha
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Follow Up By: new boy - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:56

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:56
Arb on the highway next to Auto One have a full range of there fridges just to really confuse you.
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Follow Up By: new boy - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:07

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:07
Misha
Lady in I know has a friend who set off on the lap didn,t make it has I beleive a near new Engel 32lt fridge /Freezer Rex 0408910532 know nothing more it is in Gero leave it with you.
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Follow Up By: misha_boi - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 18:04

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 18:04
Hey new boy,

Thanks for that. Just drop him a txt or refer to you?
Not sure.

Misha
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Follow Up By: HarryH - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 20:51

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 20:51
The danfoss compressor is very well know, reliable and used by most of the fridges on the market, as for the Domus compressor its not as well known or widely used(as far as I know), thats not to say its crap it could be great- time will tell.
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Follow Up By: new boy - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:43

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:43
Mate deal with him direct I,m just a third party and dont know him
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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 23:34

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 23:34
I have two owned two Engels, two Waecos and one ARB.

First Engel sits in the shed. Would never cycle on freeze, ran all the time, and a pipe visible from the grate covering the compressor continuously freezes up.

70 litre Waeco died after 18 years....severe collision will cause that.

I purchased an Engel 60 litre for our Tassie trip to be used as a Freezer, and have an ARB 78 litre as a fridge in our camper for 18 months. Got a full refund from Engel a week after I got back...it was not fit for purpose. It was a piece of crap. The grate over the compressor kept coming loose...kept tightening the screws up to no avail. The compressor rattled like no tomorrow when I hit a bump, the paint rubbed off on one side due to a very thin paint coating, the fridge lid tried to slide off every time I opened it, the chain also scratched the paint off....8 weeks after I purchased it, she was back at Engel.

I purchased a 50 litre Waeco the following day to use as a freezer. Much, much quieter than the Engel. Runs less than half the time on freeze. Can maintain -20 (Engel struggled in the back of the car to maintain -12....with it set to max cold).

ARB.....great fridge. Waeco...proven as far as my travels have taken me and that's significant remote travel. Engel seem to have lost their way.

A fellow traveling mate has an Evakool and very, very happy with it, but his has a Danfoss compressor.

Brett.....
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Reply By: rooster350 - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:36

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:36
We have 2 Evakools , one looks like a Engel and is 35l the other looks like a Waeco and is 32l they both work well.
AnswerID: 531250

Reply By: gbc - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:37

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:37
In the 30 litre range I'd try to track down a waeco truckies fridge. They have no electronics to stuff up, just a slide thermostat and a high/low/off switch. They are priced comparably to the cheap evakool and still have the danfoss compressor. My old boy runs a pigeon pair of them as fridge/freezers and has had an excellent run from them over 10 plus years. For the record I have an evakool rf60 which is the more expensive fibreglass model with a danfoss unit - it is much better than my last engel combi in my opinion. My best advice if buying a fridge - if you can't afford to buy a quality one yet, wait until you can rather than buying a cheapy.
AnswerID: 531251

Reply By: dieseltojo - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:57

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:57
I was told the Evakool had a thermostat problem. The certified repairer put a new one which was bought from EvaKool. So now one is on the shed and a new thermostat fitted. Fridge still has the same problem of fully freezing all the time.
Evakool assured me that the only thing controlling the fridge is the thermostat and to send it back to them.
So I didn't do well in Darwin where it broke down, and their repairer in Vic can't fix the thing.
Up to me to pay the freight to Queensland and back with no guarantee (to my mind anyway ) of a resolution.
The answer, I gave it to my son who just watches it and turns it on and off manually.
AnswerID: 531253

Follow Up By: Matty_P - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 21:54

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 21:54
I own an Evakool and heard a similar story from the sales guy that sold it to me.....he had a customer that came back after 7 years to complain the fridge was too cold. He told him you can take the temperature dial off and underneath it is an adjustment for the thermostat.....turn it down and Wacko...problem solved.
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:38

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:38
Have a 50l Waeco and 60l Evakool. Very happy with both. The Waeco is 5 years old and stays in the back of our cruiser which has travelled 180,000 km’s, a lot of that in outback Australia including very corrugated roads. So far cannot fault the Waeco. We bought our current camper trailer last year and it came with the Evakool. Have been very impressed with the Evakool. Works brilliantly as a fridge/freezer and is extremely quick to cool down.
Kevin
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Reply By: Iza B - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 12:26

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 12:26
I suggest you have a close look at the current draw and reliability of the Waco. I believe the Evacool also draws more than the Engel but is winning points on its cabinet. Engel does not have a low voltage cutout so you get cold beer for a lot longer but you will only get about 5 years out of your deep cycle battery. Easy enough to get an after market cutout it that is important to you.

Price is an important motivator, but I am biased by years of having Engels at work and at home. I would go the Engel every time but cannot say too much against the Evacool.

Iza
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 13:37

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 13:37
My 60l Waeco is well over 10 years old and is in the back of the car running as we speak. It has spent 99% of its life in the back of the car in Central Australia had I wouldn't hesitate buying another if its fits better than an Engel.
The reason I bought Waeco over Engel was purely because of the dimensions.......In an 80series Cruiser I could fold up one back seat and fit in in, where as an Engle I had to fold up both seats for it to fit. The same situation putting it on Tanami or Black widow draws......the Waeco takes up much less room for my use.
There is/was nothing wrong with Engel's and will find just as many bad stories about them as Waeco's if you look.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 20:00

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 20:00
G`day Misha,
Not what you asked, but have you checked out "Trailblaza" probably the most expensive but no doubt the best ?
No digital rubbish to stuff up that could ruin a fishing trip. LOL
Not available from retail outlets, only from the manufacturer.
Google is your friend.

Scrubby.


I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 531287

Reply By: Member - Robert R1 (SA) - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 21:18

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 21:18
I have two 50l Waecos. One is about 10 years old and the other is 2 years old. I have had no trouble with them. The new one has better electronics and will keep the temp within 1 deg of my setting. The older one tended to let the temp increase by about 3 deg before it sprung into action. They sit permanently in the back of my Hilux canopy and the old one has done close to 200,000 km on a lot of dirt, rock, sand, corrugated roads. My mate has an Evacool with the domus compressor and he hasn't had any problems but it does use slightly more power than my Waeco. His is a 60l.
One problem common to most of these fridges is the plug. They only have two springs on them and can work themselves loose and get hot. This causes all sorts of reliability problems. I replaced mine with four spring plugs when they were out of warranty and that solves the problem. Most of my mates have done the same.

Regards,
Bob
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Reply By: Nutta - Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 23:19

Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 23:19
I bought a 38l engel poly job at bcf for $700, seems to run great after only 4 months.
They retail for $800 but after threatening to go to anaconda they gave me a discount.
Worth a look, cheers.
http://www.engelaustralia.com.au/products_details.asp?productid=21365
AnswerID: 531301

Reply By: cookie1 - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:49

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:49
I have a 50L and a 35L Waeco, I use the big one as a freezer and the smaller one as the beer fridge and we have done the Cape, Simpson, Canning and about to do the Kimberley with them so have had no issues.

Don't buy the Dual Zone ones as they are crap IMO

I have gone to the step of removing the cigarette plug and fitting Anderson plugs on them as I found the other plugs caused problems with vibration etc

cheers
AnswerID: 531316

Follow Up By: misha_boi - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:19

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:19
Hi cookie1,
I have heard along the grape vine that the dual fridge/freezer in both engel and Waeco can be a little suss. But how true that is I don't know. Like I said before your never going to know what a product is like until you try it.

The different plug, I changed the plug on my dad's fridge from a cigarette lighter to a low voltage two pin plug. These also work better that the cigarette lighter plug. Anderson plug is also a good idea, never thought of that.

Misha
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 20:30

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 20:30
I found that they simply placed the cooling coil on one side and relied on the freezer section cold air to creep into the fridge side, but we found it to be useless and our drinks were warmish when at the furthest point from the freezer.

With regard to the plug it is horses for courses but Anderson Plugs are widespread and readily available and quite reliable.

We are packing them both very soon for our Kimberley /SGC trip

cheers
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Reply By: UnderDax - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:37

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:37
I have a 60L Trailblaza. Great fridge. However I didn't budget for the annual costs. I pay $1000 a year in gym fees just so I can pick the bastard up...
AnswerID: 531343

Follow Up By: misha_boi - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:24

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:24
Hey UnderDax,

I have looked at the trailblazer, but seem to be a bit big and bulky?

Misha
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FollowupID: 814360

Follow Up By: UnderDax - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:50

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:50
Yeah seriously, it depends on how you intend to use it. I have a 40L Engel that I can pick up quite easily, even when full (the Engel, that is). This fridge gets moved around a bit, so needs to be portable. The 60LTrailblaza is insitu in the camper trailer and doesn't need to be moved, so for us it doesn't matter that it is bulky and heavy. I like that it is bulletproof and reliable. Regards...
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FollowupID: 814365

Reply By: Matty_P - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 21:46

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 21:46
Hi Misha,

Went thru this exercise about 6months ago, read all the reviews and listened to many different opinions.

I have a bushy mate that loves his Engel - but I went with a 80ltr Evakool and luv it.

Evakool are longer in size than the competition and take up more room but that cos the compressor is outside the fridge and not underneath. The logic being hot air rises so having the compressor outside the fridge helps with keeping it cool as it's not heating the fridge / freezer compartment.
Other things that I liked is its Aussie made (Qld Sunshine Coast) and it's fibreglass, so you can stand on it and pack stuff on it without damaging it - also it doesn't need a bag / cover like the others.

It's horses for courses, I use mine every few weeks doing a sausage sizzle at the markets as well as camping, only been 6 months but no issues so far.

Matty P
AnswerID: 531707

Reply By: misha_boi - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 09:17

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 09:17
G'day everyone.

Thank you all for your replies, much appreciated and I hope we can discuss again very soon.
Upon reading everything and looking deep into all of the fridges, I decided to go to a local 4x4 specialist in Geraldton. He was selling the Ironman ice boxes. They really sparked my fancy. A few sizes, 30l, 40l, 50l and a couple of bigger ones. The 40l was the last one left so I got it a bit cheaper, included a cover.
They come with a light inside and consist if the German made Danfoss compressor. This weekend is my first weekend with it, in Perth. Runs really well. They are much like a Waeco, hard plastic but the guy pointed out a few things that Ironman had made better then Waeco.
Prices are not too bad,
30l ~ $650
40l $705
50l $785.

Geraldton 4WD well done, great customer service, very pleased. I'll be stopping in again today to see if they can fit my car in for a service! Anyone in the Geraldton area, stop in and pay these guys a visit!

Misha
AnswerID: 531891

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