Engel Reliability

My first ever forum input! Here goes.

I am just trying to get an idea of how long you should reasonably expect an Engel 40 lt & 60 lt compressor to run?

I had 40 lt fail after 3.5 years last year and Engel came to the party with a half price offer on parts. Not real happy..but I accepted so I could get on with my trip the following week!

Over Easter my 60 lt compressor stopped working and the unit is only 14 months old. Engel will fix under warranty, but I've still got to waste my time getting it to a service agent etc. I would have thought that should be Engel's problem not mine.

Has anyone had a similar experience with questionable reliability and frustrating after sales support.

This company that sells "a product of Reliability" has really got me wondering. Maybe that plastic cased alternative that starts with "W" might not be that bad?

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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:21

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:21
100 Pipes

Mate you've been stiff. They are the only two Engels to ever break down and they both belong to you. How unlucky is that?

Seriously though, I've never heard of premature compressor failure like that. The Danfos compressor is bullet proof and should last as long as one of those old fridges that weighs about 200 kg and still works after 50 years.

Bob
AnswerID: 361293

Follow Up By: Rod W - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:30

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:30
Hey Bob are you saying that Danfos are in Engels???
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:36

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:36
Rod

Without going out and pulling apart my 40L, I believe so.

Bob
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FollowupID: 629024

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:45

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:45
Incorrect, Engel has unique Sawafuji compressor.

Pipes, I'm wondering what you did to break an Engel?!

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FollowupID: 629026

Follow Up By: Rod W - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:45

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:45
Bob,

Engels have the Sawafuji Swing Motor, unless yours has been modified.
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FollowupID: 629027

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:48

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:48
Yeah thanks for that. http://www.4wdaction.com.au/tips_fridge.php
I note that ARB has changed from the Sawafuji to the Danfoss compressor.
Bob
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FollowupID: 629029

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:03

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:03
Gidday

I’m a bit surprised by this also. My previous Engel was 26 years old and met its demise after falling off the back of a truck up in the High Country.

The current Engel is around 5 years, and I’ve never had a problem with that either over rough country.

For a bit of a change, I’ll going to buy one of the new ARB fridges to put in the trailer as a second unit. We’ll see how that goes over time.

I think the ARB unit comes with a Danfos compressor.

Regards

Kim

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FollowupID: 629046

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 21:24

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 21:24
Hi Kim
The new ARB fridge in no longer supplied by Engel, but by Waeco, all to do with the $$$$ factor and to sell a cheaper product. If you are looking at a cheaper, have you thought of the 39 litre Eclipse.
Plastic body, but same reliable motor.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 21:49

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 21:49
Gidday Stephen

That's not my understanding.

I'm told they jumped into bed with Dometic and rebuilt the frig from the ground up after leaving Engel.

As for money, I know a fella who sells friges as a side line to his main business. His margin is $185 and he reckons its hardly worthwhile stocking any of the brands for that return.

Regards

Kim
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FollowupID: 629098

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:00

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:00
My engels compressor quit after 12 years but I reckon it was because in the last couple of years, before the breakdown, I was only running it when going camping/picnicing etc. Prior to this it ran constantly as it does now and by doing this I have not had a problem. At the moment it is in the shed acting as a freezer for a heap of dog bones! Once they are gone it'll have the drinks back in it. The old fridges that lasted forever did that because they were never turned off!
AnswerID: 361305

Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:02

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:02
G'day 100 pipes

As has already been said - you are unlucky.

I use 3 Engels - 2 at work and 1 at play. The oldest is about 25 years old, lives in an open runabout boat and gets the crap knocked out of it - and it has never failed. A 60 litre lives in the back of my work 4x4 so it too gets bounced around even though it's secured to the floor of the service body (Telstra style thing) and it's never failed.

And I have a 59 litre Combo in my own 4x4 and the same story - never a problem.

My Camper has 2 of the other ones that start with "W" and they too have never goven a problem over some really rough bits of Oz.

Cheers
John T (Lifetime Member)
VKS-737 Mobile 2619
Selcall 2619
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AnswerID: 361306

Reply By: pling - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:22

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:22
My original 39 litre is 28 years old and still going strong. Never had a problem. Son uses it now.

I purchased a new 40 litre 4 years ago because I was afraid the 39 litre may give up on a trip. My son knows if it does, he can put his beer in my new 40 litre. (his mother will let him!!!!)

I have never heard of an Engel failing until I read the above reply.
AnswerID: 361315

Reply By: Member - Matt & Julie (VIC) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:39

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:39
100 pipes

I have had my Engel since 2000 I have just purchased a new one because of the price $1080 with bag inverter food containers cooler/warmer and a thermometer could not pass it up now I have two Engels. By the way I do have a "w" and its for sale (80ltr).
Cheers

Matt & Julie


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Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Julie (VIC) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:41

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 18:41
Sorry the Engel's are both 40ltrs
Cheers

Matt & Julie


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Follow Up By: Anthony (Vic) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 21:26

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 21:26
M&J,

I hope they have that offer going when I'm ready to buy an Engel !

BTW, M&J, I clicked on your rig pic ... it would have to be the smallest rig pic that I can't see. :-))

I don't even know how I could make a pic that small !
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FollowupID: 629094

Reply By: Flywest - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:00

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:00
Use 2 fridges

1 Engel 40 liter that ran for 30 years before needing a regas, and now works fine for another 5 years.

1. Waeco 40 liter that works great and never misses a beat, about 2 years old almost.

Cheers
AnswerID: 361324

Reply By: Best Off Road - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:21

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 19:21
A bit disappointing that a company who advertises reliability as its cornerstone wouldn't fully warrant a three and a half year old fridge.

Like FW I've owned both W and E and they both keep stuff cold.

But, both have poor insulation and there are better fridges on the market.

Cheers,

Jim.



AnswerID: 361331

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 09:42

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 09:42
They showed some "good faith" by supplying parts at half price.

I really don't understand why peoople expect warranities to be forever. If you buy something with 12 months warranty, surely that's it!
The manufacturer has absolutely no idea how his product has been treated over the 3.5 years, maybe a cheap Chinese generator has been used, or whatever.
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FollowupID: 629143

Reply By: Rangiephil - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 09:13

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 09:13
I have a 10 year old Engel which is in the service agent at the moment for a failed thermostat. The thermostat cost is usually about $60 for the part although ther eis a possibility it could be the main circuit board which is $.
It still cools perfectly.
I consider that pretty good seeing it has gone 10 years of continuous operation as a beer fridge when not in the car.

The service agent said he would not touch Waecos as the parts were too expensive . He quoted $900 for a compressor and that he had to "chop the thing open " to fit. An engel compressor assembly is approx $400.
He also said my model was the most relaible and that he saw more of the later ones.

Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 361408

Reply By: Jack - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:38

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:38
Engel Fridges simple do not live up to the reliability reputation they have - yes the old ones were reliable, but the grey coloured generation are not.

My 40l compressor is stuffed and Engel don't want to know me. I am waiting for some reports and user feedback on the new ARB fridge - It can't be any worse than the Engel.

I have been stung by Engel and my loyalty is gone.

Jack
AnswerID: 361415

Reply By: Gronk - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:26

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:26
As Jim said, the insulation is ordinary on Engels and Waecos, and for a few bucks extra one of the fridges you couldn't go past would be a Trailblaza......
I own a Waeco 60, and although it runs terrific, my next choice of fridge would be a Trailblaza....no nonsense, aussie owned, good insulation and tough.....
AnswerID: 361425

Reply By: Holden4th - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 18:31

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 18:31
A fridge is a fridge and the old "this brand is more reliable than that" is really a myth.

My parents bought a Leonard Fridge/Freezer for our home in 1961. In 2005 (when Mum died) it was still running after just one regassing of coolant. With 5 kids this fridge was opened and closed constantly for a period of 44 years and was still working perfectly. There were no fancy electronics, circuit boards or dials. Just a fridge that you could vary the temperature on by a simple twist of a rotary dial.

The point I'm making is that the fridge ran constantly, as does my Waeco FF40. The Waeco is my beer fridge while it's not travelling (and also while it is I suppose).

For me, it's not about reliability because I believe that if you run your fridge constantly it will last forever.Those who buy a car fridge and only operate it when they want to go away can't really expect their product to last that long.To me it's all about insulation and to be honest neither Waeco or Engel cut the mustard here. I don't know anything about Trailblaza but I do know that an Evakool Fridge is going to work really well as I use a 60L Evakool FG esky that I've had for years and am delighted with it's insulating abilities.
AnswerID: 361511

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