You can contact me at (832)-643-2315 or use my Contact Page; my email address is email@example.com.
Larry’s Small Engine Repair, LLC is in NW Houston/Cypress, TX. We are an Authorized Repair Center for Sears & Craftsman warrantied products, Champion, Generac, Winco Generators and Amerisun Inc. It is privately owned and a legitimately operated small engine repair shop that provides quality work at affordable rates. We repair 2 & 4 cycle small engines on Generators, Pressure Washers, Lawn Mowers, Blowers, Chain Saws and Misc. Equipment. My business is repairing equipment, not consulting or selling equipment per my Sales Tax Certificate.
- Why the changes: It was due to people abandoning their equipment without paying for services rendered (including parts) because “service (as viewed by people) is not a tangible item.” It is not unless it includes material items. In other words, something you can put in your hand and walk away with. It is different when it includes parts which are tangible and cost money.
- A “Shop Fee “of $25 minimum is required dependent on the type of equipment. It is payment for an initial consultation, and a basic evaluation/diagnosis to determine, if it is cost effective to repair.
- That is based on the condition of the equipment and the customer’s decision whether to repair it or not. Not to exceed ½ hr. and the customer must be present. The deposit will be applied to the bill, if the equipment is repaired; otherwise the “Shop Fee” will be forfeited.
- I warranty my work, and the parts are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty; labor is not included to replace defective parts once the job has been completed, and equipment is functional. See Disclaimers Page .
- If the decision is made to repair it, then all major parts must be paid for in advance. Paying for the parts up-front or later should not be an issue, I will not purchase major parts “out of pocket for good reason.” Labor is not a tangible item, but parts are. The customer’s equipment is a tangible item, but “I do not have a need for it nor do I want it.“
Two types of machines that are significantly different from most small engine equipment are Pressure Washers and Portable Generators; they are made up of two separate components, an engine with a pump or an alternator. An engine repair does not guarantee the Pressure Washer or Portable Generator to work upon completion of the repairs. The bottom line is one or the other are susceptible to failure, and that is the risk of owning a piece of equipment regardless of what it is.
I am going to provide a link to an article that will provide some insight to Diagnostic Fees (Shop Fees). It is the most controversial issue in the Automotive, Small Engine Repair Business and the Service Industry. Read it very carefully: https://repairpal.com/blog/should-you-have-to-pay-for-diagnostic-fees
- I take work by appointment only, so I have decided to perform an assessment of the equipment before taking it in.
- Once I have the equipment and received payment for the Shop Fee, then I will perform an Initial Evaluation with the customer present to try and determine what the problem or problems are. Once I have looked it over I will give you my assessment. The decision to repair or not will be left up to the customer.
- If it is determined that any major parts are required, then all parts must be paid for in advance. If the decision is not to repair it, then you will forfeit the $25 Shop Fee. That is payment for a maximum of 1/2 hr. of my time for the initial diagnosis. Since I have implemented this policy, it has eliminated some problematic equipment. This is good for the customer and myself.
- Why: because you cannot perform a diagnosis on a non-functional piece of equipment.
- Unloading and Loading fee if applicable will be included as well.
- The “Shop Fee“ guarantees payment for consultation, evaluation and basic diagnosis to determine if it is cost effective to repair.
- My labor rate is ~ 50% less than my competition, and I cannot buy parts at wholesale prices, then mark them up; it is all about Operating Expenses and over-head costs. Customers will abandon cheap equipment without paying for services rendered.
I do not rebuild carburetors for four reasons:
- It is a liability issue.
- Due to the lack of preventative maintenance per the owner’s manual.
- Warranty companies will not allow me to rebuild carbs, it is a liability issue. The warranty on carbs is limited to the manufacturer’s warranty. ~ 30days, if it is maintained properly.
- Parts & kits are not available for all carburetors because they are manufactured in China. Briggs & Stratton just started using Chinese brand name carbs on their Portable Generators. They have always used Niki or Mikuni carburetors.
I wanted to make a comment regarding “Safety” because I spent over 10 years as a Safety Leader and a member of a Root Causal Analysis Team for ExxonMobil. The word “Safety” is not just a word, it is a culture, and it is difficult for a lot of people to accept it.
I worked in a very stringent safety culture for over 10 yrs., so it is ingrained in my brain and part of my life. I have this statement on my website, “If you continue to do as you did in the past, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” This can be applied to Preventative Maintenance as well as Safety; below I have listed two things that I do not and will not do for safety reasons. “Fixing a problem without finding out the “Root Cause” it will continuously reoccur.”
I do not sharpen lawnmower blades because of the potential to create a liability issue. Here is a link to a good example: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/inspiring-10-year-old-girl-says-200-stitches-lawnmower-blade-will-make-look-tough-basketball-211735078.html
The cost to replace the blade/blades is negligible as compared to getting serious injured; it is not sharpening the blade that takes time, in some cases you can spend more time trying to balance it. With a lot of the newer mowers that have special mulching blades, and it is not cost effective to buy a machine that will sharpen them.
- NOTE: Approximately 90% of my business for over a year now have been gasoline related problems. It is due to the Ethanol/water content in gasoline. It causes more problems than just carburetor problems.
- It is the responsibility of the owner to read and follow the guidelines in the owner’s manual. I have quit cleaning and rebuilding carburetors because sometimes it is a waste of time, and it could cost cost the customer more in the long run. When I install a carburetor, I use high-grade gas and I run it all out when the customer picks it up.
- I will not warranty the parts or labor, if they bring it back with bad gas in it. Here is a link to an article about Ethanol and carburetors: http://blog.jackssmallengines.com/2015/04/see-ethanol-damage-up-close/
Hourly Rates: My rates are about 40 – 50% per hr. lower than my biggest local competitors.
Loading and Unloading Fees: Effective 1/2018, I had a custom designed manual forklift manufactured at a cost of $4 k for loading and unloading equipment such as Generators etc. It was due to a couple of near misses which is a “Liability Issue.” I charge a fee of $25 total for (unloading and re-loading) a single piece of equipment, NO EXCEPTIONS! I carry General Liability Ins. to protect my company and myself. I was a safety leader, a member of the Risk Management Committee, and Root Causal Analysis for Exxon, so I have a good understanding of “Safety.”
Gasoline Disposal Fees – I do not charge for disposing of ½ – 1 gal. of gasoline, but if it exceeds that then there will be a non-negotiable fee of $10 per gal. That is my cost for disposal because I am a small business, so I recommend that you drain and dispose of the gas in your equipment (new or otherwise) prior to bringing it to me. I do not work on equipment with gasoline in the tank.
Pick Up and Deliver: I will pick up and deliver equipment and the cost is based on my hourly rate and dependent on where you are located. It is also necessary for you to have someone available to help me load it; this usually applies to Portable Generators.
I will ask you this question: Has someone worked on your equipment prior to bringing it to me for repair. If I discover that it has been tampered with or worked on, then I will stop at that point and notify you of my findings. This is a frequent occurrence that cost me time and money.