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knotthereelworld

Minn Kota Ipilot won't connect to remote

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My 4 month old Terrova will no longer connect to my remote. It worked on Friday, but on Saturday and Sunday it only showed on the remote as "Motor Not Found." I called Minn Kota this morning who told me to double check the plug connection in the head. When the two ends slide together, they said no yellow (interior part of the plug) should be showing. I can see yellow, but it is razor blade thin. No matter how hard I push together, it won't go tight enough to not see yellow. I can't imagine this being the issue. 

She said maybe battery power isn't getting to the motor. The light comes on green when I turn it on and when I test it, it shows battery as full. 

Minn Kota rep had no other suggestions other than to a call dealer and take it to them. Dealer won't pick up the phone. 

I've pulled the batteries out of the remote, disconnected everything, reconnected everything, and tried every which way to get it operating. It won't recognize the motor or pair up. 

Has anyone else had this issue? 

Thanks!

 

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Did you leave the TM connected when you charged your batteries? The motherboard doesn't tolerate that very well.

Chuck  

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Mine did that the first time i powered it up

on the top of the head there is a button that reads “pair”. Hit that and no problems since. 

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The first thing to check is the batteries in the remote. Change them out to be sure. Newer remotes just  use AAA.

Second check voltage at the plug. It is new and should have off on button on the base. If it has power try to pair it again. Being 4 mths old I would not dismantle the base to check the board due to warranty. 

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I have replaced the batteries in the remote. I have unplugged and re-plugged everything else. The light turns on and the voltage on the base of it works when tested with it off. When I click the pair button, it makes no noise, as it should. Minn Kota is telling me that I have to go to get my trolling motor batteries checked to make sure they work, first. This is starting to piss me off. I've got to wait 4-7 days for the Minn Kota dealer to look at it, then another several days for whatever replacement parts to come in. The Minn Kota dealer wants me to remove the motor from my boat. I told them no. 

I asked the woman at Minn Kota what specifically can make the circuit board go bad in it and she said it getting wet or the cable to the top losing connection. Nothing was said about charging the motor while still plugged in being bad for it. 

Since I'm a guide and need this motor for the guide trips, (already canceled one tomorrow) I asked Minn Kota what else can be done.... They suggest I buy a $200 plus dollar foot pedal from them and use that. When asked if that is covered under warranty, no, because it doesn't come with the motor when I bought it. 

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It works! Talked to an EE buddy about using a wire to bridge the gap. Probably a waste of time. The ohm meter has just enough amperage to restart things, according to the expert. 

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3 hours ago, MuddyBottomBluz said:

Worth a try since this is you're livelihood we are talking about!!

Thanks, I've got the new remote,  so I'm not sure this applies. Have changed out the batteries, etc. Nothing helps. Woman in the MK office says it isn't the remote, it's the unit. Though they keep blaming my batteries, which I've checked under load and they are 100%. 

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The batteries may be good but the supply wiring may not be. What kind of plug do you have? If it's the twist lock, I'd start there - if it's the twist lock, upgrade to a Battery Tender plug in any case. Try hooking the TM directly to the batteries.

Chuck  😁

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1 hour ago, SSN651 said:

The batteries may be good but the supply wiring may not be. What kind of plug do you have? If it's the twist lock, I'd start there - if it's the twist lock, upgrade to a Battery Tender plug in any case. Try hooking the TM directly to the batteries.

Chuck  😁

Thanks Chuck, I put brand new oversize wiring through the hull when I bought the trolling motor. I connected this to the trolling motor with a twist lock Battery Tender switch. It has corroded pretty quickly I will say since I've had it in for maybe three to four months. Using that connection the motor turns on and the battery tester on the motor show full juice. 

I'll try to bypass and see if that make's a difference, but the connection couldn't seem more solid despite some rust on the Battery Tender nuts.  

Talked to another Minn Kota rep again this morning. He agreed that it is a fried motherboard or the head. I said if he is the third rep to agree that something is wrong with the motor, why don't they ship me a new motor and I can return this one? He said nothing can be done until they take it to a dealer and I'm basically SOL until then. I asked if they would like me to send a video of me doing everything they have asked of me to troubleshoot. He said no. One would think they would be more willing to assist their customers when something breaks, particularly on a four month old $1800 motor. I told him to have a manager call me. 

Manager called me back and seemed actually willing to assist unlike the other three reps I've spoken to. He said lets start with a new remote and troubleshoot from there. He said I will have a new remote in the mail tomorrow. 

As far as the four dealers in my area, they won't pick up the phones, so I cannot schedule anything out. Two of them said yesterday they would call me back to schedule something out. Still no call backs. 

 

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On Mine there is 2 MB's One for Remote and GPS (comms), and the other is for everything else. Explained to me by Manufacturer ( not MinnKota) But all the same issues. 

So far, both have been replaced under warranty, it was the comm's board that fixed it.. 

Call them and tell them what you've tried and ask for a new Comms board or both.. 

Good Luck

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Just got the new remote in the mail. Doesn't pair. It's obviously a problem with the four month old motor whether it be the head or the motherboard. Closest dealer to me is closed for the week according to their updated voicemail and they only work on MKs that they have sold anyways. Second closest said they might be able to get me in at the end of the week, but he doubts it and will give me a call. Third closest at two hours away said their tech thinks it is the head, but they don't even have a replacement because "they aren't supposed to break when they are this new."

Left new Voicemail for the manager I spoke to yesterday. 

 

 

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Two more calls into MK. I'm told that they "understand" but that there is nothing that can be done to get the process moving to get me back on the water with clients. I've got to wait for the service centers to either call me back or to pick up the phone. MK will do nothing in the mean time to fix the issue, I was again told it might be the batteries. This is complete horse ***. The latest rep told me I should have a second motor as a backup. Sounds like they know their *** breaks. 

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I have seen all of the brands do this, It isn't just MK,MG  It sux you cant speak to anyone at the factory.. 

Bought one made and serviced in FLA, and they are phone call away.. 

Sorry for your frustration, been there.....

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1 minute ago, fishmanjj said:

Did you purchase from a local dealer or on-line ?   

Bought it from Bass Pro Shops. That marine section guy has been the absolute best person to talk to out of anyone. He says "we don't usually do this, but let me talk to the store manager and see if we can get you a replacement free of charge." He called me back 30 minutes later and said he couldn't do it but at least he tried versus the MK rep telling me I might want to buy a back up. If I run MK, I find a way to make the clients more happy. It would be one thing if the motor was 2, 3, 4 years old and heavily used and something breaks. Four months old. 

Finally got an appointment with one dealer two hours away for next Wednesday. 

The top guru and MK dealer in the area called back and says hes 8-10 days away for being able to look at it. 

Finally got a hold of another dealer an hour and a half away and the guy couldn't give me a straight answer on anything I asked... no chance I'm taking it to him. 

I'm trying to understand why this happened so I can stop it from happening again. I've been reading up on leaving the motor hooked up while plugged into the battery charger... seems like arguments are split that it can cause a problem versus it can't, unless you left the actual motor on. I'd guess I've charged this motor 15 times and left the motor connected maybe 3 or 4? The last time I charged it was not connected. The motor has never ever been left on and connected while charging. I'm no expert but will certainly not ever leave plugged in again. Looking forward to asking a dealer if that's an actual problem. Seems like this would happen a ton, as several folks I've talked to have told me that they leave it plugged in and haven't had any problems. 

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Hey bud, where are you located?  I have a really good shop here in Wilmington that I could put you in touch with.  They wont be a logistical option for you to ship it, but they may have some better advice or thoughts than you have so far.  Let me know.

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22 hours ago, smilemaker said:

If it is the motherboard and they will send you one it is an easy fix. Screwdriver ,razerknife and heatgun.

An hour your first time 30 minutes when you have to do it again.

Is the motherboard going out something I can expect to happen multiple times? 

How did you get them to send you a new one? They won't send me anything other than a remote and tell me that they "understand" my frustration and to wait for a dealer to call me back. 

MK Manager called me back, listened to my frustration and said to take it to a different dealer that only repairs MK E-drives. I said I'd already talked to him randomly and he doesn't do the GPS units, the MK manager told me to take it to him anyways. Called that dealer and he said bring it in but he's never worked on one of these before..... sigh. This has bad feeling written all over it. 

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52 minutes ago, whichwaysup said:

Hey bud, where are you located?  I have a really good shop here in Wilmington that I could put you in touch with.  They wont be a logistical option for you to ship it, but they may have some better advice or thoughts than you have so far.  Let me know.

Thank you, I'm in Richmond, Virginia. 

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I’m surprised that Bass Pro didn’t just take it back and give you another one. They have big $$$$$ buying power and MK won’t argue with them. 

My local MK dealer here in Savannah told me to never charge the batteries with the motor plugged in. So, I never have. My 110 lb 36 v MK I Pilot is going on 4 years old and never had an issue and the spot lock works great. It’s used at least 5 times per month.  Mine is the first generation and is not the Terrova or Ulterra or whatever the fancy ones are called.

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