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Is fixing my MinnKota Auto pilot worth it


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I have a 1994 Minn Kota auto pilot, I believe the motherboard is fried again(spins in circles and works sporadically)This is the 4th time. I was given a motorguide bowmount with a foot pedal to use, he wants it back, should I even bother fixing it or buy a new one? fish lectronics fixed it in the past, same thing keeps happening, should I give motor clinc a shot?

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In today world, quality is/should be number one with companies. I'd be giving Minnkota a phone call concerning that many repairs in that many years. I've had my Autopilot the same length of time and not one problem.

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Ahh!
The Auto Pilot
I have had three of them in the past and the first one I had was a gem.You could hold a course in any amount of wind and any current conditions.This was one of the first ones that they made.
The second I returned becuase it did not work properly.
I then went to the Motor Guide version and I was not impressed.
So I ended up giving Minkota another try on the third and again it did not work properly or as well as the first one I had.I brought it to get fixed and it still does not do what they claim it to do.
I think I am giving up on Auto Pilot and will just have to drive the dang boat myself! smile.gif

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For what it is worth...

I had my autopilot fixed this year - it was covered under warranty and the place said that the board was fried...

They also told me that if the chop caused the motor to go more than 10 or 15 degrees above level it wouldn't work - now I do not know about you, but that is not very unusual in a light chop - a month ago on Lake of the Woods I bet I had 40 degree chop at least.

Point being, autopilot has it's limitations - make sure you know what you want out of your trolling motor and then decide.

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Gimmick? I don't think so.
I have 3 of them dating back as old as 1994. They all work flawlessly. And, Minnkota has taken great care of me as a customer. Excessive roll and low batteries (Ah, and excessive voltage such as spikes from not unplugging your motor when charging) are the enemies of the AP. Manage your batteries and charging practices and know the limits of the compass and you'll be a happy camper. The only thing the "Cable controled" trolling motors offer over the AP Powerdrive is quicker response (and a tired foot at the end of the day.) You have to know what you want out of your rig. Many people prefer a tiller style motor up front. I'd get that before I'll ever own a cable controlled motor again.

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...if I only had more time off!...
Dawg

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I agree, I don't think autopilot is a gimmick. However, there's a time and a place for it. Some conditions don't allow for it to work worth a darn- it just so happens that many people want to fish in these conditions.
It's no all-cure, but I think it's often a good deal.
Scoot

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BINGO! On an average day it's well within it's limitations. On an especially rough day I simply love the Power Drive with the AP off. No leg fatigue and I can move my foot control anywhere in the boat I want to operate from.

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...if I only had more time off!...
Dawg

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Ive had 2 autopilots and will always own one. The main boards do have problems blowing out however. Some things to here to minimize troubles are unplug the power when not in use, proper cable size to lenght ratio and good solid stable connections.

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Drive on my 42# transome mount broke today. (MinnKota) Time for a new one. Funny thing though, I was just looking at them at the store the other day.

UJ

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Thinking about what you guys have been saying, maybe the reason I have not had any problems with my '94 Autopilot is that I've always disconnected the battery when charging.

Question thou. When moving from spot to spot, on a lake, it makes sense that the "Autopilot" feature should be turned off but, do I need to turn ALL the power off when tilting/storing the motor and moving to another spot on the lake?

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Dave I leave mine pluged in when on the lake. Oh ya I left out turn the autopilot off when in the cradle. I wonder if this could be the cause of some problems?

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I guess that's what I was wondering, ST. When in the cradle, on the lake, I shut the Autopilot switch off and the power switch off. The power is connected to the battery at all times when on the lake. When I get to a spot, I lower the Minnkota, turn the power switch on and then turn the remote power switch on (the cordless remote has its own power switch). I then turn on the Autopilot if needed. If I move to another spot, I turn everything off and repower up when I get to the other spot.

Maybe this and along with "charging when connected" is the source of "problems" for some of you guys with Autopilots.

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