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sarahanndpt
05-31-10, 09:12 PM
Hi. I have never owned a boat and I am looking to buy a 2001 Sea Doo Challenger from my friend's parents. They are asking 8,750 for it, but I have not talked to them personally about the price. I am wondering what a fair price for this boat would be and if it is a good boat for someone who has never owned one before. Any input would be appreciated!

Thanks-
Sarah

ProbeGT
06-01-10, 12:37 AM
Those are nice boats, but you must keep in mind that a jetboat needs a lot of care to stay in good shape.

Engines must be kept in very good working order, use the right oil, often check if everything is ok.

the 2001 will have a Mercury engine. Good engine, but when it breaks, it costs a LOT of money. A lot of mercury dealers don,t want to work on them because it's written SPORTJET on them, even tho it's the same engine as an outboard.

I think a challenger 1800 with Twin 787 would be a better choice because support is more available, parts are easier to find but that's just my opinion. I've owned an old sportjet (sea-rayder F16) and I'll never buy another marine product with such low aftermarket support. What I'm wondering is if in 4-5 years, parts will still be easily available, and I doubt it.

WAJetboating
06-02-10, 02:20 PM
Those are nice boats, but you must keep in mind that a jetboat needs a lot of care to stay in good shape.

If it's in good shape to start with, I believe jetboats (of all kinds, not just Mercury powered ones) actually require LESS maintenance. Mine has taken 2-3 hours to winterize, and nothing else, for each of the six years we've owned it. (This spring I've been doing a mini-overhaul not because anything was wrong, but just because I believe in good maintenance.)

Meanwhile, my friends with "traditional" propped boats bemoan the thousands of dollars they spend every year on all sorts of things, generally associated with their lower units and outdrives. By comparison, jetboats are mechanically very simple - and simple is cheap and easy to maintain.


Engines must be kept in very good working order, use the right oil, often check if everything is ok.

True for all engines in all boats. Not unique to jetboats at all.


the 2001 will have a Mercury engine. Good engine, but when it breaks, it costs a LOT of money. A lot of mercury dealers don,t want to work on them because it's written SPORTJET on them, even tho it's the same engine as an outboard.

I have this exact same boat (2001 C2K) and wouldn't hesitate to buy an exact duplicate if something happened to mine tomorrow. I have had zero problems (and I mean ZERO) finding parts from Mercury and numerous other online sources, getting assistance from Mercury shops, etc.

Question: How many Mercury shops vs. Rotax shops are there in your area? We have two Rotax shops and literally dozens of Mercury shops. While I agree there are more Rotax jetboats out there, there are many hundreds of times more Mercury engines - and as noted, this is just another Mercury outboard engine. Which brand is easier to find support for? Check the phone book....


I've owned an old sportjet (sea-rayder F16) and I'll never buy another marine product with such low aftermarket support.

Totally agree on the F-16. But it had a very early Mercury SportJet, a Force-based engine that I believe they purchased from another engine maker. Support for those did and does suck. The 2000 and beyond SportJets are true Mercury engines, straight out of their outboard lineup. Same parts, same tools, same technician training, same everything. Unlike the F-16's engine, the modern SportJets are not bastardized hybrids.

I wouldn't buy an F-16, SeaRayder, or any other pre-2000 jetboat with an old Mercury engine. But I did, and would again, buy any post-2000 Mercury powered jetboat. I own both Mercury (240EFI) and Rotax (787) powered craft and trust me, I've spent way more time and money keeping the Rotax engines running.

That's a very reasonable price. I'd base the decision on the condition of the boat. Do a search, there are quite a few threads here and elsewhere on evaluating used SportJet powered boats. You can do it yourself with common tools and a couple of hours.

Report back on what you decide!

challenger01
06-06-10, 02:39 AM
I have the chance to buy a family members 01 Challenger 2000 for $8500.

The boat is near perfect in terms of cosmetic with sound system upgrades and a record of professional maintenance. The boat had a hydrosurge issue in 2008 and as a result the Jet Unit, Impeller, wear rings and Impeller housing was replaced as well as the Stator. I have receipts for a complete jet unit replacement by a Sea Doo dealer. The boat was used 3-4 times since the work was done. Is there anything else that I should be concerned with since the jet unit was completely replaced. The engine checked out fine at the time of the work and it seemed to run like new after the work. The boat probably has around 100-150 hours total, maybe less.

It looks like the dealer replaced the hydrosurge grate with a new one, where is the best place to get a fixed 11 tine grate, and are there any guides to the replacement?
Thanks

WAJetboating
06-06-10, 11:13 AM
Is there anything else that I should be concerned with since the jet unit was completely replaced. The engine checked out fine at the time of the work and it seemed to run like new after the work.

Not related to the jetdrive repair. I suspect that was done fine.

I would do a normal engine/jetdrive inspection. Check compression on all six cylinders, inspect the plugs as an indication of internal engine conditions, dip the front and rear impeller shaft lubes to check for metal flakes or water, inspect the control cables and rubber bellows, that sort of thing.


It looks like the dealer replaced the hydrosurge grate with a new one, where is the best place to get a fixed 11 tine grate, and are there any guides to the replacement?

Replacement is easy - four bolts and five minutes. You can order an 11 tine fixed grate through any Mercury dealer or online from numerous sources including this one:

http://www.mercruiserparts.com

It comes with four new bolts, pretreated with threadlocker.

Hope this helps!

challenger01
06-19-10, 12:32 PM
I am going to have a compression test done on a 2001 challenger with 240EFI. It is my sisters boat and has been well taken care of, but we agreed to get this done before the sale.

What compression values should I look for on this boat? What levels would indicate a problem?

Also, I need to replace the hydrosurge grate with a fixed grate. I will run the boat in the rivers of Pittsburgh as well as the surrounding lakes. I don't anticipate a lot of grass, so should I go with a 11 tine or 6 tine fixed?

HOW HARD is the removal and replacement of the grate. A shop estimated $300 to put a fixed 6 tine on and I know that I can find the part for less than $200. Are there any concerns or special tools to remove the grate. I don't have access to the boat at this time so I can't look for myself.

Thanks

WAJetboating
06-20-10, 12:55 AM
What compression values should I look for on this boat? What levels would indicate a problem?

More important than the absolute value is that all cylinders are within ~5% of each other. There are very few compression testers that actually read accurate absolute values, and the ones that do are expensive ($150+).

If you're using a "traditional" compression tester, anything over 100 should be fine. But read ALL cylinders and make certain they're within 5%. That will tell you if the engine has any major internal issues in the cylinders.


Also, I need to replace the hydrosurge grate with a fixed grate. I will run the boat in the rivers of Pittsburgh as well as the surrounding lakes. I don't anticipate a lot of grass, so should I go with a 11 tine or 6 tine fixed?

I ran the numbers and because of the tine shape and profile, the 11 tine stainless grate has lower occlusion than the six tine aluminum.


HOW HARD is the removal and replacement of the grate. A shop estimated $300 to put a fixed 6 tine on and I know that I can find the part for less than $200. Are there any concerns or special tools to remove the grate. I don't have access to the boat at this time so I can't look for myself.

Mindlessly simple, using normal hand tools. Truly a five minute job. You will need metric sockets, but otherwise it's suburban driveway stuff. The new grate even comes with new bolts that have the threadlocker preapplied. Couldn't be any easier. I would be ashamed to pay someone else to do it.

challenger01
06-20-10, 09:33 PM
I have been doing my research and I have to say that this forum has been a great source of information.

Since you own a 2001 challenger 2000, are there any other major issues that I should be aware of regarding this watercraft.

I am buying from my sister, and they never were able to fully use this boat, so it is cosmetically pristine and hopefully mechanically great.

I am going to order and install the 11 tine grate.

How would you rate the difficulty of the jet fluid change? It looks like 2 plugs and pump for the mercury spec lube should take care of that task. How about the stator oil? Are these "suburban driveway" jobs as well?

Other than checking the plugs, changing the grate, stator, and jetdrive lube do I need to perform any other maintenance.

Thanks again,
Brian

WAJetboating
06-20-10, 10:15 PM
How would you rate the difficulty of the jet fluid change? It looks like 2 plugs and pump for the mercury spec lube should take care of that task. How about the stator oil? Are these "suburban driveway" jobs as well?

Yes, I do them in my driveway every year. Don't fret - they're easy. The first time you do the standard winterization, it will take you a little extra time. After that, you'll be familiar with things and it will go fast.

Here are my writeups on winterizing the engine and jetdrive:

http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboat/mercury240efiwinterization.htm

http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboat/mercurym2winterization.htm

These should give you a good idea of what to expect.


Other than checking the plugs, changing the grate, stator, and jetdrive lube do I need to perform any other maintenance.

Read the above. There are two external fuel filters you should replace every year. Very easy and straightforward. Total winterization cost should be under $100 in materials including six new plugs, two new filters, and new front and rear lube.

Read, and if you have any questions just ask!

challenger01
06-21-10, 07:27 AM
I should get the results of the compression test this week.

The entire jet system was replaced in July of 2008, and only used 4-5 at the end of 08 and all of 09. The fluids were not changed at the end of 09 season. Should I change them before running the boat this year (sale won't take place until mid July due to travel issues), or can I wait and do this as part of the winterization process.

Thanks again for all the good guides and advise.

WAJetboating
06-21-10, 11:08 AM
Should I change them before running the boat this year (sale won't take place until mid July due to travel issues), or can I wait and do this as part of the winterization process.

I'd "dip" both lubes (open them up and take a sample) to make sure of the following:

1) There really IS lube in there. Occasionally a dealer forgets to put in new lube, and since there's no external indication the boat is run that way until something destroys itself.

2) The lube isn't contaminated, usually by water. If it has a bad seal, the plug gaskets are leakihg, etc. water can get in and cause the lube to look "foamy" and have swirls in it.

3) There isn't any indication of damage, such as metal flakes or particles.

Checking the front and rear lube is a very basic test that should be performed on ANY SportJet you are considering. (Rotax engines have their own set of minimum tests too.)

Report back!

challenger01
06-30-10, 07:56 PM
Well, its taken some time, but I just was e-mailed the results of the compression test on the 240 efi.

Portside top to bottom 105, 105, 100
Starboard top to bottom 100, 105, 100

The mechanic indicated that these were good numbers for this engine. Do you agree?

The stator and jet lube was checked and showed no signs of contamination or water. It was not changed yet. Can I wait until September before changing the fluids as part of winterization, or should I change them before running it this year.

Do you have an on-line recommendation for ordering the grate, filters and other maintenance items?

Thanks again.

WAJetboating
06-30-10, 08:13 PM
Portside top to bottom 105, 105, 100
Starboard top to bottom 100, 105, 100. The mechanic indicated that these were good numbers for this engine. Do you agree?

Yes, he's probably using a relatively cheap compression tester so the numbers read close to 100. Most cheap testers yield values in the 100 range for this engine. More important is that they are all within 5% of each other. That is very good news.


The stator and jet lube was checked and showed no signs of contamination or water.

More good news!


It was not changed yet. Can I wait until September before changing the fluids as part of winterization, or should I change them before running it this year.

If it was me, I would do a complete annual service on the engine once it was in my possession, since you don't really know its history. Assume nothing and start taking care of it properly yourself.

Start the engine on the hose to confirm it arrived in good shape, then do an annual on it. Complete instructions for both engine and jetdrive are here:

http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboat/mercury240efiwinterization.htm

http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboat/mercurym2winterization.htm


Do you have an on-line recommendation for ordering the grate, filters and other maintenance items?

I don't know if this site has a recommended vendor for Mercury parts. If they do, use them so the site can benefit. If not, you can order anything you need from any Mercury engine shop (most of this engine's parts are shared with numerous other Mercury engines so shops often stock them), or online from:

http://www.mercruiserparts.com/

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with these folks except as a happy repeat customer.

Report back!

challenger01
06-30-10, 10:36 PM
Thanks again for all of your help.

I should be able to get things finished in the purchase within the next few weeks. I am excited and want to get it out, but I also need to take the time and deal with all maintenance issues first.

If you have any other suggestions on getting the most out of the 01 challenger 2000 I am ready to listen.

Thanks again, and I am sure I will be in contact once I complete the sale.

Adam X20
07-02-10, 05:08 PM
Mercury builds more reliable MARINE Engines than Bombardier!
Yes, more expensive to fix, but breaks down less often.....
Merc has been around for a long time and is #1 in Marine.

Also you will get a quieter ride,
Better Fuel Economy,
with Less oil consumption....

Self draining cooling system so if your late winterizing,
you don't have to worry about freeze damage too!

ProbeGT
07-03-10, 01:15 AM
Mercury builds more reliable MARINE Engines than Bombardier!
Yes, more expensive to fix, but breaks down less often.....
Merc has been around for a long time and is #1 in Marine.

Also you will get a quieter ride,
Better Fuel Economy,
with Less oil consumption....

Self draining cooling system so if your late winterizing,
you don't have to worry about freeze damage too!

Year to year comparison, i don,t think so.

in 1994-1998 mercury was offreing a 90HP 3 cylinder sportjet, 120HP 4 cylinder sportjet and 175HP sportjet (1998+)

the 120HP sport jet was barely as fast in a 14' boat than a 85HP rotax.

both 90 and 120HP were VERY loud (yes, i know they were chrysler engines, recycled by Force, then by Mercury. Gaz consumption was high. Lot of powerloss in the drivetrain. Yes, they need less attention than Rotax engines, but they are a lot less powerful for the size. a 787 jet drive weights nothing compared to a 120HP sportjet unit.

as far as the 175, it was faster, but also it was loving gaz, and performed like a 787 engine, maybe a little more.

Then, there's the 200, + series. Very good outboard. In a jetdrive, i don't think a speedster 240 is faster as a 98 with twin 787. Rebuild in a 2.5 or 3 litre merc is very high, a rebuilt in a rotax is cheap. What keeps mercs unit alive is that they don't rev 7000RPM. As far as 4 strokes, Again, BRP started the supercharged game, a small and compact 1.5 liter 3 cylinder engine providing up to 255HP. the big v6 from honda or merc are no match for weight to power ratio. And that 4tec is quite reliable. Self draining cooling is a +. i'll admit.

Think about it, you have 6 wear rings for a rotax unit, for 1 wear ring for a sportjet. The composite jetpump on a rotax unit is corrosion free compared to an aluminum jetpump from a sportjet. Parts are also cheaper, i bought a complete stator assembly for my 787 for 240$. stator assembly for a 175 sportjet (because 90-120 are no longer available) is 875$

if you throw a rod trough your rotax engine, 1200$ and you're done, if you throw a rod trough your mercury unit, you're boat worth nothing because you need 8375$ to put a new engine! Yes, it happens less often in the mercury unit, but IF it happens, good luck.

EDIT : sorry, it's 5000$ for a new engine, 8375 is for a complete sportjet unit.

WAJetboating
07-03-10, 10:58 AM
Then, there's the 200, + series. Very good outboard. In a jetdrive, i don't think a speedster 240 is faster as a 98 with twin 787.

I don't know either, but all else being equal they'd have almost identical horsepower so I wouldn't expect much difference.


Rebuild in a 2.5 or 3 litre merc is very high, a rebuilt in a rotax is cheap.

True, mostly because the 2-stroke Rotax engines are very modular.


Again, BRP started the supercharged game, a small and compact 1.5 liter 3 cylinder engine providing up to 255HP. the big v6 from honda or merc are no match for weight to power ratio.

Here, you're comparing apples to oranges (2-stroke vs. 4-stroke). The 4-stroke engine needs a supercharger to approach the power-to-weight ratio of the 2-strokes. Both the SportJet and the Rotax 2-strokes are about one HP per pound; normally aspirated 4-strokes weigh quite a bit more.

Both engines have their advantages. I own both, use both, and maintain both so I am personally familiar with both. I'm very happy to have my 787's in my jetskis, but I won't be trading my 240EFI SportJet boat for a Rotax powered one! {grin}

ProbeGT
07-03-10, 11:13 AM
My point on the 4 stroke is to show that BRP has always pushed for high performance unlike mercury which is more focused on reliability.

About gaz consumption, then you compare carbs VS EFI, of course carbs will be less economical. Then i'd like to compare WOT GPH per HP for a 951DI VS a merc 240

I remember the 175 carbed V6 not to be the most economical marine engine too. But both engines has their points. I prefer the BRP one because it's cheaper to maintain and i don't have to keep a 5000$ back-up in case of (wich might never happen but it's also true for the rotax)

WAJetboating
07-04-10, 11:51 AM
My point on the 4 stroke is to show that BRP has always pushed for high performance unlike mercury which is more focused on reliability.

I agree, on both counts. BRP definitely squeezes a lot out of their engines, while Mercury might be considered the "ol' reliable" of marine power by comparison. Both have their place.

Perhaps it's less expensive to repair a Rotax because it has to happen so often. Economy of scale and all that. You don't see nearly as many aftermarket refurb manufacturers for Mercury engines as you do Rotax. There must be way more demand for Rotax parts to support that many players, which tells you something about their engines.

Meanwhile, there are FAR more Mercury dealers and shops than Rotax. Virtually every lakeside community has at least one Mercury shop, whereas I read of people having to drive multiple hours to the nearest Rotax place.

I had never made the direct association between performance at the expense of reliability, but I think you're right. It may be the root of those comments by some who say that Mercurys are "REAL boat engines" (implying that Rotax engines are not).

Both have their place. I wouldn't want a dragster engine in my regular car, and I wouldn't want a regular car's engine in my dragster. I expect lots of performance (and lots of maintenance) with a dragster; I expect lots of reliability (and, therefore, lower maintenance) with a regular car.

seadoomike
07-06-10, 02:45 PM
I bought a 2000 last year for $6000.00. So far, its not been to bad of a boat for the price. I like it because no prop, and no oil changes needed.

northernlakesmarine
07-06-10, 11:50 PM
Dont listen to these guys, less maintenance, more fun, excellent boat. I rent them out in Muskoka, Ontario if you'd ever like to try one for a day. Check out www.northernlakesmarine.com. Nonetheless I would definitely recommend a Merc jet drive over props any day.

WAJetboating
07-07-10, 01:55 AM
Check out www.northernlakesmarine.com.

Psst... about that website... you might want to edit a few things. The Sportster 1800 doesn't have a "210hp Mercury Outboard" (it's an inboard jet), and its make is not "Rotaxs" (the boat is made by BRP/Seadoo, the engine is made by Mercury). Likewise the other Mercury powered boats aren't "Rotaxs".

Just a friendly suggestion....

challenger01
07-11-10, 06:49 PM
Well the 2001 Challenger 2000 is finally making its way to my house next weekend, so I ordered the listed filters, high performance gear lube, lube pump and an 11 tine fixed grate.

Since I don't have the boat or grate in my possession at this time, but I want to be ready to work next week, can anybody tell me what I need to remove the hydrosurge grate? I understand I need metric sockets which I am fine with, but I have read that 2 bolts are TORX. Is this correct? Does anybody know what size and is it a socket that I can purchase at SEARS or an auto store.

As far as jet lube is that a flat head screw that needs to be removed?

How about the STATOR?

Anything to be concerned with regarding water separating and fuel filter changes?

Any other suggestions on things needed for maintenance on the boat would be appreciated.

Thanks again

WAJetboating
07-12-10, 02:02 PM
Metric sockets.

Torx bit (I believe it's a T20) for the two rear grate screws. You can get a set of Torx bits from Harbor Freight for a few dollars that will do nicely.

1/4 inch Allen wrench or bit for the plugs on the stator.

Assorted other normal tools that virtually anyone has in a normal toolbox.

challenger01
07-12-10, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the help as always.

I was just out at the local Gander Mountain and they carry Quicksilver PREMIUM 2 cycle ($34/gal), and that is what the previous owner used, but when I went to Wal Mart and they had Quicksilver Premium PLUS (black label $19).

There is about 3/4 of a reservoir full of oil, so I don't need to add any now, but can I use the Q. Silver Premium Plus from WAL MART?

Can I mix the 2 oils or should I wait until the tank drops if switching? Any concerns? Is one a better oil or are they for different applications?

Thanks in advance.

WAJetboating
07-13-10, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the help as always.

I was just out at the local Gander Mountain and they carry Quicksilver PREMIUM 2 cycle ($34/gal), and that is what the previous owner used, but when I went to Wal Mart and they had Quicksilver Premium PLUS (black label $19).

There is about 3/4 of a reservoir full of oil, so I don't need to add any now, but can I use the Q. Silver Premium Plus from WAL MART?

You should use Premium Plus. Only use Premium if Plus isn't available. That's what the manual says to do. I personally found big reductions in smoke and stink when I started using the Plus. The original owner of my boat used el-cheapo WalMart 2-stroke oil.


Can I mix the 2 oils or should I wait until the tank drops if switching? Any concerns? Is one a better oil or are they for different applications?

The difference between the two is that Plus has more additives. I believe it's the same basic oil, so you should be able to mix them in the tank.

challenger01
07-17-10, 11:26 PM
The Challenger has arrived and I did some of the maintenance I had learned about on this site.

I installed the 11 tine grate in 3 minutes. I paid $170 the grate, and some mechanic wanted to install a 6 tine for $300! Glad I found this forum. I never would have paid that if I had seen the boat in person and saw how easy it would be to change.

I also changed the Jet Drive lube. The fluid looked new. It was the greenish blue that looked just like the Quicksilver high performance lube I put back in. That is a really good sign I would assume.

I did not get to the stator yet, it was getting late.

I ordered a water separator filter and a fuel filter.

Are there any tricks with the water separator filter as far as installation and removal of the old one? Any concerns with the sensor?

It looks like the filter I ordered (I used the part # from WAJetboating directions) appears different than the one I received. I don't know if they changed the part since the filter was last replaced?

Thanks again for all the help

WAJetboating
07-18-10, 01:01 AM
I installed the 11 tine grate in 3 minutes. I paid $170 the grate, and some mechanic wanted to install a 6 tine for $300! Glad I found this forum. I never would have paid that if I had seen the boat in person and saw how easy it would be to change.

Welcome to the world of "stealers", um, I mean "dealers". This is one of the two major reasons I do everything I can myself.


I also changed the Jet Drive lube. The fluid looked new. It was the greenish blue that looked just like the Quicksilver high performance lube I put back in. That is a really good sign I would assume.

Indeed. That's great news!


Are there any tricks with the water separator filter as far as installation and removal of the old one? Any concerns with the sensor?

Nope, just do what's logical.


It looks like the filter I ordered (I used the part # from WAJetboating directions) appears different than the one I received. I don't know if they changed the part since the filter was last replaced?

Which filter is different? The inline fuel, or the fuel/water separator? How is it different from the one on the engine now? Please be specific.

challenger01
07-18-10, 07:37 PM
Welcome to the world of "stealers", um, I mean "dealers". This is one of the two major reasons I do everything I can myself.



Indeed. That's great news!



Nope, just do what's logical.



Which filter is different? The inline fuel, or the fuel/water separator? How is it different from the one on the engine now? Please be specific.

It was the in-line filter. The one on the boat was black and appeared to be smaller, but I was able to install the quicksilver 35-889615.

I also changed the fuel water separator filter. That one looked pretty dirty. I don't know when that one was last changed.

I am glad to get fresh filters in before I start to run it.

WAJetboating
07-18-10, 10:20 PM
It was the in-line filter. The one on the boat was black and appeared to be smaller, but I was able to install the quicksilver 35-889615.

My original was black too. Every replacement since has been stainless. They work fine.


I also changed the fuel water separator filter. That one looked pretty dirty. I don't know when that one was last changed.

Yes, some people just drain them. I replace both external filters every single year. Cheap insurance!

challenger01
07-20-10, 12:48 AM
I probably should post this as a separate issue, but I just got the challenger out on the lake and it ran great, but the Gas Gauge is reading no gas, when the tank is 3/4 full. It never moved all day. The tach, speedometer and red oil light are functional, but not the gas gauge.

Last month the previous owner had it into a shop to replace the oil reservoir cap and sensor and do the compression check. The meter worked last season, but they don't remember if it worked before going to the shop this season since they did not use it.

I also just changed the fuel/water separator as well as the inline fuel filter. Is there a sensor that may be disconnected?

Everything else seemed great except for my low speed maneuvering skills at the trailer and dock. I guess that will come with practice.

WAJetboating
07-20-10, 02:40 AM
My gas gauge finally stopped working last season too. Most of the time it's the sending unit in the fuel tank. Technically repairable (search for articles), but since I have to open the engine compartment to turn the battery switch anyway I just do a visual on the tank at the start and end of each day.

Therefore, I yanked the gas gauge and replaced it with a depth sounder that uses a two inch gauge. Looks almost OEM and gives me a new feature that is far more useful than a mediocre fuel gauge!