Fiat Panda - Is £225 diagnostic fee for my 2008 Fiat Panda ok? - lovemypanda

My 2008 Fiat Panda (25k mileage) wouldn't start, although battery was okay. Green flag man thought it was crankshaft sensor. Took it to Halfords, Sydenham who said they couldn't connect it to their computer so thought something was wrong with the ECU. They told me i needed to talk it to a fiat dealership and they didn't charge me any diagnostic fee. I took it to Ancaster Bromely road, who phoned me up after the initial £50 diagnositc check and said their computer was coming up blank and they needed to spend more hours on it to the cost of £225. At the time i had already moved the car twice and didn't feel i had much choice. So i said okay. They phoned me back to say there was water in the ECU and wiring at it would cost me £2700 pounds to fix. This in effect meant my car was a write off. I took the car away and went to the garage at the end of the road where it was stationed. The guy there cleaned up the top of the ECU, fixed a corroded pin and it works.

My question is, is it correct that they charged me £225 to diagnose this problem?

Any advice really appreciated. I feel as a women who knows nothing about cars, they could have told me anything.

Fiat Panda - Is £225 diagnostic fee for my 2008 Fiat Panda ok? - Galaxy

Unfortunately, probably yes, but I would certainly ask them for a complete breakdown of what they did for £225 if you don't already have it. You did give then the OK to proceed with the £225 further check so it might be difficult to dispute it now.

Lesson here is to avoid places like Halfords and certainly avoid main dealers.

Out of interest, I wonder how much the garage at the end of the road charged you for the repair?

You could always go back to the main dealer, tell them what the garage at the end of your road did to fix your car and what it cost, and ask for a refund of the £225! I very much doubt whether you would get one but it never hurts to ask.

Thank goodness you had the sense not to ask the main dealer to fix it!

Fiat Panda - Is £225 diagnostic fee for my 2008 Fiat Panda ok? - gordonbennet

£225 is easily arrived at if someone has spent a couple of hours tinkering about at a main dealer, whether you got value for that money is debatable, but it would have been just the same for any man as it's been for you.

Honda diagnosed a faulty airbag passenger side of daughters car, going to be well over £1000 fitted, my little sparky chap rewired it for £35.

The joys of modern cars and why they have such a limited life expectancy.

What i would suggest is, if he hasn't done so already, to get the mechanic who fixed it (who sounds a gem) to smear some sort of waterpoofing over the offending ECU connections and maybe seal it all inside a plastic bag to prevent a reoccurence.

Fiat Panda - Is £225 diagnostic fee for my 2008 Fiat Panda ok? - hardway

Try seeing it this way....

had you gone to say less competent garages you would have without adoubt paid for several unneeded new parts,

been stuck with huge bills and still the same fault.

Eventually taken it to the dealers and probably got thesame bill


Okay their soulution was on the arghh side,

But from my standpoint Fiat have done an excellent job.

Net result was you being able to go to your very good mechanic and get the deaer diagnosed fault fixed for a fraction.

Be calm,

be happy,

Ive seen very similar problems where owners have spent HUNDREDS of pouns to no good result before getting a professional diagnosis.

Any fool can buy a code reader,

actually understanding it and the system is a different matter.

Believe me this is a good result.

Fiat Panda - Is £225 diagnostic fee for my 2008 Fiat Panda ok? - A3 A4

Any fool can diagnose an ECU, changing a main PCB in virtually any piece of electrical equpment will cure most elecrtrical faults and any one can do it.

Board changing is the name of the game these days, the clever guys are those who can diagnose and repair to component level.

Manufacturers tech deprtments keep a log of faults and their fixes and also have that database to hand.

Edited by A3 A4 on 24/10/2015 at 17:10

Fiat Panda - Is £225 diagnostic fee for my 2008 Fiat Panda ok? - A3 A4

Had a simlar experience with my 8yo gas boiler, the manufacturer appointed agent told me parts were not availble, and quoted me for a new boiler @ £2500, a second guy told me it wanted a new control PCB @£169 plus labour and a third guy fitted an exchange PCB for £34.

OK I paid three lots of call out but I still avoided a new boiler.


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