£700 to find a fault - midlifecrisis
My brother in law tried to jump start a 1999 Mazda 323 auto recently after is daughter left the interior light on and flattened the battery. It refused to start. Being a naive sort of fellow he got it to a Mazda main dealer, asked them if they knew what could be wrong. "Leave it with us" was the reply.

They subsequently and supposedly took 15 hours to find the fault as a defective ECU. In jump starting the auto box Mazda it damaged said ECU. The dealer 'genorously' reduced the cost of FINDING the fault to £700. They then quoted a further £2000 to fix it.

Horrified, he did a bit of digging and has found this to be a common problem when trying to jump start an auto box Mazda. He feels he's been well and truely taken for a ride.

Question is, does he have any redress. I personally think £700 is a complete rip-off in order to FIND a fault.
£700 to find a fault - Martin Devon
Go to dealer and ask to see the job sheet whilst you are there. There and then. NOT coming back to see it when it has been written/re-written. Will speak with Mazda. Will speak with Trading Standards. EVERYBODY in business has, "A duty of care", whether they like it or not. If they had 'realised' it would be such an expensive job then perhaps they should have contacted the client. In my exp' all electrical faults can be found within 30 minutes by a competent operator of the correct equipment. Their bill will not stand up in court. And I hope that I am still correct when I say that they have no right whatsoever to retain any vehicle against an unpaid bill, whether spurious or not. (Pugugly?)

V V B R.................................................MD
£700 to find a fault - Hamsafar
If the contract was "leave it with us" and you did, then that's that, no money need change hands, as no money was mentioned by either party (esp. foolish of them, not you).
£700 to find a fault - Number_Cruncher
>>In my exp' all electrical faults can be found within 30 minutes by a competent operator of the correct equipment.

I can't agree with the "all electrical faults", if you had said many, or most, then, OK, but some electrical faults can be extremely difficult to trace - even if they aren't intermittent.

Intermittent faults, of course, are the very devil to find.

For the OP, I think that the garage should have spent an hour or so trying to find the fault, and then called the customer to agree a way foreward once they knew it wasn't going to be a quick or cheap fix.

If it were my car, I would hope that the garage would be able to make themselves and me sure that a new ECU would fix the fault before fitting it. Depending upon the cost of the ECU, I would be happy to pay for some appropriate diagnostic time to make sure - but not more than about 40% of the cost of the ECU


£700 to find a fault - Altea Ego
So they took 15 hours to find a fault.

One would start by telling them you are going to question the training, skills and ability of its workshop staff with Mazda head office, and consider based on this evidence, if they are fit to hold the franchise.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
£700 to find a fault - stunorthants
It doesnt take 15 hours to plug in a lap top. Also, it is good practice to contact the customer before embarking on '£2000' worth of work and nobody is going to think its realistic.
£700 to find a fault - Pugugly {P}
As a friend said when his MX5 went in for some expensive work "that's like in Yen is it ?"
£700 to find a fault - P 2501
That is appalling. Everytime i hear the words - "we think its the ECU" i smell a rat instantly.

Contact Mazda uk on this one.
£700 to find a fault - Collos25
It normally is.
£700 to find a fault - DP
One of my former colleagues was told that running his company 406 HDi out of fuel had damaged the ECU.

When the fleet manager (blatantly not having a bar of it) queried it with the dealer, she was told "it's alright, we've got around it this time, but we probably won't if it happens again!"

Funny smell in the air that day.....

£700 to find a fault - mike hannon
What does your b-i-l think he did wrong then, midlifecrisis?
Surely jumping an autobox car isn't a problem is it? At least I hope it isn't - I have two (both Hondas) and have always carried the jump leads as a matter of course. I've used one of the cars to jump start another without any problem as well.
What is there that I don't know?
£700 to find a fault - bell boy
you want to see what the handbook for the car specifies ,all modern cars seam to be different .I put a punto into meltdown last year by rushing.
with regards the original car question i would source another 323 auto and swap the bits over (from a damaged write off)
There was a story on here earlier this year regarding a passat auto that cost £900 for the ecu auto brain that was cooked by a fast fit tyre bay wasnt there?someone went to court and succesfully got their money back?
£700 to find a fault - mfarrow
Surely jumping an autobox car isn't a problem is it?

No, It's jump starting any car with an ECU, as oldman says. Has been mentioned in the backroom before. When I needed a jump start a couple of months back, I made a point of making the donor turn on the rear windscreen and headlights (probably overkill!) to prevent voltage spikes damaging his car on disconnection.

Mike Farrow
£700 to find a fault - stunorthants
I jump started hundreds of cars, all makes and models near enough, from little Fiats to Rolls-Royces and never heard of damage to ECU's as a result - personally id trickle charge a battery overnight and then start it, but thats just me. In all the years I worked for a Rover dealer, I never heard of a replacement ECU being done either and my dealer wasnt afraid to expand the odd job if the customer was rude.
£700 to find a fault - Lud
Good advice stu to trickle charge the battery and reinstall it (although that sometimes involves tiresome resetting operations with modern cars). You aren't supposed to push or bump start them because it may damage the catalyser, so what else can you do but jump them if you're in a hurry? Why should it damage the ECU? Is there no way of building in some form of protection? Probably there is, but car firms don't want to lose the, say, £2.50 average cost of installing it....

The OP's story is absolutely outrageous. Daylight robbery and hardly to be believed.
£700 to find a fault - bell boy
yes lud you use a surge protector it does what it says on the can but most jump leads/starter charges dont have these fitted,look at it another way at work i have a secret electricity supply for my cameras/alarm and when i get to work on a morning i flick the main switch in my fuse box and then turn the seperate circuits on one at a time,why? because that way the electricity is allowed to flow into the circuits rather than surge,the end result? bulbs dont blow,compressor doesnt suddenly kick up etc etc saves money saves time saves the enviroment and im sure a whale somewhere in the world............
and if i had an ecu somewhere saves that from the splurge as well..... :)
£700 to find a fault - local yokel
Jump starting advice from an article in the Telegraph last September.


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