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Author Topic: Mazda won't service truck with ham rig installed  (Read 1507 times)
AA4PB
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« on: March 06, 2006, 06:15:48 PM »

I've been having an on-going problem with the idle on my Mazda PU dropping too low when the engine is hot, sometimes causing the engine to stall out. I took it into the dealer today and they were finally able to duplicate the problem. Then they informed me that the big #10 power wires I had going from the "CB" radio was "sucking" all of the voltage out and not leaving enough for the engine to run correctly. I asked if they had measured the voltage at the battery. They said yes, it was 380 Amps. The bottom line is that they refuse to service my vehicle until I remove the "after market" radio and all of the associated wiring. Then they charged me $85 for labor to check it out.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006, 06:39:27 PM »

If it were mine, I would buy a good OBD II Code reader. Auto Zone, WalMart, and others sell all manner of them. I bought one from Auto Zone on sale for $88 ($129 regular price). It will even store the codes (no battery needed). The OBD will tell you when the idle is going haywire.

Assuming this is in Open Loop (warm engine), with no air and minimal accessory load, and based on my experience with Ford products, I suspect it is the IAC (Idle Air Control) valve. I'd have to look up the code, but if you buy one of the readers, the info will come with it. The IAC is sort of a double edged sword. The mixture is enriched by the EEC, the IAC is suppose to open slightly, and when it doesn't the engine dies due to the over rich condition. This too will show up in the codes. Just because the Check Engine light isn't on, doesn't mean much in this case.

The TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) could also be the problem. If it is, the Check Engine would have come on.

One more thing. If this was my dealer, I'd do my best to find another one. The other thing I'd do, is call Ford's hot line (the number in on their web site). Have all of your numbers with you when you call, and lodge a complaint. Ford (Mazda and every other company Ford owns) doesn't put up with this sort of careless customer service.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KI6LO
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006, 09:28:22 PM »

I agree with Alan. Lodge a complaint and specifically identify the dork who claims to be a technician. From what you have said, he doesn't seem to know his keester from a hole in the ground. When you ask a specific question about voltage levels and the tech replies with 380 Amps, that tells me he needs to go back to automotive tech school because he must have been absent that semester, hihi.

I have a code reader for my 1989 Ford Ranger and have fixed many problems since buying it. Some the shop could not even identify. Best $40 I ever spent.

Gene KI6LO
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 06:08:52 AM »

I have a code reader. It is not setting any codes or causing the check engine light to come on. I stopped by an independent shop that I often deal with and the gal behind the desk said they fixed a Mazda PU with the same complaint last month and it was the idle air control motor. She seemed to have picked up more answering the phone and writing work orders than the Mazda service tech did in school :-) I dropped the truck off to them this morning.

I fully intend to write a letter to the owner of the Mazda dealer. This is the third vehicle I've purchased from them and it could well be the last. I've always been very pleased with their "low pressure" sales department but never had to deal with their service before other than little routine stuff.

About a year after I got the truck the ignition switch went bad - wouldn't turn to the ACC position. The service person told me that these new vehicles no longer have an ACC position. That's funny because for a year I've been turning this switch to the ACC position to listen to the radio. No she said, I was wrong. They did away with the ACC position several years ago. I had to go get my manual and show her where it said to turn the switch to the ACC position to listen to the radio. Then they replaced the switch under warrantee.
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W3LK
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 08:13:35 AM »

Bob,

From the problems you have had with that dealer's service department, it sounds like you need to complain, not to the manager of the dealer, but to Mazda's regional service rep. The dealer is required to give you his name and phone number(s) on request.

Every time over the past 40 years I have had dealer problems, a call to the regional reps got the problem solved in short order.

73,

Lon W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
K7SU
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 03:38:25 PM »

Sounds like the service tech was the same guy who, back in the CB days, trimmed his microphone cable to get the best signal out!   :>)

Kelly
K7SU
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 04:42:22 PM »

Well if your battery voltage is 380 Amps, that's half the problem right there.

I'd ask the service tech if it was okay if I tested my new jumper cables on his necklace, make sure all those 380 Amps are really there.
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KC2MMI
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 12:27:28 PM »

Fully agreed, you need to complain, in sequence, to:
1-The dealer principal, i.e. the guy who owns the dealership, or the top manager of that location if it is part of a chain. The dealer principal knows that he will lose brownie points every time someone registers a complaint with the Zone Office, most of them will try to solve the problem without that happening.

2-The Mazda "Zone Office", the regional office for your area. Phone number should be in your manual, if not the dealer is required to give it to you.
3-And if the problem persists, the Federal Trade Commission. Years ago, in the 60's/70's, auto dealers tried to say that their warranties were voided if there was any third-party "stuff" involved. The FTC and the federal courts rules that to be illegal competition against trade, and the auto makers are all well aware that they are STILL required to provide warranty support. If, and only if, they can prove that the 3rd party "stuff" caused the problem, they can charge you for that as being an out-of-warranty repair.

But since the mechanic replied "AMPS" when you asked how many volts, and you are FCC licensed and tested (i.e. arguably an expert<G>) on this...you have good reason to complain to Mazda that the dealer service personnel don't know what they are doing, and they should be sent out for retraining.

Zone Offices, for all car makers, usually have special technical staff whose job is to go around to the various dealerships and solve the problems that the dealers can't. Ask for an appointment with a mechanic from the zone office, tell them the dealership has no qualified personnel--if you have to go above the dealer principal.

Since the problem happens when the radio is not in use, the presence of your radio power cables physically CANNOT be the problem. But...why not remove them anyway, just to prove that? (Or, assuming the cables are properly fused, just pull the fuse/s.) Two bolts, voila, problem is still there and they still have to do the warranty work. AND pay you back for the failed diagnostic.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 12:36:15 PM »

Alan hit the nail on the head. I took it to an independent shop who replaced the idle air motor and mass air flow sensor. The truck idles exactly right for the first time in two years - and no more oil pressure guage problems.
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N0MLR
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2006, 03:44:56 PM »

I can feel for you and the problems you have had. The advice that you were given here was first rate.
I had a Mazda Protege and the oil pump went out. I had it replaced at a local shop. The oil pump was a larger gear about the size of a tea cup and a smaller gear that ran inside it. The bill to get that pump replaced was $440.00 which was a couple huindred less than the dealer quoted me.
Never again will I own a vehicle other than American Made. Chevy or maybe Dodge and never a Ford. I can buy a Oil Pump for the Chevy Truck I own for $40.00 and a couple hours labor to put it in. The oil pump alone for the Mazda was $285.00.
Yeah I know the argumant that "well the Ty'otas and all the other Jap junk does not need repairs for a long time". Well Maybe....But look out when they do because you are going to pay dearly for all of em.
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HAWKDOME
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2006, 08:07:14 AM »

don'ttop thete. Also write the area service rep and everyone above him, including the president of Mazda. The dealer will ignore you if this is not done, but if his bosses get a hold of him, there will be results.
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KI4ENS
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2006, 08:20:51 AM »

Also a different method is to contact the sales department.  let them know in no uncertain terms that if this is not resolved, there will not be a 4th Mazda purchased.
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AD0AC
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2006, 08:21:16 PM »

I have a much easier way of dealing with dealers like this:

Never darken their door again.

Seriously, spending YOUR time calling up various hotlines and agencies really isn't going to accomplish much other than wasting your time. Simply pay them back by refusing to do business with them any longer. Problem solved.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2006, 05:39:38 AM »

I agree.

Find another dealer to do the service or even an independent.  

You might want to try some mazda forums because many times they have dealer techs and staff posting in them (not in an official capacity) and they may be able to give you some advice for getting around some of the people you may encounter.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2006, 05:07:11 PM »

Well, I sent a letter off to the dealer management. Yesterday I got a call from the #2 man at the dealership. He agreed that it should have been handled under warrentee a long time ago. They are sending me a check for what they and Mazda would have paid for the parts and labor under a warrenty repair plus their $85 service charge (a total of about $350).
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