Recently I wrote about my little 2005 Mazda 3 clicking over 300,000km. Well, it turns out I was lucky to make it that far!
I was making a routine check under the bonnet and discovered the throttle cable was badly worn and frayed, literally hanging on by a thread. I had been putting off getting the car serviced (because that takes time and money) for a while, and instead just topping up the oil and keeping an eye on the other fluids, but seeing the throttle cable in that state meant I couldn’t put off the workshop visit any longer.
A check back through the service history revealed the car had actually done 70,000km since the last service. Oh dear! That just goes to show how reliable my Mazda has been. In fact, over the eleven years I’ve owned it, the only problems have been a front strut replaced, two air-con compressors. the boot release and lots of head light globes. The drivetrain, despite my lake of service maintenance, has been pretty reliable.
Rather than go to the Mazda dealer, I decide to call a local workshop and book in the car for a major service and throttle cable replacement. I ask the guy to order in a new cable so they have it ready, but he says they will work it out once they see the car.
When I drop the car off a few days later, I remind him again about the throttle cable and he says they will give me a call to confirm once they check it out. A few hours later they phone to say the service is done and I really should get the car serviced more often. “Ok” I say, “what about the throttle cable?” To which they reply; ” your car has an electronic throttle, so there is no cable”. Hmmm! I tell them to check again. I get another call around ten minutes later to say “I see what you mean, your car is too dangerous to drive with the cable like that, we will have to order a new one for you and it will take a couple of days to get here”. So I remind this genius that I told him three days earlier to order the cable. He does apologise, but goes on to tell me the cable and installation will be an extra $330.
It’s no wonder I’m so reluctant to hand over my car to the mechanics!