I agree Elizabeth...for lack of a cap, the ECM was lost. Such a simple fix on the surface but like my Daddy used to say - if you do know, it's awfully simple...if you don't know, it's simply awful. David did a great job and saved big bucks doing it.
My husband told me a story about when he used to work in a T.V. repair shop many years ago. People would bring in their T.V. for repair and the old guy that owned the shop knew every make and model circuit board inside out and could locate the problem in minutes. Sometimes it was just a bad cap and the repair took just 15 minutes. He would have my husband tell the customer it wouldn't be ready until the next day...if people had to pay $50 for a repair and got it back in 15 minutes, they would feel as if they had been ripped off - never mind the years of experience and knowledge that allowed the guy to diagnose and fix the problem so quickly. So I think there needs to be a balance...people shouldn't fleece their customers, yet they should get paid a fair price for the knowledge they have worked to obtain. But charging someone $1400 for a $300 part is ridiculous. It reminds me of hay prices for our horses during drought. Charging $125 for a round bale is just flat taking advantage of people...for some reason people think that a limited supply gives them a right to huge profits rather than fair prices...okay - off my soapbox now...
Oh, please tell me that they weren't using standard temperature parts under the hood!
One company I worked for needed a 12-24V DC/DC converter and found an automotive device that was 6-12V (old Volkswagons were 6V). The decision was to burn in the 6-12V converter at full load for 24 hours and if it survived we used it. In all my years there I think only one ever failed, and the only field failures were in units that were abused and had the fuses defeated.
Having worked with OEM and Tier 2 suppliers in the 90's, the drive for them was (and still is) reducing costs. I am sure that the supplier of the Mazda ECM was trying to reduce costs and may have been mandated by hte OEM to 'find' a certain percentage of savings to 'keep' the business. At least that has been my experience in that time frame.
In fairness, the original caps may have met the testing requirements and was not seen as an issue. Afterall, they did last 10 years for you. Read the latest Boeing report here at DN and you can appreciate the need for better testing/certification specifications. Had Mazda thought of the temperature issues you point out, they may have tested more stringently.
Stories like this always make me wish I was one of those people who was more mechanically inclined. It's amazing how much money you can save by doing it yourself when it comes to thinks like fixing a vehicle, and how much you can get fleeced by a dealer or a mechanic's shop. This is not only a clever fix, it also sounds like it saved David from buying an entirely new truck.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.