GT V6 immobiliser fault - new ECU?
I have a 2004 GT 3.2 V6 with an immobiliser fault. Lovely car and first time its gone wrong.
I don't drive it that often (or far) and recently the battery has been a bit dodgy. Recharged the battery a few weeks back and started fine.
Then last Sat (at its MOT) it came up with Immobiliser Failure on the dashboard.
I disconnected the battery for about an hour. Then reconnected and tried again (with a different set of keys) and the car started no problems. I noted the positive terminal of the battery was loose (but haven't yet fixed). Not sure the strength of the battery but probably not great.
Then same thing happened next day. Disconnecting battery didn't seem to fix it. As the car was at a garage (Kwik Fit) I called RAC. They tried shorting the battery terminals and also disconnecting. They also looked around steering column (for antennae?) but no luck. Got car towed to Alfa main dealer.
They have diagnosed an ECU fault and say I need a whole new ECU (cost of about £1000 + labour!).
I haven't seen their diagnostics but am I rightly skeptical that it is definitely this? I've never had any previous dashboard errors in 2 years I've owned it.
Questions I have are:
- what simple checks should the main dealer have carried out first? Battery, fuses, etc? I want to make sure they haev ruled out simple stuff first
- if it is an ECU failure can I not get it repaired or reconditioned? ECU Testing.com look like they either recondition an ECU or can even bypass immobiliser failures? Any experience of using them, and is it a simple job for me to remove and refit an ECU (e.g. any other work required)?
- anyone recommend an auto electrician in the Chelmsford area that can provide a decent 2nd opinion/diagnosis?
The car is sitting in the main dealer so I will need to get it towed somewhere, so my options are quite limited.