Forum Chat #59 – What to do with failed electronic modules and where to buy parts?

Back to videos

Welcome to BamfordRose and its forum chat time. This week I’ve picked up on two forum chats, which both talk about parts. First one someone writes a quick question, “who do people use for parts other than main dealers?”

So, if you wanted to buy parts to fix your own Aston Martin at home, then you have to buy parts from a franchise dealer. There are 20 in the UK and there’s probably only HWM Walton-on-Thames, that is the only deer that is really geared up to supply people with parts because they have a parts counter and they have several people working behind it and a huge warehouse full of parts. Many of the other franchise dealers are not really geared up to sell parts, don’t have a parts counter. And if you want anything more than a filter, a brake, pad or a consumable, then you don’t carry it in stock.

There are a couple of independent alternatives selling Aston bits, places like Scuderia for example. I often find that these places sell at the RRP being charged by the dealer. So, you’re of no benefit whatsoever going to an independent place to get your parts rather than somewhere like HWM.

But also, I want to say, be very careful about the warranty. If you purchase a part which you fit yourself, then that part goes wrong and it was a manufacturing defect, it was an installation defect, then you’re going to have to rely on the goodwill of whoever sold you those parts to take that part back under warranty and issue you a replacement; where an independent such as ourselves, we would sell the part at the factory RRP price and because our parts consumption across a year is humongous, we have a very good working relationship with our parts supplier. And if we identify a part which has failed under a warranty period, then it’s taken back without question. Meaning that we can supply a replacement part under warranty and we take the labour on the chin to remove and refit the part.

Our core business is in the workshop and I don’t want to get involved with selling parts and I’m just identifying the best place for you to buy your parts from and that’s concerning new parts. Perhaps you might want to consider a second-hand part. Now you might consider a secondhand part because you’ve got no choice. I mean Aston Martin at the moment are in a little bit of chaos in their part supply and many many parts are on backorder. So, to keep a car on the road you might consider a second-hand part. Normally I would advise against any second-hand part. You just don’t know how it’s been used, how it’s been removed, what the durability, reliability of that part is.

You’ve also got to consider should you fit the part and encounter a problem with it, how receptive whoever sold it to you would be to issuing a refund or replacement? Lamps, door modules, any other commonly replaced component that you find on the second-hand market you’d have to question why it was on the secondhand market to start with. You don’t want to be buying a part that’s got exactly the same problem as the part that you’re taking off your car.

I quite often find that the places selling second hand parts are selling them at extortionate prices. In some cases, it’s not too far off the price of a brand-new part. So, in most cases, I think second hand parts is a false economy and I’d always be picking up the phone to that franchise dealer I recommended earlier and buying a new part.

Whilst on the subject of parts, parts commonly fail are electronic modules. Here’s a pic of a failed convertible roof module and here’s a post of someone asking what to do about ABS pump. Obviously, this chap has been told that he’s got a failed ABS pump and he thought it was just a mechanical type ABS pump, but it’s not. There’s a lot of electronics in that ABS unit, that ABS module, and he’s asking if it can be fixed, reprogrammed, instead of buying a new one. Abs pumps are very expensive. I think they’re about 900 pounds plus VAT. There are thereabouts. And they do fail. It’s not a common failure but it does happen.

When you plug the laptop in, the fault code reported is the control module failure and you can’t see it on the canned communication network. That ABS module is fundamentally the same part that’s in a jag XK8. And perhaps, you can get the jag apart for a couple of hundred quid off of a second-hand market somewhere, stick it on the Aston, maybe the software will reflash and it works. That’s nothing that we would do here. I mean there’s a lot of liability potential with brakes and all we would ever do is fit the standard factory parts. Unfortunately, if there’s an internal electronic failure with your ABS module, then you have to get a replacement and I’d advise a new one.

But there’s another question asked about the roof module and this is the same with door modules, what is the type of failure? Can they be reworked instead of throwing them away and buying a new one? When the door modules start to fail, if you tested them away from the car, you can often see that the pulse that’s being sent to the window drop or the latch motor to lock the door is very very weak. Those modules always communicate on the can network and you can just see that the signal that they’re outputting is very weak. When you put a new type door module on, you can see it fire the latch motor and operate the window drop with much more strength. That indicates that it’s probably possible to rebuild that door module because it’s communicating on the can network, it’s just its signal outputs are weak. At this stage we don’t get involved with rebuilding because a door module is approximately 235 pounds plus VAT, meaning that if the cost of a rebuild came in at 100 or something like that, then for the extra 150 pounds you’ve got a 12 month warranty and those newer type door modules seldom go wrong.

With the roof module, when you plug in with the diagnostic laptop, you always find that the CAN communication network isn’t talking to the module, so there’s no inputs, outputs from that module at all. It’s completely dead. It’s not like the door module that was actually communicating and working in a weak way. So, that would need to go to a repairer that was specialist in repairing the CAN communication network protocol. But again, with the roof, if you were to take that module that had been repaired by someone, you’d then taken the car across to Europe and you were using it on a summer holiday and your roof stopped working is incredibly annoying.

The latest modules from Aston are evolved superseded parts, and whether it be a roof module or door module, I can’t say that in the past we’ve ever changed an upgraded part. The roof module is much more expensive at 450 pounds plus VAT, but even so, there could be a good saving on repairing that module. I just wouldn’t want to live with the risk of the repair part going wrong and the annoyance that that causes to the customer when the car is in use.

What would be really helpful or what even should be the case if you consider front headlamp LEDs on V8 Vantage going wrong. Rear lamps condensating and failing the LEDs door modules, roof modules, if the factory made those parts available for the price that they bought them at from their supplier, then that would ease the pain of current owners in after sales. Rear lamps blow quite frequently and they’re 630 pounds plus VAT each. The LED strip on the headlamp blows quite frequently and that’s 300 pounds plus VAT each. On both of those parts, I would expect the factory to bind them in for no more than 200-300 hundred pounds individual piece price. So, a lot of the problems and the cost to fix these commonly seen failures would be solved if the factory just sold those parts a bit less of a markup.

Hope you enjoyed the forum chat. As ever, it always helps us if you can like, comment and subscribe to our channel. We’ll see you on the next forum chat.

Want more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel for regular updates!

Our channel