Bongo Archives 4

This is where you can find responses to all the enquiries that nurse has received over the years here at the Bongo Clinic. We have broken the information down into categories.

Please select the category you require.

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Fuel, Exhaust, Emissions

Q: Will fuel filler caps from other vehicles fit the Bongo? (Steve from Sheffield)

A: The VW Golf (all versions) filler cap is an exact match. If it is for a petrol Bongo make sure it is a “vented” type.

Q: I see that E10 fuel is now available at my local forecourt. Is it safe to use in my Bongo? (Claire from Buxton)

A: If you have a V6 Bongo then we recommend that you continue to use E5 fuel if available, although E10 should not cause any harm if a fuel additive (such as Lucas Ethanol Guard) is used. The same applies to 2 litre Bongos up to chassis numbers SGEW-503208 and SGE3-400091 when a new engine was introduced. On these later models you can use E10 fuel without any problems.

Q: I need a new Lambda sensor for my V6 but the genuine Mazda ones are ridiculously expensive. Are there any after-market alternatives? (Anna from Coleraine)

A: This is from a recent Facebook discussion: “Denso universal sensor DOX-0109 works but you will need to splice your existing plug to the new sensor. In line splices and anti seize grease are supplied with the new sensor. The hardest part is disconnecting the plug on top of the transmission!”

Q: Can you clarify the emissions criteria for petrol Bongos when undertaking an MOT test? There seem to be conflicting views on this (Clive from Buxton)

A: If a vehicle was originally built with 6 more seats (as all Bongos were) then it should NOT be classified as a passenger car and different emissions standards apply. For vehicles “first used” up to 1 September 2002 a non-cat test should be given where CO emissions should be less than 3.5% and the HC limit is 1200 ppm. For later Bongos a full cat test should be given.

Q: I have been having difficulty starting my diesel Bongo. I have changed fuel filter, cleaned the banjo filter, and checked for perished O rings on the fuel pump but I am still not getting a good fuel supply. Could it be the fuel lines? (Bubbles from Ayrshire)

A: Northern Bongolow says “There is a filter on the end of the pickup pipe inside the tank Undo the pipe before the filter housing and gently blow back to the tank. Be gentle or you may blow the pickup filter off the end of the pickup tube. It’s best to do it with a low filled fuel tank and have the vehicle level, blow back to the tank then suck back up to prime the pipe. Enjoy the taste of diesel…..”

Q: Where’s the fuel filter situated on a V6 Bongo? (Tim from Broadway)

A: You access it from under the van.  It’s on the offside, in line with the drivers door. It’s bolted to the floor with a bracket. It’s a round cannister and has a straight pipe on one end, an angled pipe on the other. If you’re not sure you’ve found it, follow the fuel pipes down from under the drivers seat to the filter.

Q: I’ve hear somewhere that using bio-diesel can harm your engine if you store your Bongo for the winter with fuel still in the tank. Is this correct?(Bernard from Crickhowell)

A: Not quite true, but nearly! It is now a requirement for all diesel fuel providers to incorporate 10% of bio-diesel in their products, usually ethanol based. The problem with ethanol is that if it remains staionery in the fuel lines for too long it turns to a cake like substance and can jam up your fuel system. So if you are storing the Bongo for any length of time, make sure that the engine is tuned over at least weekly.

Q: Help! My fuel filler flap won’t work! I think it’s something to do with the mechanism thingy down by the driver’s knee. Any ideas? (Nick from Thornbury)

A: You can access it from the inside of the van, as long as you don’t have a kitchen unit fitted. Just remove the rear cup holder by means of a Philips screw and follow the black cable down to the release mechanism and pull on the linkage…

Q: I am thinking of getting my 2.0 litre petrol Bongo converted to LPG. What kind of performance will I get from the conversion? (Ingrid from Motherwell)

A: Member David Street has been keeping records, and reckons that as long as the air filter is changed regularly, you will average about 20 mpg (excluding petrol phased starting).

Q: I’ve read elsewhere that if the fuel gauge stops working, it may be a case of cleaning the contacts on the sender unit? But where can I find it? (Harry from Potters Bar)

A: It is under the carpet, on the driver side, midway between the middle and rear seats. Also check the contact between the tank connector and top plate. There is a fact sheet in the member’s area.

Q: My van is only averaging 15 mpg. I have changed the filters, but it’s still no good. I have the model with the winter starting kit and the ‘engine fast heat’ switch. Could this be related? (Ron from Sarf London)

A: Check that the valve in the exhaust has not jammed. This can happen with age or accumulation of muck. There is a silver rod going into the exhaust section. When the switch is depressed there is an electrical click and the rod slowly revolves. When the switch is flipped back the rod quickly rotates back to its original position. (Thanks to ‘berrega’).

Q: I recently bought a new centre section for my exhaust, but managed to sheer one of the bolts off. Do you know the replacement sizes? (Eric from Doncaster)

A: The bolts are 12mm in diameter with a shank length of 45mm.

Q: Any ideas how to remove the carpet for accessing the fuel sender panel on the fuel tank please? I know roughly where the panel is but the carpet seems well and truly fixed. (Nick from Liverpool)

A: See above… Just slide the rear seats as far back as poss, slide the middle seats forward as far as poss, this will give plenty of room, grab the carpet and give it a good tug, it will come up allowing access to the flap.

Q: I have a problem with fumes entering the vehicle through the air vents when idling in traffic. It is not noticeable when travelling at speed or when the aircon is running. I have tried a back-pressure test on the exhaust and it doesn’t seem to be that? Any ideas? (Allan from Burnley)

A: In all likelihood this is an almost undetectable leak in the exhaust manifold gasket that would not show up on a pressure test. You should get the gasket and the manifold studs checked at and replaced as necessary.

Q: The car starts first time every morning on the first turn. However when you engage gear and try to drive away the revs drop off and the car will not move, placing the gears back into neutral and revving the engine has no effect, the revs remain low until the engine cuts out. When I try to re-start the engine it will not start, after many attempts the engine eventually starts and drives perfectly as if there was no problem at all. This problem also arises after a short journey. This has happened on and off now for the past six months. I’m tearing my hair out, have you any ideas? (Mark from Berwick)

A: According to my Ford Ranger manual (same engine) this is likely to be caused by one of two things. Either a fuel starvation problem, probably due to the fuel injection system. Or secondly a problem with the fuel pump or air in the fuel system. Sounds like a job for the professionals to me. (Additional information from Jon Cane: “Having suffered the same symptoms, I know exactly how he feels, we had been to a diesel specialist etc and all to no avail. We discovered via our garage doing some excellent detective work that it was the nut marked in the photos that needed to be tightened up.

I have no idea what it’s for or called, but we believe that it was allowing air to be sucked into the turbo which after a few hours would have built up enough to cause a air gap in the fuel system hence the fuel starvation in the system causing us to stall.

Q: I have read conflicting stories on the Bongo Forum and elsewhere about the possibility of converting my Bongo to run on LPG. So is it possible or what? (Mandy from Crawley)

A: Member David Johnston has been trying to convert his Bongo and reports that yesterday, “my local Mazda dealer expressed his doubts saying that Mazda’s tend to have softish valve stems which could fail when using LPG. Needless to say, this could lead to catastrophic engine damage. I gave Mazda UK a quick call today and mentioned LPG to the nice lady who answered. Without hesitation, she told me that Mazda do not recommend LPG conversion.” However, some members do run their Bongo with an LPG conversion and member Ron Miel says “…LPG and valve seats, any decent LPG converter will include a Flashlube system to guard against that”. And there’s a useful factsheet in the members area.

Q: We took our Bongo on holiday in Scotland and the poor thing struggled up a mountain, with the cooling fans coming on when we stopped at the view point. Since then we have experienced a constant squealing when accelerating – a bit like birds tweeting (!). What could it be? (Michael Jackson from Bournemouth)

A: This sounds like a manifold problem. I would get the studs checked if I was you.

Q: One of my manifold studs has sheared off. Is this a common problem? I would have thought the other 7 studs would have supported this. (Nigel from Reading)

A: We’ve seen a few Bongos with sheared manifold studs, not many, but it sounds like the exhaust might not be supported properly and is putting too much stress on the manifold. Another possibility is that it might have been over-torqued when it was fitted. Or then again, there might be a bit of corrosion which has started a crack.

Q: What is the likely cause of black smoke coming out of the exhaust? It is not an emissions problem. (Rob from Tinyworld)

A: The most likely cause is probably a stuck or dirty injector which might improve with a dose of injector cleaner, or possibly may need replacing altogether. There is a discussion on this item on the Members-Only page.

Q- What is the capacity of the fuel tank on the SGL5? (Hywell from Portsmouth)

A: 65 litres. But watch out! There’s no warning light when you are running low.

NB: Fact sheets on the following related subjects are available in the members-only area of the site. 

Catalytic Converter

Clean Air Zones


Fitting A Wooden Floor

Fuel Cut Off Switch

Fuel & Emission Control Systems (post Nov 99)

Fuel Gauge Sender Unit

Fuel Gauge Repair Kit Instructions

Fuel Pump Components

Injector Pump

Low Emissions Zone

LEZ (Scotland)



Chip Fat Oil (Bio-Fuel)


Fuel Filter

Fuel Strainer

Internal Accessories

Q: Can anyone advise how I can remove the roof lock cancel button surround? (Gerry from Folkestone)

A: Remove the light cover and release the two screws. Then feel around the transfer for two depressions. Pierce here and remove two more screws. Switch removal is obvious. The two reset switch wires travel under the headlining to the near-side and then outside to the rear.

Q: If I’m not hooked up to the mains, how long should my fridge run for from my leisure battery? (Maggie from Burnham-on-Crouch)

A: In theory a modern camping fridge will run for about 30 hours before it deadens your battery. But in practice it will depend on a number of factors including the power consumption of your coolbox, the ambient temperature both inside and outside the vehicle, and the state of your leisure battery. Typically it will last about 18 hours.

Q: I’ve tried various solutions but none of them seem to work. Is there such a thing as a tiny airbed that would be suitable for a 3 year old child sleeping in the roof? (Tony from Nelson)

A: Member Paul Franklin recommends something called a “Junior Ready Bed” which is an airbed, sleeping bag and pillow all in one. It is available at Argos or through Amazon; just Google it.

Q: I’m looking to fit some curtains across the tailgate window. Do you have the dimensions of the material and the fittings for the factory fitted version? (Scott from Corby)

A: Rear top track 39 1/2″ fixed with self tappers 1″ above window, rear bottom track 48 1/2″ fixed with self tappers just above plastic panel. Curtains 31″ length and 23″ drop x 2. (Thanks to Graham Swain for this info)

Q: Do you know where I can some seatbelts for the middle bench of my Bongo? (Melanie from Buxton)

A: Stan at Caravan Supplies in Rotherham has a stock of these, and other goodies. Phone him on 01709-578727.

Q: Any idea where I can obtain some replacements of the little plastic slidey things that go in a Mazda fitted front curtain rail? (Carlos from Twyford)

A: Try

Q: Do you know how to change the internal lights, above the driver/passenger seats at the front? (Paul from Wembley)

A: If you are in the drivers seat push it from the side towards the passenger seat. It should move over a few mm, when it does pull your side down and it should just pop out.

Q: Our Bongo hasn’t been converted to MPH although it was supposed to be when we got it. What is the best way to do this, I believe there are chips but also mechanical converters and just dial faces which only change the speedo but not the odometer. I would like to know the pros and cons of this as it would be nice to have everything functioning as it should in MPH if possible. (Winnie from Pangbourne)

A: Tim from St Austell offers this sound advice: “You can have it chipped, which is the expensive option. But if you are poor like me you will need to make do with a new speedo face. Firstly replace the dial with an English one (i.e. in mph). Then you get your missus on a pushbike with a borrowed mobile phone. She then rides ahead and you follow. When she gets to 30mph (she’ll let you know via the phone whilst steering with one hand) you whip off the needle from the speedo face and replace it on the 30 mph mark. To ensure accuracy get her to pedal a little bit harder until she reaches 40 mph and recheck the speedo. Adjust as necesaary to within 1.5%. It may help to carry out the latter test on a slight incline, e.g. a hill. Hope this helps”. Chips can become faulty and create false readings. The easiest option is to just change the speedo face for one that reads in miles, these are available from suppliers on the internet… just type in ‘Bongo speedo face’. You can legally leave the odometer in miles. Allans Vehicle Services suggest that to set the needle, fit the speedo unit (without the glass) back into the dash, with all wires connected into the back of it. Don’t fit the needle-stop post to the speedo face yet. Switch the ignition on. Then fit the needle in the zero position. Once it’s in position, fit the stop-post and glass.

Q: I bought my Bongo at the docks in Southampton, and I strongly suspect that the vehicle was used by a grease monkey with a 40-a-day habit. Any idea where I could obtain some new rear carpets? (Liz from Bridport)

A: You can try the several breakers on the Bongo forum or eBay.

Q. Is it possible to operate the electric window blinds, or indeed other 12v appliances, without turning the ignition on? I do not have a leisure battery onboard (Jap Napper from Runcorn)

A: “Pippin” reports: look at the fusebox by the driver’s right knee. You will see on the top row at the right hand side there are three blue 15A fuses. From the left the first feeds the L curtains, the next the R curtains and the right hand one feeds the cigar lighter and mirrors. These three fuses are fed by a thick red/black striped wire that is controlled by the ignition key in the accessory position. You could cut that wire and feed it from a different source. A possibility could be to connect it to the feed to the other five fuses on the top row. This is a thick white/red striped wire that actually is fed from fuse BTN 40A under the bonnet. But don’t blame me if it all goes pear shaped.

Q: I read somewhere that there was a firm who can customise the speedo and other dials on the dash. Any idea where they can be found? (John from Farnborough)

A: The company you refer to are called Visual Performance. Their website can be found here (although it seems to be off-line a lot of the time).

Q: I’m fed up with the sleeping arrangements in my Freda. I have tried self inflating mattresses, but all to no avail; I just can’t get comfortable nights sleep. Before I develop a permanent curve in the spine, can you tell me where I might obtain a flat rock’n’roll bed? (George from Lanarkshire)

A: That’s a difficult one. Wellhouse Leisure make their own, and do not sell them as individual units. But you could try adapting the VW beds that are available from They are also available from Cannons Forge who supply some of the converters.

Q: When sleeping overnight in the Bongo, especially in the winter months, we wake up in the morning with severe running damp problems. What’s the solution? (Mrs Dago from Eastbourne)

A: Have you tried incontinence pants?

Q: I bought my husband some of these pants as you suggested. Although it seemed to cure his particular problem, we still have really bad condensation on the inside of the windows. We are using internal insulated privacy screens, but they don’t seem to make any difference. Any ideas? (Mrs Dago again)

A: Condensation is indeed a big problem, and could even be a contributory factor to the heater motors blowing. Ever wondered what happens to all that accumulated fog on the windscreen? It is especially bad on cold, damp nights, but there are a few things you can do to counteract it.
1) Stop damp air accumulating in the vehicle in the first place. Keep the sliding door closed and the roof hatch down, but keep the side windows open just a notch to allow damp air to escape.
2) External screens will help, but are not (yet) available for the Bongo (but we’re working on it). Inner screens provide insulation against the cold, but do not do much to prevent condensation.
3) Sleep with a window open a crack, on both sides, and the roof trap door firmly shut.
4) Consider buying a small portable dehumidifier.

Q: I am thinking about buying a Bongo from a self-build enthusiast. All the kitchen conversion stuff works a treat, but I’m a bit worried that the gas bottle is stored in a wooden locker. Is this legal? (Richard from Morley)

A: In theory the gas bottle should meet BS 1646. The standards state (in simple terms) that gas bottles must be stored in a purpose built locker, this means accessible only from outside or in a completely sealed locker, if accessible to the interior. It must also be able to resist fire for a minimum of 20 minutes which means it has to be constructed from steel. The connection between the supply and the appliances must be via a regulator and carried by either by rubber hose or metallic pipe.

Q: I am a bit of a gadget freak and use the cigar lighter in my Bongo for various 12v accessories, including an electric toothbrush, DVD player, mobile phone charger, kettle, coolbox, flashlight, fan, cassette player, PDA, shaver, nose hair clippers and, on Sundays, an electric carving knife. But it appears to have stopped working. I have checked the relevant fuse (under the dash, top right), but it still won’t work. Any ideas? (Jon B from the Isle of Gadgets)

A: There is also an internal fuse in the power socket itself. This consists of a very short length of insulated wire built into the design of the socket. The wire has the consistency of solder and is easily mended. The tricky bit is removing the socket itself. Use a small screwdriver to carefully lever out the bottom of the socket from the front and then put your hand up into the dash and pushed the whole thing out from behind.

Q: Annoyingly the local constabulary have installed a speed camera just down the road from the local primary school, which means it is taking nearly twice as long to drop the kids off. To save myself time, money and my licence, I have invested heavily in a “Road Angel” device. But it won’t work correctly. I suspect because of the UV tints in my windows. Do you have any advice? (Dave from Weymouth)

A: You are quite correct. The UV tints will interfere with the satellite signal. I would strongly advise that you invest in an external ariel, remove the windscreen, or, if it’s raining, make your kids walk to school.

Q: Most of the campsites I stay at are in sheltered valleys and therefore the reception on my TV is lousy. How on earth am I supposed to catch up on my favourite home make-over programmes in these circumstances? Would a signal booster be of any use? (Marianne from Mellerstain)

A: If you really cannot miss Neighbours/Home& Away then buy yourself a good set-top aerial (about a tenner). Don’t go for one that looks like a Goonhilly dish or a UFO or promises the moon or needs a battery for that useless “booster”. Total waste of money. It should look like a TV aerial, either with half a dozen little sticks or better still with a zig-zag coming to a point, like the ANTIFERENCE Silver Sensor. You then connect it to the aerial socket and point it out of the window of your Bongo in the direction that you think the transmitter is. And then you tune from 21-68 and find the best pictures. And then you alter the aerial to V and you do it again. And then you point it in every direction you think the signals might be coming from and do it again, and again, and again, both H & V until you find the best pictures. But it will not work through the silver screens or windows with reflective silver film.
Have fun! (A longer discussion on this subject can be found in the members-only area)

Q: If I wanted to get a full electrical kit (including ZIG unit and mains hook-up) installed, could I do it myself? If not, how much would it cost? (Andrew from Cheltenham)

A: We would strongly advise against DIY unless you are an auto electrician, although a lot of our members do fit them. You’ll find plenty of advice in the ‘Converting Bongos to Campervans’ forum here. AVA Leisure will fit the full unit for £550 fully inclusive. It takes a full day, and 10 days notice is currently required.

Q: Often on my travels to places like Amsterdam, Colombia and the golden triangle on the Thai/Burmese border, I pick up some merchandise that should not, in any circumstances, be left on the front seat in full view of passing pedestrians. Is there such a thing as a safe or a strong-box that I could stash my gear in whilst away from the Bongo? (Ben from Brighton)

A: This is a specialist market, but such items do exist. You could try Makesafe who are based in Birkenhead. (Update 9/8/04: Steve Knight says try Screwfix. They do safes for under £30).

Q: After a night in the Bongo my windows are dripping with condensation. Would silver screens make any difference? Or should I buy a snorkel and flippers? (Glynn from Bulford)

A: No, silver screens would not make any difference. The best bet is to keep the van well ventilated through the night.

Q: I managed to work out that that there aren’t any speakers mounted in the back of the van, just grills in the panels, but I can’t figure out how to remove the grills or side panels to fit wiring and speakers. Any tips? (Tony from Wakefield)

A: Member Rich advises the following: I realised that there were no speakers – just the grilles – and went out and bought some nice 6×9″ speakers – and then had to cut the plastic panels to fit them in! – but they sound amazing!
To get the speaker panels off you need to remove the plastic inserted pocket thingy between the speaker and the rear door and you will see the inner workings of your bongo when you remove it – then pop your hand to the rear of the speaker grille where you will find two bolts holding the plastic grilles in place – do not try to prise them off – you’ll be there all day!

Q: Where is the sensor situated for my remote control locking? I don’t want to rip out all the panels on a futile hunt. (Den from Poole)

A: In the driver’s door.

Q: I am in the process of installing a Satellite Navigation system into my Bongo but it requires a connection made to the Speedo. Which pin or wire carries the “Speed Signal”? (Steve from Watford)

A: It’s the one the speedo conversion chip is connected to. I suggest connecting the Sat nav to the gearbox side of the chip to avoid any loading issues.

Q: My Bongo came equipped with an “Addzest” satellite navigation system, but it is configured for Japanese route-finding only. Is there any way I can get it re-chipped for the UK? (Ron of Holyhead)

A: So far, nobody has been able to get these units to work in the UK. Addzest units are made by a company called Clarion. There is a Clarion dealer not far from you in Llangyfni. They may be able to help. (Update: they coudn’t do it either. Advice to Ron from the members was chuck it out)

NB: Fact sheets on the following related subjects are available in the members-only area of the site. 


Audio Stalk

Clock (How to fit a clock to the cabin roof)


Eberspacher Heater

Head Rest

Head Restraint

Interior Tailgate Handle

Kitchen (Mazda factory fitted kitchen manual)




Keys, Alarms, Immobilisers

Q: My driver side door won’t lock. It’s a manual version, no key fob. (Iain from Aberdeen)

A: You need to establish whether it is a problem with the lock itself or the internal mechanism. Unlock all the doors on the vehicle and from the inside press the button down on the driver door. If all the doors lock there is a problem with the driver door/lock. If just the driver door locks then there is a problem with the central locking transponder. If no doors lock there is a problem with the control rod which may have become detached.

Q: Any idea why my central locking has stopped working? I have to unlock and lock each door separately now for some reason. (Steve from Rhyl)

A: Most likely the loom has failed where it passes between the A pillar and the driver’s door. Years of opening and closing cause the wire core to work harden and fail. It’s an easy fix; strip back the insulation and solder in a short length of wire, then cover with heat shrink.

Q: My key will not come out of the ignition barrel. It is stuck in ACC mode with all the usual lights on with the key in any position and the Bongo won’t start either. (Mike from Wrexham)

A: Check the cable between the barrel and the auto gear shift. It may have become dislodged or frayed. Also check the barrel housing.

Q: I only have one key for my Bongo and I need to get another one cut. I understand from the fact sheet that I need the key number? There’s nothing on my existing key. Can it be obtained from Mazda if I give them the chassis number?ll the usual, nothing is left turned on. Any pointers? (Steve from Dundalk)

A: The code is stamped on the drivers or passenger side door barrel, so you wil need to remove them to look.

Q: She won’t start…any ideas? My wife rang saying she was stuck at the supermarket. When she turns the key, nothing happens. But after a bit of pedal pumping and moving the gear stick through the auto gears, it finally got going. Now it’s on my drive and the same problem has occurred. Help! (Richard from Bristol)

A: The gear lever button that allows you to get it out of park can get stuck. The ignition, park button on the gear stick, and and parking brake are linked via a cable. This is probably either displaced or damaged at the gear lever or ignition end. To get at the gear lever end take of the center console and then you can see the underside of the gear lever. There are two cables, thick one on the passenger side for the gear change, thin one on the drivers side. The cable may be damaged or snagged. (Thanks to New Forest Terrier for this response.)

Q: My remote central locking has stopped working. I have changed the battery in the fob, but it still won’t work. (Brian from Birmingham)

A: Most (but not all) Bongos have after-market fobs fitted. The original Bongo central locking is driven by the key in the drivers door. If your key continues to operate the Central Locking as normal then its the added remote fob that is the cause of the problem, not the central locking. If your key doesn’t work the central locking then the most likely suspect is broken wire in the drivers door loom or possibly a flat leisure battery if one is fitted as the power for the remote fob comes from the unswitched supply that is normally moved over to the leisure battery if fitted You also have to note that the frequencies used by Japanese fobs are different from UK fitted hobs. It’s a complete nightmare.

Q: My locking doesn’t work. Is there a control box anywhere? (Sue from Tadcaster)

A: The control box is under the dash, up behind the glove box. A little smaller than a cigarette box – has a 6 way connector on the base. And it says Door Lock on the side. From memory it has two switch inputs, two outputs, live and ground. Fuse is a 30a on the top row of the under dash box.

Q: I am intending to fit my own immobiliser. I have been told that it is best to hook it into the starter relay. But is this the best place? If so, where can it be located? (Tony from Helen Green).

A: There are two schools of thought on this. Some people (myself included) maintain that the starter solenoid is too easily by-passed to make the starter relay very effective (it can be found behind the steering column). It may be wiser to use the fuel cut-off valve which is located on the injector pump.

Q: My central locking is not working. I put the key in the driver’s door and it does not lock the other doors. Can you tell me what to look for or how to fix it? (Robert from Bongo Regis)

A: Assuming you have checked the fuse, the other possibility is that the wiring to the lock is shorting out on the chassis. You can access this wiring either by taking the door panel off or, if you’re lucky, by lifting the electric window switches. Insulation tape placed in strategic places should solve the problem. (Thanks to Jon B for this).

Q: I am having difficulty getting a duplicate key cut. I have tried Mazda and Ford dealers, but all to no avail. (Maggie from Winchester).
A: Some owners have found their local ‘key cutting’ bar (Timpsons) can cut a key. Otherwise you need to get hold of the “blank” ref no MAZ24REP. (Or on some models, a MAZ 21R). And if that doesn’t work, try a blank for a Ford Fiesta. (Update from Jim Cunliffe: I followed advice to obtain a replacement key based on a Ford Fiesta but the shop needed further details to send off and any other members may wish to note that it is advisable to take a photocopy of both sides of the key for shop branch internal consultation. ) (Further update from Ken James: The one and only key for my Bongo had a split across it, so following your advice I went to my local keycutter and informed him that if a Mazda key wasn’t identical then try a Fiesta key-well after three keys were cut, I found that I could turn the door locks one way but not the other. At one stage the locksmith jammed a key in the passenger door and we had a hell of a job removing it!! I then went to another locksmith–“key and lock security” of Bournemouth, they took one look at my key and within a few minutes had cut me Three keys which fit perfectly, they did’nt even use my key as a pattern, they simply entered the numbers on the key and the rest was done from their computer database,excellent. telephone 01202 526090. (Further update from Richard Layton (14/05/06): ” I obtained a Bongo key for £6.50 from KEYS IS US, rear of 41 London Road, Lexden, Colchester, Essex. (01206 766418) They confirmed that the “blank” ref of MAZ24REP is correct.

Q: I’ve been thinking about having an alarm fitted to my Bongo. My local specialist would like to work from a wiring diagram of some description as he’s worried about fitting any kind of immobiliser “blind” as he may immobilise my gorgeous Bongo for good!!! He’s checked with Cobra who (surprise) haven’t heard of Bongo’s so can’t find anything out. Does anyone know if there is any English info that would help? (Scuba Kat)

A: (Andrew & Rodrica Mills answer) We had an immobiliser fitted by the company who sold us the Bongo. A requirement of the insurance. It caused problems as did the one they fitted to our previous Toyota import. It was easily fixed (It just required an extra relay) by an ignition and electrics specialist firm, Warwick Ignition. When we travelled to Romania the first time we had an alarm and immobiliser fitted which replaced the original one fitted by the dealer. This is a Sigma unit (the full monty) and it cost about £400 fitted. The company who fitted it had no problems with the wiring and it works fine. They guarantee the work. They had to keep the Bongo overnight to fit a solenoid lock to the driver’s door so that it works from the remote arming device. It conforms to Thatcham category 2:1 and lops a fair bit off your insurance. The company is the Car Hi Fi Centre Cheltenham… 01242 263103, but Sigma will give you a list of approved dealers in your area.Sigma, 1, Seymour Court, Tudor Rd, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1SY, 01928 570500. Update: Most alarm companies can now fit alarms to Bongos.

NB: Fact sheets on the following related subjects are available in the members-only area of the site. 

Key Replacement

Remote Central Locking