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'02 4X4 Eddie Bauer Rear End Issue

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Florida Steve, December 27, 2004.

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    1. Florida Steve

      Florida Steve New Member

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      '02 Eddie Bauer
      I just was advised by my dealership that a whining noise coming from our rear end when we accelerate is a known Ford problem, and they advised me that Ford has authorized dealers to replace the rear axle assembly under warranty per SSM 18221. Since we had this 'whine' since we bought our Explorer, we did not know this was an issue until the service manager rode in our vehicle to determine the cause of another problem and advised us that the noise was not normal. The bad news is our Explorer's 3 year warranty expired 2 weeks ago, we have been quoted $1800 to do this replacement, and Ford Corp's customer service department won't acknowledge that an issue exists for this. The Explorer has 30,000 miles on it. Have any of you experienced the same issue, and what has been the result?
       
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    3. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      If you are a faithful dealership customer, we have the option of providing After Warranty Adjustments. In such a case, you would pay a small percentage of the repair price, maybe 10-25%, especially since the factory warranty just expired a few weeks ago. It is an option that dealerships have to award and promote loyalty to the service department. However, if you have not been doing your maintenance at the dealer, you could be out of luck. Atleast that's how it is in Canada. And yes, it is a common problem, replacing the differential assembly is the fix on independant suspension rear axles.
       
    4. Florida Steve

      Florida Steve New Member

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      Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, we moved down here recently from Chicago, and I had just switched my registration to the dealership in my area for the lift gate window recall, at Ford's request. I just find it questionable that this issue is one Ford knows of and has approved a full replacement under warranty if the customer is aware enough of this noise to bring it in for service. Since ours emitted this sound since we purchased it new, we just thought it was part of the new independent suspension/4X4 noise. Unfortunately, our dealer in Chicago never mentioned it, or probably heard the noise, when we had the vehicle in for other items. I wish Ford would have sent out a notice about this possible issue, but when I called the Corp. Customer Service group today, they didn't acknowledge the issue and advised me to go back to my dealer to discuss it further.
       
    5. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      Ford would not send out a notice because it is not safety related. Your previous dealer would not do anything about it if you did not complain about it for 2 reasons. 1 being that Ford does not authorize any repairs that are not complained about by the customer, although we have our ways to do it, which leads to the 2nd reason. Reason 2 being that we as Ford technicians lose our shirts to do that job under warranty, and most would perfer to do it under retail terms because we get paid alot more. I'm very surprised that Ford customer service would treat you like that, it isn't that way in Canada.
       
    6. Florida Steve

      Florida Steve New Member

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      Unfortunately, we are very surprised, too. We've owned Fords and Lincolns since 1985, and this is the first time we've ever experienced this with Ford Corp. and our dealers. I trust this is an anomoly and not a trend.
       
    7. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Might you call your original dealership, and the specific people you knew there? You might get them to go up the chain of command there, and have them contact your new dealership service management. Good luck,
      DonW
       
    8. Jag

      Jag Member

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      O.K.....my '02 XLT has a very slight "whine" at highway speeds, if you turn the radio down, but my question is........

      Is the rear axle actually self destructing, or is the noise caused by an improper backlash adjustment, etc.? I have 35K on mine, I'm assumming it's nothing more serious than an irritating noise and am doing no harm to the rear end. Am I wrong?
       
    9. IAmTodd

      IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran

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      Well, if you have to spend the $1800, I would just ride on it as long as you can. If the noise doesn't bother you, then I'd leave it alone. We had ours replaced though, under the extended warranty.

      Also, contact your dealer, you may be able to pic up the extended warranty, I think our's was around $1200. A little cheaper than the replacement.
       
    10. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      If it is only a slight whine, and you can deal with it do so. I believe the problem is just related to a mis-matched gear set. It will probably last for ever, just be noisey. But, maybe get a second opinion to determine that the noise is not tire or wheel bearing related, as we have replaced several rear wheel bearings for noise issues also.
       
    11. Florida Steve

      Florida Steve New Member

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      Thanks for all of the feedback. My advice is that, especially if your vehicle is still under warranty, take it to your dealer to have it checked out. The dealer I just visited told me very specifically that, if I had brought this in just two weeks earlier, Ford would have paid for the full replacement of the rear axle assembly. The dealership referred to the SSM # in my first message on their repair invoice. The service manager, who first advised us that our whine noise was not normal, also suggested that it was likely a mis-matched gear set. I understand the comments from Eneurb re: the warranty vs. retail value of this fix, but given the problem exists, Ford should fix it at their cost. Also, the dealership did check the fluid to make certain it was clean, which it was, just to make certain. Ours was not a tire or bearing issue, as the tires were replaced during the same visit (Goodyear 245/70R16s) due to the inside treads' 'scalloping' on each tire, providing a different noise and slight vibration through the steering wheel. The dealers thoughts on that were that the belts were off a bit on this original set and further rotation would accomplish nothing after the 30000 miles we had put on them. The tire change did not alleviate the rear end whine, unfortunately.
       

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