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Lower Air Dam Intake Duct Falls Off / Missing

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by soloxx, January 16, 2012.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. jlrohio

    jlrohio Active Member

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    Thanks for posting...just had my oil changed yesterday while it was at the dealer.
    I guess I'll have to go out and check to make sure that air dam is still on.

    If nothing else, these issues certainly help me learn more about my vehicle.
    I now know about air dams for transmission cooling, how to pull Fuse 29, how to turn off the AC while at a stop light to keep from overheating, and how to draw cool finger drawing in the oil film on my front windows! :D
     
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  3. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    Hey guys,

    I’m available to assist by sending the details to the Customer Service Manager in your area. If you haven’t already done so, please send a PM with your contact information, dealer name/state, mileage, and VIN.

    Thanks for the heads up, houtzb; I shot you a PM back with more info.

    Cory
     
  4. LarryFord8

    LarryFord8 New Member

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    Lower Air Dam Intake Falls Off - Help

    Cory,

    I see you are a FordCustSrvc rep. I am kind of surprised that the thread ended here with your posting and there were neither further responses nor any resolutions.

    I am an owner of 8 previous ford trucks/explorers. I currently drive a 2010 EB 4x4 explorer and was interested in purchasing a new 2013 4x4 w/towing for my wife to replace her aging explorer. I was somewhat dismayed when an associate of mine made me aware of the ‘air scoop/dam’ issue on his 2012 explorer. This scoop, as mentioned in this thread, is located under the frame and directs substance flow, (be it air/water or debris) rearward and up into the engine compartment area. This simply doesn’t seem to be a very practical engineering approach. However, it is what it is!

    I would be buying a new Ford Explorer for my wife this week if it wasn’t for this design issue. However, I still may be doing so if I can receive some answers to some of my inquiries.

    1. Is the ‘air scoop’ necessary for the 4x4 option?
    2. Is the ‘air scoop’ necessary for the trailer towing option?
    (It appears it is for one or the other, or maybe both)

    3. If it is simply for the towing functions, can it be removed when not towing?

    (I looked at a 2013 Explorer w/towing and it did indeed have the scoop.)

    4. Are there any plans by Ford to remedy this, and if so when?

    Here in Louisiana we often get water over the road because of our proximity to the gulf, and low spots in the road can sometime have 6 or 8 inches of water laying in them and that water can be either rain water or salt water from the gulf. Not that we intentionally drive into such situations, however it can unexpectedly happen, and I don’t want to be spraying salt water and debris up into the engine compartment of a $40,000 automobile.

    Your reply would be truly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Larry
     
  5. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum LarryFord8.:wavey:
    The air scoop is not required just because it is an AWD model. It is part of the towing package and found only on those models with the tow package. I believe there are some members here who remove it and put it back on when they tow. It appears to come off very easily as some have discovered by accident.
    Although not 100% certain, I believe it may have something to do with additional engine cooling.
    If driving slowly through standing water that deep, I doubt it would do any harm in that there would not be enough force to move the water up to the engine. I'm sure (hope) that kind of situation would have been taken into account in the design stage.

    Peter
     
  6. LarryFord8

    LarryFord8 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Peter.

    Just call me Larry. Ford8 refers to the number of Ford truck/suv we have bought so far. I actually will be buying the 2013 for my wife and really don’t need towing in it, other than it can be a backup for my 2010, which I use for towing my boat.

    I could probably remove the ‘air scoop’ and put it back on when/or if needed for towing. Towing in this part of the country is always on the highway. Anything off road is nothing but muck so an air scoop under the frame would be either completely clogged or gone.

    Larry
     
  7. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    Welcome to the boards, Larry! It looks like Peter already jumped on this one. It’s for the towing package and to help with cooling. Not just for engine, though; it also helps with the transmission fluid cooler. It directs the air to allow better flow through the coolers. We don’t really recommend removing the air dam, but if you want to, it’s up to you. Just be sure not to damage it when removing it because that wouldn’t be covered under warranty.

    Thanks for helping out, Peter! :D

    Cory
     
  8. LarryFord8

    LarryFord8 New Member

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    Thanks for the response Cory. That sounds fine with me for my wife’s vehicle, as I only intend to have the towing as a backup alternative to my (what appears to be) better-designed 2010 4x4 Explorer.

    It would unfortunately however, preclude me from seriously considering a Ford SUV for my future personal vehicle needs, as it certainly removes the Explorer as a serious contender in the off-road & towing arena from my perspective. I’m sure Ford will sell a ton of them as women and many other will certainly gravitate to all the comforts, as my wife has. But for those of us that have been shoving these vehicles down the road with some serious sports/activities in mind, the lack of rear-end differential weight and its point of thrust along with such things as ‘under carriage air dams’, kind of leaves us wanting.

    I did research the coming 2011 models, and because of what I saw, I quickly moved to special order a 2010 V8 4x4 EB (nothing wrong with having a little comfort with the beef), which was the fourth in my line of Explorers. They have all been very dependable and finely equipped machines. Ford builds a superb vehicle! Who knows, maybe by the time I wear this 10 model out; Ford might decide to build a ruggedized version for us guys. I don’t think so though; I believe the days of the truck/suv are indeed numbers.

    It’s been a good run though; just sorry to see the powerful mid-sized beasts go.

    Ok now I’ve vented, now I’m going to go order that 2013 for my wife.

    Thank you Cory, Peter and all the others who have participated in this thread. It’s been quite informative. Certainly has helped me.

    Larry
     
  9. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    I’m glad I could lend a hand, Larry. :):thumbsup:

    Cory
     
  10. rickeek

    rickeek New Member

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    jonredcorn,

    Were you able to just order the turn screws to hold on the air dam ?

    Did you take the car in for the dealer to look at? What did they say?

    Did they find some TSB on problems with the air dam falling off?

    I had a similiar problem on my wife's explorer, but the dam fell off her car
    in a parking lot. I looked at it when she got home, crawled under the car
    and identified it as some sort of air deflector, with weak turn screws to hold it in. But 2 of the turn screws were missing. And I noted the oil drain bolt is right in the middle of the whole setup. It has to be removed to drain the oil. Missing 2 screws I had no way to reinstall it. I remembering ford changed the
    oil a week before. I thought this was an easy fix.

    Take it to ford, the would realize their error, probably happens alot. Fix it under warranty, get a couple turn screws and bolt it in.
    My wife takes it to ford, service manager says no idea what it is..but looks like warranty. I hope so..parts dont fall off new cars and dont get fixed under warranty!

    He calls back and says it looks like somethg impacted the air dam, and it has to be replaced and there is no warranty. Ya it impacted something, the ground when it fell off. Ask for another opinion, and advised oil was just changed and this probably was not tightened in. We got, oh it does not have to be taken off to change the oil.

    </RANT ON>
    I am sorry, that is just ignorance. It is put in with simple turn screws,
    to be taken off, to change the oil. The oil bolt is right in the middle
    of the air dam. I could be wrong, I do change the oil
    on the inboard engine on my boat by sucking it out the dipstick with a special vaccuum pump. But I cant exactly reach the oil drain plug in a boat.
    Why is ford going to make me unhappy for $200 part on a $40G truck i just
    bought from them?. And i just want a couple $2 turn screws. Parts should not fall off new cars.
    </RANT oFF>

    For this reason, Luckily for ford's sake,my wife does not let me handle her problems with them. I would drive up there and show there where the oil drain screw is for future reference.

    Since then, I have just thrown the air dam in the back of the car, use only my expedition to tow my boat, decided to use a different dealer for any future problems, and change my own oil in the future..as it involves far less aggrevation.

    I do slightly worry about the warranty..if there is some sort of engine issue
    later, I am sure they will bring up the point of this air dam not being fixed,
    and there is a little meany face next to my name in their computer for
    the last warranty work I asked for.
     
  11. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum rickeek. :wavey:
    That air dam is on vehicles with the towiing package and its purpose is to direct air to the back part of the engine and front of the transmission to help in cooling. There are posts in this thread stating that it has to be removed when the oil is changed. Being low to the ground, I don't see how it can be damaged by simply falling off while the vehicle is parked.
    If it has to be replaced, it must have been dragged or hit by something. Leaving it off shouldn't hurt anything as long as you're not towing.
    Good luck. I would guess that it wasn't properly re-installed after the oil change.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: August 30, 2012
  12. JeffsSport

    JeffsSport Member

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    Uh well I have a 13 Sport with NO tow package and I have that cooling duct? Anymore info on this Cory?
     
  13. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    Welcome to the forum, rickeek; I’m very sorry I didn’t see your reply. I wanted to check in to see if you had this concern taken care of already. For me to lend a hand, please send a PM with your full name, daytime phone number, approximate mileage, dealer name/state, and VIN.

    I sent this over to my technical adviser, JeffsSport; I’ll let you know what he says.

    Cory
     
  14. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Cory, I think you and JeffsSport may be referring to different items. In another post (http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=375012) he talks about having the front lower air dam (bumper valance panel) with the hole in it which is usually only found with the tow package. He says there is a duct that runs from that opening in the panel to the oil pan. I believe the item you are talking about is the scoop that is mounted under the engine to redirect air for cooling.

    Peter
     
  15. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    Thanks a bunch for the help, Peter; I passed this along. :):thumbsup:

    Cory
     
  16. edub

    edub Elite Explorer

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    i know this is not the answer to poor design of a brand new vehicle, but there is an easy fix. replace the fasteners and clips with something like this http://www.hawksthirdgenparts.com/p...ird-NEW-Fender-Bolts-w{47}-Retainer-Clip.html

    it is the same principal of the stock fastener but with a bolt to keep it in place vs quick latch unit used stock. other than making it easier for your oil change mechanic, i cant see why they didnt use bolt in the first place!!! it is three bolts for goodness sake! i have seen under vehicles were you have to undo 10-12 bolts to get skid wind shields out of way to change oil.
     
  17. JeffsSport

    JeffsSport Member

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    Yep I hear ya especially since it's an Explorer and ground clearance is kind of important..
     
  18. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    JeffsSport,

    My adviser said the 2013MY Explorer Sport does have extra ducting to help with cooling. It comes with the 3.5L EcoBoost which is shoehorned into a small area. It’s part of the design and is supposed to be there.

    Cory
     
  19. Wannabejess

    Wannabejess New Member

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    Mine fell off 5 miles down the road after my first Oil cahange at 3000 miles. This was performed by the dealer I bought it from. I called and the service rep instantly told me that they dont take anything off to do an oil change. I spun around, headed back and handed them the scratched up air dam. She was dumfounded. They ordered me a new one and cobbled the old one on until the part came in. I was hot about the lack of responsibility. She said " all of are mechanics are ASE certified. I pointed to that 2 foot long part and said Funny that doesn't look like ASE work to me! A service tech was standing by and he alluded to a Service bulletin regarding this issue. I just checked on the replacement they put in for me a month ago and it was hanging by one twist screw. I am about to call them as I notice a fluid leak under my explorer (5000 miles) now. I going to ask them to safety wire it. If they wont I will do it myself when they have it up on the lift.

    Seems like whatever is leaking is really thick like 80-90 weight. Smells like it too. I can't find the source but it is on the passenger side and dripping off the frame, right by the exhaust.
     
  20. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    Hi Wannabejess,

    I want to get your regional customer service manager involved by escalating your case. Send me a PM with your VIN, dealer, mileage, daytime phone number, and full name; I'll get to work!

    Thanks,

    Crystal
     
  21. dude_3

    dude_3 New Member

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    Just experienced the air dam drop…

    had my '11 in for a standard 5k service last week and heard noise backing out of my garage this morning. Stopped and got out to find the air dam lying on the driveway :scratch:. Ran some errands to stock up on some holiday cheer and upon returning checked this forum and found this thread. Interestingly I just returned from 2-day trip to pick up my son yesterday (~500 miles roundtrip) -- all interstate. Between work and weekend trips to visit kids my ride has been seeing a lot more of the interstate than it has anything off road, so I don't believe it was an impact. All 3 screws are still there but 2 are missing clips. Believe I will contact dealer (Falls Church, VA) in the morning to explain situation and to ask if there is a TSB on this as it appears to have happened to others. Will update the forum to let everyone know what happened. Glad I didn't leave it on the NJ turnpike.

    Dude_3
    2011 Explorer LTD w/towing package
     

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