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PTU Problems

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by GeoMimi89, December 9, 2012.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    ^^^^ I agree
    It's too bad so many Dealers enforce Fords poor decision to not allow owners to change the fluid and maintain the warranty. The Dealers would charge the owner for the work and Ford would not be replacing as many PTU's, a win-win. Seeing all that metal on the PTU's drain plug magnet sort of tells the tale about build quality.
     
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  3. Lexingtonian

    Lexingtonian Active Member

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    @KayGee I did say to each his own. Which I believe covers your premise of doing it whenever the owner wants to very nicely. But spit balling a bunch of numbers/variables based emotion centered around nebulous ideas about tolerances and differences is equally unproductive ( don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that’s what you did but I see a lot of that occurring ). The only way anyone can know what their change interval should be is to change their oil and run an analysis on that to determine scientifically for themselves what their interval should be. I was providing a general guideline and sound advice only. For what it’s worth police police fleets are doing it around 30,000 miles and I guarantee they are harder on the vehicles than most of us. Again, change it whenever you like. Cheers

    Sidenote it would be very helpful for folks that are spit balling change interval numbers to post their oil analysis conclusions to support their emotions.
     
  4. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    You guys are both right and have excellent advice. The bottom line is that most owners of these Ford vehicles with PTU's do not even know what a PTU is, as well as a number of Service Advisors I've spoken to. For the most part customers rely on Ford printed policies and Dealer representatives for their service intervals. More technical oriented owners and some forum readers will take the responsibility of protecting their investment and do preemptive maintenance but on the whole I'd suggest that is rare.
    I knew about this issue and tried within the local Ford Dealers near me to care for my car at my own expense to no avail. So, to each his own but one has gotta wonder what the real number of failed non-commercial usage PTU's really is, I bet it is a closely help Ford data point. The new 2020 Explorer's driveline might be an indication of the real cost.
     
  5. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    You said 20K was too aggressive and were making a case for 45K based on your specific report. All I was saying was that no one should rely on someone else's analysis report and should make their own decision. Ford has published a severe use interval of 30K for ptu fluid on 16+ explorers. Also, not all police fleets are harder on their vehicles than most of us. There are a lot of police fleets that do nothing but regular patrols and may be easier on vehicles than a normal retail customer and there are others that are involved in more pursuits or other hard use situations (think LAPD vs a PD in Podunk, IA for example). Don't forget that there are also a lot of admin/detective/supervisor vehicles in fleets that see significantly different use than a patrol unit. One cannot and should not infer their own maintenance schedule based solely on generalities or what others do.

    There is also no need to run an analysis to determine what a change interval should be. There is enough published info for fluid change intervals already out there - one should pick the one they feel most comfortable with (normal, towing, severe, whatever). The only real reason to do an analysis is to see how far beyond traditional published schedules one can try and go (handy for large fleets to help reduce costs) or to hopefully catch an abnormal report that forewarns of an impending failure (spend less to repair now than after a failure has occurred).

    This topic gets emotional because, in warranty it's a hassle/inconvenience and out of warranty it's a big expense. No one plans for a $2-3K repair, especially those that buy a used explorer with 100K or more miles and the ptu blows up 2 weeks. Those that drop $50k+ on a new explorer don't expect the ptu to blow up in the first or 2nd year of ownership. I would rather see some real analysis and a determination of cause of failure, rather than a bunch of people posting oil analysis reports. Random oil analysis reports from other people don't tell me much of anything about my vehicle.
     
  6. Lexingtonian

    Lexingtonian Active Member

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    Thanks for setting me straight. Truly appreciated. Sorry for providing low-value content and information. Cheers. All the best this holiday season.
     
  7. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    No one is setting you straight. You can do whatever you want and I never said you should do any differently. I would just hate to see someone else follow fluid change advice specific to your vehicle/situation, or based on anyone else's analysis report for their specific vehicle/situation, and find themselves up shit's creek. For most explorer owners, they'd probably be better off changing their PTU fluid on a more frequent basis, rather than waiting longer. Perhaps my approach is too conservative for your liking. No harm, no foul.
     
  8. Tsuga

    Tsuga Member

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    Lately, we have noticed a strong propane odor in the cabin, but only on days where the temperature was below 26 F. When it is 32F and above, sometimes an odor is present and sometimes not. I am sure if this a precursor to more things to come.
    Before the PTU failed was the odor more consistent?
     
  9. VCFP153

    VCFP153 Active Member

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    You just wanted to say "nebulous". Not that I blame you, one doesn't get too many chances to throw that one out there.
     
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  10. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    Are you still within the powertrain warranty or have extended warranty?
    I wouldn't wait much longer either way.
     
  11. Tsuga

    Tsuga Member

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    I
    I have the extended warranty for another 2 years. It seems like they would not touch it until it blows up.
     
  12. Keith N

    Keith N Elite Explorer

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    If your smelling it then I would think it is likely leaking or coming out of vent and should be visable on ptu with basic inspection. Either scenario is bad especially with fords stance that it is a lifetime fluid. Lifetime fluid should not be leaking out. I would take it in before you get stranded possibly.
     
  13. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Many run it for confirmation that itnindeed can go what the manufacturer says. In regards to the 30k severe, you would only see 1 change before the powertrain warranty is over. I know we are talking aboit PTU but as an example, many do not follow the IOLM, they still have it stuck in their head thatb3k or 5k pil changes are needed. So an analysis in this case will show whether the IOLM is sufficient and not needed early. It is about piece of mind. I wont run them on my new PTU but I will be changing the fluid once a year (about 20k) till we sell the Explorer in the next 3 years or so.
     
  14. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Knowing what I know now about the Explorer, if I were to buy a new one, I would probably have the PTU drained/filled at delivery just to be safe. Then I'd probably just do it annually thereafter. As it is, I am probably going to do both of mine annually just because the cost is almost nothing - about $10 and an hour or two of time.

    I'm not big on the IOLMs as they are just an algorithm. I know a folks don't follow other manufacturers, but GM changed their algorithm in 2013 to shorten the OCI - Oil Life Monitoring System | Markquart Motors | Eau Claire
    OLM re-calibrated for 2013

    With the introduction of the 2013 models (including Equinox, Cruze, Silverado, Acadia, Terrain, and Verano) GM has re-calibrated their system to include a mileage parameter. It works just like it did before but when the vehicle has gone 5000 miles since the previous oil change the system jumps from whatever the percentage was to 20% oil life remaining. GM did not get specific on why they made this change but it can be inferred that they have determined that the longer oil change intervals must have had a negative impact on long term engine performance and customer satisfaction.


    I am one of the people that still stick with 4-5K oil changes - not because it is stuck in my head, but mostly because it allows me to time my oil changes when it's convenient for me, it allows me to get under the vehicle and inspect more frequently to look out for other issues, and because in the 30+ years I've been changing oil at 4-5K, I've never had any fluid related failures on any vehicle. I don't personally need a fluid analysis for piece of mind - I just look at the fluids, inspect filters, and learned what to watch for over the years. Plus, I live and work in the same city and my vehicle usage habits trend more toward short trips (5-10 miles) and more cycles per day (2-4 trips per day), rather than longer highway trips, less times per day/week.

    I've also said before, there are articles that suggest the trend towards longer and longer change intervals on fluids have been driven as much or more by environmental factors - the longer one goes between changes, the less changes and waste (hazardous materials) is generated that need to be disposed of/recycled. Another big factor is service revenue - shops make less money when a vehicle comes in every 10-12K miles vs every 4-6K miles.

    I personally see little value in paying for regular fluid analysis for the average person, unless they are really worried about something and they want to watch for it (coolant in oil, bearing failure, whatever). Otherwise, the information is merely interesting, but irrelevant , in the same way as if we all went out and took blood tests and then posted the results for comparison with each other. It is probably better for people to spend their money on more maintenance or an esp, rather than fluid analysis, but what do I know. I spend $10K a year on cigars and ammunition, so one should do whatever makes one happy.
     
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  15. bigtexan99

    bigtexan99 Active Member

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    Add me to the list. 2016 Sport with 20,000 miles. Started to feel a shudder or jerk while driving at a constant speed on the highway, then the smell of gear oil, then the "4WD is disabled" message on the dashboard.

    Dealer ordered me a replacement PTU Part number DG1Z7251F and they are going to install tomorrow or Monday.

    Is this part number for the new and improved version of the PTU? Does this version of PTU come with a drain hole?
     
  16. Odrapnew

    Odrapnew Active Member

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    Pretty sure your factory one had a drain plug and hopefully they install the same(or improved) replacement.
    I cannot comment if that's an "improved" version.
     
  17. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    PTU DG1Z7251F, is the watercooled version.
     
  18. Keith N

    Keith N Elite Explorer

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    Looks like water cooling the PTU is not a guarantee it will last longer. What a shame ford can't figure out how to make a PTU that last after making millions of them.
     
  19. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    Another low mileage 2016, amazing.
     
  20. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't able to confirm if the lines were hooked up before selling my EX, but the original PTU was not watercooled and I'm curious if they are simply installing the watercooled version and left the ports plugged.
     
  21. bigtexan99

    bigtexan99 Active Member

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    Thanks! What I meant the improved model was something I saw a while back about evolutionary changes to the PTU.

    •Jan 2014 - Full faced thrust washer (FFTW) introduced
    •Prevents idler bearing from walking into aluminum case.

    •Oct 2015 – Loose Fit Idler Bearing
    •Dyno Testing Shows ~ 2 x improvement over FFTW design

    •May/June 2016 – New Bearing Design without drawn cups
    •Eliminates Walk Mechanism
    •Dyno Testing Shows ~3-4 x improvement over FFTW design

    I was wondering if part number "F" meant the last design from June 2016.

    Also, for people that have had the PTU replaced since June 2016, have there been repeat failures or is the new part 'bulletproof'.
     

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