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  1. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Fact of the matter is, maintenance schedules are a personal choice. Some choose to extend maintenance intervals (oil analysis or other voodoo), some follow what the oe says is "normal", others follow the severe/fleet schedules, and others just do whatever they want.

    Fact of the matter is though, if you look, you can probably find a severe/fleet/whatever you want to call it schedule that will differ from "normal". Unfortunately, a lot of starts/stops, short trips, use of remote start, excessive idling, and a whole host of other things most people consider "normal" use, probably fall under "severe" use.

    Another twist is that some people sometimes get luckier than others, or unluckier. Everyone is free to do what they want and follow whatever schedule/ritual that they like. Just know that there is a more severe maintenance schedule. Ignore it if you wish, but let's not say, or act like, it doesn't exist.

    Happy Sunday. Plenty of time to get panties unbunched before the "normal" work week begins again tomorrow...
     
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  3. Keith N

    Keith N Elite Explorer

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    2011 explorer xlt
    Ford designed the ptu to be maint free. Why else would they not add a two dollar drain plug.
     
  4. Crates

    Crates New Member

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    Ford designed it to be maintenance free...throughout the term of their warranty obligation.

    A quart of gear lube is cheap enough and it isn’t hard to evacuate the fluid out, I don’t see why anyone would want to take the risk of not changing it. When it starts making noise it will be too late for a fluid change and your repair bill will be exponentially higher than what the fluid changes would have been over time.
     
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  5. ifixcopcars

    ifixcopcars New Member

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    2010 Adrenalin 4.6
    It is a poor imitation of a transfer case. They were not designed to be serviced, most don't have a filler plug. If you search the internet you will find some videos of changing the lube. Ford does not service them, if they leak or get noisy or actually break, the dealer will sell you a new one or if under warranty, replace it.
    I manage a fleet of about 100 police versions, about 25 died under warranty (100,000 miles on cop cars) and I have bought about a dozen. Very poor system. Hopefully the 2020's will have a more traditional design (I have 18 ordered, expected delivery date is mid Oct.)
     
  6. Adrian Gitch

    Adrian Gitch Active Member

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    2015 Explorer Limited
    What are some of the signs of a PTU going bad? I serviced mine myself but would like to be prepared for what may come.
     
  7. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    2017 Explorer Platinum
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    VE3
    I think I've read that some members noticed a propane type smell.

    Peter
     
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  8. RhinoQuartz

    RhinoQuartz Elite Explorer

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    Propane smell, but I think it'll pop up with a message. Apparently if the fluid reaches over 340F (or something close to that), it needs to be changed ASAP, otherwise its lifetime.
     
  9. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    If the fluid gets hot enough to vent significantly, you could get excess smell, but since it is vented, you could get smell regardless. The signs of a failing ptu would typically be noise related as the gears or bearings wear/fail, and/or metal shavings in the fluid. Unfortunately, unless you have spidey senses or change your fluid very regularly to monitor, by the time you hear/see the signs, the ptu is likely done for.
     
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  10. Ironworker40

    Ironworker40 Active Member

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    The PTU is not a Ford only problem. Other manufacturers are having similar issues. My friends cherokee just had one put in it. I am not familiar with their system but he said he had a put fail. Since the engineer from Land Rover designed the Explorer and they are similar vehicles I wonder if they have problems also
     
    Last edited by a moderator: July 26, 2019
  11. Keith N

    Keith N Elite Explorer

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    I don’t get why ford can’t make a reliable unit after 10 years or more. Kind of ridiculous if u ask me. Maybe heat from catalytic converter is one factor. Other theory is some units generate more heat from manufacturing tolerances. Tighter gear mesh causing extra heat. Either way it’s a sad affair and a reliability weakness at best.

    I changed ptu oil for first time on my 2008 rav with similar powered v6 and 110k miles. Oil looked great and was minimal metal on drain plug magnet. Go figure. A reliable ptu is possible. Also changed the water pump on same engine for a days work and $200 in parts....
     
  12. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how the manufacturer specs and sources the part and then how the supplier executes (i.e. do they cut corners?).

    There have been 3 updates to the ptu with the last only 2 years ago, so it may be some time until we all know if the latest design is better overall and lasts longer in general.
     
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  13. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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    '18 Toyota Prius Prime
    Mine had the newer PTU design as far as I knew (2.3L), fluid still tested shot, but with no mechanical degradation. Incremental improvements, I suppose?
     

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