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Transmission leak not covered under 5 yr/50,000 powertrain warranty?!

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Jim Norton, July 24, 2019.

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  1. Jim Norton

    Jim Norton New Member

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    My wife's 2016 Explorer has been leaking transmission fluid from the transmission cooler in small quantities to the point of the transmission slipping.

    I took the vehicle in for repair under the 5 yr/50,000 mile powertrain warranty. But to my surprise Ford states "the leak is caused by an air conditioner part which is only covered by the 3 yr/30,000 mile warranty." They can't repair under warranty. What?!

    I then knowingly ask if the transmission fluid leaks out without repair will the powertrain fail? Ford's response "yes."

    Long story short we are currently in our 5th week of attempting repair and are now in dispute. Our local Firestone could have repaired this in a day. Any ideas? Thanks.
     
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  3. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    1st, welcome to the forum

    2nd, you have your warranty terms all messed up. Powertrain is 5yr/60,000 miles and bumper to bumper is 3yr/36,000 miles.

    How does an AC unit cause your transmission to leak? That part I do not understand. However on the flip side, if this is indeed true, then Ford is correct. If a non covered part damages anything, that repair would not be covered under warranty.

    It works the opposite way too.. if a covered part fails and takes out a non covered part, that non covered part would be repaired under warranty. It all comes down to the root cause of the failure and if that root cause is covered.

    We need more information than the AC system caused your trans to leak.
     
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  4. Jim Norton

    Jim Norton New Member

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    Thanks. I too am scratching my head why a component of the AC would cause the tranny to leak. From my observation transmission fluid droplets are present below the transmission cooler. Never would have imagined the AC would be in the equation.
     
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  5. Stephen Cannon

    Stephen Cannon Active Member

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    Also remember in a lot of cases the Ford Dealer is the investigative reference for the "Covered Repair" Unless you ca get a third party inspection who is not on Ford Payroll including local dealers what they say goes. The Ford dealer is of course going to investigate and come up with any possible outcome to avoid them having to pay out a warranty claim. especially a high dollar claim like Transmission.

    With that said I am at a loss how A/C leak can cause transmission fluid leak other than the transmission cooler or come A/C component in that area, Condenser or Evaporator is the only parts that come to mind. Compressor is on the block side. Make sure that Fire Stone takes good notes and even photos if necessary even if you have to take it over to them. Problem is getting dealer to release vehicle without either repairing in full and of course payment or sending out as is and taking over to independent facility to get a "Second Opinion" It could be pricey but you might want to consider a "Third Opinion that is neither Ford dealer or Fire Stone.....I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE PEPBOYS....Especially Cooling/A/C....I personally wouldn't trust them to diagnose a bowl of Chicken Soup but especially nothing cooling system related.....Ask me how I know!!

    Remember pretty much every warranty is written by the manufacturers and pretty much exclude "Collateral damage" even if the failed component caused the secondary damage. Example and possibly extreme example...….Piston goes through the block, valve cover or lets say Valve goes through the valve cover and through the hood. They will cover the Piston but probably not the valvetrain damage and hood damage even though the damage was associated with the primary fail.

    Worst comes to worst you might have to get social media and even the Local Media involved
     
    Last edited: July 30, 2019
  6. transman304

    transman304 Elite Explorer

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    The transmission cooler shares the ac condenser. I would double check the cooler bypass valve assembly to see if it was not leaking from it.
     
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  7. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    If the trans cooler is integrated with the AC condenser, is it a trans part or an AC part?

    You got peanut butter on my chocolate. No, you got chocolate on my peanut butter...

    If the trans cooler is leaking, I would pursue it with Ford. A demand letter from an attorney would likely bring it to a quick resolution. If you don't get anywhere, you can probably bypass the integrated trans cooler easily with an add on unit.
     
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  8. transman304

    transman304 Elite Explorer

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    The add on external filter would be the most economical way to go if Ford is denying the warranty claim. Good luck.
    Brad
     
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  9. omar302

    omar302 Active Member

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    Try another dealer?
     
  10. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    If it's an obvious leak then I'd drain the transmission to where it doesn't move then have it towed to the dealership with a transmission problem.
     
  11. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Terrible advice. It has already been diagnosed (if properly) and documented that it is an AC leak. Anything further will still not be covered because of the leak until repaired properly.
     
  12. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    According to op, it has a trans leak, not an AC leak.

    The only reason the AC is part of the discussion is the fact that the trans cooler is integrated into the AC condenser. Unless I missed it, I see no mention of an AC leak.

    The other alternative here is to play the long game. If the leak is substantial, just keep driving the vehicle as is while trans fluid leaks out until the trans goes out and then have it towed in for warranty trans repair. If enough fluid has leaked out already that the trans is slipping, it may not be far from a bigger and more spectacular failure. I would think the dealer would replace the condensor at that time as the liability of sending it out with a leak after trans repair/replacement is not in their favor.
    Depending on current mileage and when warranty expires, of course.
     
  13. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    What???

    "the leak is caused by an air conditioner part which is only covered by the 3 yr/30,000 mile warranty"

    Therefore if that part is causing the leak which causes further damage, it would not be covered and it is already documented by the dealer.
     
  14. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    The a/c condenser and transmission cooler are combined in the same friggin part, look it up. I'd be going nuts if it wasn't covered under warranty unless there is obvious physical impact damage.
     
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  15. Ironworker40

    Ironworker40 Active Member

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    Since the condenser is part of the transmission system and you have trans fluid leaking, common sense says its a transmission problem and should be covered under powertrain warranty.
    If you had a freon leak then it would be covered under the a/c warranty.
    I think your dealer sucks and is trying to get you to pay out of pocket because he will make more money. I would go to a different dealer. As has been said on here before , all dealers are indipendantly owned and operated and you get vastly differant answers from one to another.
    Please report back after Ford make their decision.
     
  16. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The AC warranty is 3yr/36k which is he past and is why the dealer is denying him warranty.
     
  17. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Unless I missed it, there is no AC leak. There is only a trans leak. Regardless of how the part that the trans fluid is leaking from is classified, it is still a trans leak, not an AC leak.

    Op has numerous options and needs to make a decision how they want to proceed.
     
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  18. Stephen Cannon

    Stephen Cannon Active Member

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    I agree with KG. Transmission fluid leak....Transmission fluid.. Period That means Power Train doesn't matter how they want to spin it, get Ford Corporate and if nothing Else Social and even better...Local media,,,,,Investigative reporters love to eat corporations and local dealers up on the news.
     
  19. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    So going by that logic, if the radiator leaks coolant that should be covered under the powertrain since the coolant goes through the engine and waterpump.. and guess what, the radiator is covered under the 3yr/36k.
     
  20. Flying68

    Flying68 Active Member

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    From the warranty guide for a 2016 Explorer:
    It doesn't include the transmission cooler.
     
  21. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    As with far too many threads here, there is a huge lack of details and a bunch of pissing and moaning.

    To the op - where is the leak? Damaged tubing or at a connection/seal?

    If seal, hopefully an easy fix. If cracked/damaged tubing, you have several options already mentioned. Please report back so everyone can stop assuming and posturing.

    Just for the record, I never said it was a covered powertrain part. I just clarified that it was a trans leak and said pursue it or just get an external cooler installed and bypass the built in one.
     

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