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Just bought PIU - surging rpm ?

N4YLOR

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Just bought a 2013 interceptor utility a couple days ago, drove it back home about a 1.5 hour trip mostly 70 miles an hour, had no issues. As I got into town I noticed the tachometer needle bouncing back and fourth about 150 rpm, surging with a bucking feeling rather quickly. It seemed to happen through 2-3 and 3-4 mostly around 27-34 mph with light throttle, then it would shift again and the needle would stay put and the car doesn't seem to buck once it finally gets into the final gear. If I use more throttle I can feel the car hesitating, but the surging isn't as noticeable.
I did some research on different forums and tried a couple things.
While it was surging and bucking, I kept my foot on the throttle and stepped onto the brake with my left foot. The surging didn't seem the stop. Afterwards I was going about 30 miles an hour, (car surging) and clicked the OD off button on the end of the shifter. The RPM shot up to 3500, kind of surprised me that it must've dropped that many gears? Or that it dropped at all really, as I don't imagine I was in Overdrive doing 30 with light throttle.

Anyway, no check engine light came on the whole time this was happening. I was almost home watching the needle bounce and surge again and the car started shuddering almost like running over a rumble strip, and it was shuddering in sync with the tach needle.
The shudder brought back bad memories of a couple LX crown Victoria's I owned that had that common torque converter rumble in the mid to late 90's.
When I pulled into the driveway and put it in park I noticed a check engine light had come on, awesome I thought, I'll get my answer! It turned out to be P0430, a catalytic converter related issue. In my research I don't see how a plugged cat could be related to a shudder and rpm surging, but it does give me something to fix.
The car has 104k on it, and was department owned, the only service records I have are from the car fax and there's nothing relevant to maintenance. I am going to assume the plugs and coils and original and according to the maintenance schedule, should be replaced so I will definitely start there, but I am just wondering what you guys think my other course of action should be. Change the plugs/coils and just play it by ear? Bring it to a Ford dealer that can hook it up to a computer and watch the engine live? Get the p0430 code diagnosed and replace catalytic if necessary? I also see some people have had similar shudder issues go away after a trans fluid drain and filter replace. I'm really hoping the rpm surging, shudder, deal ends up being a simple faulty coil or worn plug that refuses to show up as a check engine code - I don't want to know what it costs to have a torque converter replaced at the stealership! So my plan is start with the easy required maintenance stuff and go from there, but I am certainly all ears to any suggestions from anyone here!
 


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KayGee

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Exhaust and vacuum leaks can cause surging, as can ignition issues. There is another thread about an exhaust leak due to cracks in the manifolds that might be worth checking into. Not sure if you can verify the cracks with the exhaust manifolds on the engine or if they need to be removed for inspection.

Did the 2013 PIUs have the 5/100 powertrain warranty? If you have a good relationship with a Ford dealer in your area, they may be able to help you out under that or maybe the 8/80 emissions warranty??? Whatever you do, keep your receipts. If there is a problem and it eventually results in a recall or other action, you'll need them to get any reimbursement that may be offered.

The button on the shifter should be for L gears, not OD, so I would think the RPMs shooting up to 3500 when you pushed it is normal.
 




N4YLOR

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Exhaust and vacuum leaks can cause surging, as can ignition issues. There is another thread about an exhaust leak due to cracks in the manifolds that might be worth checking into. Not sure if you can verify the cracks with the exhaust manifolds on the engine or if they need to be removed for inspection.

Did the 2013 PIUs have the 5/100 powertrain warranty? If you have a good relationship with a Ford dealer in your area, they may be able to help you out under that or maybe the 8/80 emissions warranty??? Whatever you do, keep your receipts. If there is a problem and it eventually results in a recall or other action, you'll need them to get any reimbursement that may be offered.

The button on the shifter should be for L gears, not OD, so I would think the RPMs shooting up to 3500 when you pushed it is normal.

Thanks, I will have to look for that thread. I've already got new plugs ready to go in, just waiting on new coils. Will probably call the dealer in a day or two to schedule a pan drop with new filter and keep my fingers crossed. I filmed the surging in action and the shuddering that accompanies it seems to be happening more often.

 




peterk9

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Did the 2013 PIUs have the 5/100 powertrain warranty?
Ford Powertrain Warranty on the Explorer is 5 years or 60k miles. I just went through the 2012 Warranty Guide which I have on my computer and it does not list any excluded Explorers unless it has been converted to an ambulance without the Ford Ambulance Prep Package.
There was no mention of police usage.

Peter
 




KayGee

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Ford Powertrain Warranty on the Explorer is 5 years or 60k miles. I just went through the 2012 Warranty Guide which I have on my computer and it does not list any excluded Explorers unless it has been converted to an ambulance without the Ford Ambulance Prep Package.
There was no mention of police usage.

Peter

I believe all 2016/7 PIUs came with 5/100 powertrain and I thought some of the older models may have also, but it may have been limited to certain states or some other factor.

I was just throwing it out there as a possibility to look into.
 




N4YLOR

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I wanted to update so that this may help anyone in the future.

I brought the car in to a local ford dealer yesterday and had a diagnostic done. The tech could see nothing out of the normal when he had his laptop hooked up to it and driving. They recommended I change the rear 3 plugs+coil packs and see if that helped. (I had recently replaced the front 3 but hadn't done the rears).
I got to thinking I might as well schedule a transmission flush since it was a police car and I didn't have any service records, plus it was due anyway (it's got 105k).
They got me in today and I asked them if they could show me what came out. Boy was that stuff nasty. All black and burned. They replaced it with all new fluid and a conditioner, and it drove home ALMOST like a new car. I could feel just a little shudder at one point in my 20 mile ride home. They did say I might still feel a small shudder or vibration for the first 100 miles or so, but overall I am VERY happy and it was very clear that the transmission needed new fluid badly anyway.
The flush cost $223.
I have read a couple horror stories about people getting flushes done, having success, and then the transmission giving out not long after so I don't know if i'm 100 percent in the clear yet, time will tell and I will update if anything else comes up.
For now it is time to do the rear plugs and coil packs, enjoy it, and do my best to stay out of all the potholes in town !!!
 




Paul1k

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Hello, N4YLOR. I bought a 2014 PIU with 90K in the beginning of March.
I'm having the IDENTICAL issue you are experiencing. It started out very subtle a few weeks after I got it. Since then, plus a few thousand miles later, it has gotten a little worse with it starting to shudder and slight loss of power going up hills. Its been to the a dealer twice. First time in they said they couldn't find the cause (no codes) or anomalies monitoring it on their test drive. They admitted they could replicate the issue and it might be the throttle-body but..., said wait for the CEL and bring it back. Second time while I had it in for a service they claimed they couldn't get it to surge at all, which was bull.
I've replaced on my own, the plugs, coils, MAF sensor and the throttle body to no effect. I've checked the intake, air box, and every inch of vacuum hose for any leaks. I noticed when the engine is cold it doesn't surge, but as soon as it warms up, it starts acting up.
So far I haven't spent a lot of money, one diagnostic fee and parts. The coils were a bit pricey though.
Mine is going to another larger dealership on Wednesday to give them a shot at finding this issue. I'm going to defiantly have them do a transmission flush now that I read your post.
Also, the town that owned mine had a Ford 5Y/100K powertrain warranty. The first dealer stated, I would need to have them transfer it to me, in order to use it.

I will also report back here to let everyone know the outcome.
 




N4YLOR

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Hello, N4YLOR. I bought a 2014 PIU with 90K in the beginning of March.
I'm having the IDENTICAL issue you are experiencing. It started out very subtle a few weeks after I got it. Since then, plus a few thousand miles later, it has gotten a little worse with it starting to shudder and slight loss of power going up hills. Its been to the a dealer twice. First time in they said they couldn't find the cause (no codes) or anomalies monitoring it on their test drive. They admitted they could replicate the issue and it might be the throttle-body but..., said wait for the CEL and bring it back. Second time while I had it in for a service they claimed they couldn't get it to surge at all, which was bull.
I've replaced on my own, the plugs, coils, MAF sensor and the throttle body to no effect. I've checked the intake, air box, and every inch of vacuum hose for any leaks. I noticed when the engine is cold it doesn't surge, but as soon as it warms up, it starts acting up.
So far I haven't spent a lot of money, one diagnostic fee and parts. The coils were a bit pricey though.
Mine is going to another larger dealership on Wednesday to give them a shot at finding this issue. I'm going to defiantly have them do a transmission flush now that I read your post.
Also, the town that owned mine had a Ford 5Y/100K powertrain warranty. The first dealer stated, I would need to have them transfer it to me, in order to use it.

I will also report back here to let everyone know the outcome.

I'd love to hear if a flush fixes it! Ask them to get you a sample of the fluid that comes out, yours will probably be black and nasty like mine.
Good Luck
Travis
 




Paul1k

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I'd love to hear if a flush fixes it! Ask them to get you a sample of the fluid that comes out, yours will probably be black and nasty like mine.
Good Luck
Travis

We'll the Explorer went in to the other dealer. They spent a good 5 hours trying to figure out what was causing the surge and shudder. They called and said they would have to start tearing things apart because they had no idea what was causing it. I told the service manager to instead, just flush the transmission like we had discussed when I dropped if off and if that didn't solve it. I would bring it back another time for them to tear it apart.
I got a call back about a hour and a half later from the astonished service manager. He said I don't know how, but we flushed it out then took it for a test drive and it runs fine now. He stated he had never seen anything like it before. I drove it home from the dealer 10 mi with no issues. I drove it for a total of thirty miles today, was able to get on it a few times with no hiccups at all. It shifts smooth up to redline, no shudder, loss of power or fluctuations in RPM at light throttle at all. The fluid they drained out of it was black and yucky. Which is strange because when I checked the level the fluid, looked normal on the dipstick.
I would have to say if this issue doesn't return I would call it SOLVED. I will report back here after a few hundred miles.
Oh and thanks Travis, if it wasn't for you, I would have spent a lot more money or would still be living with a very aggravating problem.

9d6e0260-bb0a-4826-98d5-ba3f345920d8_zpsyymdfcrt.jpg
 




N4YLOR

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Glad it worked out. Have been driving mine since I had the flush done and no issues since.
Hopefully others will find this thread as more PIU's are retired from service with bad trans fluid.
 




BatDoctor

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Glad to see i'm not alone here, I have read up on this with the explorers and the Edge, all similar problems. All state plugs, coils, Throttle body and trans flush. Im at 88k miles and the vehicle spent most of its life doing less than 35mph, low gears and light acceleration shutter and just the the video above, jumps rapidly. Ill try the flush first, and work backwards to the plugs.
Thanks fellas!
 




N4YLOR

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You betcha. Would like to hear how it works out for you.

Glad to see i'm not alone here, I have read up on this with the explorers and the Edge, all similar problems. All state plugs, coils, Throttle body and trans flush. Im at 88k miles and the vehicle spent most of its life doing less than 35mph, low gears and light acceleration shutter and just the the video above, jumps rapidly. Ill try the flush first, and work backwards to the plugs.
Thanks fellas!
 




BatDoctor

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Just stumbled across this and hadn't seen anyone else mention it in all the diagnostics done, but it could be a possibility. There is a TPS actually built into the accelerator petal assembly, its basically a very accurate potentiometer and everyone knows they get dirty and sometimes wear out or wear in certain spots. Perhaps it is feeding wildly varying results to the PCM causing it to think the speed is changing erratically in the "normal" drive area. I know my petal is very very sensitive. If my flush doesn't change this condition today, I believe a trip to the bone yard is in order to find a used one and just swap it out too try it. Food for thought
APS407photo%20primary__ra_p.jpg
 




BatDoctor

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I am pleased to announce that since Saturday after the fluid change I have had zero surging issues with the transmission. However I will say that it has made it feel more sluggish and not nearly as responsive, so I am looking forward to breaking in the fluid a lil bit but glad I don't need a transmission at 3000 bucks plus labor!
 




N4YLOR

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Glad it worked out for you!
 




13interceptor

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Any further updates or issues ? Having same condition with my 2013
 




N4YLOR

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Get the flush AT THE FORD DEALER and let us know how it goes! Ask them to show you a sample of what comes out.
 




bluelinebrotha

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Just had this done at Ford. Pricey at $240, but worth it. She's fixed, and had the same issue as OP.
 




KayGee

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Has anyone identified the actual cause of the problem? Is it just that the old fluid has broken down and lost additives/properties? Is it indicative of a looming problem elsewhere and the new fluid is just masking things temporarily?

Any feedback from those that had this done earlier this year? Everything still okay? Any symptoms return?
 


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13interceptor

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Change fluid ! Makes that issue disappear . Pretty sure it’s just a fluid issue
 




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