PTU, CV Joints & Now Transmission? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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PTU, CV Joints & Now Transmission?


New Member
July 11, 2016
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Explorer
I need to talk to my transmission guy tomorrow but I know absolutely nothing about cars and/or how the problems we’ve had may be related. I’m grateful for any information. Please just remember to explain it so a 6 year old could understand it :)

In July 2016 the PTU on our 2013 Ford Explorer (then 95,000 miles) started leaking black fluid. We researched the issue and decided to change the seals and see what happened.

In March 2017 the CV Joints locked up and bc (we were told) Ford doesn’t supply just CV Joints we had to have the whole "Rear Drive Shaft Assembly” replaced.

A few weeks ago (139,000 miles) I noticed a jerking when it would go from stop to acceleration. A few days later the black fluid returned. We had to wait for an appointment due to back up during the holidays.

We’re now told the PTU needs to be replaced (no surprise) but also there is an issue with the transmission. I don’t have the details bc I did not actually speak to the mechanic myself and won’t until tomorrow morning. But it sounds like: they went in to check a leak in the transmission but the gears were jammed up (?) and they removed the “all wheel drive” and "the other side has a problem too."

My questions are:
1) Should I expect continued problems with the new PTU? I’ve read (I think) there is an overheating issue. Does the new design fix this problem, or is overheating due to location (not design of the unit itself)? Does the new design now allow you to change the fluid or is that not necessary now due to a new design?

2) How might a bad PTU affect the transmission (if it all)?

3) Are the CV Joints affected by bad PTU or transmission? (Or was this just bad luck)

Newer PTUs have better cooling (new with MY 2017 as far as I know, though PIUs sometimes got it as an option) though this wouldn't retroactively apply to your vehicle.

The biggest failure with the PTUs, anecdotally speaking, is that the fluid is considered lifetime. I don't think this is the case and is probably a 60k max lifetime.