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Stiff-armed by the dealer on a warranty issue

whimsey

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Hmm, wonder where I got that factoid then, because I've been hearing it a lot.

After I posted it I pulled my 2017 service manuals. Sure enough the 2.3Ls PTU has no mention of the cooler, unlike the 3.5L variants and the 3.7L TiVCT.

Must have been another running change I was thinking about--apologies.

Does the 2.3 at least have a drain plug for the PTU? I had it changed, or at least the dealer charged me at 9,000 miles. Now I wonder whether they did it or not. This PTU Ford problem is becoming like their shooting spark plugs in their modular heads that had 3 threads holding the plug in. This doesn't make me a happy camper!

Whimsey
 


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blwnsmoke

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blwnsmoke, would you please amplify your response to bigtexan99? Starting with what's a PIU?

Sorry, but I'm a noob to the Explorer world.

POLICE INTERCEPTOR UTILITY. Because of the high stress and abuse they see, it is my understanding the PTUs were only updated on the police versions.
 




thefranchise713

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Does the 2.3 at least have a drain plug for the PTU?

Whimsey

My 2017 Workshop Manual says yes on the 2.3L.

The answer on the 3.5L variants and 3.7L TiVCT is not so clear. The manual specifies instructions for vehicles with a drain plug and without.
 




jo7hs2

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My 2017 Workshop Manual says yes on the 2.3L.

The answer on the 3.5L variants and 3.7L TiVCT is not so clear. The manual specifies instructions for vehicles with a drain plug and without.

Didn’t they add a drain plug to the Escape/Edge PTU sometime in the past few years? It would make sense if the 2.3L Explorer has a drain plug then, because it likely shares the same PTU model with them, as they (all the Escapes and the non-performance Edges) use the 6F35 rather than the 6F50/55, which seems to have a somewhat different case design.

Does it happen to show a cooler on the 3.5/3.7 models with drains on the service manual diagrams? I was under the impression those versions had drain plugs, whereas the air cooled ones don’t have accessible drain plugs.

Hey, at least my 6F55-equipped Explorer has a drain plug on the transmission...sometimes manufacturers even try to do away with those...
 




bigdude2468

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Curious, does the 2016 have a drain plug to change the fluid? If it does not how do they change the fluid? Every other oil change, once a year I do the "speed quicky" fluid change on my 2014 by suctioning out as much as possible and refilling with fresh synthetic.

Does Ford have some other method of removing fluid other than suction? I have a vacuum pump and I can't get more than half the fluid of the PTU due to interference. If they did not do a complete fluid change $358 is outrageous. I can do it in 30 minutes laying on my back.
 




thefranchise713

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Does it happen to show a cooler on the 3.5/3.7 models with drains on the service manual diagrams? I was under the impression those versions had drain plugs, whereas the air cooled ones don’t have accessible drain plugs.

The manual on the 3.5Ls (not specifically so named, but the 2.3L is called out separately, so...) goes like this:

* Models with a drain plug
* Models with a coolant type PTU cooler (and note "all vehicles with PTU cooler will have a drain plug")
* Models without a drain plug.

If you lack a drain plug, the way a full(ish) exchange is facilitated appears to be along the lines of fill, rotate the front tires 3x, drain, fill, rotate 3x, drain again, fill again.
 




jo7hs2

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The manual on the 3.5Ls (not specifically so named, but the 2.3L is called out separately, so...) goes like this:

* Models with a drain plug
* Models with a coolant type PTU cooler (and note "all vehicles with PTU cooler will have a drain plug")
* Models without a drain plug.

If you lack a drain plug, the way a full(ish) exchange is facilitated appears to be along the lines of fill, rotate the front tires 3x, drain, fill, rotate 3x, drain again, fill again.

Interesting, so that means some units without PTU coolers DO have drain plugs. Does it mention where the drain plug is located on the 3.5 units with plugs, so folks can check for them more easily off a lift? I’m just personally wondering now if any of the consumer 3.5s have a plug, or if that was a fleet modification or limited to certain years. Gosh, it would be nice if manufacturers were clearer about this sort of change.

The “change for units without a plug” procedure helps explain why the original poster was charged so much for a few ounces of fluid...that takes up a bunch of shop time as it’s a lot of siphoning.
 




whimsey

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Interesting, so that means some units without PTU coolers DO have drain plugs. Does it mention where the drain plug is located on the 3.5 units with plugs, so folks can check for them more easily off a lift? I’m just personally wondering now if any of the consumer 3.5s have a plug, or if that was a fleet modification or limited to certain years. Gosh, it would be nice if manufacturers were clearer about this sort of change.

The “change for units without a plug” procedure helps explain why the original poster was charged so much for a few ounces of fluid...that takes up a bunch of shop time as it’s a lot of siphoning.

That's probably why for my 2017 2.3 I was charged $110($88 was labor) at the dealer to change the PTU fluid because the 2.3 has a drain plug. Shame it doesn't have a cooler also.

Whimsey
 




thefranchise713

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Even at $110... that's really, really cheap insurance to keep the PTU from failing.

Interesting, so that means some units without PTU coolers DO have drain plugs. Does it mention where the drain plug is located on the 3.5 units with plugs, so folks can check for them more easily off a lift? I’m just personally wondering now if any of the consumer 3.5s have a plug, or if that was a fleet modification or limited to certain years.

Same side as filler plug (driver's?), but middle of the bottom part of said side.

On the 2.3Ls this drain plug is on the actual bottom, in contrast.
 




whimsey

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I totally agree with you, $110 is cheap to keep the PTU working for more than 30,000 miles. I'm going to see if the dealer is willing to use Amsoil Synthetic Severe Gear 75W-140 that I supply instead of Motorcraft 75W-140. From everything I've read over the last 16 years at bobistheoilguy this gear oil can really stand up to extreme and harsh conditions better than the manufactures fluids. The PTU's in these vehicles definitely meet that criteria.

Whimsey
Even at $110... that's really, really cheap insurance to keep the PTU from failing.



Same side as filler plug (driver's?), but middle of the bottom part of said side.

On the 2.3Ls this drain plug is on the actual bottom, in contrast.
 




jo7hs2

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Fascinating note, the PTU for our Escape has both a drain and a fill plug. Fill is on the side near the top, drain is on the bottom. So those 2.3s may even have a fill plug, since it sure looks like the same PTU. I’ll also note that PTU has a heat shield on it. Hilariously, the lifetime fluid monster pops up elsewhere, as I can’t find a transmission drain plug on the 6F35 now, and I know it had one in 2012.

The more I look at diagrams of the PTU for our 3.5 Explorer, I’m convinced there is a plug on the passenger bottom of the PTU. I’m attaching the screenshot from the Ford Parts website showing the location and part description. For the life of me, I cannot get into position to see this spot with the car on the ground. If somebody with 3.5 no-cooler happens to snap a picture of their 2017-2018 Explorer’s PTU before I get a chance, flag me on it.

DC361658-2802-4F88-BC1A-8EE0746412E1.jpeg
 




MarioMatos

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Fascinating note, the PTU for our Escape has both a drain and a fill plug. Fill is on the side near the top, drain is on the bottom. So those 2.3s may even have a fill plug, since it sure looks like the same PTU. I’ll also note that PTU has a heat shield on it. Hilariously, the lifetime fluid monster pops up elsewhere, as I can’t find a transmission drain plug on the 6F35 now, and I know it had one in 2012.

The more I look at diagrams of the PTU for our 3.5 Explorer, I’m convinced there is a plug on the passenger bottom of the PTU. I’m attaching the screenshot from the Ford Parts website showing the location and part description. For the life of me, I cannot get into position to see this spot with the car on the ground. If somebody with 3.5 no-cooler happens to snap a picture of their 2017-2018 Explorer’s PTU before I get a chance, flag me on it.

View attachment 157248
This A Regular Drain For Flush This Is In The Middle

Other PTU Have Drain Plug More Down
b573d325c5a5e6e68d062f165e566d5b.jpg
 




jo7hs2

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This A Regular Drain For Flush This Is In The Middle

Other PTU Have Drain Plug More Down
b573d325c5a5e6e68d062f165e566d5b.jpg

Huh. So that picture of your 2012 XLT shows a drain in about the same spot the diagram shows one on my 2018 XLT. I guess I better get under there and check.
 




MarioMatos

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Huh. So that picture of your 2012 XLT shows a drain in about the same spot the diagram shows one on my 2018 XLT. I guess I better get under there and check.
no, it's from an explorer sport, I just wanted to show you the difference
the 2012 has the plug in the middle you need a pump to drain the oil
 




kmarnes

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As an aside, going back to the original post. My first gut instinct is if your partner indeed drives the car like a granny, couldn't that be the contributing factor towards the problem? It's certainly not a blame thing -- it could very well be more of a faulty PTU. I know with German cars in particular here in Vancouver -- there are just tons of them on the road due to lease returns and many of them are performance variants. And quite a few of them have problems with carbon build up due to driving the car too soft. The platinum is a performance variant.
 




jo7hs2

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As an aside, going back to the original post. My first gut instinct is if your partner indeed drives the car like a granny, couldn't that be the contributing factor towards the problem? It's certainly not a blame thing -- it could very well be more of a faulty PTU. I know with German cars in particular here in Vancouver -- there are just tons of them on the road due to lease returns and many of them are performance variants. And quite a few of them have problems with carbon build up due to driving the car too soft. The platinum is a performance variant.

Nah, that would make sense if it was an engine issue, or some other part that likes a certain amount of heat to burn off water/carbon/whatever, but the PTU desperately wants to be cool. Driving gently might even extend its life, if only by avoiding it being under load as often as possible...although it’s going to be moving anyway because it’s always spinning, even if the RDU is disengaged.
 




cbx1047

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just curious about the rejected warranty issue, I am under the impression that the ptu problems you describe would be covered 100% under the drive train warranty 5 year 60,00 mile.
 




jo7hs2

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just curious about the rejected warranty issue, I am under the impression that the ptu problems you describe would be covered 100% under the drive train warranty 5 year 60,00 mile.

The original poster said that the Ford dealership only replaced the fluid, not the PTU itself. Warranties usually only prorate consumables like tires, and fluids are typically not covered at all. Part of the issue is that had they replaced the PTU (which other dealerships have, under similar symptoms) that would have been covered. The basic idea from the warranty standpoint is that, after a few thousand miles, they have no way of knowing if a defect, abuse, or even just normal wear and tear caused the fluid to need replacement, so they exclude fluids from warranties.
 




KeithH

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Update and some comments.

I had a meeting with the Service Manager on Tuesday. I made the same case as in the OP. At no point was he listening to me. He was just letting me talk so he could tell me no.

Also, the Ford 800 line closed my complaint, didn't call or email me with the results, and will not let me talk to a supervisor because the case is closed. I thought about trying to to re-open another, but I'm sure the complaint is tied to the VIN, and I'll be denied.

The bottom line here is that something broke, lifetime fluids don't fail in one day for no reason. As I can see it, there are only three possibilities:
1. PTU/fluid failed catastrophically. Seals or loose fill fitting most likely.
2. Sensor or computer failed to warn of a impending failure.
Either one should be warrantied.

Well, I've had it. They win. It's disappointing because I used to have more respect for Ford. Now with a possibly damaged transmission, $400 dollars in the hole, and zero reasonable discussion with either the dealership or Ford, that's it. No more Ford cars for me or anyone I can influence.

Cheers all and thanks for the feedback.
 


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bigdude2468

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Can't blame you. Between PTU problems, paint bubbling on hoods that are obviously a manufacturing defect and the internal water pump I doubt I would buy another Ford. ( I know for sure I would never buy a Ford with the internal water pump even if the incident rate is low) My 2014 with a little over 50,000 miles has been fine. I have been changing PTU fluid once a year by suctioning out what I can but seeing how Ford has handled warranty issues it is definitely concerning. I understand that all manufacturers have issues that they fail to address in a responsible way. However, some are better than others. Also the fact that Ford quit monitoring this board is a BIG issue with me.

GM had a transmission issue that not only did they stand behind but went out of their way to make it right. They had a six speed transmission that was in many 2005 -2009 sedans that had a defect called the 3-5 wave plate that failed. Resulted in loss of 3rd & 5th gear and no reverse. GM extended the warranty to 10 years and 125,000 miles INCLUDING subsequent owners. I gave my son a 2008 Saturn Vue which failed at 119,000 miles. Dealer took one look at it, said the transmission will be replaced, here is a loaner car and it will be one week before the vehicle will be repaired. No questions asked. Chrysler extended the warranty on the rear A/C unit of our Dodge Caravan to 100,000 miles due to corrosion of the expansion valve at that runs underneath the vehicle exposing it to road salt, moisture etc. Chrysler also extended the warranty on the rear head of the 3.6 L Penstar engine due to a possible problem with the casting. The problem is very rare but they acknowledge it. Ford knows the hoods are a problem and offers a better warranty on new vehicles but sticks a thumb in the eye of owners with a four + year old vehicle.
 




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