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Water pump failure leads to dead engine

Should Ford cover part of all of this repair out of loyalty?

  • Yes, a water pump failure at 95k should not destroy an engine

    Votes: 100 87.7%
  • No, and please quit whining about it

    Votes: 14 12.3%

  • Total voters
    114

tlbig10

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I hate being the guy that joins only to have his first post be about needing help, but I’ve been lurking here for the better part of a year and now have a depressing reason to reach out for assistance.

This is long, so the summary is 1k miles over warranty, water pump failed without any check engine light or rise in engine temperature, this lead to complete engine failure, dealer wants $7300 to replace engine and Ford won’t help.

Here is a quick history on our 2011 Ford Explorer Limited. Bought it used from a private party in April ’14, it had 48k miles and looked brand new and was completely stock. Here it is after I detailed it:


On March 15, 2015, I loaded up the family (wife, 6 year old, 3 year old, and 6 month old) in Phoenix, AZ for a quick four day vacation in California during Spring Break. Somewhere around Desert Center, CA, aka the middle of the desert, I started hearing a faint rattle under the hood when the tranny downshifted in order to maintain cruise control speed. It would go away when the tranny would shift up to its final gear. I immediately began watching the temperature gauge to see if anything was amiss. Since it was 95 degrees outside, we were an hour away from civilization, there was no check engine light and no change in engine temp, I kept going. The problem continued to worsen over the next 10 minutes until the engine completely lost power. Even as I was pulling off the road, the temperature gauge read normal and there was no check engine light.

As I came to a complete stop and turned the engine off, I got a “low engine oil” warning and a check engine light finally came on. I happened to bring my Bluetooth OBDII reader with me and the code I pulled was P0017 (crankshaft position). I knew something was bad and needed to have the car towed. I called AAA and after being stranded in the desert for three hours, we finally had the car towed to Fiesta Ford in Indio, CA. Anyone ever been without A/C in the desert for three hours with a 6 month old baby? Not fun.

Here are a few pics of us trying to make the best of it:



The car had 61k+ miles on it at the time, a mere 1k over the 60k powertrain warranty (but still under the 5 year), when Fiesta asked if I wanted to spend $2300 to break the engine down in order to see what happened and to see if Ford would warranty it. I felt pretty stuck at this point so I said sure. I’m 300 miles from home, no car, vacation ruined, and I need to safely get my family home somehow.

After spending $350 in renting a minivan to drive home, I hear back from Fiesta. The results were failed water pump which lead to complete engine failure and it was going to cost $7300 to put a new engine in. When the regional Ford rep reviewed the case, they denied the claim because 1) I’m 1k over the warranty, 2) I’m not the original owner and 3) I don’t have enough Ford Loyalty.

Since I have no way to contact this regional rep and this Ford Loyalty score is so crucial, I wanted to prove how loyal a Ford customer I was by sending her my family’s 2011 Christmas card:


We’ve had eight Ford Focus in my family in the last seven years. How’s that for loyal?

Anyways, does anyone have any way to reach out to someone at Ford HQ to re-review this case? What really bugs me is how there was zero warning of a problem even after it was too late. If the water pump failed and the engine light immediately came on or the engine temp started to rise, I would be looking at a new water pump, which I’m totally fine paying for since I’m 1k over warranty. But the car failed to give me any warning and now I have this giant expense staring at me.

Any ideas?
 


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morbid81

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do you have the extended warranty? this should cover it yes? you shoulda got a new warranty being 2nd owner so i would really question it and fight it like you are doing.
 




goochman

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Ive seen this on the GM side as well - 2nd owners dont get much relief since in theory you got the vehicle at a pretty good price off sticker (of course its used) - 1K out and I would think Ford would help with something but unfort 2nd owners are 2nd class with most auto manufacturers.
 




182RG

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do you have the extended warranty? this should cover it yes? you shoulda got a new warranty being 2nd owner so i would really question it and fight it like you are doing.
He bought it used, private party (see above).

Doesn't sound like he purchased an extended warranty. You only get a new warranty, if you buy it or if the dealership includes it on a CPO.

Sad story and I feel for the OP.
 




blwnsmoke

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tlbig-10 - Do a search for Crystal on here "FordService" is her forum name. Give her your name, phone numbers, vin and current mileage and either explain what is going on or link her to this thread.

It is unfortunate that this happened and frankly I can't see how a failed water pump would blow your engine if your temps were within check. I also fail to see how a crankshaft sensor has to do with a water pump.

My gut tells me is this dealership is not even attempting to work with Ford on getting part or all of this covered for you. My gut says they are trying to have it be a customer pay incident so they can bank the full retail value of the motor and labor. I also don't believe that Ford is telling the dealer that there is not enough "customer loyalty". Ford would shoot themselves in the foot if this type of attitude was relayed directly to the customer from Ford Corp. I'm not one to feel you need to blast a company for every little thing but this is a big deal.. not a "water pump" as you said that would cost you a few hundred.

ANY customer can be a potential Ford customer.. this is not how I see Ford responding to you with the proper communication and information.

My other recommendation is to post your story on Ford's Facebook page. The warranty is Black and White.. you are outside of warranty but I still Ford should be stepping up with only 1k over warranty. I've had Ford cover 50% of my repairs at times for being over my 100k warranty so they do care IMO.

Click here.. http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=307130&page=4

Click on Ford service then click on send PM.
 




FordService

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I hate being the guy that joins only to have his first post be about needing help, but I’ve been lurking here for the better part of a year and now have a depressing reason to reach out for assistance...
Welcome to the forum, tlbig10; let's see what I can do to turn this situation around for you. Send me a private message (PM) with your full name, best daytime phone number, VIN, current mileage, and servicing dealership. I'll get to work on some options to help.

Crystal
 




Halwg

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I'm thinking there is a lot more to this story than the OP is telling us. It would be interesting to hear the outcome.
 




blwnsmoke

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And I'll also add.. if they quoted you $2,300 for a tear down.. that right there should tell you something about this dealership.

At $110 per hour, they are quoting you over 20 hours to tear down a motor??? It doesn't take 20 hours to build the Ex from scratch at the factory. They should have no more then 4-6 hours of time invested in an engine removal and tear down. And being the water pump was determined to be the problem, that is a bolt on accessory per say.. no tear down required.
 




Toucan

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Welcome to the forum, tlbig10; let's see what I can do to turn this situation around for you. Send me a private message (PM) with your full name, best daytime phone number, VIN, current mileage, and servicing dealership. I'll get to work on some options to help.

Crystal
One gets better "FORD" service here in this forum than on the "Ground".

We need you in Belize!
 




Toucan

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$7,300.00!!?? Saw a vehicle exactly like yours at an insurance auction site with around 32,000 miles going for $3,200.00!!! You would get an engine an a "hull" as extra...
 




tlbig10

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I really don't think Fiesta Ford is the one pulling the strings here. I've reviewed my case with Ford HQ reps, had them read me the notes between service manager and regional rep, and I think it comes down to some formula the rep has to follow. Yes, the tear down and price for new engine seem expensive, but I understand these aren't rebuilt engines for a 20 year old vehicle.

PM has been sent to Crystal.

I'd love for someone who can make decisions at Ford to look at this case like blwnsmoke said. I don't know too many 33 year olds with three kids who can say they've purchased X number of new vehicles from a single car manufacturer or have enough dealer maintenance records to give them enough loyalty points to warrant a little help in time of need. I've owned seven vehicles since I was 16 and only one of them was new. I'm finally reaching a point in my career where buying new could be doable again. Does Ford want to burn a young potential customer like this for life?

This isn't supposed to be some witch hunt against them and they can go look at the vehicle and see it has not been abused - far from it.

When we were coming home after the incident, I stopped at the dealer to check on the vehicle. Here are some photos of the tear down:



I'll keep everyone posted on my progress. I'm not ready to take this to Facebook or Twitter. I want to work with Ford as much as possible before taking the next step.
 




peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum tlbig10. :wavey:
Believe me, you are far from being the first to post an issue in your first post. Many members have found this Forum due to an issue they have with their Explorer. I see Crystal has been in touch with you so we'll wait and see if she is able to provide any positive feedback. Nice looking family you have there. :thumbsup:

Peter
 




tlbig10

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Crystal was able to look at the case, unfortunately she wasn't able to help me.

Looks like I'll try Facebook and Twitter to see if we can get some additional eyes on this. Right now my only choice is to go back to the dealer and try to negotiate the price down, but what incentive do they have to do that? :sigh:
 




jarettp

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Crystal was able to look at the case, unfortunately she wasn't able to help me.

Looks like I'll try Facebook and Twitter to see if we can get some additional eyes on this. Right now my only choice is to go back to the dealer and try to negotiate the price down, but what incentive do they have to do that? :sigh:
These are the types of things people take into consideration when determining if we are going to stay loyal to a brand. If Ford doesn't help you out at all please let us know. I for one will make it a part of my next buying decision. Only $1k over too? They should be giving leeway to people that close in my opinion.
 




Mdg4486

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I am in the process of getting ready to buy a brand new Ford Explorer next month and this is making me wonder about Ford's dedication to their customers. In fact I am supposed to go by the dealership next week... If I was in your shoes I wouldn't be happy either and part of me says that would never happen to me,but what if it did. What if the engine needed to be replaced only after 1,000 miles after the warranty. Would they treat me the same way?
 




tlbig10

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These are the types of things people take into consideration when determining if we are going to stay loyal to a brand. If Ford doesn't help you out at all please let us know. I for one will make it a part of my next buying decision. Only $1k over too? They should be giving leeway to people that close in my opinion.
1,6xx over, and I'm at year 4 of 5.

The Ford Facebook page didn't help. While I was appreciative of Sarah responding to my post (and she knows Crystal), she too couldn't help.

I've contacted The Consumerist and will be looking at local news stations to see if they want to spotlight this.

One burning question I have is if I was at mile 59,999 when this happened, would Ford still be giving me the run around if I wasn't the original owner? I've reviewed their warranty guide (link) and no where in there does it talk about requiring you to be the original owner, or needing to have all maintenance done at a dealer, or even taking into account a "Ford Loyalty Number". The few points they emphasize are keeping up with vehicle maintenance (which I did), keeping a record of them (which I can provide), and not modifying the car (I'm fine there).

In fact, I found this on Page 8 of 41:

Sometimes Ford may offer a special adjustment program to pay all or part of the cost of certain repairs beyond the terms of the applicable warranty. Check with your dealer or call 1-800-392-3673 to learn whether any adjustment program is applicable to your vehicle. Please have your vehicle identification number available.
 




blwnsmoke

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Warranty is transferable so that isn't the issue. I am assuming (could be way off base) is that Ford stating you were not the original owner means they didn't profit off you, they profited off the original buyer so maybe they would do something for the original owner but not you.

Regardless, I feel that is wrong.

How did a water pump take out the engine? And why did you get a CEL on something completely unrelated to the water pump? Something doesn't add up right.
 




pup5581

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They really said you aren't ford loyal? And since 2nd owner? What a bunch of BS. It shouldn't matter 1 bit if you are loyal and a 2nd owner. 85% of people out there are 2nd 3rd 4th ect owner.

once you get 5 mile outside of warranty...i would lose all hope a car company would help me. They are in it for the $$ and i have seen them leave people high and dry right outside of the warrenty. Infiniti did it to me with my G35 and they call themselves a "luxury" brand
 




tlbig10

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How did a water pump take out the engine? And why did you get a CEL on something completely unrelated to the water pump? Something doesn't add up right.
The dealer told me coolant entered the engine when the water pump failed.

The mystery behind it is what gets me. No rise in temperature, no notification when things were not right, no steam coming out of the hood, no white smoke out the exhaust, just a slow power loss over 10 minutes with some weird rattle coming from the front of the car. Then when the car is finally stopped, I get a low engine oil light and a check engine light P0017. The car wasn't dripping any fluid when I was stopped. You can kind of see from the picture the area is totally dry.
 


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Toucan

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You probably blew the head gaskets - as we say here. The excessive heat can really break the head even without your knowing. The question is - Why no warning signs. Ford has got to respond to that.

My loyalty - Owned a total of 16 vehicles and 15 have been only but Ford. My two older children use only Ford..!!!
 




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