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.