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Recurrence of battery failure


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350 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   jchaddpete

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:02 PM

I thought the battery drainage problem was fixed in July, after several occasions when the battery had completely drained over-night.  The solution was supposedly a software change that was directed by a Ford engineer to the hybrid technician at Show Low Ford.  Anyway, the vehicle had no electrical problems since that "fix" until today, when the battery was once again completely drained during a 14 hour period when undriven.  Roadside Assistance had difficulty jump-starting the vehicle, but it eventually started and was driven to Oracle Ford, the dealership where it was purchased in February.

We'll see what happens with a different service department, but it's beginning to look like I may have to pursue Arizona's "Lemon Law" concerning this C-Max, which I really like in all other ways.

If any other C-Max owners are still experiencing low voltage battery failure, please respond.  Apparently, the software "fix" that was applied to my vehicle was not the solution to the problem.


Edited by jchaddpete, 03 October 2013 - 07:09 PM.








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#2 OFFLINE   ScubaDadMiami

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:40 PM

Is it possible that the previous battery drain did some permanent damage, which let the battery work again from then until now, but caused this premature failure.  Maybe that's why it was so hard to re-start with a jump, this time?



#3 OFFLINE   jchaddpete

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 03:21 PM

Is it possible that the previous battery drain did some permanent damage, which let the battery work again from then until now, but caused this premature failure.  Maybe that's why it was so hard to re-start with a jump, this time?

Thanks for your response.  I'll pass on this possibility to the Oracle Ford service department where the vehicle is being diagnosed for the fourth time.  The previous three instances involved a different dealership so maybe a different hybrid technician will use another approach to the problem.  The service manager indicated yesterday that Ford Motor Co. had established a "task force", whatever that would be, to investigate the issue of low battery drainage.  I'll keep the forum posted on the outcome.



#4 OFFLINE   BobJustBob

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

We'll see what happens with a different service department, but it's beginning to look like I may have to pursue Arizona's "Lemon Law" concerning this C-Max, which I really like in all other ways.

 

I know exactly how you feel.  In a few minutes I am going to call Ford Roadside Assistance to come jump my battery, which has gone dead for the fourth time (twice in March, once in August, and now today's incident).

 

Like you, I thought the application of TSB 13-5-1 in May fixed the problem.  However, it resurfaced in August, about 10 days after I had the "Customer Service" 13B07 applied (the one which supposedly leads to better gas mileage).  So, I am left wondering if 13B07 somehow negated the fix which 13-5-1 accomplished.

 

All I can say is, it is tremendously frustrating.  Like you, I really like my C-Max, but I have to face reality:  a car that won't start reliably is worthless.  I, too, am thinking of invoking my state's (Pennsylvania) lemon law.



#5 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

Sorry to read this Bob.  Good luck.



#6 OFFLINE   tehuti

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:52 AM

Sorry to hear about your battery woes. I have only had my SE for about a month and a half and so-far-so-good. 



#7 OFFLINE   Louise

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:04 AM

My 2013 C-Max SE has EXACTLY the same issues.  First time that the car was found dead it had 1300 miles on it. At the Ford Service Dept no issue/problem could be found.   Now it has gone dead mysteriously twice in this week (milage is about 11000).  The third time it was found dead, it was towed to the Ford Authorized Service Department without being jump started.  It was plugged into the computer and no error messages were found.  The car is dead in the service bay and the diagnostic computer is showing no problems.

The Ford Co. "regional customer service manager" has not returned my call for over a week now.  I live in New England.

I have found another C-Max owner in the northeast who has taken to carrying a jumper box in his car because of the same issue.

The car handles well and I am satisfied with the milage.  But like the previous poster....if it unreliable, it's worthless.  

Looking into NH Lemon Laws as well.



#8 OFFLINE   Linda

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

Two c-max's in this house. Mine died again this morning and the other one again last week. So we have had to 5 times call for a jump from ford. Batteries replaced and all software done. Nothing is helping this issue! What the heck is going on here?



#9 OFFLINE   jchaddpete

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:58 PM

The Ford dealership (Oracle Ford) has now had our C-Max for two weeks, including diagnostics and repair.  The supposed "fix", or at least an attempt at a fix, involves replacing a wiring harness, which includes a fuse assembly, that cost Ford $900.  Apparently, there was only one of these parts left in the country, and it was delivered during the past week and currently is being installed.  No one, including a Ford engineer communicating with the technician, can say what the problem may be with the original wiring harness.  It seems as thought Ford Motor Company is grasping at straws with this problem.

Anyway, the Customer Relations Department has been informed that this has to be the final attempt at resolving the dead battery issue.  It has occurred four times and been in two different Ford service departments for a total of 35 days.  If it happens again, I will be requesting a "buy-back" per Arizona's Lemon Law.

If there is anyone who has had the wiring harness replaced and has not experienced a dead battery since, I would appreciate a reply.  Since I really like the vehicle in every other way, it would be nice to know that a final remedy took care of the problem.



#10 OFFLINE   C-MaxSea

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 05:12 PM

Earth to Ford, Earth to Ford.............. better be buying these cars back immediately, and replacing in kind !  (whatever it takes)

 

Very sorry to hear of your travails Louise, Linda & jchaddpete.

 

Just my two cents,

 

Nick


Edited by C-MaxSea, 18 October 2013 - 05:16 PM.


#11 OFFLINE   frbill

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:59 AM

I have a C-Max SEL, the battery has died multiple times after the supposed fix. I will be taking it in on Monday for the third time, Only hope that it will not be unending.

#12 OFFLINE   BobJustBob

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

It seems as thought Ford Motor Company is grasping at straws with this problem.

 

That is my impression, as well.  Ford really doesn't know what is causing this problem.  They have tried software updates, blamed electrical connectors, and now they have replaced jchaddpete's wiring harness.

 

I truly hope they can figure this out and get it fixed.  I love my C-Max, but this is such a serious problem that it is ruining the way I feel about the car.



#13 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:17 PM

There almost seems to be multiple causes, starting with the wrong battery.

 

When the 6.0 F250 came out it had several problems.

One of the worse was chafing of the wiring harness, they eventually fixed them.

 

 

Human nature says (proven over the last few weeks, this Was NOT the first time the government has been shut down) that they will make this mistake again.

 

 

Ford has maybe isolated the most common cause and are just looking for the most cost effective way to fix most if not all SE's.

 

wab

 



#14 OFFLINE   Irishnavy

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:15 AM

Hi everyone.  Just bought a 2013 C-Max SE this week.  It has 4,000 miles on it and just experienced a dead battery on the morning of day 2 of ownership.  Looks like I'm not alone.  The voltage across the jumper leads in the engine compartment was between 5 and 6 volts.  The car was totally dead - no interior lights, no warning lights, nothing...or at least appeared to be totally dead.  I've jumped completely dead batteries before and it usually takes a few minutes of jumping; however, I was able to get the car restarted almost immediately.  This seemed kind of weird.  Then again, this is a hybrid.  Maybe the electric motor doesn't require as many cranking amps as a normal starter....

 

Anyway, have any of you tried the Ford TSB 13-4-13?  I saw that some of you mentioned TSB 13-5-1 (but this one has to do with vehicles left in below freezing temperatures).  I have to take my C-Max into the dealership to have the PCM updated (13B07) and so I'm going to ask them about reprogramming the radio interface per 13-4-13.  (For those of you who aren't familiar with this technical service bulletin, just do a Google search for "Ford TSB 13-4-13").

 

I've seen that several of you have taken your vehicles in multiple times without success.  Just wondering if this TSB was attempted and what the results were.

 

Ever since the jump, vehicle has been running okay.  I'll keep everyone updated on what happens after the dealership messes with it.


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#15 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:56 AM

Greeting and Welcome

 

Ask your service writer to print you a OASIS report, it shows everything that Ford has ever done to your car.

 

Some forums have members that can/will run oasis reports.

 

http://www.powerstro...sis-report.html

http://www.svtperfor...-report-35.html


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#16 OFFLINE   jchaddpete

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:58 PM

Picked up C-Max today after the wiring harness was installed.  Technician said it was a difficult installation, and he could not promise that it would finally resolve the dead battery problem.  He did notice some irregular readings from the old harness, but nothing that constituted a "smoking gun" to explain draining of the battery.  He also mentioned that, from now on, if the vehicle is usually driven for short distances, it should be used for a longer trip (lasting 15-30 min.) at least once weekly so that the LV battery gets a good charge.  We'll see if that really makes a difference with my digital voltage meter readings.  I intend to plug that meter into a 12v outlet every day, before starting the vehicle and with all accessories and lighting turned off, for the next few weeks to ascertain any significant changes in voltage.

Anyway, the car has been in two different service departments for a total of 37 days on four different occasions.  So, if there's no dead battery in six months, I'll feel that the problem has been remedied, even though a definite cause was never found.  If it does happen again, it'll be "buy-back" time as I have so informed Customer Relations.

I really do like the C-Max so I'm hoping that a magical cure of some sort has occurred.



#17 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:12 PM

Picked up C-Max today after the wiring harness was installed.  Technician said it was a difficult installation, and he could not promise that it would finally resolve the dead battery problem.  He did notice some irregular readings from the old harness, but nothing that constituted a "smoking gun" to explain draining of the battery.  He also mentioned that, from now on, if the vehicle is usually driven for short distances, it should be used for a longer trip (lasting 15-30 min.) at least once weekly so that the LV battery gets a good charge.  We'll see if that really makes a difference with my digital voltage meter readings.  I intend to plug that meter into a 12v outlet every day, before starting the vehicle and with all accessories and lighting turned off, for the next few weeks to ascertain any significant changes in voltage.

Anyway, the car has been in two different service departments for a total of 37 days on four different occasions.  So, if there's no dead battery in six months, I'll feel that the problem has been remedied, even though a definite cause was never found.  If it does happen again, it'll be "buy-back" time as I have so informed Customer Relations.

I really do like the C-Max so I'm hoping that a magical cure of some sort has occurred.

Hopefully this will resolve your problems, but I'm concerned if the battery was properly charged too ?



#18 OFFLINE   frbill

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:56 AM

They have had Sterling overnight and were very generous in giving me a complimentary rental. They called last evening to say that the battery failed and was replaced. They had some other odds and ends that they are working on today. I hope to get the car back this afternoon. They gave me an F-150 as the rental, what a difference! I really want my Car back. I will update as to the full work-up when I pick the car up.



#19 OFFLINE   BobJustBob

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:24 PM

He also mentioned that, from now on, if the vehicle is usually driven for short distances, it should be used for a longer trip (lasting 15-30 min.) at least once weekly so that the LV battery gets a good charge.

 

No one has ever said anything like this to me.  My commute to work is only 8.6 miles, so almost all my driving is short distances.  I wonder if the C-Max owners who are experiencing the battery problems are those whose typical driving patterns involve short trips.

 

I have a trickle-charger for the battery.  I've been thinking of hooking it up, say, every Friday evening in an attempt to prevent any more dead batteries.



#20 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:50 PM

I have a trickle-charger for the battery.  I've been thinking of hooking it up, say, every Friday evening in an attempt to prevent any more dead batteries.

This would be a good idea. It will maximize battery health and life as an added benefit.


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