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Towing C-MAX behind an RV, battery and odometer problems


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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mrcooper

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 02:40 PM

I'm new to this forum.  I posted the following in the welcome area and now I think I found the proper area for the posting

 I bought a 2013 C-MAX SEL to tow behind my motor home.  I was towing 2011 Ford Edge but my wife has turned into a gas mileage freak and we went with the C-MAX.  Great car for RV towing, more aerodynamic, lighter, and almost as much interior room as the Edge.  I had a problem with the Edge arriving with a dead battery after a 4 or 5 hour tow.  The C-MAX has the same problem.  Apparently Ford products have a heck of a battery drain when the car is left in neutral.  That can be overcome.  Here's another serious problem.  The owners manual indicates that you tow the C-MAX in neutral with the ignition in accessory position.  Great but they didn't realize that if you leave it in accessory the odometer will clock miles while you're towing it.  Not only will it get you to the end of warranty faster, it also totally screws up the MPG history because the car thinks it's getting great mileage, mine was showing 59 mpg.  The C-MAX support folks said the engineers were looking into the problem.  I took the car back to the dealer for some serious talk and the tech got on line with their tech support and the answer came back to shut everything down when you tow (I have a copy of that e-mail in case I need it for future discussions).  With everything shut down the odometer doesn't record the towed miles, but, the car still arrives with a dead battery.  Easy solution, I had to spend $75 for a new RV to car electrical cable.  The connector on the car was a four pin from the 7 blade on the RV.  New cable is a 6 pin with one pin a 12 volt from the RV that connects to the C-MAX battery (using specially designed fused via the jump start post under the hood because I haven't laid eyes on the 12 volt battery).  Every one I ask says it's in a rear quarter panel or it's under the storage area.  I'm too old to be sticking my fat head under a car with low ground clearance to find out where it is.  I assume there really is one back there because the dash lights up and the car starts (hope it's a maintenance free battery).


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#2 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 08:55 PM

  Every one I ask says it's in a rear quarter panel or it's under the storage area.  I'm too old to be sticking my fat head under a car with low ground clearance to find out where it is.  I assume there really is one back there because the dash lights up and the car starts (hope it's a maintenance free battery).

 

Glad to hear you and the engineers have got a better solution going.   FYI, the 12V battery is relatively easy to get to.  It's inside the rear hatch not underneath the car.  Check your OM or you can view it on line http://owner.ford.co...&vehicleIndex=0



#3 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:13 PM

Did you find the 12v?

 

Here's a picture.

 

The funnel for resetting the "Check Fuel Fill Inlet" message and other problems is located just to the left of the picture.

 

wab



#4 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:26 PM

Not sure if I answered this on another post, but you car shouldn't be recording miles when in the accessory position on an SEL.  Mine doesn't and others have reported the same.  I think you have actually left it in the "run" position.  Check to make sure the little green car is not lit up on the right hand side of the instrument panel before you tow.  Also, all the gages should be of and nothing should be lit up but the gear position indicator.



#5 OFFLINE   silverdonna

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

I tried doing the direct wire from RV & created my own cigarette lighter in c-max….still arrived with a dead battery…going to  create the charging line now…glad to hear that it can come from the pigtail & I don't have to run a separate wire from the battery…did you put a fuse at both ends? or only on the c-max end?



#6 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 08:46 PM

Greetings and Welcome

 

Take a look at this

It’s all you need, wires between the 6 or 7 way on the front of your car to the + charge connection under the hood.

BrakeBuddy 39332 Towed Vehicle Battery Maintainer

 

http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Attached Files



#7 OFFLINE   mangles

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 08:25 PM

Thanks for all your posting.  I just finished setting up my 2014 CMAX Energi for towing behind my RV.  Yes I ran a change line to a BrakeBuddy.  Why not, the 12 vdc from the RV is already at the 7-pin connector.

 

I also installed a roadmaster baseplate, an all terrain Falcon tow bar and an SMI Air Force One braking system.  And everything works, including the LED brake display in the RV cockpit.

 

The only problem I had was pre-running the CMAX.  You know start it, idle the engine for a few minutes, put it in drive and reverse, then N; turn it off.  For the life of me I could not figure out how to get the gas engine to fire up.  Called FORD hotline.  They said, push the start button then push the gas peddle to the floor.  OK, that worked.  However as soon as I took my foot off the gas the engine stopped.  OK, I will work on this.  I know you can disable the automatic engine shut-down was applying a Sync update.  I just need to locate the info I had.

 

Anyway, my thanks to those posting good info...

 

re, mike in san jose, ca.



#8 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 02:07 AM

Ford has changed the procedure from what was originally in the Owner's Manual.  The original procedure was cut and pasted from another car and was just wrong.  There is no need to go to Reverse since our cars really don't have a reverse gear, they just run the electric motor backwards to reverse the car.

 

Here's what the new Owner's Manual Says:

 

Tow only in the forward direction.
 
• Release the parking brake.
 
• Place the transmission in position N.
 
• Place the ignition in the off position.
See Starting and Stopping the
Engine (page 124).
 
• Do not exceed 70 mph (113 km/h).
 
• Place the transmission in position P,
start the vehicle and allow it to run for
one minute at the beginning of each
day (you may need to press the
accelerator pedal in order to start the
vehicle). After allowing the vehicle to
run, place the transmission back into
position N and the ignition in the
accessory position
 
By the Way, if you want to force the engine to run, just turn up the heater to a high temp.

Edited by jmckinley, 20 December 2014 - 12:54 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   SPL Tech

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 02:26 AM

Does the car actually need electricity while towing? Just disconnect the 12v battery. You can do it in 60 seconds.


Edited by SPL Tech, 26 December 2014 - 02:29 AM.


#10 OFFLINE   musicmaestra

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:32 PM

I towed my 2013 Cmax sel behind my motorhome cross country last fall and racked up 10,000 miles on the odometer. I did everything the manual said , including shifting to neutral and putting the car in accessory mode (pushing the start button without my foot on the brake). The dealer I bought it from said it would not accrue miles (who the heck wants a car that will accrue miles?). I called customer service and they referred the problem to one of their engineers. He reported back to my service center that "the Ford Cmax "MAY" accrue miles while being towed 4 flat." So, anybody have any ideas? I would love to see that email from the tech you talked to about shutting everything down! Help!!!

#11 OFFLINE   joshg678

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 12:05 AM

Your supposed to do this:
Turn car on
Shift to neutral
Turn car off
Car should be off

While off some of the models may still be awake and this you need to keep the 12v battery charged.

Every 6 hours I believe you need to turn the car on and force the ICE to start so it can lubricate the transmission.






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