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Long-term C-max tests: 75% transmission failure


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39 replies to this topic

#21 ONLINE   obob

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 08:21 AM

I was surprised they didn't get the transmission replaced under the 8yr/100K warranty when it failed below 100K.

 

That reflects the power of people coming together on this forum to share information rather than having to trust the service manager.


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#22 ONLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 09:16 AM

I was surprised they didn't get the transmission replaced under the 8yr/100K warranty when it failed below 100K.

 

Probably because these vehicles are not covered under Ford's new car limited warranties as they are likely "fleet" or "commercial" vehicles not individual consumer vehicles.


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#23 OFFLINE   BIG ROCCO

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 11:58 AM

Good to know - it was 118 here yesterday.

 

Oops - quote does not seem to be working - I was referring to the post about high temps in Phoenix not being as big of a draw on power as somewhat lesser temps in a more humid climate; that makes sense, as the mass of the condensate on the evaporator in a humid climate has to be a big factor, but I never thought about it before.  I suppose that must come into play when designing home HVAC systems, also.


Edited by BIG ROCCO, 21 June 2016 - 12:04 PM.


#24 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 04:42 PM

Good to know - it was 118 here yesterday.

 

Oops - quote does not seem to be working - I was referring to the post about high temps in Phoenix not being as big of a draw on power as somewhat lesser temps in a more humid climate; that makes sense, as the mass of the condensate on the evaporator in a humid climate has to be a big factor, but I never thought about it before.  I suppose that must come into play when designing home HVAC systems, also.

 

I know the A/C seems to be killing my gas mileage in Houston, we've had very high humidity this month with highs in the 90s. If I go out at night, my gas mileage is 40 or above but going out, in the afternoon, I'm getting low 30s or worse on the same short routes (often under 5 miles).



#25 OFFLINE   Marc Smith

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 06:04 AM

Make me wonder  if an earlier transmission service say at 50K  might be in order to help prolong the life.

 

Or.  don't do an early service  and hope it fails at 90K  rather than 100,001

 

I'm at 40K right now  putting about 15k a year on the car.  90% commuting to and from work 18 miles each way  with only a short stint, maybe 2-3 miles at 50-55 cruising speed...  with the occasional long trip 4-500 miles



#26 ONLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 07:20 AM

Make me wonder  if an earlier transmission service say at 50K  might be in order to help prolong the life.

 

Or.  don't do an early service  and hope it fails at 90K  rather than 100,001

 

I'm at 40K right now  putting about 15k a year on the car.  90% commuting to and from work 18 miles each way  with only a short stint, maybe 2-3 miles at 50-55 cruising speed...  with the occasional long trip 4-500 miles

If this issue is bearing failure, then UOAs might be in order as one might see elevated metals.  But that likely won't help in getting Ford to preemptively replace the transmission.  Changing fluid likely won't "fix" a bad bearing.  I believe ones best bet is to monitor TFT for abnormal increases but Ford again likely won't replace it unless there is noise.  

 

So, what I'm doing is monitoring TFT.  If elevated, I will drive it hoping for the "noise" before the warranty expires. If elevated TFT, no "noise" and near 100k miles, I'll then trade it.   I'll be around 75 k miles by the end of summer (about 5 k miles in trips planned) and likely will be approaching 100 k miles at the end of 2018.  Hope we get more definitive data / info on these failures by then.


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#27 OFFLINE   Marc Smith

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:07 AM

+3....

 

That would be my though process as well...  I't will  be closer to 2019 though when i hit 100K Maybe I'll be independently wealthy in 3 years, and a small transmission failure  will be chump change.   :)

 

although my daughter will be first year in college  so...there goes any spending  money...



#28 OFFLINE   scottwood2

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:18 AM

The fix was done in late 2013 so you are in good shape.  

Thx for the reply. 



#29 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:47 AM

although my daughter will be first year in college  so...there goes any spending  money...

Been there, spent that...!

"The Enterprise" was built in April 2013.  I think there was a Service Action, and also letters were supposed to be sent, but I never got one and the SA never showed up for my car so I can only 'assume' mine has the fix.  Am now at 99k+ so I sure hope so!  Several times I have checked the temperatures of the coolant lines up at the radiator (after driving awhile) and always found a significant difference between them.  I have not done much monitoring of OBDII data, however.



#30 OFFLINE   Marc Smith

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 09:45 AM

Ill have to check my build date....



#31 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 11:08 AM

If this issue is bearing failure, then UOAs might be in order as one might see elevated metals.  But that likely won't help in getting Ford to preemptively replace the transmission.  Changing fluid likely won't "fix" a bad bearing.  I believe ones best bet is to monitor TFT for abnormal increases but Ford again likely won't replace it unless there is noise.  

 

So, what I'm doing is monitoring TFT.  If elevated, I will drive it hoping for the "noise" before the warranty expires. If elevated TFT, no "noise" and near 100k miles, I'll then trade it.   I'll be around 75 k miles by the end of summer (about 5 k miles in trips planned) and likely will be approaching 100 k miles at the end of 2018.  Hope we get more definitive data / info on these failures by then.

You can extend your warranty to 130+K mi. like I did.  Mine failed at 98k so I didn't need it, but if you had an idea it was going to fail you could extend your warranty. :)

 

Paul



#32 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 03:08 PM

Might be possible to listen to bearings from time to time using a mechanics stethoscope.  These work well - and a cheap one is $3 at Harbor Freight.

What would be useful is a recording of normal transmission bearing noise.  Periodically play that in one ear and current bearing sound in the other.  Or A/B switch them.

 

Condenser mics have gotten very cheap.  Some day cars may monitor their own noises and self-diagnose problems before they are incapacitating.



#33 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 08:24 AM

Might be possible to listen to bearings from time to time using a mechanics stethoscope.  These work well - and a cheap one is $3 at Harbor Freight.

What would be useful is a recording of normal transmission bearing noise.  Periodically play that in one ear and current bearing sound in the other.  Or A/B switch them.

 

Condenser mics have gotten very cheap.  Some day cars may monitor their own noises and self-diagnose problems before they are incapacitating.

This is unnecessary  if you pay attention to your CMAX's noises, when it starts to go bad you will hear a new noise. It will steadily get loader as the miles go by, IIRC I put put on another 1200 miles after I first heard the noise start and was worried I couldn't go another 1200 miles to home so I stopped in Albuquerque to have it fixed. I might have been able to make it home, but I was worried that it would stop in the middle of no ware. ;)  Bottom line is the Trans doesn't just stop, it takes alot of miles to get real noisy. I don't remember anyone have their Trans just stop. :) 

 

Paul 



#34 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:51 AM

Update on long term reliability of 2013 C-max from government testing.

I re-visted the site today and looked at the individual service history pdf's for each of the 4 cars being tracked.  See first post on this thread for mid 2016 data.

https://avt.inl.gov/...2013-ford-c-max

4 vehicles (identified  by last 4 digits of their VINs):
2158 last date 3/24/2016   132k     tranny 110k $3900
5138        "       9/27/2016  170k         (no tranny replace)
5139        "       6/21/2016  144k   tranny 90k  $4400
8698 last date 3/16/2016  130k.  tranny 115k $4k
 

It remains the case that 3 out of the 4 had transmission replacements at 90 to 144k miles.  Car 5138, with 170k miles as of Sept last year, had not needed a transmission replacement.  No other major expenses reported for the cars (after transmissions, tires are the major recurring costs).

 

The tranny replacements weren't covered under warranty.  Some have reported that the drive-train including transmission is covered for 8 years or 100k in most states, and 10 years / 150k in "CARB" states, (including AZ and NM, which is where I believe these cars were located).  My own C-max warranty summary says the mechanical components of the transmission are covered for 5 years / 60k miles; only electronic components unique to hybrid cars are covered longer. 

 

Given that the most recent service update (including oil changes) is Sept 2016, I suspect this long term tracking of the four cars has ended.



#35 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:24 AM

Update on long term reliability of 2013 C-max from government testing.

I re-visted the site today and looked at the individual service history pdf's for each of the 4 cars being tracked.  See first post on this thread for mid 2016 data.

https://avt.inl.gov/...2013-ford-c-max

4 vehicles (identified  by last 4 digits of their VINs):
2158 last date 3/24/2016   132k     tranny 110k $3900
5138        "       9/27/2016  170k         (no tranny replace)
5139        "       6/21/2016  144k   tranny 90k  $4400
8698 last date 3/16/2016  130k.  tranny 115k $4k
 

It remains the case that 3 out of the 4 had transmission replacements at 90 to 144k miles.  Car 5138, with 170k miles as of Sept last year, had not needed a transmission replacement.  No other major expenses reported for the cars (after transmissions, tires are the major recurring costs).

 

The tranny replacements weren't covered under warranty.  Some have reported that the drive-train including transmission is covered for 8 years or 100k in most states, and 10 years / 150k in "CARB" states, (including AZ and NM, which is where I believe these cars were located).  My own C-max warranty summary says the mechanical components of the transmission are covered for 5 years / 60k miles; only electronic components unique to hybrid cars are covered longer. 

 

Given that the most recent service update (including oil changes) is Sept 2016, I suspect this long term tracking of the four cars has ended.

As far as I know all CMAX trans are covered for 8yrs/ 100k mi. and mine was replaced at 98k mi. at no cost. :)

 

Paul



#36 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:35 AM

Paul, thanks for info.  Please come with me to the service desk if mine fails. 

(I did like your pictures of your transmission: it is pretty.  But I am not keen to see mine outside the car.)



#37 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

Paul, thanks for info.  Please come with me to the service desk if mine fails. 

(I did like your pictures of your transmission: it is pretty.  But I am not keen to see mine outside the car.)

Glad too and that pic is ICE & Trans together. :)

 

Paul



#38 OFFLINE   nsteblay

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:16 PM

I think I had this problem right after I bought my CMax 2013 SEL back in October of 2012.  It was just a couple of weeks after I got it and there was a terrible vibration and noise when I drove it one morning.  The dealer actually towed the car from my house and I was able to pick it up a day or two later - don't remember exactly. They told me the couldn't find anything and I haven't had an issue since. I wonder if there wasn't a defect that they fixed.  



#39 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:54 PM

Don't know what to make of it, need more info. :headscratch:

 

Paul



#40 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:30 AM

As far as I know all CMAX trans are covered for 8yrs/ 100k mi. and mine was replaced at 98k mi. at no cost. :)

 

Paul

10 years / 150K miles for cars sold in CARB states, like here in CA.


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