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advice on purchasing used 2013 C-Max SEL Hybrid

2013 hybrid used

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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   bsinboston

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 12:53 PM

So happy to have found this forum.  I am seriously considering buying a very low-mileage 2013 SEL Hybrid (1-owner 22,000 miles) and am looking for some advice.  I have found both good and bad reviews of this car.  Most issues seem to be of an electrical nature, and my question is this:

 

If buying a 2013, have most of the issues that plagued that year been fixed through updates?  I have never purchased a Ford before and have only owned Subarus my whole life.  I really need a reliable car first and foremost.  So is it safe to assume that most of the kinks that accompanied the 2013 c-max have already been addressed or do you think they have a real reliability problem?  

 

Thanks so much in advance for any information.  Just trying to make an informed decision before I head to the used car dealer.  

 

-BS









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#2 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 01:31 PM

Welcome.  Coming here before buying is something I would recommend to myself.

 

 

The Quick:

 

The transmissions on 2013s have a high likelihood to fail starting around 60,000 miles.

 

The likelihood is less for 2014s.

 

The likelihood is unlikely for late build 2015s and later

 

The hybrid warranty has covered the cost but that may be changing for there is now a way to fix the problem without replacing transmission, but the cost will be less.

 

https://www.google.c...chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 

Getting a 2016 gets the bonus of a better sound and control system.  The system before that is disturbing to some people.

 

I would not recommend a 2013 unless you get a REALLY REALLY good price.  ( a transmission out of warranty is expensive.)  I realize that 20K miles is tempting.  Have you looked at cars.com and sites like that?

 

 

 

There is a problem with cupping from the rear wheel camber of the 2013s and perhaps on other years. which is kind of minor but can be mitigated with frequent tire rotation.  Cost-wise this is minor.

 

https://www.google.c.....0.YceNmC1Nkfk

 

 

 

As I see it, many people on this forum really like their car.

 

It handles nicely.  It gets great mileage once you understand some fundamentals (and good mileage in the meantime ).  It is roomy for tall people and big things in big boxes yet easy to drive like a small car.  And there is a great forum: fordcmaxhybridforum.com with helpful and intelligent people. 

 

FYI production of the car stops this year.


Edited by obob, 25 February 2018 - 02:32 PM.


#3 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:30 PM

If you find a 2013 that has had the trans replaced already that's great, problem solved. Warranty is 8yrs/100k mi. which ever comes first and don't to transfer the warranty when you get it. Most trans won't fail, but ones that have been used for mostly FWY driving are more problematic. We love our CMAX's, I have 185k mi. on mine. :)

 

Paul


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#4 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:56 PM

Also, the main "electrical issue" that was complained about was the 12V battery dying over a few hours, such as someone getting to work, turning off their car, and coming back out to find a dead battery for no apparent reason. There are a series of recalls that seem to have fixed this, and many people "solved" it in the short term by keeping one of the small lithium battery jump starters in the car. I'm not aware of any other real electrical problem with the C-Max, at least not off the top of my head.

 

The small lithium-ion batteries, such as you can buy off Amazon or at Costco, work just fine to start the C-Max, as it doesn't need a lot of power to "start." When you press the start button, all the 12V battery does is start the computers and electronically connect the traction (hybrid) battery -- which is what starts the engine. The battery is electronically disconnected when the car is off 1) for safety reasons, to make it safer to work on the car and for first responders (in case of an accident) and 2) to keep the traction battery from "dying", as there is no easy way to recharge the traction battery (unless you have a plug in hybrid).


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#5 OFFLINE   bsinboston

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 05:47 PM

Wow, thank you all for the quick replies. 

 

I really hate the thought of buying a car that has a transmission that I will worry about all the time.  The price is really good on the car, but still, the last thing I want to deal with is rebuilding a transmission.  Perhaps the better move is to keep searching for a later model.  It seems like 2015 and up are more reliable. 

 

I'd still like to hear from anyone else who has a 2013 or has any other information regarding the transmission issues.  The more info I can gather, the better decision I'll be able to make.  I really do appreciate a good active forum like this one.  Happy I joined.  



#6 OFFLINE   Duck

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:29 PM

I bought a used 2013 C-Max SEL on Jan 24th with 65K... about a month ago.  Had no problems so far.  Was 1 owner car from same dealership too.  I only researched this car for about a day before as I never heard of them before.  Loved it as easy to get in and out.  Better interior than Prius.  Plus more 'features' and options.  I paid 11.2K

 

I am going to ask for the service records from the dealer - However, they stood by their sale as a reliable car and their car Check was all green lights.  So I bought it.  

 

The Radio "MFT" seems OK as I have not seen the newer ones so ... ignorance is bliss at the moment!  I have no problem using the system and menus.  I have a A4 Nav SD card and might upgrade it to whatever is latest.  

 

Cannot add much about long term care and feeding as of yet but happy with my purchase.  I did spring for the Dealer offered 3 year 36K warranty for about 2 grand.  Feel like I am somewhat covered even though I never buy those warranties.  Said bumper to bumper.

 

That is my take. so far.


Edited by Duck, 23 February 2018 - 08:48 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 11:15 PM

Take the VIN and go to owner.ford.com or the Etis site or a local Ford dealer with a good service reputation and check the following items:

  1. Any outstanding service actions?
  2. Did CSP 14B07 apply to this car and, if so, was it ever performed? This CSP was for the transmission problem - see this topic.  My guess is that you will need to do this at a Ford dealer since it may have "expired" and won't show up on-line.  Then as a "worst case" check, find out how much it would cost to repair the transmission if it did need it and if, somehow, it wasn't covered by warranty.
  3. Was TSB 14-0155 ever done on this car?  It was for the dead 12V battery problem - see this topic.  If not, find out the cost and have it done.  Again, might need a dealer to check this one too since it has expired.  It appears that the problem really did get fixed.  I had one or two dead batteries but hone after this TSB was performed (and I got a new battery for free).

We have a 2013 SE built in April with 150k miles (as of yesterday!) and a lifetime mileage of 49 mpg.  My yearly average since last April is at 51.5 mpg indicated.  I put in the adjustable links in the rear suspension to help with inside edge wear on the tires.  That change along with frequent rotations has allowed my second set of tires to go 78k miles to date and stay quiet (or reasonably so).

 

As others have said, a later model would be better but it all depends on prices and your own repair risk/cost analysis.



#8 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 03:03 AM

I have an October 2012 build date, pushing 60K miles with nothing more than some brake issues. Rear caliper stuck and warped a rotor, while the front rotors rusted away (not that unusual up here). Note that the 12v battery issue you've heard about wasn't very common in these SELs. 

 

I'd look at this as a value proposition. Assume that you're only keeping the car until the 8/100 warranty expires, so there will be no tranny repair cost, but likely lower resale value. You've got 3 years and 78K miles available. How does that fit your transportation needs over that period, compared with the cost of the car?

 

FWIW, I'm looking at my options. I drove Volvo wagons for decades, and this car does what those wagons did, using half the fuel. I have a similar 3 years and 40K miles available, but Ford's ending production with nothing similar to the C-Max on the 3-year horizon. This Spring, I'll mount the OEM tires for what will be their last season...

 

I like the car enough that I may use the worn-out tires as an excuse for getting another C-Max while they're still available (but honey, I needed new tires!). 

 

Have fun,

Frank


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#9 OFFLINE   Louder North

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 12:41 PM

Wow, thank you all for the quick replies. 

 

I really hate the thought of buying a car that has a transmission that I will worry about all the time.  The price is really good on the car, but still, the last thing I want to deal with is rebuilding a transmission.  Perhaps the better move is to keep searching for a later model.  It seems like 2015 and up are more reliable. 

 

I'd still like to hear from anyone else who has a 2013 or has any other information regarding the transmission issues.  The more info I can gather, the better decision I'll be able to make.  I really do appreciate a good active forum like this one.  Happy I joined.  

 

Hey bsinboston, I also have a 2013 SEL.  Have had it for 2 years now and running just fine with about 45000 kilometers on it.

 

The original 12v battery died recently and had to be replaced (from Ford dealer), otherwise no issues.  I've changed the fob batteries as well.

 

Before getting this car I had Subarus as well (three of them since early 90's).  I'm loving the CMax and this is a great forum for getting tips and other information on your car.  Enjoy!


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#10 OFFLINE   Volly

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 11:14 AM

I own two 2013s. The one I drive I've had issues with the main memory module that controls much of the car's computer. The dealer has a advisory on the part and when I spoke to them 2 weeks ago they are being told by Ford the issue is being "investigated" which means it won't be fixed. Other than that, I get 37.3 mpg in it. Not sure why the low millage. It has 63K miles

 

The second one gets 40.2 mpg and gets driven the same way so no idea why the difference in millage. That one has no issues and also has about 60k. 



#11 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 02:01 PM

Interesting. :headscratch:  Same tires, Tire pressure?

 

Paul








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