Piston Slap: Goodwill Repairs to Hit 'em With That Flex?
I’ve been enjoying your work on TTAC for several years and (unfortunately) have run into a situation where I think I need your help.
After reading Mark’s review of the Ford Flex several years ago, I test drove and fell in love with one — a 2012 Titanium Ecoboost model, to be precise. Fast forward to last month, and I am driving down I-395 when the car starts to lurch; $1,900 later, I have a new fuel injector and a picture of a leaky turbo (rrg). In hopes that Ford would have some type of pity on a 5.5-year-old car with only 53K miles on it, I took it to the dealership. $167 later, we’ve added a transmission seal issue to the running list and they’re asking more than $5,000 to square everything away.
I’m hoping you have a magic bullet for this one or, barring that, something snappy to say that will make me laugh.
Magic bullet? Make you laugh? I’ve made enough Panther Love jokes alongside my cheap shots at the D3 chassis during the Panther’s demise. The original Five Hundred/MKS was an easy target, but hopefully Ford Motor Company throws goodwill repairs your way. They should if you’re the original owner: age and mileage is right at the border. So ask for it.
None of this is surprising. A turbocharged/direct-injected engine has more moving parts, more seals/gaskets to wear out relative to the base V6 Flex. Also, big vehicles with 300+ horses and front-wheel-drive-based transaxles with power take-off units are under more pressure than the same size vehicle with
rear wheel drive inefficiency a more conventional transmission with room for beefier internals. That said, your Flex uses an upgraded transaxle, so hopefully the new seal is all you need for now.
Get that goodwill repair cash from Dearborn, fix whatever you feel comfortable repairing, get second/third opinions from independent mechanics, and trade it in for the Next Big Thing whenever the repair bills on this relatively complex machine overwhelm you.
Because there’s always a new big thing, son!
Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
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