Time for a new truck?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Elliott Willschick, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    I have a 2002 Ford Explorer. On Wednesday the 4x4 mode started coming on during turns. I took into the Ford dealer and they couldn't replicate the problem and found nothing wrong. It drove great on Thursday night. Friday morning I turned it on and it was already in 4x4 low. I tried to put it into drive to just get to the top of my driveway except the transmission didn't engage and I started rolling back. I turned the car off and on, it was fine. The same thing happend this morning except the transmission did engage. After restarting the car it went away. The dealer said they had never heard of this and I don't know how to get them to fix it. Any advice?


    I am horrified that this may happen while on the highway and I am seriously considering terminating my lease and getting a 4runner. In my experience, when something is intermittent, it's not usually repairable. Getting out of the lease is expensive so I was just wondering if anyone thought I have any hope of getting this problem fixed or if I should just go for the 4runner?
     
  2. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I'd say get the 4Runner. I've had enough problems with the GMs and Fords of the world so I'm very biased against their reliability. Not only do they make garbage, but their service centers are absolutely terrible.
     
  3. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Since we're speaking in general here, id like to say that in MY experience with import 4x4's THEY are the ones making garbage.

    My last Toyota 4x4 was always breaking something, i hated it!

    Not to mention that most all my buddies with Toyotas that 4 wheel for recreation all have aftermarket parts in their trucks due to easy breakage.

    Not bad 4x4's when upgraded though.

    My last Chevy Z-71 was a dream! Always got me to my hunting lease and through some crazy stuff. NEVER had a problem with it. I sure hated selling her last month [​IMG].

    I guess if you just want something to get you to work you could go import. Great realiablity on the street and good gas mileage [​IMG]

    Anyway, i dont think you should worry about the 4x4 engaging in low on the highway. Im not certain about Ford, but i dont think theres a problem driving in 4x4H on the highway.

    Of course, its not ok for it to happen all on its own. I hope you can get it fixed.
     
  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i'd go with the 4runner too. and if the dealer cant replicate your problem, good luck getting ANYWHERE with them. it may end up costing you more just to keep the explorer. plus it could be an enormous safety hazard to you, your passengers, and other drivers around you. my experience with american cars has been that most of them are garbage. i had better end the post here before i go into my GM diatribe. get the 4runner! [​IMG]

    CJ
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    don't take our word for it. Get a copy of consumer reports and look at the factual data (reliability reports) then decide for yourself.
     
  6. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Leave the car with one of the dealer mechanics for a couple of days. It should replicate during those days and they can figure it out.

    I'm not too sure aboot loaners for an unproven problem.

    Brent
     
  7. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    My mother has a 4runner and has never had to leave her car with the dealer for a few days for anything. But my GM has spent over 2 weeks at the dealer this year alone and it's only ~4 years old. Most of that 2 weeks comes from taking the car in, bringing home after it's been fixed, then taking it back because they didn't fix anything at all.
     
  8. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Get a Nissan Pathfinder or maybe a Nissan Murano (more family-friendly).

    I can't say enough good things about mine....I have a 2003 PF LE.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'm a technician in a Toyota dealership service department.

    It is nearly impossible in most cases to solve a problem like this if it can't be replicated, or if the system involved doesn't have some kind of self-diagnostic function.

    More and more systems these days are controlled by computers and will store trouble codes when malfunctions occur. Usually such systems will cause one or more warning lights to come on when a malfunction occurs.

    An example would be the Anti-lock brake system, some cruise control systems, etc. On some Toyotas trouble codes can be pulled for malfunctionning climate control systems.

    I beleive the 4wd system on the Explorer is at least electrically operated if not computerized, and the intermittent nature of the problem indicates the fault is most probably electrical in nature.

    I don't know whether this system will store trouble codes or not, probably not, but I'd bet the fault is a loose wire or bad electrical connection somewhere.

    Most all mfgs have either web-based technical assistance or tech assistance phone hotlines or both. Usually on a problem like this if the particular system doesn't set trouble codes that can be extracted with a scantool, and the dealer has never encountered the problem before, the first thing to do is to access the factory tech assistance for advice. Often the factory will be aware of a cure for these problems.

    My advice would be to keep the Explorer for the time being. As Brent L. said, leave it with the dealer overnight or longer. Your selling dealer may not have techs particularly talented at electrical diagnosis--not uncommon, so it may help to try more than one dealership.

    Document all occurences of the problem, and all visits to the service dept. but try to stay on good terms with the service advisors and such. Find the factory assistance number in your owner's manual or the warranty manual that came with your car and get them involved.

    By all means do not terminate the lease on your own and take a loss if the problem can't be cured.

    I'm pretty sure there are lemon laws in Canada--research the one in your area and use it if this problem can't be solved by your dealership service dept.
     
  10. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    Thanks for all of the replies. I did some research and it seems the problem is either with a speed sensor or the transfer case. I thought it may be a transmission problem based on what the techs experienced at Ford and I didn't want to keep a truck with transmission problems. The dealer had it for 30 hours and couldn't find the problem. Today it's happening more often so I feel a little more confident they can pinpoint the problem.

    Update: I took it to the dealer this morning. They always look at you like you're lying. That's why I was considering ending the lease because Ford techs are so skeptical. I felt like saying I made the whole thing up, in fact I wear this suit even though I don't have a job. Anyway, hopefully I'll get somewhere this time.
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Elliot,

    It's an unfortunate fact that too many dealership service departments don't have any interest in performing warranty work. This is largely because the factory does not re-imburse for labor in a fair manner. The factories don't pay for diagnosis time at all, and usually only pay for half or less of the time it actually takes to perform the repair. This basically means the technicians are cheated out of half their pay on most warranty repairs if the dealership doesn't make up the difference, and very few dealers do. This is not exclusive to Ford, all mfgs cheat the technicians this way.
     
  12. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    Steve, thank you for the insight. I did not realize why the dealers aren't very good with warranty work. The diagnosis time makes sense because they are very skeptical when something is intermittent. Their motto seems to be that if it doesn't occur in five minutes then you made it up.

    On a lighter note, they called today and said they found it was the 4x4 sensor. They had to order the part but they should have it tomorrow.
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    At our dealership we figure the customer wouldn't subject themselves to the inconvenience usually involved in bringing in the vehicle if they didn't percieve a real problem. Folks don't take their cars in to service departments because it's fun.

    That's not to say I haven't seen my share of weird stuff people think should be covered by warranty. One gentleman in particular insisted his car's stereo system was defective because Rush Limbaugh didn't sound right. We ordered him a new head unit and speakers, installed them, and he insisted it was still bad.

    I finally took him out back where the new in-stock cars were, and we got into 4 or 5 and tried the radios. When he found one he thought sounded right, we transplanted it into his car.

    I do think this was around the time Mr. L was having his hearing trouble, and he didn't sound as he normally does on any radio. Not being a fan, I wouldn't know from personal experience.

    Then there are the folks who don't understand why warranty won't take care of their bent suspension after jumping divider strips at 70mph, or the locked up engine from trying to drive thru 4 foot deep water without a snorkel.

    Last week a particularly broad-beamed individual insisted the seat springs were broken and poking them in the posterior. The seat involved has no springs, just a dense polyurethane pad over a metal shell.

    Anyway, I'm glad they found your problem. Next time get a Toyota though, much less likelihood of problems cropping up in the first place, and Toyota as a mfg. is very much more into customer satisfaction than most.
     
  14. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Funny how so many people have such varied experiences with car manufacturer's. That said, ASAIK Ford = F****d Over Rebuilt Dodge. I've never had any problems with my Toyota and neither do many of my friends who own them. The company I used to work for had a lease agreement set up with a local Ford dealer and those things were always in the shop for repair. They now use another manufacturer's vehicle.
     

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