Ford Focus ST Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at my wits end with the service departments in my area. I have three ongoing issues with my car, 2 of which since new (26k ago). Always get the same blah blah blah...can't duplicate, operates as should.

First unresolved issue is the wipers will sometimes stop in the middle of the windshield until their next cycle when on intermittent. This issue I have only been to the Dealer once. It happens so randomly that I understand them not being able to duplicate. I did manage to catch it on video though.

Second is the famous misfire on cold start. I've been to three different dealers. I was actually banned from one because they told Ford I had a high flow intake and proceeded to try and charge me a diagnostic fee. Meanwhile they had never called me saying there was an issue or a fee, only found out when I went to pick the car up. I do not have a high flow intake. I have an AEM dryflow filter in a stock intake setup. I did have a RS intake box cover on it at the time (still shouldn't have been an issue), but had they called me and told me it was an issue I could have told them the OEM cover was in the back of the car. That visit resulted in a 2 hour conversation with Ford Customer Care. Brought it to a different dealer for this and an issue with the AC, they wouldn't provide a loaner vehicle. They did open a case for the misfire and wanted my car back for testing. Wanted me to drop it off overnight and they would have it for a day or two, but wouldn't provide a loaner vehicle (wouldn't, not couldn't) and my work is 2 miles outside their shuttle radius (go figure). As far as the AC I was told the pressures were normal and system working correctly. So that resulted in bringing it to a third dealer, where I actually bought the car but no longer frequent that area (45 minutes opposite direction as my work). Brought it there to address the misfire as well as the AC issue. They must have forgotten about the misfire issue. Which brings me to issue number 3.

Third issue. This has been going on for about a month now and has been to Ford 4 times. My AC isn't working correctly. It does cool, but after ten to fifteen minutes it will begin short cycling, does not matter if at idle or driving. Does not matter what ambient temps are, and does not matter what the engine load is. I will get 20 seconds of cooled air and the 20 seconds of ambient air on a cycle, repeatedly. Also when the temp starts to rise I get a foul odor from the vents. First trip to the dealer I was told that the system was operating as should and the pressures were normal. Second trip, first day. We can't find anything wrong, pressures are normal, system is full. I said no, there is an issue, go ahead and drive the car. Next day they said the AC stayed cold, but the tech noticed the air output changed on its own and they suspect a faulty blower motor. Come pick the car up until the blower motor comes in. I pick the car up and after 5 minutes at idle in their parking lot the issue is present. Went up to the showroom got the keys to a new model same trim (ST1) and tested the AC. Mind you this whole time I have had a temperature probe in my dash vent, can clearly see the 5 to 15 degree temperature swing. Let the new car run for 15 minutes, after 4 minutes the temperature was a cool 42.3 degrees and it was consistent. Mine was only achieving 52.1 at the time at the lowest 61.6 at the highest. I talked to my salesman and he said he was going to talk to service.

Now here comes the good part. I am a Medium Duty Diesel Technician. Lead Tech at that. I maintain a fleet of 86 School Buses and 5 service vehicles all of which have AC. AC on school buses require constant maintenance due to poor designs and workmanship. I have an AC manifold gauge set and I know how to read it. I also know what the discharge(high) pressures should be on R-134A relative to Ambient Temps. After the two day visit to the Dealer, I put my gauges on the car and was instantly peeved. 72 degree ambient temp with about 60% humidity and I had reading of 34psi on the suction side and 100psi on the discharge side. Approx 75-80psi too low on discharge side. 3 visits to 2 different Dealers and clearly they never checked the pressures in the AC system. Called the latest dealer to confront them and was told "We never told you we checked the pressures." You had complained about the air output, not temperature. BS RO says "customer states AC not cold/does not stay cold" They brought up the air output, not me. I threatened to call Customer Care. They promised they would get to the bottom of it and to bring the car back in. Dropped it off Monday night. Got a call at 9:30 Tuesday morning, "Your car is all set, it was low on Freon. They evacuated the system, leak tested, and re-charged. The system is working correctly now, you can come pick it up." I said ok where did the Freon go? Well we didn't see any leaks but we did put dye in the system so we can check it again in a few weeks. Seemed fair enough so I went and picked my car up. Ten minutes into my 20 minute drive home I get welcomed with a splash of warm ambient air and the foul odor again. Mind you the temp does get colder, but I still have the cooled/ambient issue and I still have a foul odor. I have not put my gauges on the car yet waiting till lunch to do so. I can assure you that my ac does not operate as per Ford Service guidelines as I have access to Ford Tech Connection through my work and can look up any and all reference material that is provided to Ford Factory Trained Technicians.

What gives, does no one verify their repairs anymore? And why can't a Factory Trained Ford Service Tech duplicate or acknowledge a seemingly obvious issue? What are my options at this point? I'm pretty sure I know what the issue is (escapes actually have a TSB for these exact symptoms and the part they reference is the same part number on our Focuses and is located in the exact same spot in our HVAC system boxes). Do I just fix it myself? I shouldn't have to.

This same dealer with my last car from them couldn't diagnose a noisy rear sway bar link even though I drove the car with the Tech and duplicated the noise, I still got "We couldn't find anything loose." After 3 trips with that I put it up on a lift and found the LR link had play in it. Had to tell the Dealer what was wrong with it to get it fixed. The only Dealer left in my area I will not go to and leave my car at because it is not in a good part of the city.

I see Ford Service commenting on here all the time.... What do I need to do to get a competent technician to properly fix my car?


Sorry for the long post, but I needed to get this down somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Hey, I have the same wiper issue as you.

And strangely enough, on my previous ST, I had the cold start misfire issue.

I have not and will not take my car in for the wiper alignment problem simply because of the horrific Ford service experiences I dealt with during the misfire debacle.

I'm avoiding Ford service at all costs. Ive seen far too much and dealt with far too much incompetence that unless something catastrophic happens, I won't bring my car to a dealership service center.

I wish I could be more of a help, but my honest advice is to avoid Ford service unless it's truly urgent.

Let me know if you ever get the wiper thing sorted... It's annoying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know some of what you've been through. I follow your other thread. I fear I'm headed in the same direction.

As far as the wipers, I just think they are too big a wiper for the motors Ford uses. They use two and they are sync'd via the BCM and not by any linkages. They have built in limit switches to prevent overheating and I believe they are just too sensitive. Have you noticed that in heavy rain on high they will slow down from time to time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Hey OP, for the foul smell at least, have you tried changing your cabin air filter? I had a nasty musk, foul smell for a week or two. I went to change my cabin filter and it had mold/mildew/dirt all over it and once that was changed it seemd to make a big difference. I have a 2016 st1 with 26k miles myself. For my a/c, it will do a shutter thing, like almost wanna die when on high and its a hot humid day out. I think the compressor for these cars are too small and don't work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
593 Posts
Just to add to the ford service department woes...I went last week to just patch a tire. When I got it back I was going to rotate, but I couldn't fit the sockets on 3 out of the 4 lugs because they were stripped. What kind of careless worker does that? Obviously I shouldn't have trusted them to take off a fricken wheel...anyways I went back and at least they gave me 4 new lugs.

My wipers also do the same thing and stop in the middle of the windshield sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey OP, for the foul smell at least, have you tried changing your cabin air filter? I had a nasty musk, foul smell for a week or two. I went to change my cabin filter and it had mold/mildew/dirt all over it and once that was changed it seemd to make a big difference. I have a 2016 st1 with 26k miles myself. For my a/c, it will do a shutter thing, like almost wanna die when on high and its a hot humid day out. I think the compressor for these cars are too small and don't work well.
Picking one up this afternoon. The issue I'm having is I'm certain the evaporator core is freezing up. Google 13 and up Ford Escapes you will find a ton on this. There is even a TSB from Ford addressing a design flaw with the Evaporator Temperature Sensor. That sensor happens to be the same exact part number as the sensors in our cars. I'm sure at this point the cabin air filter is damp do to the excess condensation from the core freezing up. I only get the odor when the air temp at the vents starts to rise.
 

·
Registered
2017 Ford Focus ST
Joined
·
679 Posts
Hey OP, for the foul smell at least, have you tried changing your cabin air filter? I had a nasty musk, foul smell for a week or two. I went to change my cabin filter and it had mold/mildew/dirt all over it and once that was changed it seemd to make a big difference. I have a 2016 st1 with 26k miles myself. For my a/c, it will do a shutter thing, like almost wanna die when on high and its a hot humid day out. I think the compressor for these cars are too small and don't work well.
Thats what I was thinking also. Had the same problem on my Civic (previous car), and I also had the intermittent problem with it kicking on and off. I know what the problem is with your car. Its a two part problem.

1st. Change the filter like Downshift Dave says, that will eliminate the nasty smell.

2nd. The intermittent problem is related to the A/C toggle button on the HVAC controls. It is shorting out. My civic had the same problem, replaced the control button and the relay switch (might have to replace the whole head unit on the focuses) and the problem was gone. Most ANNOYING problem on the planet when you drive in the summer. But that is my solution.

Electrical problems are always a ***** for mechanics, and I had the same issue with service as you, but mine was from a long-time customer private mechanic, be he stated flat out "I can take all day if you want to properly diagnose this, but it is going to get expensive. If you want to save money and you think you know the problem, just get the parts and Ill swap it out for you" I did that, and sure enough, boom, no more problems.

Being you have technical certification, I would just do the work yourself. If Ford gives you flack about it in the future saying you "tampered with the car" just show them your a ASE Certified Technician and they will shut right up, its listed right in their warranty policy that "any ASE Certified Tech" can work on the car and it WILL NOT void the warranty, PERIOD.

Edit: If this fixes your issue. I would then go to Ford with your findings, provide before and after video (with temps taken with a infrared thermometer) as proof of the issue, and ask for compensation for the parts. If they wont pay you for them, ask for some free accessories, but try and get SOMETHING out of them for your wasted time and money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thats what I was thinking also. Had the same problem on my Civic (previous car), and I also had the intermittent problem with it kicking on and off. I know what the problem is with your car. Its a two part problem.

1st. Change the filter like Downshift Dave says, that will eliminate the nasty smell.

2nd. The intermittent problem is related to the A/C toggle button on the HVAC controls. It is shorting out. My civic had the same problem, replaced the control button and the relay switch (might have to replace the whole head unit on the focuses) and the problem was gone. Most ANNOYING problem on the planet when you drive in the summer. But that is my solution.

Electrical problems are always a ***** for mechanics, and I had the same issue with service as you, but mine was from a long-time customer private mechanic, be he stated flat out "I can take all day if you want to properly diagnose this, but it is going to get expensive. If you want to save money and you think you know the problem, just get the parts and Ill swap it out for you" I did that, and sure enough, boom, no more problems.

Being you have technical certification, I would just do the work yourself. If Ford gives you flack about it in the future saying you "tampered with the car" just show them your a ASE Certified Technician and they will shut right up, its listed right in their warranty policy that "any ASE Certified Tech" can work on the car and it WILL NOT void the warranty, PERIOD.

Edit: If this fixes your issue. I would then go to Ford with your findings, provide before and after video (with temps taken with a infrared thermometer) as proof of the issue, and ask for compensation for the parts. If they wont pay you for them, ask for some free accessories, but try and get SOMETHING out of them for your wasted time and money.
I've watched BCM data with my diagnostic scanner. Shows AC request as on at all times even during when the issue is present. The cabin air most likely needs to be changed due to the excess moisture from the evap core freezing and thawing. Filter was replaced once already at 15k as per service manual. Shouldn't need to be replaced already unless there is an issue in the system. As far as ASE goes, my certification isn't in light duty passenger vehicles, it's in School bus only. On top of that repairs have to be at a registered repair facility which my work is not because we only maintain and repair vehicles we own.

It can't be a coincidence that my car has the same issues as described in the TSB for the escapes and c-max. Pertaining to the same exact part (right down the part number and location) that these Focuses are equipped with. It boggles my mind that the Focus is not covered under that TSB even though it's almost the exact same climate system as the Escape and C-max. Same sensors anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So the Service Department just called me to check up on it, they left the Work Order open and want to close it. I feel sorry for the people at work now, I just used all my nice up talking to Tom. I told him I was at the point where I was going to fix it myself, write them off, and make sure to leave an unsatisfactory review/survey. He asks what are the symptoms, it's slowing down right? No Tom, no! That has never been my complaint. That was something your Tech observed. Same symptoms I've had since the first visit more than a month ago. He asked me to give him 24 hours to work out a solution with the Service Manager and he would call me back. I told him to have the service manager call me. I've been more than patient with them and have always tried to politely tell them where to stuff it. I told him I'm not impressed at all with this whole situation. It's taken 3 visits for someone to even acknowledge an issue. I've been lied to multiple times and then given the run around. I'm not happy and I have zero faith in your service department. So here is what I think it is. I shouldn't have to diagnose it myself and tell you what to fix. After all, I'm not Ford Factory Trained. But, I guess if I want my car fixed and not get a bunch of bs that I tampered with it because I fixed it myself then I have to tell you what needs to be done.

I'm interested in hearing what they say when they call me back. I've already ordered the new sensor. Less than 9 dollars through my Ford vendor at work. It will be here Friday.
 

·
Registered
2017 Ford Focus ST
Joined
·
679 Posts
So the Service Department just called me to check up on it, they left the Work Order open and want to close it. I feel sorry for the people at work now, I just used all my nice up talking to Tom. I told him I was at the point where I was going to fix it myself, write them off, and make sure to leave an unsatisfactory review/survey. He asks what are the symptoms, it's slowing down right? No Tom, no! That has never been my complaint. That was something your Tech observed. Same symptoms I've had since the first visit more than a month ago. He asked me to give him 24 hours to work out a solution with the Service Manager and he would call me back. I told him to have the service manager call me. I've been more than patient with them and have always tried to politely tell them where to stuff it. I told him I'm not impressed at all with this whole situation. It's taken 3 visits for someone to even acknowledge an issue. I've been lied to multiple times and then given the run around. I'm not happy and I have zero faith in your service department. So here is what I think it is. I shouldn't have to diagnose it myself and tell you what to fix. After all, I'm not Ford Factory Trained. But, I guess if I want my car fixed and not get a bunch of bs that I tampered with it because I fixed it myself then I have to tell you what needs to be done.

I'm interested in hearing what they say when they call me back. I've already ordered the new sensor. Less than 9 dollars through my Ford vendor at work. It will be here Friday.
Keep me posted. I want to know what they say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well it's been 24 hours and I haven't received a call back yet. The new sensor is due for delivery tomorrow. I'll modify it as per the TSB for the Escape. I did change out the cabin air filter last night, wasn't really dirty, but was the source of the damp/musty smell. In fact it was slightly damp when I removed it.

I'll let you all know if the modified evap temp sensor fixes my issues. At this point I've given up on Ford.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey, I have the same wiper issue as you.

And strangely enough, on my previous ST, I had the cold start misfire issue.

I have not and will not take my car in for the wiper alignment problem simply because of the horrific Ford service experiences I dealt with during the misfire debacle.

I'm avoiding Ford service at all costs. Ive seen far too much and dealt with far too much incompetence that unless something catastrophic happens, I won't bring my car to a dealership service center.

I wish I could be more of a help, but my honest advice is to avoid Ford service unless it's truly urgent.

Let me know if you ever get the wiper thing sorted... It's annoying.


Spent a little time browsing around Ford's Tech website today.

"The wiper motor has a thermal protection strategy which disables the wiper motor when travel of the wiper arms is impeded by ice/snow and or excessive resistance as the result of operation on a dry windshield. The wipers may slow to a lower speed before being commanded off when a high friction situation/concern exists. It may be necessary to disconnect and then reconnect the battery after the repair to enable the wiper operation."

This is what I was referring to in regards to the wiper motors. I was also incorrect in saying the wiper motors are sync'd via the BCM. The BCM only commands the function, the motors are actually sync'd via the Driver's side wiper motor over a communication network isolated between the two motors.

What ever happened to a simple, old-fashioned motor and some linkages?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So an update for you all. It has been over a week and I have not heard anything back from the Dealership. I need to call them when I have a few minutes because they left the RO open and I want my copy of what they did, or in this case, didn't do.

I got the chance to put it on an AC machine at a friends shop. This time it was over charged, thanks Ford. I recovered the system and pulled vacuum for 30 minutes and let sit for 30 minutes and it didn't show any leaks. That doesn't mean there isn't a tiny one somewhere. Dye was added and I have not seen any dye anywhere yet. Charged system to correct amount (21oz). Let run for 45 minutes and AC stayed consistent at 43.1 degrees at the vents. On the way home however I was getting the temperature swings again from about 48 degrees to 62 degrees. This was relatively flat roads with cruise set at 60. I did all this Thursday last week. On Friday the new sensor came in. I removed the plastic hood as per the TSB for the Escapes and installed it. Took all of 3 minutes. Since then my AC seems to be working correctly.

Now the temperature still varies at different ambient temps, but that is to be expected with an internally controlled Variable Displacement AC Compressor. But the temps are consistent during my commutes, no more cold for a minute, warm for a minute.

So I'm starting to wonder if I ever had a Freon level issue. I never checked the pressures before the first visit to Ford, so it's entirely possible that they did install gauges and maybe let freon escape. This was a different dealership than the one I'm having issues with and I would have brought it back there had they been willing to provide a loaner vehicle. They had opened a case for the cold start misfire and wanted my car back for a few days, but would not provide a loaner unless it was for a repair taking longer than 4 hours, diagnostic didn't count.

So what I seems to lead down to is all this hassle and agitation for a 9 dollar part taking less than 3 minutes to replace. Thanks Ford Service, thanks for the headache.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top