RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- In '06 I came late to the game, bought a low-mileage (17k) '04 6.0L super duty F350 dually long bed, full double cab & great ground-effects and interior upgrade CENTURION package. Beautiful truck. My biggest mistake was to have the FORD dealer in Riverside CA install a KELDERMAN airbag system on all 4 corners seeking a softer ride when empty.
The KELDERMAN system is excellent, but the installation and service was a nightmare, failed in 3 months. $4K for system, $2K to install, $750 for a 3-month in repair, which turned out to be a failed relay at the compressor (They installed it upside down & water fouled the relay connector).
Soon, both front tires of low mileage had catastrophic failures 3 months apart, major downtime for body damage & repairs to wiring & sensors, twice. $500 deductible twice, 4 months with no truck. Ride quality remained very rough throughout, which, in frustration, I cured myself with 4 adjustable RANCHO shocks. I removed all tires of that brand & invested in 7 brand new MICHELIN top of the line 80k mile warranty tires - $1500.
This improved things, but only long enough to get me out in the middle of a long highway in Nevada with a fully loaded 18' box trailer. That's when I discovered that the dealer tech had routed the wiring and the air lines to the front end directly above the turbocharger.
While tie-wrapping to the underside of the factory wiring device that routes the OEM wiring around the turbo, he caused the mounting to become loose so that the entire wiring loom sagged and rested directly on the turbocharger unit. I became aware of the situation when the air lines included with the wiring melted through and blew out, leaving my front airbags flat.
It took quite a while, but I was able to re-route some lines to get all bags on one system and get off the desert. I returned it again to the dealer & after 4 days I got the call that it was ready. I looked under the hood and discovered that the tech had simply taped the melted wiring, again tie-wrapped it under the OEM wiring harness, and the whole thing was still resting directly on the turbocharger!
The manager I had been working with refused to get up and go even look at the issue until I sat in his office and informed him I would not leave until he did. I then got 1 bolt in the OEM harness support, raising it up off the turbo, and the same taped melted wire, but at least they put it over the top of the support at my insistence.
I have moved too far from Riverside CA to take it back to the dealer again, but at 85k vehicle miles I have replaced both front tires 3 times, worn to the steel mesh on the inner edge, almost new on the outer edge. When I had it in for alignment the last time, they came out and got me & demonstrated how badly gone all 4 front ball joints are - impossible to properly align.
They also pointed out that when the dealer installed the airbag system, he had seen - called off all but 1 leaf of the front springs, and had severely cut into the one remaining leaf with the saw-all, both in front of and behind the U-bolts. The one remaining damaged spring leaf is now in an upside-down smile (frown) shape, on both sides of the front end. This caused the axle to impact the cross-member frame support under the engine, which they cured by cutting-torch - removed most of the center of the cross-member support.
Now the front axle doesn't hit the support, but it comes very close to the oil pan. I also discovered that the rear leaf springs had been cut so the leaf could not contact the over-load stop, rather than raising the position of the stop.
After all the money invested in this truck's suspension, I have now been advised by 2 different FORD specialists not to drive this vehicle because it is extremely dangerous to myself and others on the roadway. I have also had to become a pseudo diesel mechanic by default due to the extreme expense of keeping this thing running. When it first failed to start while a long way from home, it cost me a new FICM + installation and 4 extra days off work.
I then began reading the horror stories online while researching cures for the multiple issues that began to deteriorate both the ability to reliably start the engine, even in warm weather, and the lack of power until FULLY warmed up.
To date, in addition to the frustration and expense of the suspension nightmare, I have replaced the ICP sensor, conveniently made of plastic and placed directly under the TURBO on the rear of the engine ($650), the FICM, all 8 glow plugs, and invested $350 in a computer-based diagnostic tool in an attempt to keep up with the maintenance requirements of this truck.
Many expensive oil changes, a variety of costly fuel and oil additives constantly, fuel from the high-end stations or truck stops and hundreds of hours scouring the internet, watching the videos, getting professional diagnostics and lots of friendly advice from the best pros I can find, and the best prospect of ever even hoping to have a reasonably reliable vehicle comes down to some form of the "bullet-proofing" process, which will run me from $2500 if I do all the work, up to 5 or 6 times that to have it done under warranty by professionals. That does not include the suspension replacement I am now faced with.
What was FORD thinking?? Maybe they were just tired of having return customers and needed a lot of negative word of mouth help in that effort. At this time, it takes me a minimum of ½ hour to leave the parking lot after work on a warm summer day, double that in colder (anything below 70) weather.
The routine involves hundreds of key on, key off, key on/key offs to force the glow plugs to warm up the engine cylinders enough to fire the fuel. Then when it does fire it won't idle on its own without holding the pedal to the floor until it quits popping, sputtering & belching clouds of black smoke while misfiring violently for up to 5 minutes before it dies.
After an average of 3 of these sessions, it has warmed up just enough that it will idle at WOT anywhere from 400 - 2200 rpm until it gets warm enough for the PCM to try to reinstate a few more of the injectors, and the turbo to decide it will function to add some Oxygen to the mix. I guess my question is, does FORD really give a ** about any of our lives, and will it be closer to $20k or more like $30k to get this thing road-worthy?
APPLETON, WISCONSIN -- My Ford diesel quit running with 70,000 miles. It said cleaning exhaust filter and then stop safely now and died. Took to L & S Truck Center in Appleton, WI where they changed exhaust sensor. Vehicle ran after but L & S stated another code showed that exhaust temp was at 1700 degrees, but still ran. Ford reps told them to take motor apart.
After two and a half weeks Ford stated that they wouldn't warranty. Even though L & S is heard on my voicemail stating that it's warranty issue, because we run a premium oil Ford won't warranty the motor. I never gave authorization to tear down motor nor do they have anything in writing. They want $24,500 to repair my truck. It has been three weeks today and my truck is still in pieces. Ford won't speak with me about issue.
My husband was 150 miles away from his truck with the keys in his pocket when he received a call that his truck was trying to crank itself. Because of this weird incident it burned the starter up, so there goes 200+dollars to get just the part. When my husband got back into town, he opened the truck door and the radio was blaring and no key in the ignition so what the heck??? We called Ford and they act like they have no idea what could have happened or offer no assistance in telling us what we need to do. I am so fed up with Ford!
WHITE MARSH, MARYLAND -- I have a Ford F350 which is now 2 years old with 20,000 miles and I have taken great care of it. Recently when washing it I noticed that the two passenger doors are rusting from under the paint. When I took it back to AL Packer for the warranty to make repairs on it, they said that it is not covered.
I do not understand if Ford has bad workmanship on their vehicles that it would not be covered. The dealership said I have a paint and rust warranty; however, it would need to rust all the way through. This does not make any sense to me knowing that I have paid 40,000 dollars for a truck which is rusting away! The dealership thinks that's OK. I beg to differ.
KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA -- Beware of the Ford 6.0 diesel engines and stay away from Ford's in general. I have had several problems with Ford over the last 30 years but one expects some problems with American cars right? I started having engine problems after 47000 miles in June of 08. The dealer kept the truck for over 11 weeks. During which they called and said it was ready only to find out when I got there it was not. The second time the engine started acting up was February of this year (09).
I was in Dallas TX working and took it to the dealer there. They replaced an injector per the report although I was there during the work and the service manager did not mention the injector. The 3rd time was June 10th 09. The dealer in Kissimmee FL Mullinax Ford said they replaced the same #6 injector as well as the # 8 injector and an egt valve.
That afternoon when I picked it up it ran poorly. The tech. said to bring it back and when I did they found that the #6 cylinder and some kind of bolt in it and they denied the claim with 60000 miles on the truck. This is the reason the American auto industry is soon to be no more. GOODBYE, I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER ONE!
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I paid 36,000 for a pick up that runs most of the time. The dealer can't find the problem, my diesel mechanic doesn't even want to look at it anymore. Sometimes it runs fine and when you least expect it you're stuck on the side of the road. The dealer just says its bad fuel, but the same fuel goes in my other diesels. When will Detroit learn that they can't keep turning out poor quality? When will we learn that we can't buy from Detroit? Hate to say it but this is my last American Truck.
FORD COMPANY -- Since I bought this truck, I only drove it 1500 miles when it start leaking oil, then when I reached 3000 miles check engine light went off, and a lot of noise start coming out the trans. And the dealer didn't find anything wrong with it (that's what they said). They said it was part of the noise that diesel vehicle make. Then it reached 4000 miles, check engine light went off and the same noise start coming out of the transmission or the shaft. But every time I take this vehicle to the dealer, they hold it from 2 to 4 days and lose days of work because my job depends on my truck and I lose money.
HOOD COUNTY, TEXAS -- Clay Ford should have to listen to alarms in his office, all day long, every day. The annoying "key in the ignition" alarm and the "put on your seatbelt alarm". They should go off at regular intervals, interrupt his cell phone calls, business calls, and annoy his peers as well. Only then will he realize how annoying it really is to actually use a truck on a farm, totally away from civilization, behind lock gates in pastures and fields.
I have listened to it for a year and a half now. The dealers claim there is absolutely nothing that can be done about these things since "it's in the chip." Hence, FIRE the idiot designer who did this, then let me tar and feather him. People who actually use their trucks to do work should design them. Not some designer who lives on pavement and never sees a pasture.
Never. NEVER again, will I drive off of a car lot with a vehicle that has audible alarms again, unless they are disabled. The dealer won't even tell me how to get to the speaker to cut the wires. There is no longer a door switch to tape shut. The sensors are somehow located internally inside the door at the latch.
Mr. Ford should also try to complain. Call his own company and listen to a whole laundry list of recordings and punch buttons only to find out that the office is closed anyway. Take off of work and call the next day during "normal business hours" only to find out that the call is useless anyway. His designers obviously live in cities, on paved streets, and have never spent hours in pastures. Fire them all.