I'm really worried and need a shoulder to cry on and some moral support before I go in to the dealer. (I also posted this on the Cmax hybrid forum--I forgot about this Energi forum--sorry for anyone who's reading this for the second time.)
We have a 2013 C-max Energi that we bought in December 2013 (so just under five years) that has about 76,000 miles on it. Most of the daily driving is on electric mode (around town, my wife usually takes the car to work and can get there and back on one charge), plus some long trips (1,000+ miles). Gas mileage is usually in the high 80's; when we go on long trips we get about 35 MPG on the highway with no charge.
A while ago we were gone for a couple weeks with the car in the garage and found some fluid on the ground under the car that looked to me like transmission fluid. Called up the dealer to look at getting it looked at, and their first appointment was about two months out. We decided to take it to an independent shop that has someone who specializes in cars like the C-max, where we could get an earlier appointment. But then we procrastinated a bit until we got it in a month or two later. The independent shop looked at it and they reported:
- Vehicle has a leak from the left side (driver's) axle shaft seal on the transaxle.
- Leak has been going on for some time. The fibre under engine cover is fully saturated with transmission fluid.
- The axle shaft has excessive up and down movement which indicates an internal problem.
- Ford issued a campaign for premature wear on these transmissions. According to the letter, the campaign ended 05/2016.
- I do not know if they are still honoring it.
- I test drove the vehicle and the transmission is noisy while the engine is running and I can hear rotational bearing type sounds
- when coasting and applying the brakes (vehicle in regen mode).
- It appears this vehicle is going to need major transmission repair or replacement.
- Next step is to check for any warranty and make an estimate for needed repairs.
We probably got the transmission "customer satisfaction program 14B07" letter from Ford, but don't remember it because I always rely on the recalls and repairs suggested on myform.com (I still need to get the door latch fix).
So, I called the dealer today, and talked to the service advisor and mentioned the transmission problem. He then told me that the car doesn't have a transmission!
The dealer wants to charge us $190 to evaluate the car. I'm worried that since it's out of warranty--we didn't buy the extended warranty :-( -- they will tell us that we missed the deadline for the free transmission service, and then want to charge us dealer pricing for replacing the entire transmission. I'm pretty sure I can get it for much less at the independent shop, and if they aren't willing to cover this known problem for free, then I'd rather take my business elsewhere.
There is so much knowledge and wisdom in these forums, I'd love to hear others thoughts on our situation. Are we just out of luck, or do you think we can get Ford to fix this for free? Should we call Ford corporate office instead of depending on the local dealer; are they more likely to approve the repair if we go straight to them?
Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. We have an appointment to bring the car into the dealer on Thursday afternoon, then they will get to it when they can (they said the earliest was the 11th, but since we're leaving town for ten days, they think they can get to it earlier if we leave it with them tomorrow).