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New Van Didn't Get Far.

161562 Views 548 Replies 70 Participants Last post by  Doug Dornbos
Picked up my new T150 today at 1:30. Back to the dealer at 1:45.

Bad shimmy at 60, and pulling left. Tech test drive confirmed.

Sitting at the dealer as I speak waiting for balance an alignment.

Beautiful van though.
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They said one front tire was of balance. Seems OK for now. Will go for a nice drive tomorrow and enjoy the ride. It a beauty.
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Follow UP - Major Alignment Problem

Picked up my new T150 today at 1:30. Back to the dealer at 1:45.

Bad shimmy at 60, and pulling left. Tech test drive confirmed.

Sitting at the dealer as I speak waiting for balance an alignment.

Beautiful van though.
My home dealer did not resolve the problem. One month later, now down in Mesa Az with 3500 miles on my brand new Transit, and there is serious front tire scalping, continued pulling to the left, and steering wheel vibration.

I took it in to Robert Horne Ford in Apache Junction last week 31 Dec 15. They confirmed my Transit 150 indeed has a serious mis-alignment from the factory. See the printout below. They re-aligned most parameters, but were unable to correct a right Camber error to within specs. They loosened the sub frame, but still could not get it to specs.

Brought it in again yesterday and left it overnight (no loaner provided). They had ordered new bolts and are in the process today of dropping the sub frame completely and trying to re-align again.

Although I believe Horne Ford is trying hard to sort this out, they tell me they can not replace the damaged front tires, see pic below.

I am now getting worried and losing sleep over this. After such a long journey from ordering to delivery, only to get to my destination and find out I have a $42,206.73 van with a major factory defect. Despite tire damage through no fault of mine, I am on the hook already for early replacement.

I also have the wet air filter problem, see pic below, but have not even brought that up yet.

This is not happening to me is it? :(


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On your tire scalping, I am having a hard time seeing it. Is it scalping along the edge due to a few spots where it's not smooth tread? I've been driving my transit 350 to see if it's pulling left and I don't think it is but haven't had it out enough to tell.

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The scalping is on the outside edge of both front tires. The rubber texture at the flat spots is porous-looking compared to the normal tire surfaces that are smoother looking.
When it pulls left, it can cross three lanes very quickly if left alone.
The damage is significant considering 3500 miles.
Wow, sounds like it. Thanks for the insight. Mine has 1600 miles on it so far and it may pull left on some streets and then straight as an arrow on others. I'll keep an eye out for it. I already have to make an appointment for the paint chipping issue so they may as well look at ensuring the alignment is right too.

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I have to admit there were times when the Transit seemed to steer true, but it would eventually start pulling left and then need constant counter steer to keep it straight. No sense testing it if there are any cross winds.

Both the selling dealer and the dealer here in Mesa seemed reluctant to do an alignment. I heard that Ford limits only one alignment and only within the first 12,000 miles.

Tire wear from bad alignment is collateral damage, so the owner is advised to jump on any problems smartly. The wear on my tires is the worst I have ever seen at 3500 miles, but the dealer is calling it slight.

I plan to approach Ford Customer service to make my case for new tires.
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Update as of 4pm, 8 January 2016.

The Dealer reset the sub-frame, replaced the bolts, and tweaked the alignment. All parameters now show within specs, on paper.

I test drove my Transit with the tech who did the work. There may have been some improvement, but the Transit still has an unmistakable tendency to wander left any time the steering wheel is let go. It did this travelling east, and then again returning west, so wind was not a reason. Whether I drove the van at 35, or 65, it wandered left into the oncoming lane. I think the tech was getting worried when I let it go to the far shoulder, but I wanted to make a point.... this is a dangerous flaw.

The van still also has a fine tremor on the steering wheel at 60-65 MPH.

When I returned with the results, my service adviser referred me up to the service manager, as he had done all he could do at his level to resolve the problems.

I got good feedback from meeting with the service manager. Once he got the history, he engaged and committed quickly to pursuing the issues until a resolution is found. They will take the van in again next week and take another closer look at all the tires.

I have no complaints about how Horne Ford is handling the issues. They are positive, empathetic, and are going about things methodically, adhering to Ford procedures. They are all very professional, and that helps to get me through this process.

I will still follow up on Monday with Ford Customer Service to get them in the loop, and appeal for new tires based on damage from the bad mis-alignment.

Appreciate all your feedback and support. Will keep you posted.
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I would imagine this goes without saying, but have them move the worn tires to the rear before the next test drive.
They did that already. it made no difference.
Update - Road Force Balancing

By the removal and re-positioning of the sub-frame on my wandering-left T150, the techs brought the hitherto wonky front alignment back within Ford specs. The alignment printout for my brand new Transit now shows all green. Disappointingly, the silly van still drifts to the left like a young Democrat, and gives off unwanted steering wheel vibes.

So, back in to Horne Ford at 0745 this morning. The Service Manager, having corrected the alignment, has instructed his crew to Load-Force Balance all the tires. They explained what that was, but, having never heard of it before, I had to Google it.

Apparently this specialized tire balancing process and equipment puts the wheel and tire under hundreds of pounds of load while sensors detect unsprung weight anomalies that cannot be detected by normal balancing equipment. You may want to google it too in case I missed something important.

Turns out there were two very bad tires, and the other two were just a little bad. They have ordered two new tires (Ford insists on replacing bad Hankooks with new, hopefully not bad, Hankooks). The other two tires were rotated on the rims as per the Load Force equipment, and are "within Ford Specs".

Robert Horne Ford offered me a rental car whilst the new tires get delivered and installed, hopefully NLT tomorrow. That was nice, a white Focus for my spouse to play with (she has yet to sit in the Transit cockpit).

I am taking this all in stride - life being too short to get bent over things beyond my control. And the lads at Horne seem like a good bunch with the best of intentions. Can't fault them.

May the Load Force be with me.
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More Bad News on Alignment Problem

Update as of today, Friday 15th.

Horne Ford successfully replaced the two bad tires and Road Force Balanced the new tires. My SA reports this afternoon that all vibration is now gone, but their test drive reveals the van STILL wanders left.

They now have it on the alignment rack again to try to make adjustments. The SA said that despite removing and adjusting the sub-frame, the right camber is still out of spec.

They will keep the van for another day to try yet again to remedy the left-pulling by making alignment adjustments.

Despite Horne Ford's considerable efforts to correct the steering problems, it is now clear to me that a serious defect has existed in my new Transit since delivery day.

As you may recall, I returned the van to the selling dealer 15 minutes after I took delivery with some serious vibration and steering pull. Their service tech test drove it with me and confirmed the bad vibration and pulling to the left. They balanced a tire, told me the alignment was okay, and sent me on my way. They were mistaken.

I reluctantly called Ford Customer Service today and opened a case file.

I will hear from a regional rep by COB Monday.
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Whatever options I might think of to set this right, I can't think of any I like.

Money aside, there's a lot of me invested in this item. Retirement trip up the west coast in two months with my converted mobohome looking in jeopardy.

Part of me says, just go.

Can't stand something that's not right though, there's that reality too.

Appreciate your suggestions, will keep you posted.
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I have no personal experience to allow me to second guess the problem. When they unbolted and dropped the sub-frame I was out of my depth already.
They still have the van today but I honestly have no idea what more they can do.
I hear you on that Eddie. I've been working on it daily in one aspect of another for two months, and sometimes there is little evidence of the hours spent.

However, I do spend a lot of time analysing the various ways of configuring the layout and the multitude of options to fasten things solidly together. That alone eats up lots of time.

My electrics (triple AGM bank with inverter) are mostly complete. I installed a third seat, and most of my cabinets are finished, with one side installed.

Today I am sanding and painting cabinets and drawers as my Transit is in the Ford service bay over the weekend.

I asked the SA technically what can they look at next to solve the pulling left. He honestly said he had no idea.
Repair Beyond the Dealer's Scope?

My new 2016 Transit 150 remains at the Ford service shop for the fifth straight day. They seem to have done all they can do.

This visit is the fourth attempt by two separate dealerships to rectify a left-pull problem from day one. Tire balancing, front-end alignments, sub-frame removal, Road Force tire balancing, two faulty tire replacements, and further alignment adjustments have thus far failed to get my brand new van to steer like a brand new van.

Ford CS has emailed me. A Ford Engineer will likely be dispatched to assist the dealership with the repair, although nobody seems to understand what the problem is.

I turned 65 today without my retirement adventure in the driveway.
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Defective Steering Rack Assembly and collateral damage..

Contacted by Horne Ford this morning. The front steering rack is defective. They discovered this by raising the front end and observing that the steering cranked to the left as soon as the engine was started.

The front rack assembly has been ordered. it will be a big job. They will keep the van till it is repaired, hopefully by Friday.

Two of my nice alloy wheels now have paint chipped from the rims, likely when the two bad tires were replaced. My new van is looking older. Took pictures and showed them to the Service manager.

I also provided him with pictures of the wet air filter and water in the filter box.

On the Ford corporate front, I sent them an email today outlining the vehicle repair history and asked for a response. Nothing heard yet.


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I am diligent about avoiding anger or accusations or any unhelpful negativity.

I am not relieved at this point. Keep in mind I have now been told several times that the problem was solved when it was not.

At the end of the week I need to satisfied with the way the van drives, and I want it to look like a brand new van - no chipped rims!!

I am disappointed that Ford has not reached out to me.

Thanks for asking.
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Wonder if they've considered the power steering rack could be binding or overboosted in one direction?
Of course there is still that right side not in spec....wonder if they put the left side to the same error if it would drive straight? Might be a clue.
Budsky, you called it right! looks like exactly what they have discovered this morning.
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Ford Regional Rep Makes Contact

Got a call from my local Ford dealer's Regional rep.

I understand they go through this every day, but I felt the need to remind her several times that this is far from routine for the customer and can cause great anxiety. I think she understood that. We spoke for 25 minutes. My case will be reviewed for goodwill consideration, whatever that might mean. I will hear more on that front in 10 days. Meanwhile, the steering rack assembly is on order and the van sits at the dealership.

I had to make it clear that I wanted this vehicle replaced with an identical new vehicle. I have lost confidence in this unit. It will always be suspect in my mind.

I cannot help but ponder the forces that this vehicle's front end might have been subjected to, pre-delivery, that could account for the related but separate front end issues. I count six separate technical faults so far discovered - left front tire unbalanced, front toe-out both wheels, right front camber way way off, sub-frame mis-aligned, two tires damaged way beyond tolerances, and finally a steering rack assembly defective or damaged, and needs replaced.

But if the vehicle sustained torque or impact forces during shipping, what else might have been compromised? Bearings, engine mounts, structure cracks? And when might these possible other faults manifest themselves? Post-warranty?

The worst regret for me is to suspect something is amiss, do nothing about it, and then discover later that I was right, and should have acted on my instincts.

Man, I hate when that happens.
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I looked a little into lemon law in AZ. I read enough to get the feeling it would be a long shot for my case.
Not yet anyway.

Was it a serrated steak Knife? They're the worst.
Getting the alignment checked by an independent is of limited value. The Ford Rep made it clear they will not recognize any third party opinion. As it stands now the Ford laser alignment printout shows all within Ford Specs. The problem is now the steering rack.

The only thing that will settle me down on this vehicle is an extended Ford warranty.
An ESP extended service plan is what you're likely to get. I had had a check engine light at 300 miles. It took nearly a month, and numerous visits to the dealership to get it resolved. As a consolation, the Ford case rep gave me an ESP. An ESP represents some value in general, but, I doubt an ESP would cover frame and alignment.

WRT the independent shop idea... I think it would be worth trying to get Ford to foot the bill for a second opinion. The idea here is not necessarily to get an opinion that Ford will recognize, but to get an opinion that will make you feel OK about the van. That's a difference that you may be able to get across to the Ford rep. The difficulty, though, is that Ford would have to pay out of pocket for this. The ESP costs them nothing.
Thanks for the input from your situation. An ESP would be welcome, as long as it protected me from any future mechanical failures, unusual tire wear, or anything related to the front half of the van (what else is there?).

What mileage and deductible was your ESP if you don't mind me asking? Do you know its approximate retail value?
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