Dear Ford, Again.

I’m writing this post to let you know why I will never be buying another Ford.

My experience with Ford started about three years ago.After going for an incredibly long time without my own vehicle, we took a trip to CarMax. Eventually, after some consideration, we picked out a Ford Explorer. I made this choice for many reasons. I needed a reliable family car, that would fit my three children and the fourth we were planning to eventually have. Also, I really did not want a minivan. And at the time, I was under the impression that Ford’s were decent, solid, American-Made cars. The Explorer was used, (a 2003 8 cylinder XLT model) but it had decent mileage and was in good condition. it has a third row that’s not too complicated to get to and can hold groceries and strollers and the myriad of crap a soccer-mom-of-four has to cart around on a daily basis. And more importantly, we wouldn’t have to strap the baby to the roof.

In the end, we paid too much for it, but we figured since CarMax was simple and easy, and since this vehicle was going to last awhile, being Ford Tough and all, it would work out fine.

So we brought it home and I was  thrilled. For about a month.

The day after CarMax’s 30 day warranty expired, I realized the CD player didn’t work. Oh well, no big deal, I thought.

A month after that, I rolled down a window and it never rolled back up. When I went to get it repaired, the mechanic showed me the insides. He explained how parts that used to be made of steel were now replaced with cheaper plastic and much more prone to break. I wasn’t thrilled about the mechanisms that hold my windows in being flimsy plastic, but what can you do? Right?

I few weeks later, I discovered that I could no longer roll down another window. Well, at least this one wasn’t stuck down, right? Unable to afford another three hundred bucks to have the door ripped apart and the flimsy parts replaced, I chose to leave it as it was.

Two months after that, the check engine light went on. Scared to find out something else was wrong, I waited until it was time to go in for my routine oil change and has the mechanic run tests to see why the light was on. Turns out, there’s something defective going on with the air filter, and it was actually recalled, but since my car isn’t under warranty anymore, Ford says they can’t replace the part unless I pay for labor. The mechanic told me that it wouldn’t make a difference in the way the car runs anyway, it was just a sensor that causes the check engine light to light up, so again, I let it go. And try to annoy the check engine light. Heaven forbid I really need to check my engine, because I’ll never know.

Around this time, my car started stalling at stop lights. Again, I take it in, and they can’t find the problem. It’s only intermittent, and it starts back up again right away, right?  And, that car didn’t actually hit me when I stalled in the middle of that intersection with all my kids in the car, so it’s all good. Right?

Another month, another issue. My car alarm goes off at 2 in the afternoon. I watch it from the window, doors locked, phone in hand, convinced I am being robbed. (No such luck.) I key the alarm off and write it off as a fluke. Maybe it was the wind.

Yeah, right.

Fast forward to 3 A.M.  And 3:45, and 5am. And the next day in Target when I am paged over the intercom because my alarm is going off. Another trip to the mechanic, where I am told, it is probably a faulty door sensor, registering an open door when there is none. But there is no way of knowing which door sensor without checking them all, and it could take untold hours to rip apart every door and check them. Which adds up to money we do not have.  And they are unable to simply disarm my alarm. If I lock my doors, the alarm goes off. Sometimes, it goes off anyway, just for fun. Also, since it intermittently thinks the doors are open, while you are driving the dashboard incessantly beeps a warning at you. And, as an added bonus, the interior lights, and sometimes headlights don’t go off. So I have to carry a car battery charger around wherever I go. And when I drive at night, I have to manually turn off the interior lights, which can’t be done without turning off the back lighting for the clock, radio, speedometer and gas gauge.

At this point, I can’t play my music, I can’t roll down my window, I can’t lock my doors or read my gas gauge, and I have to Flinstone run my 6 ton SUV full of kids off of train tracks when it stalls. But at least I have a car, right?

Then one morning, a year and a half ago, I go out to do some grocery shopping. As I go to put my earth friendly shopping bags out of the back, I am greeted with a lovely sight.

This, my friends, was what I saw.

Here I am, freaking out, trying to figure out what I did. Did I back into something? Did someone smack the back of my car? Did I slam the trunk too hard? Steve is going to kill me. Crap Crap, CRAP. I rack my brain, but can come up with nothing. A few weeks later, another crack appears, again, first thing in the morning, it is just there.

As near as we can figure, when it gets cold out, ( But not that cold, remember, we live in Florida.) the hardened Play-Doh or whatever the back is made out of, just… cracks.

Once it happened to me, I started noticing a funny thing. Seventeen other Ford Explorers in my neighborhood have the exact same cracks. What?

(Seriously, I am going to start a photo gallery of all the Fords with cracked rears that I come across. (If you have one, post a link to a pic in the comments!)

So then, last month, I’m driving my daughter home from school. I’m making a left turn, against traffic, because I don’t have a green arrow, and suddenly, my car doesn’t go. Oncoming traffic is speeding at us, and I’m standing on the gas pedal, and I’m barely moving. A light on the dash tells me “Conserving power,  because you are overheating.” or something to that effect. (I was a bit too panicked to write it down or commit it to memory.) Luckily the oncoming traffic managed to swerve and not kill us all, and I manage to putter into the gas station that was fortunately only 3 feet away.  Where it turns out, I was completely out of fluid.

There was NO warning.. just boom, out of fluid. Back to the mechanic, who can’t for the life of him figure out where exactly, it is going. There’s no visible leak, but my coolant is going…somewhere. Somewhere expensive, that’s probably going to require an engine replacement. Which we can’t afford, on a car that’s barely HALF paid for. So now I get to drive around with gallons of leaky antifreeze in the back of my kid and dog filled, safe family car.

Now, keep in mind, I regularly maintain my car. Change the oil, rotate the tires, get tune up’s. All the things you are supposed to do. None of these things are due, in any way, to anything I did. Every single thing is a manufacturing default. And you can’t tell me Ford doesn’t know about the problems, with as many other cracked-rear Explorers driving around as I have seen.

I’ve had it. This is ridiculous.

Why should we, as consumers, have to put up with this crap? Especially on the second most expensive thing we buy? We get better service in Victoria’s secret, and if a bra I buy from them falls apart after several washings, they will replace it. For free! We pay so much for our vehicles and they are apparently made to just fall apart. All this corner cutting and putting people in danger by making thirty-thousand dollar pieces of junk, and they wonder why the car industry needs bailing out? Wonder why people prefer to buy cars made in Germany and Japan? Hell, at this point, I would prefer a Toyota.

We should demand better service. We deserve better quality.

Please pass this on to anyone you know who is thinking of buying a car, and if you already have a Ford, please share your stories with me.



Filed under Uncategorized

8 responses to “Dear Ford, Again.

  1. Brenda

    Hey girlie.. Not all Fords are created equal, but Ford Explorers are JUNK. I’ve had great luck with Fords and loved my Windstar, as well as all FOUR, yeah, four, Escorts I’ve owned over the years.. Our Ranger has over 320,000 miles on it and we JUST replaced the engine, not because it needed replacing, but because it was cheaper then getting the valve job for the one little valve that went out, only because our mechanic goofed up and told us it would be okay to drive it with a bad injector until he had time to fix it.. yeah, not so much.. Wish you had had better luck, but Ford did goof up on the Explorer and they are notorious for being pieces of crap. Pretty cars, tho.. lol.. Troy wants one.. I say NO WAY.

  2. pandorican

    Perhaps they aren’t all bad- but spending tens of thousands of dollars on a model that’s intended to be driven by parents with many children and is apparently made from Tinfoil and Spackle has soured me on the brand for good, I think. I mean, really, it’s a family car, it should be safe and reliable, right?

  3. Nancy

    Eryn – wow, that really sucks. I will have to say – I have never been happier with my Expedition. It has lasted me 6 years so far, is paid off (yay!) and we have never had any mechanical issues with it other than wear and tear. Our major issue was one of our tires separeated -but well, that was not a Ford issue. I actually have never heard of the problems you are having happen to anyone else I know. Maybe that is why it was traded in to Car Max??

  4. My ex had a (gently) used Taurus that, within about a year and a half, cost her as much as the purchase price, and it kept on racking up bills long after that. The brakes were fundamentally effed, which Ford knew about but would not replace the vehicle, so she had to get them repaired every few months. The alternator and radiator also routinely failed, causing much late-night waiting in the cold for some stoned AAA driver. As one system or device after another failed without notice or apparent cause, she started Subaru shopping.

    Having no jingoistic tendencies, I bought a Toyota Solara and that thing was bulletproof. Amazingly well-behaved car that got amazing mileage (which even their larger vehicles tend to do). Recent overblown crap notwithstanding: buy Toyota.

  5. I have done horrible horrible things to my 1995 protege, and it still runs like a charm. about the only major thing gone wrong was CV joints that started clicking in 2002, and air conditioner switches just recently. Not as spry as she used to be, but she’s still chugging along 🙂

  6. Wendy H.

    Years ago I drove a Taurus and had the same sort of issues. It was a total piece of crud. Also knew someone who drove an Explorer…he called it an Exploder because the thing had so many issues.

    I will say that I never, ever, ever wanted to drive a Minivan. I swore I wouldn’t be THAT soccer mom. But I totally love my Dodge Grand Caravan…would gladly buy another one.

    But this comment:
    “Perhaps they aren’t all bad- but spending tens of thousands of dollars on a model that’s intended to be driven by parents with many children and is apparently made from Tinfoil and Spackle has soured me on the brand for good, I think. I mean, really, it’s a family car, it should be safe and reliable, right?”…
    I couldn’t agree more with! It’s crazy how they make a lot of cars these days. It’s sad that not only do we have to watch out for the idiot drivers out there, but also have to worry that a well maintained vehicle might die for no reason in the middle of traffic.
    Well written Eryn. And I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this stuff.

  7. Brittany

    We just bought our second Expedition so obviously I am a fan of that model although not so much a fan of FORD itself.

    We tend to buy Acuras but we ended up needing something larger for our beagle herd so we went back to an Expedition.

    We had very little problems with our first one, obviously this one is still new so only time will tell.

    I know a lot of people who have had issues with their Explores.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s