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Improper maintenance by dealer

Hello, I purchased a 2011 ford flex. I also purchased the maintenace package. Ford dealership is the only place to work on my car. So far, they have caused an oil leak, which must have been going on for awhile, due to the underside of the engine coated with dirt and grime. The latest problem, my cars temperature gauge, was redlining. I called the ford dealer, and the person responsible for maintaining my vehicle stated, there is a recall notice on your vehicle for the cooling pan? I asked him, when was that notice issued, and he stated in June 2012. I asked him, when was my car last serviced, he stated, July 2012. I then asked, why wasn’t that taken care of during service. He didn’t have an answer. What damage could possibly happen to my engine? I’m assuming it has an aluminum head? This is an expensive car, should I continue making payments? I don’t want to pay for a car that will fall apart, when the warranty expires…

Of course you should continue payments. Otherwise, they won’t owe you anything. If all this is documented, you should discuss it with the service manager. Make sure you follow up any discussion with a letter or email so that everything is documented. At this point, satisfaction is difficult to define. They at least owe you the recall work and close attention to issues related to overheating. At most they owe you another Flex. Time will tell where your case falls in that spectrum. If at any time you think the dealer is giving you the runaround, contact Ford directly and discuss the issue with them. Before contacting Ford, I would talk to the service manager and general manager to confirm what they can do for you. Your most important asset will be patience.

You’re on the hook for car payments no matter what happens with the car at anytime so any thought of not making payments because you’re unhappy should be dismissed. Not making payments will only end up with a repo truck and a civil case in court.

I could not find a Recall on the 2011 Flex nor a service bulletin so maybe this is something so recent that it hasn’t had time to make its way through the channels.

Even if a Recall or TSB has been around for a while that does not mean that the person changing the oil or whatever it may be is knowledgeable about those things nor does it mean they’re obligated to research every car that comes through the door for every Recall or TSB that exists.
Their job is to perform whatever task is asked of them by the customer and dictated by the repair order.

You need to keep in mind that it’s your responsibility to not operate a vehicle with the temp gauge into the red.

As to the oil underneath I have no idea what the cause of that is. You state that it’s been going on for a while and the best move would have been to take it back a long time ago and not allow the problem to continue. If this problem is engine oil related then one might assume the problem is due to a leaking drain plug or something of that nature.
Whatever the cause, it needs to be looked at now and corrected because small fluid leaks have a way of becoming expensive nightmares.

There are no recalls according to NHTSA for the 2011 Ford Flex. If they don’t have it on the books, I doubt that it exists. Look it up at

I sincerely doubt any culpability, ie responsibility of the dealer in causing an oil leak problem, typically dealers do not want to cause problems they will have to repair under warranty. What was the cause o your red line issue, and as I do not know the car it may indicate a warning level or a failure level, I will assume warning level, but more info is needed.

Under your service deal it does not care whether you made a hole in the pan or it was exsisting from a prior owner. They own the care and maintinance, thats the contract, PERIOD. Anything else is negotiable. Red lining the temp on this model is a rare thing unless the motor is toast. You did not mention the mileage but it almost does not matter. The maintinence package is a contract and you should use a laywer to make certain they uphold every dot.

Barky , Did you actually read this post before posting? A dealer sold the car with a maintenance contract. There is total responsibility on the dealer.

Maintenance and repairs are two different things…If you want your vehicle repaired, you have to bring it in and ASK them to repair what ever problems you have with the vehicle. Just because you have a maintenance contract does not mean the dealer is going to automatically inspect the vehicle for any and all mechanical problems…

If the OP has destroyed the engine by driving it in an overheated condition, and he stops making payments on the vehicle, all he will accomplish is destroying his credit rating…His next car purchase will be cash only…

Did you actually read this post before posting? A dealer sold the car with a maintenance contract. There is total responsibility on the dealer.

It is still the responsibility of the owner to take advantage of the maintenance contract.  The dealer has no way of knowing if the car has 100,000 miles since the last time it was in etc.

Have them fix the oil leak, cooling pan, and move on. It’s under warranty.


Cooling pan? Maybe you or the dealers rep said cooling fan? Anyway, Ford heat treats and ages their aluminum heads before machining so they are less likely to warp. They could still blow a head gasket but you would know that by now. A vehicle as new as yours should not have a cooling system problem yet.

As for the oil leak, it could be due to the oil filter gasket, which will be corrected at the next oil change or it could be due to a damaged drain plug. The drain plug has a gasket on it and the dealer should have changed it after each oil change, though very few people ever do. That may be the cause or the “grease monkey” might have stripped the threads on it, in that case, the dealer will have to replace the oil pan.

If the leak is not corrected with the next oil change, then you may want ot go to an independent mechanic, not a quicky oil change place, and have it looked at. If the independent finds damaged threads, then you can require that the dealer change the oil pan, or repair the threads in a satisfactory way. Sometimes a roll former die (aka thread restorer) die can restore the threads, but it must be the roll forming type die, not a thread cutting die.

Not being familiar with the Ford maintenance contract, I assumed it was similar to BMW where they simply take care of maintenance items such as oil changes, air filters, etc. There also should be a factory warranty that would take care of defects. If a maintenance contract covers anything and everything that can go wrong, plus provides a personal maintenance and repair technician, it would be highly unusual, but maybe someone can clarify this.

At any rate, in normal circumstances, the owner needs to advise the dealer what work needs to be done according to the maintenance schedule. They will also surely provide feedback upon inspection of additional items, but it really is the owner that needs to make sure work is done. It’s also the owner’s responsibility to bring any warranty issues up to the dealer for correction. In a recall, a letter is usually sent to the owner advising to make an appointment for the work to be done. There are also service bulletins issued for issues discovered but these are for the technician to use to resolve issues.

As far as not making payments, thats a whole separate issue. If you don’t make payments, the lein holder, whether bank, credit union, or finance division, will come and get your car. It will be sold at auction to try and recover the balance due. Any difference in what is owed and what is collected from the sale, is still the responsibility of the owner. They can and will sue for that balance too and can get a judgement against you and enforce it with a number of means such as deducting from bank accounts, garnishing wages, and so on.

First thing that should be done is to read the owner’s manual, read the warranty information, read the terms of the maintenance contract, and also the loan agreement. It’ll answer lots of questions and save a lot of grief for all concerned.