CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Problems with brand new 2013 Mustang

Hello,

I purchased a new 2013 Mustang on Sunday, May 20. On Monday, I noticed a fairly loud squeaking sound from underneath the hood. The noise is evident when I accelerate; even happens when I rev up the engine while on parking.

Took it to the dealership today (May 23rd). They said it is probably a belt. They said they fixed it. Well, the sound it still there!! The dealership said that will replace the belt next week as it will take then some time to get the belt. They said that until then I can get a loaner from them for $10 a day.

I really expected better from Ford. A new car should not have problems. I should not have to make trips to the dealership with a three day old car. I REALLY want to exchange this car with one with no problems!! Who knows what other problems this car may have. Do I have any options other than letting the dealership correct the source of the noise? This seems wrong to me as such issues should not happen in a brand new car. I reside in Northern Virginia; the dealership is in this area too.

Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I had the same problem back in 2003 with a new Toyota 4Runner we had just purchased. The serpentine belt would chirp. The belt was replaced three times. Each time the noise would go away for a couple of days and then return. The dealer finally figured out that the spring was weak in the belt tensioner. If the car is still driveable, just put up with the noise until the dealer obtains the new belt. However, be certain that he checks the belt tensioner.

Perfection is a very high standard for a new car. Sorry you are disappointed, but this should turn out to be a minor problem. Likely the dealer squirted some belt dressing on the belt to stop the noise, but that wasn’t enough. This problem doesn’t mean you have a bad car, a lemon, or anything like that. But, certainly it is annoying; so tell the dealer you don’t want to make anymore trips to service a squeeky belt, you have a right to expect them to fix this problem permanently.

I think the detail department got carried away with the engine dressing. With use the dressing will dissipate, the noise may go away before the new belt arrives. If there was a serious problem I don’t think they would return the car to you to drive.

About five years ago I was getting complaints from customers with new cars that their cars were “leaking”.
After a thorough inspection no leaks were found. When the customer(s) arrived the pick up their car they pointed to the oily splatter on the bottom of the fenders and doors. That was tire dressing. The auto detail position at car dealers is a low paying job and these things happen.

Thank you all for your comments. They have been helpful. I will update the post with the outcome.

When a manufacturer builds 100,000 vehicles the likelihood of all 100,000 to be defect free is extremely unlikely. ALL manufacturers will have some cars that have little problems…some may even have major problems (but that is very rare). Some manufacturers do a better job and will have fewer cars that need attention…but they ALL will have some vehicles that will need a little attention.

A little squeak wouldn’t bother me. It’s how the dealership handles this situation. So far they seem to be doing things right. Let’s see if they can fix the problem and how long it takes them.

Your sexy new companion develops a pimple and you want to end the relationship. There are lots of things in life that should be but aren’t. A new car free of blemish or defect isn’t one of them. At least you have a warranty. If you must, here is the VA Lemon Law.

http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/vehicles/lemonlaw.asp

I really hope that the OP does not overreact to every problem in life the way that he/she is overreacting to this situation.

Should a new car be flawless?
Sure
Is that realistic?
No

The OP must learn to “roll with the punches” and allow the dealership to deal with the problem.
And, if the problem isn’t resolved after 3 attempts, then the Lemon Law might be applicable.

Incidentally, if the OP did his/her homework, then he/she would have done as I do, and decide to purchase cars only from a dealer who provides free loaner cars. I haven’t had to pay for a loaner car since 1997, thanks to buying from a dealer who provides free loaner cars (as well as having the lowest prices in the area).

100 parts per million failure rate is what the suppliers to Ford strive to achieve. Sadly, someone will get a failure because all of these things are human interaction assembled.

A belt squeaking is annoying on a new car I agree. But for most states Lemon law has to be a major failure that was attempted to be fixed mulitple times without resolve. Hang in there.

My sister got a Brand new Altima in 2005, and the tensoner actually fell off the motor in the first week of ownership. They towed the car back to the dealership they fixed it, and 120,000 miles later the car has not had another issue.

I had a Dodge avenger 5-speed brand new is 1997… The E-Brake was not adjusted right when I first got it… back to the dealership, fixed never had another issue.

As others have said 100% perfect is nice but not realistic.

The WORSE I ever heard about happened about 50 years ago.

Brand new Dodge. Uncle drove it home from lot (about 2 miles) and just as he pulled into the driveway the oil light came on. Checked and it was bone dry. Added 5 qts of oil and drove it back to the dealer…just as he was pulling into the lot…the oil light came on…again bone dry.

They gave him a new car. Seems that one or more of the rings on each of this pistons was missing.

Your uncle bought a car that burned 10 quarts of oil in four miles?

Yea…missing a few rings will do that.

At least the dealer gave him a new car.

Thankfully it’s near impossible for something like that to happen today.

Offering a loaner for $10/day is absolutely obnoxious. They should eat the $50-$100 for a just sold car.

Thanks again everyone for the comments. This was the first time I had issues with a new car; seemed to me like a big problem but I hope it’s just a wrinkle (or a pimple … ) and nothing more. Your experiences help me widen my perspective and not cast doubt on the entire car. Will update with the outcome.

For what its worth I think @raj is right… They should eat the cost of a loaner car… That just seems like the right thing to do in this case, I know the dealer I work for would do that in a heart beat… At least put the customer out in a used car for a few days at no cost.

My manufacturing defect story: New '83 VW GTI. Ran fine in Dallas. Move to Anchorage in August, runs fine. Winter time, it overheats. Turn on the heat, works fine. Long story short, there was a casting defect in the thermostat housing, the bypass port had 1/32" of flashing completely blocking it, the heater cirucuit (valved) acted as the bypass. Removed the flashing, no more problem.

My manufacturing/assembly defect story:

Shortly after bringing my brand-new '74 Volvo home from the dealership, I discovered that the heater produced only cold air. It took 3 visits to the dealership before they figured out that the temperature control knob on the dashboard had never been connected to the linkage running to the heater control valve in the heater core. Great assembly quality!

Why did it take 3 visits to the dealer?
Because they swore that the problem had been fixed on visits 1 & 2.
Yes, dealerships do tell lies, and that doesn’t make a vehicle defect any easier to tolerate.
In fact, it just makes the whole experience more difficult to tolerate.

Mistakes like this should not happen–either at the factory or at the dealership, but they do.
The OP has to realize that, while the defect on his/her car might be very annoying, his/her car might have been the only car in 5,000 that had this problem.

I bought a new Ford Escort in '97 and the dealership furnished me with a nice late model used Mustang with a full tank of gas free of charge when mine was in for minor warranty work. Since that one visit back to the dealership I haven’t had any problems. I’d talk to the dealer, especially the salesman you bought it from more about getting use of a free car until they get yours repaired or the day they do the repairs. If they refuse I think a talk with the Ford customer service department is in order. I think their phone number is located in the owners manual. I seriously doubt Ford is going to want to see a dissatisfied customer that just paid $20-$30K for a new Ford and will work with the dealer to resolve the problem.

I hope the dealer is responsive and can fix the problem. But remember that you can only take advantage of the lemon law if you have documented proof that the dealer evaluated the problems you bring to them. You must get a receipt for every visit. If you don’t have receipts yet, don’t leave the dealership without them in the future.

In order to help the dealer find the problem, I suggest that you lift the hood and have someone goose the accelerator for you. You will listen for the squeal and try to locate it. You may be able to point to it if you take enough time to locate it.

War Story: I bought Mrs JT a new Ford Taurus in 1987. I noticed that it had been on the lot for over 6 months during my prepurchase inspection, but didn’t hear any unusual noises and bought it. After a short while, we heard a squeal and I found that it came from the AC compressor (listened with the hood up). The dealer wouldn’t take any coaching from a dumb customer like me, and fiddled around. Eventually, they replaced the AC compressor clutch, but the squeal got worse. My guess is that they got grease on it. They got up to 5 tries before I wrote the Lemon Letter to Ford. You should have seen the service writer’s eyes on my 6th visit - they were as big as saucers when he looked at the computer screen after checking me in. He knew that if they didn’t fix it, they just bought a used Taurus at a new car cost. They finally replaced the compressor and everything was OK.