Monday, September 27, 2010

Did I Forget to Mention - Vacation Update


Did I forget to mention that on the way home from Provincetown a week and a half ago as we drove through the light on North Main Street in our town, the F-250 sputtered and groaned.  Leon got it to go another two miles or so, but as we started to climb the rather steep hill which is our our road, about two miles from our driveway, the Ford died.  We were at the very side of the road against a stone wall guard rail.  Couldn't even open the camper door to get the dog's dinner or a Diet Coke.

Leon knew exactly what it was - the computer was fried - because it has happened before - this being the third time.  An hour and a half and Good Sam Road Service couldn't find a tow for a Our Truck and Fifth Wheel, so the town cop on the scene called a local garage.

Meanwhile a friend picked up me and Benni - it was Benni's dinner time and he was hungry - and brought us home.  I fed the dog, got in the car and picked up something for Leon and me from Micky D's.  (We don't usually eat the stuff, but this was an emergency).  Leon was too upset to be hungry, but I get hungry in a crisis (I get hungry no matter what) so I ate part of his.

When the tow arrived, the mechanic said it could't be the computer, no way.  So he towed the camper attached to the truck, the two miles up the hill and back home.  Was barely able to get the camper off the street - to his credit, having two vehicles in tow (a 30 foot fifth wheel and a 20 foot truck) was real tricky. and after we unloaded the camper, towed the truck to the garage.  The last two miles took three hours and cost $150.  Well, guess what?  The computer was fried due to water seeping in - for the third time.  OK, Ford, what's going on here.  At $1000 to $1200 a pop, replacing the computer every 16,000 miles is not a viable option.  Does anyone know how to prevent this?  Three different Ford Dealership/Service Departments could not prevent the problem from recurring.

And, Russ, don't give me any Chevy lip, ya hear?

So we're all home safe and sound, as you know, and the summer is just about wrapped up.

7 comments:

Russ Manley said...

OMG you read my mind! Was already formulating just what you expected me to say, finger on the button, when I read the last line of your post.

But perhaps *some* kind of trade-in would be advisable at this time? Either that, or consult the lemon laws in your state, sure sounds puckered up to me. My sympathies - been there, done that.

FDeF said...

Thanks Russ. Did just now check the Lemon Law - but we are at 129,000 miles and the first time this happened was at 96,000. So it does not apply.

The F250 is not an everyday drive and is in excellent shape. Leon is meticulous about his vehicles. All the mechanics who've seen it said he'd be a fool to trade it off.

Besides which, he'd get about $5,000 in trade toward a new $40 - 50,000 truck - not a debt we can handle. So we're looking for a "preventative" short of spraying some kind of foam all over the computer which is on the side wall behind the front driver's side wheel well.....anyone?

truthspew said...

It's nothing a little silicone seal couldn't handle. Maybe I should go in business sealing computer modules so water doesn't seep in. Charge people $250 for it. I'd make a tidy little profit because I bet the computer is the same for all F series trucks.

FDeF said...

The current replacement has some silicone sealer. Leon doesn't trust it. The unit has a "vent" hole on the bottom, so I assume that can't be sealed over. And as for making a tidy profit...this does not seem to be a common problem. Go figure.

Stan said...

If I had a dollar for every car problem today involving computers or modules on the cars of today I'd be a rich man.

Anonymous said...

There is a thing called maintaining your vehicle. If you do that on a normal and a regular bases, you might have found, or seen the leak, that fried your computer. There was no excuse for it and it's no ones fault, but your own. Admit it...

FDeF said...

Obviously ANONYMOUS does not read before commenting:
"the THE FIRST TIME THIS HAPPENED was at 96,000" ...AND..." the computer was fried - because it has happened before - this being the third time." ...AND...
"The F250 is not an everyday drive and is in excellent shape. Leon is meticulous about his vehicles. All the mechanics who've seen it said he'd be a fool to trade it off."

THIS 1997 F250 LOOKS LIKE IT JUST CAME OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINE. ANYONE WHO HAS SEEN THE VEHICLE KNOWS IT HAS BEEN WELL MAINTAINED. THE MECHANIC WHO CHANGES THE OIL AND INSPECTS IT REGULARLY DID NOT AND COULD NOT HAVE PREDICTED THE FAILURE. THE PLACEMENT OF THE COMPUTER ABOVE THE WHEEL WELL SEEMS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FAILURES, BUT FORD DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THIS PROBLEM.

ANONYMOUS - WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU AND WHAT'S YOUR BEEF?

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