My wifes 2008 Ford Expedition went into Fail Safe Mode on the hwy two days ago. Safe mode is a feature Fords have put into their vehicles supposedly to shut two cylinders down along with the air-conditioning as to protect the car should it overheat or malfunction.
I brought the car to the dealer Park Ford, State Road 54, Wesley Chapel, fl. A few hours later the service man at the desk that accepted the car form me called and said that an animal had chewed the coil wire and connector and that #4 cylinder was not firing and it would cost $400.00 to fix and with some new spark plugs it would be $800.00.
I asked him if the car went into Fail Safe Mode and he said no. I then told him when I looked up the symptoms in the Owner’s Manual and it said that the symptoms were in fact indicative of the car going in Fail Safe Mode, IE: Two Cylinders stop firing and the aircondioning shuts off. The Service man said the air works the mechanic told him. The service man called back and said “ you are right the air does not work he thought I was talking about another car.” I said yes that is why I stated that I read that it was in safe mode. He said he would have the air checked out. At this point I felt the service man was not being truthful with me so I called the salesmen whom I have done business with many times before and explained the situation and he said he would speak to the Service Manager. Sometime later the Service Manager called back with the Sales Manager and said he would look after the car personally. I explained to him what the Owner’s Manual said about Fail Safe and he said the problem was electrical and the #4 cylinder was not firing. I told him that the mode shuts off cylinders and the aircodioning to protect itself. He exclaimed that that was not the case! And that he did not know if that vehicle had that feature. I told him it said in the owner’s manual it did. The Manager called back just before the end of the day and said he has not found the cause of #4 cylinder not firing and would get back to me in the morning. Late morning he called and said the car had in fact gone into Fail Safe Mode and that he checked the air and it is fine but still insisted an animal had chewed the wires and the coil and connector and it will cost $500.
And asked if I wanted it changed. I said yes as I wanted the car back. I still do not know how he checked the Air if the car was in Fail Safe Mode as he claimed the coil caused the misfire that put it in that mode and he had not changed the coil yet and the air was working. I have researched Fail Safe Mode and it seams to happen to a large number of people around 70,000 check up time. I had another car with the same feature and my mechanic took out a fuse and put it back in and all was reset. I think this dealer is using this feature to possibly extort repair business that does not need to be done.
Monetary Loss: $400.