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Need advice on our 2015 TC

  #1  
Old 02-10-2018, 06:03 PM
mpaton
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Need advice on our 2015 TC

So my wife has been looking for a van type vehicle to transport her art canvasses, and it seemed to me that the Transit Connect fit the requirements. So a local Carmax has one and a few other vehicles she wants to look at. In the end she likes the car, it's a 2015 XLT with about 61K miles on it, and it's probably been a rental and a little overpriced, and she announces she's going to buy it. So I find out all about what warranty there is (30 days) and how long we have to return it for a full refund if we don't like it (5 days) and I decide not to get in the way, but I'll check it over thoroughly when we get it home.

So that where we are, had it a day, 4 to go. So far I'm very unimpressed with Carmax because

1 Dipstick has the bottom broken off at the hole above the cross hatching so impossible to use it to measure oil level. I use another vehicle's dipstick and convince myself the oil level is OK.

2 Secondary brake fluid reservoir (the one with the filler cap) is empty. I think I can see fluid in the primary reservoir on top of the master cylinder. I get some DOT4 and it takes about 6 fl oz to bring it up to halfway between min and max.

3 The worst thing. Coolant reservoir seems low, sitting just below MIN. I fill it up with distilled water to MIN after engine has been stopped for an hour. The next day, about 15 mins after driving the level appears to be below MIN by about a quarter of an inch.

So now I have to get more rigorous about checking, with making sure the vehicle is level, and the engine is cold when the level is checked, and driven in between.

I would put my Harbor Freight pressure tester on it, but although I can attach an adapter to the tank, I couldn't get the pressure pump on it. Can the tank be unbolted with the hoses still on it so I can tilt it and get the pump on?

I realize that as simple solution might be that they've changed the coolant but not bothered to bleed the system. Does the rear heater have a second heat exchanger, or is it just air ducted from the front one. I have seen the refrigerant lines under the car, so I'm thinking a 2nd heater core as well.

4 A more minor problem is the wind noisethat seems to be coming from the roof mounted antenna.

Is coolant loss or head gasket issues a common problem for this car?
How about wind noise issues?

Thanks in advance

Michael
 
  #2  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:13 AM
EvanBly
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Michael;


You are doing a thorough job in checking out the TC and facing a lot of ambiguities. Some of the problems seem really minor (like the dip stick), others could be serious. It might be a good idea to take the van to a mechanic and have your observations reviewed and checked.


There are others on this forum who will be better able to address the issues you mention. The only issue I can directly address is the wind noise from the antenna--I haven't had that problem. I do wish ford would put the antenna in the window since it's a pain to climb up to remove the antenna when at a car wash.


Good luck in vetting the TC.
 
  #3  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:30 PM
YoGeorge
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A busted dipstick is not a good sign that the vehicle has been properly maintained. How does one routinely check oil with a busted dipstick and how long has it been broken? This in itself would creep me out on a used vehicle.

Low brake fluid is not a good sign that the vehicle was maintained. Check the pads ASAP if you think you are gonna keep the van...the fluid level will go down as pads wear but there could also be leaks in the system.

Low coolant could certainly be from a recent change and air bubbles that have been displaced by coolant. Rear heaters virtually all use a 2nd heater core in the rear unit, so the lines and core could be another source of leaks. I have never heard of any frequency of head gasket issues on the 2.5 liter four in the Escape and other applications. No reason you couldn't unscrew the tank to fit the pressure adapter if you leave the hose connections intact.

I'd prefer buying a newer TC that was still within the factory warranty period but have no idea what price range you are in.

The dipstick, brake fluid, and coolant all read like signs of poor maintenance in the past so I would look elsewhere if you can still back out of the deal.

No experience driving TC's with regard to wind noise...I was looking at them but never bought one.

Good luck,
George
 
  #4  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:54 PM
EvanBly
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MP;


You might also want to check on Enterprise rentals, in two ways. It would be nice to rent a TC and give it a run for a while to help decide if it really was what your wife would like. Second, some of the Enterprise sales I've seen feature TCs with lower mileage and with reasonable prices.


Good luck with your hunt.
 
  #5  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:34 AM
mpaton
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Originally Posted by EvanBly View Post
Michael;


You are doing a thorough job in checking out the TC and facing a lot of ambiguities. Some of the problems seem really minor (like the dip stick), others could be serious. It might be a good idea to take the van to a mechanic and have your observations reviewed and checked.
The dipstick would indeed be easy to fix, and online costs $3 + shipping. However I'm aghast that a company touting their 125 point inspections would actually sell a car like that. Presumably they checked the oil level they way I eventually did; by borrowing another dipstick and estimating the length that was missing and also the total length. And to sell a vehicle with an empty brake fluid reservoir! Amazing, even if it does have 2 reservoirs..


Originally Posted by EvanBly View Post
There are others on this forum who will be better able to address the issues you mention. The only issue I can directly address is the wind noise from the antenna--I haven't had that problem. I do wish ford would put the antenna in the window since it's a pain to climb up to remove the antenna when at a car wash.

Good luck in vetting the TC.
I noticed some amateur applied 3/16" foam tape applied to the door edges, so somebody's been trying to fix a wind noise issue. The noise was quite intrusive, starting at about 45mph. That wouldn't be surprising in a 1960s van, if I'd got lots of responses here saying that other TCs had it, I might have decided to live with it, but now I'm wondering what cause the noise. Frame damage?

Michael
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:47 AM
mpaton
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Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
A busted dipstick is not a good sign that the vehicle has been properly maintained. How does one routinely check oil with a busted dipstick and how long has it been broken? This in itself would creep me out on a used vehicle.
Me too. And this vehicle was supposedly inspected, and was also sold this way!

Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
Low brake fluid is not a good sign that the vehicle was maintained. Check the pads ASAP if you think you are gonna keep the van...the fluid level will go down as pads wear but there could also be leaks in the system.
The pads and rotors were in great shape. Again, my concern was not only with maintenance, but with how much I should trust the quality of the 125 point inspection. Not much in the end. What else did they miss?

Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
Low coolant could certainly be from a recent change and air bubbles that have been displaced by coolant. Rear heaters virtually all use a 2nd heater core in the rear unit, so the lines and core could be another source of leaks. I have never heard of any frequency of head gasket issues on the 2.5 liter four in the Escape and other applications. No reason you couldn't unscrew the tank to fit the pressure adapter if you leave the hose connections intact.
Insufficient bleeding would have been the one reason that would have made me OK with the coolant loss, because it would have eventually stopped. However it showed no sign of stopping within the 5 days I get to return it, and by now I have no confidence in their ability to fix any issues in the 30 day warranty period, do to the things their shop missed. But in the end I couldn't pin this down as the cause in the 5 days.

Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
I'd prefer buying a newer TC that was still within the factory warranty period but have no idea what price range you are in.

The dipstick, brake fluid, and coolant all read like signs of poor maintenance in the past so I would look elsewhere if you can still back out of the deal.

No experience driving TC's with regard to wind noise...I was looking at them but never bought one.

Good luck,
George
So it's gone back. Now looking at a 2014 with way fewer miles so it still has a bit of powertrain warranty left.

Michael
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:51 AM
mpaton
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Originally Posted by EvanBly View Post
MP;


You might also want to check on Enterprise rentals, in two ways. It would be nice to rent a TC and give it a run for a while to help decide if it really was what your wife would like. Second, some of the Enterprise sales I've seen feature TCs with lower mileage and with reasonable prices.


Good luck with your hunt.
Thanks. After about 200 miles with it, I think were sure enough that it's the right vehicle for her purposes, but just not that one. So now the process begin again; now looking at a low miles 2014 with some powertrain warranty left.

Thanks for the help.

Michael
 
  #8  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:01 AM
mpaton
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Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
Rear heaters virtually all use a 2nd heater core in the rear unit, so the lines and core could be another source of leaks. I have never heard of any frequency of head gasket issues on the 2.5 liter four in the Escape and other applications. No reason you couldn't unscrew the tank to fit the pressure adapter if you leave the hose connections intact.
Good luck,
George
I forgot these 2 points in my earlier reply. I would have unscrewed the tank, but it wasn't screwed in, it had 2 stout clips, and I couldn't easily see how to release them without breaking them.

Also I thought it likely that there would be a 2nd heater core, especially as I'd seen the lines under the car for the second evaporator core. However through exploring various online parts manuals, it seems that the rear heater is electric! So no coolant lines there.

Also found the rear climate control sucks air from under the driver's seat. I'd heard the noise coming from somewhere around there but when I looked, its cabin air filter was very dirty. Hope all you guys are changing yours often. They can't last long, maybe we need a group buy for them.

Michael
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:52 AM
YoGeorge
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Wow, a radiant electric rear heater would use a lot of wattage but certainly simplifies coolant lines. Or do they just pipe warm air back there from the front air outlets? I've owned numerous full size vans with rear heaters but never a TC... My Grand Caravan also has a heater core in back.

Recommendation for cabin air filters for front intakes is usually changing them every 12-20k miles and they are pretty cheap if you buy generic ones...but special filters like for rear heaters or ventilated seats on Expeditions might not be easily available as generics.

Evan suggested that I pipe in only because I'm a car geek...I hope that you find the right van for your wife in the end. The TC is a really sensible vehicle for carrying *stuff* around economically....as are minivans in general. They've become "black sheep" in terms of soccer mom reputations but I know plenty of bicyclists, musicians, and boy scout leaders who drive them proudly because they just work.

George
 
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