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Brake Failure


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18 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   phillthedog

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:34 AM

We have a 2010 Ford Flex Eco Boost. About a month ago the dealer replaced some vacuum device because their was a hard and then a sinking pedal brakes did not work and almost crashed. Now after the repair when you start out in the morning there is a hard pedal and brakes do not do as expected. Car is back at the dealers they cannot replicate the problem and want to give the car back. We live high on a mountain so it a real issue if you cannot stop.

The service advisor says we ought to run the car for 5 minutes to build up the pressure in the system which sounds ridiculous as we did not have the problem before.

Anyone else have this problem or advice we don't want to run the risk of a total brake failure.

Thanks for any word of wisdom.

There are two other Flex owners also having same issues at altitude you get a hard brake pedal with no warning and you can push hard as you like and the car won't stop feels worse than straight manual brakes, it happens intermittenly. Dealer has had car for two weeks Ford has sent out engineers and they say nothing wrong. The problem did not occur until it reached over 20k miles the same in all three cases that I know of.

its another day hard pedal in the morning car won't stop no matter how hard you press the brake pedal, over a month Ford says nothing wrong.

Edited by phillthedog, 26 May 2011 - 07:04 PM.


#2 OFFLINE   Flex42

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:20 PM

I have had the same problem with mine.
I am not living at altitude (just outside Toronto, CA).
I have the problem if using the brakes just after starting.
It seems worse the longer it has been sitting unused, but has happened with the vehicle off for only 5 minutes.
The brakes usually start working normally after minute of driving, but I did have one instance where I got about 3 km down the road and still minimal brakes.
The dealer first replaced the brake booster with no effect.
They then put new pads, rotors and hanger brackets front and rear.
With the new pads/rotors, the brake effectiveness was much improved, and this largely masked the problem.
Now with about 5000 km's since the brakes were done, I am noticing the problem once more.
I am suspicious that the check valve between the intake and the booster is leaking.
I think the brake design as it is for boosted engine is flawed, particularly with the Flex's turbo setup to develop boost at very low rpm.
I have found that if you wait until the engine settles to a normal idle rpm, at least lower than 1000 rpm, and depress the brakes before you set off, it seems much better.
I don't like having to live with the problem, but the dealer doesn't seem to have an answer to the problem.
I'm surprised more haven't expressed the same problem.

#3 OFFLINE   Midnight Rider

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 08:26 AM

Makes sense if the turbos are providing boost at idle (probably shouldn't be?) The brake booster uses intake manifold vacuum to provide assist, and if there is no vacuum in the intake manifold - no boost! Even if the check valve is working correctly, you would get, at most, one or two applications of the brakes before the stored vacuum was depleted.

Just for curiosity's sake, when there is no boost, I'd put it in neutral, then rev the engine up and release the gas pedal quickly to see if it created some vacuum for the booster. That might help narrow it down. Manually downshifting while moving might do the same thing.

This is interesting - I'll be watching this thread. It is definitely dangerous without the power brakes inoperative!

#4 OFFLINE   Flex42

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:25 PM

I'm pretty sure the engine isn't making boost at normal idle, but at cold start with a high idle, I don't know if this is enough to reduce the amount of vacuum being generated. With no boost gauge in the Flex, it's hard to tell. Give the rating are for near full torque at around 1500 rpm, I would assume it needs to be making boost at pretty low rpm when on throttle.
I had thought about doing some tests, but so far haven't got around to it.

#5 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 04:04 AM

Higher idle RPM creates more vacuum, in fact sometimes high cold idles are used specifically to generate vacuum for the booster. Boost is not generated at idle since there is hardly any load on the engine. When they say max torque is at 1500rpm, that's only true with the throttle fully open.

#6 OFFLINE   Midnight Rider

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 06:24 AM

Higher idle RPM creates more vacuum, in fact sometimes high cold idles are used specifically to generate vacuum for the booster. Boost is not generated at idle since there is hardly any load on the engine. When they say max torque is at 1500rpm, that's only true with the throttle fully open.


I beg to differ…

Manifold vacuum is greatest when the engine is not under load. High cold idling merely keeps the engine from stalling.

The highest vacuum is created when backing off the throttle while driving, such as going downhill.

I do agree that max torque occurs with fully open throttle, which results in near-zero vacuum, or in the case of a boosted engine, positive pressure in the manifold.

#7 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:15 AM

I beg to differ…

Manifold vacuum is greatest when the engine is not under load. High cold idling merely keeps the engine from stalling.


I beg to differ myself. High cold idle is used for many things

1. Pre-heating catalysts (the main reason)
2. increased lubrication to the engine including the variable cam mechanism
3. Faster warming for cabin heat
4. Increased alternator output
5. Increased vacuum to fill the brake reservoir

Higher rpm does not mean the engine is under more load. On cold starts it's running very rich anyway, so there's not much throttle opening required to maintain the higher rpm.

#8 OFFLINE   phillthedog

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

I have had the same problem with mine.
I am not living at altitude (just outside Toronto, CA).
I have the problem if using the brakes just after starting.
It seems worse the longer it has been sitting unused, but has happened with the vehicle off for only 5 minutes.
The brakes usually start working normally after minute of driving, but I did have one instance where I got about 3 km down the road and still minimal brakes.
The dealer first replaced the brake booster with no effect.
They then put new pads, rotors and hanger brackets front and rear.
With the new pads/rotors, the brake effectiveness was much improved, and this largely masked the problem.
Now with about 5000 km's since the brakes were done, I am noticing the problem once more.
I am suspicious that the check valve between the intake and the booster is leaking.
I think the brake design as it is for boosted engine is flawed, particularly with the Flex's turbo setup to develop boost at very low rpm.
I have found that if you wait until the engine settles to a normal idle rpm, at least lower than 1000 rpm, and depress the brakes before you set off, it seems much better.
I don't like having to live with the problem, but the dealer doesn't seem to have an answer to the problem.
I'm surprised more haven't expressed the same problem.


I have filed a lemon law complaint with Ford as they have not replicated or fixed the problem we had two narrow squeaks with the brakes failing to stop and rolling through an Intersection and a red light. There is no warning it just happens you get a hard pedal you can push as hard as possible no brakes.

#9 OFFLINE   Flex42

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:22 PM

I have filed a lemon law complaint with Ford as they have not replicated or fixed the problem we had two narrow squeaks with the brakes failing to stop and rolling through an Intersection and a red light. There is no warning it just happens you get a hard pedal you can push as hard as possible no brakes.


Let us know how you make out on this.
I suspect it won't do too much for me on the north side of the board, but if there is an action on your end, it can only help with dealing with Ford on my end.
By the way, the problem is still there, but not to the same degree as it was before all the brake work was done. I have put on a reasonable amount of mileage since the brake work was done so it seems to be remaining about the same. I would really prefer the problem be fixed properly, but keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't get worse since it is liveable now.

#10 OFFLINE   Aquabob

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:56 AM

Is this issue specific to a model year (OP indicated that theirs is a 2010) and/or model (again, OP indicated that theirs is an Eco-Boost).

Are others finding this to be a similar issue on '09's, or on models without the EB?

#11 OFFLINE   Flex42

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:27 AM

I have an EB and is a Canadian 2010 model, one of the earliest ones off the line.
I have the front TSB and rear TSB repairs done. The rear was absolutely needed. I don't think the front made any difference. They also replaced all rotors and pads. The brakes felt stronger after this, which kind on masks the problem, but the fundamental problem is still there.
They also replace the brake booster on mine, but no significant difference.
The problem is still present, but work around it by letting the truck idle/warm up more and being more careful for the first couple of kilometers.

#12 OFFLINE   skifamily3

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:58 PM

We have a 2010 Ford Flex Eco Boost. About a month ago the dealer replaced some vacuum device because their was a hard and then a sinking pedal brakes did not work and almost crashed. Now after the repair when you start out in the morning there is a hard pedal and brakes do not do as expected. Car is back at the dealers they cannot replicate the problem and want to give the car back. We live high on a mountain so it a real issue if you cannot stop.

The service advisor says we ought to run the car for 5 minutes to build up the pressure in the system which sounds ridiculous as we did not have the problem before.

Anyone else have this problem or advice we don't want to run the risk of a total brake failure.

Thanks for any word of wisdom.

There are two other Flex owners also having same issues at altitude you get a hard brake pedal with no warning and you can push hard as you like and the car won't stop feels worse than straight manual brakes, it happens intermittenly. Dealer has had car for two weeks Ford has sent out engineers and they say nothing wrong. The problem did not occur until it reached over 20k miles the same in all three cases that I know of.

its another day hard pedal in the morning car won't stop no matter how hard you press the brake pedal, over a month Ford says nothing wrong.



#13 OFFLINE   skifamily3

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

We did have a complete brake failure in Summit County--our Ford dealer in Denver area said they hadn't heard of any problems with brakes at all--
No one was injured but there was a lot of property damage----

We are unsure as to how to proceed--but it seems as though there is a problem that Ford is not acknowledging.
It is amazing that no one was injured when our brakes failed.
A couple of other times at high altitude we thought the brakes felt odd when first leaving a parking lot but thought it was ice--

This time had to stop to back down a hill--brakes failed--and didn't stop until hitting a vehicle that was large enough to stop us.

#14 OFFLINE   phillthedog

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:20 AM

We did have a complete brake failure in Summit County--our Ford dealer in Denver area said they hadn't heard of any problems with brakes at all--
No one was injured but there was a lot of property damage----

We are unsure as to how to proceed--but it seems as though there is a problem that Ford is not acknowledging.
It is amazing that no one was injured when our brakes failed.
A couple of other times at high altitude we thought the brakes felt odd when first leaving a parking lot but thought it was ice--

This time had to stop to back down a hill--brakes failed--and didn't stop until hitting a vehicle that was large enough to stop us.


We are proceeding with a lawsuit under the lemon law against Ford as the brakes fail frequently we have had to buy another car as no one wants to use this one. There are at least two other people with Brake failure issues at high altitude one here in Summit County and another also at high altitude in another state. We have bought another car and quit using the Flex you never know when the brakes will fail. I have called Ford E Mailed with their customer relations team and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They offered me $663 in compensation I paid well over 40k for a car we cannot use.

#15 OFFLINE   phillthedog

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:24 AM

I have filed a lemon law complaint with Ford as they have not replicated or fixed the problem we had two narrow squeaks with the brakes failing to stop and rolling through an Intersection and a red light. There is no warning it just happens you get a hard pedal you can push as hard as possible no brakes.


See the forum notes but some people from Denver just had a crash while up here at High Altitude in Summit County, we have bought another car and essentially I have a more than 40k pile of junk sitting in my driveway. We were offered $663 through the BBB complaint from Ford.

#16 OFFLINE   phillthedog

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:58 PM

I have an EB and is a Canadian 2010 model, one of the earliest ones off the line.
I have the front TSB and rear TSB repairs done. The rear was absolutely needed. I don't think the front made any difference. They also replaced all rotors and pads. The brakes felt stronger after this, which kind on masks the problem, but the fundamental problem is still there.
They also replace the brake booster on mine, but no significant difference.
The problem is still present, but work around it by letting the truck idle/warm up more and being more careful for the first couple of kilometers.



My car is parked no one in the family will drive it Ford cannot fix it, can you send me more details on yours it will help with my Lemon law lawsuit against Ford.

#17 OFFLINE   Flex42

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:02 PM

My car is parked no one in the family will drive it Ford cannot fix it, can you send me more details on yours it will help with my Lemon law lawsuit against Ford.


What information are you looking for?

#18 OFFLINE   jackdgalloway

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:11 PM

Reviving this post for any updates people may have. I have a 2011 eco boosted Flex limited. I'm not sure at what mileage, but I've noticed the same braking problem, primarily when the car has sat and just been started. I'll hammer the brakes as hard as I can and find the car just drifting to a stop, have narrowly cruised into intersections trying to stop it. Additionally, when applying the brakes from higher speeds I'll get that groaning feeling/sound on the brakes and it seems the car is struggling to brake properly. I'm at ~50,000 on the vehicle now but have noticed this braking issue for about a year or so, and was unsure what to do about it.

I live in the higher desert in New Mexico, ~7,200 feet up. Thus the high elevation, and ecoboosted version seem like a fairly common denominator. Has anybody had luck fixing this, or luck working with Ford regarding the issue? Any updates or thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

#19 OFFLINE   Silent thunder

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:13 PM

I have a 2012 EB F150 with the same problem. If my truck sits more than just over night the first time I apply the brakes I have none. They go to the floor and feel like there is no fluid in the system. Does not matter if I start out going forward or in reverse. Vehicle left outside or in a garage makes no difference. Going to take it to Ford.








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