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MOT done. I can now add 2 rear suspension arm bushes to the list at £740 (apparently they have to replace the whole arm, not just the bushes - WTF?). Oh and there's apparently some play in the anti-roll bar too. Yay On the key front, it must be the pickup hence me thinking its a bonding/paring thing.
Thanks jeebowhite for the tips. The problem with the exhaust was that the pipe rusted through where it meets the back box (so the whole back box fell off). Also because the car was at that point just under 3 years old, ford hadnt released the designs etc for them so no 3rd party ones were available, only original ford once (hence them feeling they could charge so much!). Thats why I ended up searching for custom made ones and luckily found a place near work doing stainless ones! With regards the remote, its the 3 button flip-key type. My first thought was that the microswitch had gone (as thats the only "mechanical" part) but it just cant be. NONE of the 3 buttons work/do anything. If I then use my wifes key to remote unlock the car, my remote then works every time, all 3 buttons for a good few hours. I can only think its some kind of pairing/bonding issue (I tried some tips I;ve seen on quickly turning the ignition key 5 times quickly but it didnt help). Fingers crossed for tomorrow but if they come out with any issues & prices similar to their exhaust quote, its going somewhere else!
Let me start by clarifying the topic. I *used* to love my SMax. 09 plate, had it from new. 2.0 TDI Titanium. Was perfect for our family needs. 3 full seats in the back (i.e. middle!) so room for the 2 kids in their isofix seats plus space for the dog in the middle. Massive boot (dont really use the back seats) so plenty of room for all the camping gear too. Reasonable fuel economy (the commute is about 50 miles round trip). And for 3 years or so its been a great car. Now I like to think I'm a (reasonably!?) intelligent person so realise some things will go wrong when the warranty runs out (thats why it runs out) but the damn thing just seems to be falling to bits! So far I've had New bonnet catch cableNew Drivers seat belt catch (fasten seat belt alarm continuously going off for 300 miles on holiday!) - passenger side looks like its starting to do it too.Drivers key fob remote doesn't work, unless I use my wife's first then its fine! (apparently its "wearing out". Its electronic not mechanical! And £100 quid for a key remote? REALLY!?!?)2 tire valves literally falling out (one of which on outside lane of motorway with said kids, dog and camping gear in - not nice experience). The remaining 2 have also now all but disintegrated (at a nice £140 each too). Although I since discovered that you can replace the valve WITHOUT having to replace the whole sensor unit - of course Ford didn't give that as an option!).There's lots of other little things too like all the enamel falling off the rear badge (seen LOADS with similar problem). Keep finding various bits of plastic inside that have fallen off from "somewhere".And then, the wear and tear? My god that thing EATS tires (and yes, I remortgage my house each time so I can buy Michelins). Then to top it all off, when the exhaust fell off (as that of course is also designed to last 3 years 1 month!) how much did Ford want for a replacement? £480!?!?! REALLY!??!? For another 3 years one made of bean tins!? (needless to say I got a custom made stainless steel one with a lifetime *transferable* warranty fitted for £240 all in - plus a bonus extra couple of miles per gallon!). Seriously had enough of this car now. MOT tomorrow, dreading it! We're starting to look at replacing it now but I've been seriously put off Fords by this experience. Anyone else had issues like these or did I just luck-out with a bad one?