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I Hate My Smax :(

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#1 Tirinoarim

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:35 AM

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 cable
  • New 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?



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#2 jeebowhite

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:19 PM

Welcome to the forum!

 

I think you have probably had a bad experience, to be honest, you will get this with most cars. Something, somewhere will go wrong, its just a case of how much to fix it!

 

  • New bonnet catch cable - This is a problem with most Ford's, they appear to have gone for budget before quality on these!
  • New 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. - that would irritate the life out of me! I dont know how expensive they are but you may be able to replace it yourself and buy a unit off ebay or if you find a bodywork write off in the scrappies just getting one from them!
  • 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!?!?) - I suspect the issue here is that the switch under the button is not making a contact correctly. is it a flip key with a flat blade, or tibble blade? you could pick up a new remote off ebay for a few quid, and then swap the immobilisers chip over, along with the blade. Let me know which type you have and I will see what I can find for you!
  • 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!). - Unfortunately it seems that Ford did take the mick on this instance, it sounds like yours might have been part of a defective batch, however I would suggest buy yourself two new valves, take the car to an independent Tyre fitter, and ask them to change the valves for you. It may cost you about £20 - £30 all in, unless they want to check balance etc.
  • There's lots of other little things too like all the enamel falling off the rear badge (seen LOADS with similar problem). - This is a bit of a design flaw in the badge, however, there is an easy, cheap and better looking fix! google "DMB Gel Overlays" and invest in a set. It sticks on, bonds with heat (hairdryer) and you can get your own style, colour combination, and they are much better wear and tear wise.
  • Keep finding various bits of plastic inside that have fallen off from "somewhere". - Was this car new when you bought it, or used? it could be a careless fore-owner, otherwise it could be that it hasn't been as well built as others.

As for the tyres, I suppose the weight of the car is its own worst enemy this way, if you get a car of a similar size then you will probably see the same problem. What mich's do you go for? if you go for a hard wearing compound, they should see you right for a bit longer... How many miles do the tyres last on average / how many years?

 

As for the exhaust, what was the issue? was it just as simple as a rusted clamp, or was the exhaust unit itself rusted through? you could get a much cheaper exhaust than that, and one at a better quality... you got a much better deal with the aftermarket one though!

 

With regards the MOT, remember, you don't need to pay Fords to fix it! When you collect the car, find out what went wrong. Ford cannot stop you from driving away. Before you go to collect the car, speak to a friend or the Mrs, and tell her if she gets a weird call, to just roll with it. If Ford insist that they cannot allow you to drive the vehicle, phone said friend, and introduce yourself as if you are having a call with a garage (treat the call as if your best mate owns a garage and you need the repairs done!) tell them the issues and play along like you are getting a quote and arranging repair. "What was that, bring it down now and you will have a look at it? no problem, will do!". Tell Ford that you have arranged a repair with a garage, and that you are driving the vehicle to them to have it repaired. (see this site, your allowed to drive the vehicle, without a valid MOT if you are going for repair!).

 

Now if you drive the car home, technically you are driving your car illegally, and we do not condone it. However, if it was to be driven home, and you promise that you are going to arrange the repairs with another garage (or repair the vehicle yourself).

 

Now, because you have taken the car from the garage, you could go back within 10 working days and have a "partial retest" this would not be the full MOT fee, but a partial fee, and so would be slightly cheaper. Any time exceeding 10 working days, you would need to pay for a full MOT. You also have the option to have the vehicle MOT'd at another site.

 

Now, how you proceed is your choice, I am not advising you to drive illegally and without an MOT, however if Ford are going to charge you a bomb, there is nothing stopping you taking your car to repair at an alternate site in order for it to pass the MOT... ;) ;)

 

Hope this is of some help :)



#3 loxley108

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:20 PM

Why did you go through so many tyres do you think?



#4 Tirinoarim

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

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!



#5 jeebowhite

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:11 PM

cant say I blame you!

 

It does sound like a pairing issue to be honest, but I just dont know why the Mrs key causes it to work...

 

it sounds like its just not transmitting, or being picked up.

 

Best answer, take your Mrs key, and swap the insides (switches) with your own, then see whose key works...



#6 Tirinoarim

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

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  :angry:

 

On the key front, it must be the pickup hence me thinking its a bonding/paring thing.



#7 137699

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 11:48 AM

There is a how-to on the smax owners club site on how to service the bonet release so it doesn't fail. Mine is a 2006 car but still is on it's orginal bonnet cable.

 

Tyres - I buy part-worns and they are much cheaper. The rears still look fairly new after 30,000 miles but as brand new fronts cost £150 each and last only about 15,000 miles, I buy good part worns at about £60 each and they last 12,000 miles.

 

The exhaust is a common issue on the TDCi - my petrol still has it's original exhaust 7 years on and looks very structurally sound.

 

The badges are a common issue - most go for a gel overlay rather than replacement.



#8 jeebowhite

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:50 PM

Ouch! 2 rear suspension arm bushes... I wasnt aware they needed to replace the whole arm, as such I suggest you call other dealers, and indies to see if they advise the same thing!

 

Are you still thinking of shopping it in then?



#9 FOCA

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:44 PM

Ouch! 2 rear suspension arm bushes... I wasnt aware they needed to replace the whole arm, as such I suggest you call other dealers, and indies to see if they advise the same thing!

 

Are you still thinking of shopping it in then?

The mk3 Mondeo estates are the same £400 because of worn  bushes (and thats with a trade discount) + you cannot fit upgraded/ poly bushes on the rear  



#10 FOCA

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:00 PM

Let me start

  • 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!?!?)

 

?

£100 is pennies - if you are a Fiat owner & loose your key you could be talking about splashing out £600 to £800 to replace it  

 

+ with the greatest respect - many of the other things you were complaining about are minor niggles - not like the engine not starting or something like that - and tyres, and exhausts are consumables, same as brakes, wipers, filters etc, etc - you will be expected to replace them - you cant expect them to last forever - other parts for other makes of cars may last an even shorter time and be even more expensive to replace  

 

You never mentioned your mileage (that i noticed)  



#11 BAD DOG

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:48 PM

Hi all

Regarding the rear suspension bush, I had a trailing arm front bush changed, not sure ifits the same, sounds the same, parts 59 quid and 2 hrs labour plus vat 178 quid. Talking about MOTs just failed with 3 tyres, insufficient tread, when theres 3 to 4 mil tread, the storm has just began 



#12 dsk05a

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:07 PM

Interesting and worrying.

I'm about to buy a brand new S-Max Diesel 163 Titanium X Sport with options.

Anybody out there who can give me a positive story to allay my fears?

Thanks,

 



#13 gregers

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 07:20 PM

why worry if its coming with warranty?



#14 Tirinoarim

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:05 PM

why worry if its coming with warranty?


For me (if I do buy a Ford again) is the cost AFTER the warranty runs out. Passenger seatbelt faulty now too!

#15 gregers

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

if i could afford to buy new,then once manufactures warranty ran out i would purchase an after market 1.

then you fall back onto forums like this.well some anyway,not the 1s who charge you to gain info that there members have posted up :o



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