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Member Since 08 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active Feb 08 2011 07:04 PM

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In Topic: smax official trouble topic

08 February 2011 - 05:52 PM

Iím new to this forum group but have to also share my Smax faulty alarm system saga...
The alarm sounded, hazard lights were activated and wipers stopped working all while the car was being driven in heavy rain conditions on a very busy a road during the rush hour on a Friday night. Whilst being driven by wife with our children in the vehicle...it doesnít get much worse than this! The wife had to perform a rapid exit off the road whilst other road user thought she was trying to warn of a pending road accident due to the hazard light flashing
Turning off the ignition, locking the car stopped the alarm...albeit from the lay-by whilst getting wet!
Yes it is all down to the Alarm Horn Sounder unit in the near side front wheel arch. The module is hidden out of view by the plastic inner wheel arch liner. The module is bolted to bracket just behind the suspension strut, very close to the horozontal bulk head pressing. The bulk head has a drain hole in it to allow any rain water to be released. The hole is fitted with a plastic diverter tube...but the fit of the diverter tube is not good and any water drips off the drain tube and on the alarm module and or its connecting wiring loom.
The modules purpose is sound an internal alarm horn if the vehicle is broken into, within the module it is supported by it own rechargeable battery backup, this is ensure the alarm will still sound if the main vehicle battery is removed or disconnected.
This module is manufactured by Delphi for Ford the same component is fitted to Freelander II.
Once the alarm horn sounder module is damp it is likely to breakdown. The breakdown is due to the electronics within the module shorting out, this will cause permanent damage. Root cause effects are varied from making false alarm sound, activating the hazard lights and sending a false signal to the wiper control module that demobilises the front windscreen function.
If youíre wondering why Iím so sure of these facts itís because I took out the wheel arch liner and unplugged the module and then the wipers worked fine. I then dismantled the module to see the PCB and its tiny surface mount components burnt with signs water stains!
Although Ford MoCo stock standard answer is that they are not responsible for water ingress, I have to totally disagree; I'm in no way responsible for the design of this poor system. The Failure Mode is very dangerous and warrants safety recall and proven corrective measures implemented.
I have complained to Mr Andy Barratt Customer Services Director at Ford, I will post his response as soon as it arrives, Iím hopeful of a refund of my £200 bill I got for this problem. Annoying as my car has only covered 28k miles.
In the mean time Iím preparing a 'safety defect report to VOSA, I recommend that all other owners with this fault do the same to force some action, see link below for the form.
http://www.vosa.gov....fect report.doc
Also I will contact my local trading standards office as this is a safety issue.

Do post the response when you get it, Stumax. I've just got my SMax back from Ford and I'm £520 the lighter. Same wipers/alarm problem. We arrived off the ferry at Southampton and the wipers were going full-whack as soon as I turned on the engine. Stopped at a Ford garage on the way home who said that it was the alarm module that was faulty but they didn't have the part. Wipers settled down on the way home but then, that evening, the alarm kept going off. Looked at an earlier post here and removed (the infamous) fuse 26 which solved the alarm problem. And then ten days later the wipers started going again, so removed the wiper module fuse and booked the car in with Ford. They told me they'd need to replace the "Horn assy - part 1667961" (£123) and the "Sensor and bracket - interior scan - part 1670435" (£167) and that it would be 1.5 hours labour. It does seem ridiculous that this is not seen as a safety issue - and is there every likelihood this will happen again? And I'm still not entirely sure whether the two parts have become faulty at the same, related to the same issue. We could possibly have survived without the interior scan anyway, but Ford said that they couldn't guarantee that without this being changed, the alarm may still malfunction. Anyone shed any light? And are these costs unusually high - paid for now anyway...
ps - also have the whining turbo which doesn't seem to be affecting the power, just a bit embarrassing going down the street. Have had it for about 7 months now without change. Am wondering what will happen next.