Help With Towing Damage

Discussion in 'Generation 4 - Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by GrolarBear, May 23, 2019.

  1. GrolarBear

    GrolarBear New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    A shorter version of a long story- I was at a friend's apartment that just instituted permit parking and got towed even though I had a permit in the window (it shouldn't have been towed, the apartment management and the tow company are both blaming each other).

    Anyway, it turns out that it got yanked out of the space with the tires still on the ground (I have pics of the marks on the pavement from where it got dragged). When I picked up the car it was just acting funny, not enough for me to process what was going at 4am, but just shifting funny and jerking around a little. Later in the day when I drove through a wet parking lot while turning it jerked around, kind of like a RWD car with a spool or welded axle (any race car guys out there will know this right away, where your inside tire chirps/skipping around...) and started making a tsk... tsk... tsk... sound on decel that was speed dependent (the faster I went the faster it did it). it was somewhat intermittent, it would get worse once it started but it didn't always start when you first got moving. Over the next couple days the tsk... tsk... tsk... got worse till it was pretty much doing it anytime I wasn't accelerating. A passenger noticed that you can feel the noise thumping on a spot on the passenger side floor pan (right near where the driveshaft comes out of the transaxle)

    I parked the car and pursued trying to get the tow company to pay for the damage they caused and got as far as needing to get a firm quote for repairs to get anywhere with them. OK, after the car sat for a few days I got in it to take it to a dealer to get a quote...

    NO NOISE. Most of the jerking/funny shifting is gone also.

    I talked to 2 different techs as well as a service manager (interestingly they had 3 cars in that week that were damaged from improper towing) and they all seem to agree that the PTO/PTU were likely damaged (a $1400/6hr repair) and eventually the tsk... tsk... tsk... sound would get as bad as someone pounding on a trash can lid, but did not have an answer for why it was intermittent and why it went away, as well as most of the weird shifting/jerking... They basically told me that they can't diagnose/write me a quote if it's not doing it and there is no check engine light, so if it starts up again to come in, don't turn it off, and get one of them to drive it.

    Well, it hasn't done it for 2 weeks, and there's only so long that I can just sit on this and the longer that I wait for the harder I suspect that it's going to be to get anything out of the tow company. They're already sitting on the $160 tow/impound fee that they're supposed to return because I won't sign their form specifying that I will not hold them liable for damage done by towing.

    So how do I get this diagnosed, make the noise start up again, or is it possible that it's gone for good (I know, unlikely but maybe something like the PCM got confused enough by the towing that it was causing the transaxle to make a physical noise that cleared itself up)???
     
  2. SM105K

    SM105K Land Yacht Pilot Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Paper Slayer
    Location:
    Arizona
    It is simple. Dont sign the form and make them pay for a PTU replacement. You have the evidence, you have the tech's saying it causes damage ect......
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  3. krewat

    krewat SHO Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    777
    Occupation:
    System Administrator
    Location:
    Long Island
    Home Page:
    Why would the PTU be damaged? When in Park, only the front wheels are locked - not the rears. If anything, they damaged a front CV joint/axle, the parking pawl in the tranny, but I don't think the PTU would be damaged by dragging it.
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  4. SM105K

    SM105K Land Yacht Pilot Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Paper Slayer
    Location:
    Arizona
    The PTU is direct drive from the axle. If the front wheels move, the PTU moves so that should not be ruled out. I am going off what he said the techs said, and I would not be arguing if they say the PTU could be damaged...for futures sake.
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  5. GrolarBear

    GrolarBear New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Ford says don't tow without putting it in N, the techs said that it is most likely the PTU, but I no one will give me a quote without it actually making a noise/doing something (and the dealer says it should be throwing a code also), I have 2 people that have heard the noise beside me, nither ford techs (one a Toyota tech who drove it, but he admittedly didn't have a clue what the heck it was, said it was the strangest thing he's ever heard and posted to a group of his fellow UTI grads with "anyone a ford tech out there and have any ideas what's going on?) leaving me holding a whole lot of nothing. The longer it takes for the noise to come back the stronger the argument the tow company has for "we didn't break it."

    Honestly another week or so and I wouldn't blame the tow company for saying "we didn't break it' (this happened in April) and at this point, I'm worried that the noise will come back after I give up on it, a year from then or...
     
  6. Christian

    Christian SHO Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    138
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chilliwack BC CANADA
    If it were me, I'd have the dealer do a PTU flush/fluid change and see what they find. Even if they say the fluid looked good or they didn't find any debris/shavings, etc, you'll at least have fresh fluid and one less maintenance item to do later on.
     
    Hebes10 likes this.
  7. GrolarBear

    GrolarBear New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Huh, I didn't know that was a thing... let me look into that.
     
  8. Christian

    Christian SHO Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    138
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chilliwack BC CANADA
    Many of the members here do a regular service on the PTU. I did mine at 6k miles or so and will continue to do it every 2 years or so. The tech that did mine agreed that this was good preventative maintenance.
     

Share This Page

If you wish to help keep SHOforum running, please click the donation button below