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Kenquin

Ford Fusion Flat Towing

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The owners manual says flat towing for automatic transmission vehicles only requires a 5 min warm-up, put in neutral,key in accessory and AWAY WE GO!! NOT SO!!!

Tow for max 6 hrs then run through the gears again. If you follow this procedure the result after towing will be the same as mine. A dead battery. And it happened 4 times before I got the complete story directly from Ford. The correct procedure is: Warm up for 5 minutes. Move the shifter through the gears for another 5 min. Put it in neutral, key in accessory. Remove fuses F27, F41, F43, F45 and after 6 hrs tow time reinsert the fuses, run the engine sequence again, put in neutral, key in accessory, replace the fuses. The fuse panel is located in a very difficult to access position under the dash to the left of the brake pedal. For most of the older generation it might just as well be on the moon.

Anyone want to buy a 2011 SEL Fusion with 7500 miles on it?.

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Sorry, but that is NOT what the owner's manual states. I posted it a few weeks ago and you can find it here. Many have not read the manual before towing.

Our 2011 Escape has the same transmission and same instructions. No need at all to remove any fuses. Mileage is not recorded and no battery problems. We towed 2500 miles - to Florida and back. Important point is the fluid level.

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I think the best answer is to get rid of your Fords. If I have to monitor the temperature of my dingy while towing it,there is something wrong. I started a thread back in late June about our 2011 Ford Fusion V6 with automatic and the problems we were having. The transmission went out 170 miles into our trip and we had to wait for 5 days for a new transmission to be flown in and installed. We then traveled another 260 miles stopping 3 times to run the car and trans through the gears and when we arrived at our destination the battery was dead. After getting road service to jump the battery we went into town and I knew then that the new transmission was going bad also. We had to be in Colorado Springs for the 4th of July so we towed it there and on the 5th took it to A Ford dealer there and was told the transmission was shot again. When the original trans went bad I filed a complaint with Ford Customer Service and low and behold 5 minutes after the dealer told me the trans was bad I got a call from them wanting to know if I was satisfied with the service I had received on the first trans replacement, lol. I told them of the new situation and that I was not waiting another 5 days for a trans to be replaced and they agreed. Their solution was to rent me a car while in Colorado and then for me to go to my next destination in Sturgis SD and rent me another car and then bring me my car when it was repaired. The dealer called on 7-11 to say the car was repaired and would be sent to me ASAP. Long story short the car was finally delivered to us on 7-23 at our next destination bu driving it to us in Montana. We then towed the car 145 mile at a speed of 60 or less to our next location and I can tell you the trans is ready to go again. Everybody says that the transmission fluid level is critical in these cars, but according to the Ford tech there is no transmission dip stick to check the fluid it has to be done from underneath the car. As a side note we meet a couple next to us that had a new Ford Fiesta (you must disconnect the battery on this car) and had their trans go out at the start of their trip and Ford said it was their fault. They left the on the 7-24 for Yellowstone and called us to say the transmission had exploded this time causing a fire. I have met the lemon law requirements in my state as well as Federal and when we get home in two weeks, cutting our trip short due to the car, it will be going back, assuming it makes it that far.

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Following up on my July 18 post. Ford Corporate have advised me that removal of 4 fuses is necessary to avoid a dead battery. As an alternative the battery may be disconnected. Ford has paid the dealer to install a cut off switch but unfortunately they have been unable to come up with one that fits the available space beneath the hood. We had to leave the area so elected to disconnect the negative battery cable and will get a proper cut off switch installed when we get back home. At Ford's expense.

With respect to the transmission oil level they made note in their email to me re the battery problem that the oil level must be kept between the 2 bar lines on the dip stick. This level is a safe operating one and avoids the problem of foaming caused by a higher level.

See the 2011 Owners Manual pages 202 thru 204 for info on flat towing (incomplete and misleading) and page 322 re the transmission level for flat towing.

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If we keep our Fusion I will contact my Ford Corporate rep to see if they will install one on our car. We have had it go dead three times in the short time we have had the car to tow. I just don't understand why we our going through all these transmissions.

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The owners manual says flat towing for automatic transmission vehicles only requires a 5 min warm-up, put in neutral,key in accessory and AWAY WE GO!! NOT SO!!!

Tow for max 6 hrs then run through the gears again. If you follow this procedure the result after towing will be the same as mine. A dead battery. And it happened 4 times before I got the complete story directly from Ford. The correct procedure is: Warm up for 5 minutes. Move the shifter through the gears for another 5 min. Put it in neutral, key in accessory. Remove fuses F27, F41, F43, F45 and after 6 hrs tow time reinsert the fuses, run the engine sequence again, put in neutral, key in accessory, replace the fuses. The fuse panel is located in a very difficult to access position under the dash to the left of the brake pedal. For most of the older generation it might just as well be on the moon.

Anyone want to buy a 2011 SEL Fusion with 7500 miles on it?.

I have a 2010 Ford Fusion also. Buy a lube pump Ramco 900;00 and your trips will be without worry :( :( :(

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I have a 2010 Ford Fusion also. Buy a lube pump Ramco 900;00 and your trips will be without worry :( :( :(

Ford should pay for this if necessary since it informed FMCA in writing that the vehicle could be towed flat - and thus it is on the list.

Balman - there IS a transmission dipstick and it does have marks on it for flat towing. The person who told you other wise is not informed on this topic.

Critical point remains the fluid level. Some owners who have gone in for service have had a keen service tech top it up again. When I took our Escape in for service I made it clear that the tech should be informed that if he topped up the transmission and it failed the penalty would be death. They got the message.

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Well we cut our trip short by 3 weeks due to the transmission problems and dead batteries. Ford towed the car in today to our dealer with the 4th blown transmission. If Ford wants to pay to install a Remco on a new car I will consider, but my days with this car are over. I have been a Ford man my whole life and will continue to be one except when towing flat. I have met three people on this trip that have had multiple transmission failures, we can't all be doing it wrong. Yes, I have heard of some success stories with Ford, but not anything compared to the failures.

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I had the Fusion towed in when we cut the trip short by 3 weeks and informed Ford I no longer want the car and expect a buy back. The dealer has no answer for why the battery keeps going dead. They know nothing about pulling fuses or disconnecting the battery. I have never had to do this on any car I have towed and I don't plan on starting now. They are just as confused regarding the transmission problems. I told them to check FMCA and Good Sam forums to see all the unhappy people with Ford or just Goggle Ford transmission problems. The latest on my 3 transmission was that it was 4-5 quarts low on fluid!! They drove it 1100 miles to deliver it to me after the trans was installed and I put on another 300 mile of driving plus at least 2000 towing. They don't know where fluid went too. I said if they want to give me a 2012 Fusion with a Remco pump I would consider, but I don't want this car.

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I have left many posts since late June regarding my 2011 Fusion with automatic transmission. First transmission replaced 140 miles from home, 2nd transmission replaced 460 miles from home. Ford repaired 2nd transmission and then delivered to use 1100 miles from repair shop. That transmission lasted about 160 miles before it started acting up again. We cut our trip short and nursed the car back home in mid August and Ford said that yes the transmission was slipping and hard shifting at times but they determined it was 3-4 quarts low on fluid and when they refilled the trans to "full" it worked fine. Nobody in the service department was aware that the transmission was to be run with less fluid than full. Ford still the car and can not determine why so many problems with the transmission, not including a dead battery after 2 1/2 hrs of towing. Ford is now willing to put a Remco pump on the car and install a charging line for the car battery at their expense. The Ford manager handling my case has said that Ford was going to issue a new TSB regarding the transmission and fluid levels.

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I would highly recommend you don't buy a Ford Escape, Fusion, Mercury Mariner or Mazda Tribute to tow. They all use the same transmission which is very prone to catastrophic failure. My 2009 failed twice. It only had 10900 miles on it at the last failure. I sold it to a Ford dealer in Amarillo and went back to the Honda CR-V. Ford refused to buy it back at any price four times or reimburse me for my expense of making this mistake. Google "Ford Escape transmission problems + towing" and you will see several reports of transmission failures, some resulted in the vehicle catching fire. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists at least 3 reports of transmission failures. Ford won't buy them back until you have four failures which is the magic number most State Lemon Laws use. If you want to put up with four failures then you can use your State Lemon Law to get a full refund of your purchase price minus a small allowance for your use of the vehicle. I'd be glad to share info such as addresses, names, phone numbers etc. with anyone. Contact me at: briact07@hotmail.com

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Hello all fellow Fusion owners that "try to tow".

I have just finished an entire summer attempting to make it possible to tow my 2010 Fusion SE that I purchased about 5 months ago. First I tried to follow Ford's direction. It didn't work. I then tried the directions on the Ford Corporation Bulletin regarding towing. It didn't work either. About that time Remco announced the availability of one of their pumps for the Fusion and after I waited several weeks for all the parts to become available and have them installed I tried again. This didn't work for me either.

At this time I am waiting to have the pump removed from the car along with my "base plate" at which time the vehicle will go on the market and I am going to go in another direction. Unfortunately, I happen to like the car but just cant, or don't want to, deal with the problems any further. My Fusion, as I said, is a 2010 SE, and was purchased at a local dealer. I explained in detail that I wanted to tow it behind my motor home when I first met the salesman. We even read the users manual together. I have discussed with them the possibility of having them take the car back and find me something that will work though, to date, we are a long way apart on price.

What I would like to ask is if there any FMCA members that tow either a Chevrolet HHR or Malibu that have experienced any concerns or problems using these vehicles as vehicles to tow. I just don't want to go through another 5 months of expermentation. Should anyone reading this post know someone that tows an HHR or Malibu would you please ask them to send me a note.

Thank you so much for reading this item.

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We've got a 2009 HHR LT2 equipped for towing 4 down. The only thing required to tow it is unlocking the steering wheel by putting the key in the ACC position, transmission in neutral and pull one fuze - the manual says not to get over 65mph. We towed it from St Louis to Florida City at the tip of Florida without starting or disconnecting it - no problems. Came home from St. Petersburg the same way - almost none stop. That was a couple of years ago and no problems so far.

We've also got a 1998 Olds Cutlass (same a Malibu but different decals). We've towed it from St Louis to Palm Springs, CA using the same procedure described above except I have to pull two fuses - or just flip a switch to disconnect them. Same 65 mph speed limitation which isn't a problem for us. If we what to leave a campground that we're only overnighting in, disconnecting/re-connecting isn't a problem. If we don't use the car, it stays put and I pull away in the morning without doing anything like starting it to let it run for 5 minutes before shifting through the gears, etc... We've been all over with that car and never had any transmission problems. We like the Cutlass because its bigger than the HHR.

If you don't have to have a new car, there are plenty older pre-2010 Malibu's and other GM cars that share the Malibu design available you should consider. We've gotten between 25-33 mpg with the Cutlass depending on how much tread is left on the tires - new tires lowered our mileage. The weight is still pretty good at around 3300 lbs. I use the BlueOx removable pin type bracket and can hardly see the bracket with the pins removed. I use Ready-Brake to assist stopping it. The whole process start to finish connecting up or disconnecting is only a couple of minutes. I use a Protect-a-Tow to keep rocks from beating-up my towed cars which is quick to hookup and stores in a small 6" x 24" case when not in use.

I've also got a couple of old Aerostar vans that weigh in at 3800 lbs and I've got equipped one of them for towing with a driveshaft disconnect. I like to tow the Aerostar because of the extra storage. (Bicycles are harder to steal when they're stored inside and in south Florida, that's a big plus.) I hope I can use it this winter to get out of St Louis.

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I have just purchased a 2012 Fusion to flat tow. I have not installed the baseplate yet, so I have no towing information. I did call FOMOCO because of all the problems some have had with transmissions.

This is what they said (for FWD 2.5 I-4 or 3.0 only-- FWD with 3.5 can not be flat towed):

First the dealer has to lower the transmission fluid to a specific mark on the dip stick. Done.

He told me no fuses need to be pulled as in the older models.Great!

Start engine, run for 5 minutes,shift from park to drive, then to reverse before shifting back to neutral, Key in acc, before towing in morning and every 6 hours.

Also no drain on battery as all electrical shuts off after about 10 minutes. This is the only reason I purchased the Fusion over the Cruze.

Hopefully they have the details worked out on the 2012. I will find out soon.

Anyone towing a 2012 now?

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Update on preparing my Fusion to flat tow. Dealer told me there would be no drain on the battery, with switch in acc position, so I experimented in my garage.Turned switch to on, put shifter in neutral, turned switch back to acc. Checked battery voltage at 12.85 Came back 4 hours later to a dead battery.So much for no drain. So I thought I would see if leaving the switch off would work. My steering wheel does not lock so don't see the need to have switch on. Well I found out that you cannot remove the key with the shifter in neutral, and the shifter light stayed on. There was not as much drain but still enough that I don't want to take a chance.

So I guess my next step is to run a charge line to the Fusion battery. Am I correct in thinking to use the charge line from the hot pin on my 7 way thru the umbilical cord to the 6 way receptical on the Fusion, then a line from the center pin of the 6 way ,directly to the positive post on the battery with a 30 amp breaker before battery? Should I use 8 or 10 G wire?

With all the trouble some Fusion owners have had, I hope this is worth all the hassle.

Thank for the help.

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Yes I had all these issues. We cut our trip short and returned to Phoenix and took the car to the dealer with another bad transmission and dead battery. After a month of deciding if we should return the car to Ford they offered to install a Remco pump and a battery charging system at an RV dealer of my choice. Everything is now installed and so far so good.

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I

This is what they said (for FWD 2.5 I-4 or 3.0 only-- FWD with 3.5 can not be flat towed):

First the dealer has to lower the transmission fluid to a specific mark on the dip stick. Done.

He told me no fuses need to be pulled as in the older models.Great!

Start engine, run for 5 minutes,shift from park to drive, then to reverse before shifting back to neutral, Key in acc, before towing in morning and every 6 hours.

This is an interesting note: I tow a 2010 CRV. The owners manual states specifically NOT to put the shifter in reverse prior to neutral. Must go from Drive to neutral. Something to do with the gears will still be in reverse mode when shift from reverse to neutral. I wonder if that may be a problem with the Fusion?

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First trip from California to Michigan with our 2010 Escape in tow found the transmission destroyed and the battery dead. I had the car taken to the Ford garage on the tow truck. After installing a new transmission and getting ready to go back to California I installed a "TOAD-CHARGE" Towed Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer. With the transmission level lowered to the recommended level and running the car for a minimum of 5 minutes (Actually, I tend to over react and ran it for at least 10 minutes before starting out each day), we left for California. I stopped every 3-4 hours and ran the car for 5-10 minutes each time. I never went more than 4 hours between each stop which I believed helped to keep the fluid cool which kept the transmission trouble free. The Toad-Charge worked great and I did not have any problem with a dead battery. Fortunately, I had the luxury of time to do all this but had I been in a hurry I feel sure I would have had problems. I now am considering changing back to a trouble free Suzuki and be finished with "baby sitting" the Ford.

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Bought in Nov 2010. Have had 2 transmissions replaced already, covered by manufacture warranty. Bought extended warranty, in November 2013, because we knew it would happen again and it did..

Ford says it is our fault, we're towing it wrong, and should have purchased a pump. The first we've heard of a pump for this car. This car has 31000 miles.

Friendly Ford in Las Vegas, Nevada, will not honor the extended warranty.

Any suggestions.

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