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Old 12-12-2014, 12:02 PM   #43
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I appreciate all the input, and it's good to hear people who have the same car and are having no or minor problems. I think we are going to stick it out with the Flex. We do like the ride, it handles towing the Caravel just fine, and if we traded it in now we would lose money on the deal. I'll keep my fingers crossed that once we work these bugs out, it will be smooth sailing!
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:20 PM   #44
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Yay!

FWIW, I think you have an impressive looking TV/AirStream Combo!
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:32 PM   #45
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The Ultimate Towing Vehicle

I have a 1998 GMC Suburban k2500 7.4 L that will pull with ease anything airstream makes.
Gets 15 mpg pulling or not .
Stop buying dinky Toys and get a real truck that is designed for the job.
JUST MY OPINION. THANK YOU
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:43 PM   #46
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Well, everyone is entitled to an opinion...
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by FastEddieB View Post
~~
We went into this eyes open as an experiment. We both liked the styling (Mini Cooper that swallowed a school bus!) and the color on this one. But my experience to date has shown Japanese-built cars to be more reliable and better built than American. In the above photo you can see the 2005 Honda Element that's become our "beater" and has been very reliable over 170,000 miles to date. We sold a 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser, bought used in 2004, that still worked but was getting a bit "long in the tooth" to trust on cross-country adventures.

Rationally, we probably should have chosen a Toyota Sequoia or Nissan Armada or Honda Pilot or something. And may still if the Flex becomes problematical.
~~
For what it's worth, your trusty Honda Element was likely built in Ohio unless you imported it yourself.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #48
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If you want a nearly bullet proof E4OD (I have the same tranny BTW) look at a seriously upgraded replacement unit. Here is an article that details some of what to look for. My 1996 F350 has 150,000 showing on the odometer, tranny has over 75,000 miles of towing on it and I am surprised it has lasted this long. It is on it's way out and will be replaced with a beefed up unit.

Aaron
Thank you. Unless I run into a pile of cash and can't think of anything else to with it, I am definitely planning on keeping the E4OD that I have, try to make it last as long as possible, and replace it with a bullet proof E4OD if/when the time comes. Seems like I have heard of a shop somewhere in or near NW Arkansas that puts together a very good E4OD. I need to do some research again to remind myself of where that shop is. Mountain Home, AR, maybe??
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #49
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Sorry to hear of your issue. I want to share a website with you which is very revealing on various cars. Oddly though, your issue is in the engine category and considered a reliable area for that car (12%). The 2009 was the first year so that alone speaks for design considerations in any brand. According to the site, the worst area for that vehicle is body and trim. Don't let it get to ya. I understand myself.

In 1996 I splurged and bought a new car I had always wanted- a BMW 328is Coupe. It was the most I had ever paid for a car. Aside from weak bumpers in wrecks they were highly rated cars. I had so many issues. Two years old one day I was driving down a parkway when suddenly all my gauges started jumping, lights were flashing, it was as if I had been attacked by Klingons! I stopped at the house and smelled something. I called the dealer and they said bring it over now. The battery had split and blown- shorted out. Long story short, the entire electrical system was impacted over time as various components failed at different times. It was awful. Yet, I loved driving the car. We never know. All the while that car was highly favored on the market. I owned it six years.

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Old 12-12-2014, 05:16 PM   #50
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From what I have seen over the past 30 years is all due to the new generation of people who build them.. It use to be that a fuel pump from a 1964 would also fit a 1977.. Now days each car or truck has its own fuel pump for each model. All this did was raise the price of a fuel pump from $18 to $300.. No way can a parts store be able to stock all of them needed for every model and brand...

The other thing is everything is build backwards.. They start off with this great new idea to build something.. But as they work ,, its all done back wards throwing more money at a problem as they show up and ends up being our problem.. $$$

I remember well when a normal car had less than 15 fuses, Now they have 50.. All gizmos that when they work are great fun,, but when they fail,, its a trip to the dealer to find the problem if they ever can..

The wrenches that work on cars and pu;s now days can only plug a lap top into the master reader plug and follow the advice that the computer gives them of what sensor or part has failed.. If it has to do with anything related to thinking about whats wrong, they seem to be lost...

I miss the good old days when a person could repair a car with a paper clip or some tape.. The other day,, I needed to swap spark plugs out in my Dodge..2 days later I am still faced with 1 cyl,, back against the fire wall that nothing shy of a monkey could reach while hanging off the hood by its feet..

Wake up America,, we won WW2,, because our jeeps and trucks and tanks all ran, or could be field repaired with a plier and hammer and some wire off a fence. Sodbust
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:32 PM   #51
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I guess that's the price we pay for clean emissions, high gas mileage, anti-lock brakes, traction control, all wheel drive, and airbags all around - which are all reasons we decided it was time to retire the 20 year old E-150. Unfortunately, I don't feel we will get 10 more good years out of the Flex.
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:52 PM   #52
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I don't feel we will get 10 more good years out of the Flex.
You may not get that long but it will probably be good for another 5 or so. I have an '09 F150 that I bought as a certified preowned. It has been great except last year when I was towing up to Gainesville. I got up there and stopped for gas. I filled up and it would not start. I thought it was bad gas. Then it did it again to me. I later found that it was part of the emissions system, a charcoal gas fume filter that recycles the fumes or something. It would "burp" at every fill up and not start for about 10 min or so. The dealer replaced it for $250. I had them also do a transmission service for the 50K a bit early so they drained the fluid from there and the torque converter for another $300. At first I thought they were crazy but that fluid is EXPENSIVE and it takes about 10 quarts or so. So, up till now, that has been my only bill other than purchase. I really like the truck though I would REALLY LIKE one of those new ones! I have been happy with the Fords I have owned. Ironically I have been an import sports sedan owner always prior to owning this silver beast. In EVERY case I was financially battered with the services of keeping up BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc. They are nice cars that you pay for and keep paying- through the nose. Example, the little shocks that hold the rear panel of the Mercedes convertible are $600 each and there are 4!!! Average service calls were $1200!!! We have driven ye old Fords in my family for years and never had ongoing bills like that. I was the prodigal running off for imports and paid for it. Now I am a truck owner and actually like all that room, flexibility and Airstream capability. I use my scooter to commute most days so the truck mpg impact is lowered considerably.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #53
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I guess that's the price we pay for clean emissions, high gas mileage, anti-lock brakes, traction control, all wheel drive, and airbags all around - which are all reasons we decided it was time to retire the 20 year old E-150. Unfortunately, I don't feel we will get 10 more good years out of the Flex.
I think you may be surprised to find how long it will last. I know you are hurting right now but generally speaking vehicles are much better now.

Our 1993 Nissan Mini Van was still running fine when totaled in an accident. 465,000klm's / 17 years old and was used as trailer tower.

1997 Nissan mini van which had 285,000klm's and was 17 years old when retired. Note it was still running fine but had other issues and wasn't worth fixing.

2003 Infiniti G35 has 245,000klm's /12 years old. Works great and expect it own it for many years.

As a 2nd vehicle we bought a 2004 Sienna Mini Van with 220,000klm's on it. It has been problem free since we bought it 5 months ago.
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Old 12-13-2014, 05:22 PM   #54
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Shoot, Dave had the Flex out all day running errands, and when he got back he said the transmission noise is coming back. It's only been a few weeks since the transmission fluid change made it go away. That is really worrying. We might be trading this car in after all.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #55
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Stephanie,

Sorry for your troubles.

I'm at a loss to figure out just why the dealer would would recommend a fluid change to fix a grinding noise.
A road test and an inspection of the innards would normally be the first thing that was done.
CDR, confirm, diagnose & repair.
Was the tranny pan taken off to inspect for debris?
Did they tell you what they thought the noise caused by?

In my experience, not what a competent Tech would do or a Service Mgr allow to be done.

All the above is compromised if the sales department had any input in the "repair"

Good Luck

Bob
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:10 PM   #56
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The dealer claimed they could not even hear the noise, and apparently they did not do anything past that, just sent it home. The car is out of warranty, so the sales dept had nothing to do with it. We have not been happy with the Ford service department at either of the three local dealers.
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