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AWD PTU leak: failed seal or overfilled?


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#1 OFFLINE   mazda626

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 01:56 AM

The AWD power take-off unit in my 2008 Taurus is leaking fluid, and my dealership wants to replace it. The problem is, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. The trouble started after they gave the car it’s second oil change on December 17th. A week later I noticed pink fluid under the car, and could smell it burning when I stopped at traffic lights. I took it back before Christmas, but they couldn’t even look at it until January 5th. After they had the car for two days they finally got it up on a hoist and confirmed there is a leak.

At the time I dropped the car off I told their service advisor about the recent oil change and that I didn’t think the recent trouble was a coincidence. He brushed me off saying it was likely caused by the recent cold weather. The next day when he phoned me about my car he admitted they have had the same problem with the Ford Edge.

Being suspicious, a little searching on Google found this TSB:


Some 2007 Edge and MKX AWD vehicles may exhibit a PTU oil leak from the vent which is located on the top surface of the PTU. The oil leak could also be mistaken as coming from the interface seal between PTU and transaxle.

http://fcsdchemicals.../tsb/071610.pdf


The Ford Edge Forum has a topic about failed PTU seals where people have had their PTU replaced 5 times:
http://www.fordedgef...?showtopic=1112

The Dec 17th vehicle report card from the dealer showed no leaks (checked ok). I think they overfilled my PTU. The above TSB says some PTU’s should be filled level with the plug, and some below. Overfilling would explain my problem, and could mean many people have had unnecessary replacements of their PTU’s. If the oil change technician is overfilling PTU’s, won’t all those cars eventually come back as warranty repairs to the same dealership? And won't the problem keep coming back no matter how many times the PTU is replaced if they continue to be overfilled?

I have attached a photo of my leaking PTU. You can see the fluid dripping onto the exhaust pipe causing the burning smell. I couldn't tell where the leak was originating, so I'm not sure how the mechanic was so confident a seal had failed.

Attached Files


Edited by mazda626, 11 January 2009 - 11:53 PM.








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#2 OFFLINE   YT90SC

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:42 AM

The AWD power take-off unit in my 2008 Taurus is leaking fluid, and my dealership wants to replace it. The problem is, I donít think there is anything wrong with it. The trouble started after they gave the car itís second oil change on December 17th. A week later I noticed pink fluid under the car, and could smell it burning when I stopped at traffic lights. I took it back before Christmas, but they couldnít even look at it until January 5th. After they had the car for two days they finally got it up on a hoist and confirmed there is a leak.

At the time I dropped the car off I told their service advisor about the recent oil change and that I didnít think the recent trouble was a coincidence. He brushed me off saying it was likely caused by the recent cold weather. The next day when he phoned me about my car he admitted they have had the same problem with the Ford Edge.

Being suspicious, a little searching on Google found this TSB:




The Ford Edge Forum has a topic about failed PTU seals where people have had their PTU replaced 5 times:
http://www.fordedgef...?showtopic=1112

The Dec 17th vehicle report card from the dealer showed no leaks (checked ok). I think they overfilled my PTU. The above TSB says some PTUís should be filled level with the plug, and some below. Overfilling would explain my problem, and could mean many people have had unessary replacements of their PTUís. If the oil change technician is overfilling PTUís, wonít all those cars eventually come back as warranty repairs to the same dealership? And won't the problem keep coming back no matter how many times the PTU is replaced if they continue to be overfilled?

I have attached a photo of my leaking PTU. You can see the fluid dripping onto the exhaust pipe causing the burning smell. I couldn't tell where the leak was originating, so I'm not sure how the mechanic was so confident a seal had failed.


EXCEPT: PTU's are NOT filled with ATF. They are filled with gear oil. Gear oil is not red. Your leak is red. You have a PTU to axle seal leak or the seal between the PTU and transaxle is leaking, NOT the PTU itself. Stop accusing them of overfilling your PTU. They didn't. PTU's suck to fill and if it isn't leaking, they didn't add anything to it. Multiple PTU leaks are most likely misdiagnosis or mis installation. And no, they shouldn't be replacing the PTU for an ATF leak as it is leaking ATF, NOT 75w140. BTW, it is just a coincidence or they missed the leak on the check sheet. It happens. Going in and blatantly accusing them of overfilling it (and being DEAD wrong) will only make them (and you) irritated.

Edited by YT90SC, 08 January 2009 - 12:51 AM.

Dad always said,"Knowledge is limited but stupidity knows no bounds."

#3 OFFLINE   mazda626

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:58 AM

All I want them to do is answer my questions and they haven’t. The service rep is a young cocky man who is not inspiring my trust. When I showed him the TSB I found he blew it off, and said they fixed five other cars just like mine for bad PTUs that day. When he looked at my face and saw I wasn’t buying that BS, he started to backpedal and retract what he just said.

If I ask to talk to the mechanic, I expect the courtesy of a follow-up phone call from him later if he currently is too busy or is gone home for the day. It is not too much to ask how he arrived at his diagnosis, and how he is going to fix it. This service rep is not passing that information through to me, because I get the impression he doesn’t know or care. I expect him to answer knowledgably and truthfully; a mature person will not be irritated by direct questions. I am being assertive; this is not making blatant accusations.

I want to know if the new part fixes a design defect if there is one, so it will not fail in the same way. I want him to tell me if the PTU was filled to the proper level during my previous oil change, or if it has dropped below that indicating there really is a failed seal. If gear oil is not red, only ATF fluid is, he can tell me.

I only ask to be kept informed, which is good customer service. I phoned another dealer in town the following day to ask some questions, and was told there is a known problem with the seals, and they have replaced one or two PTUs, but not five in one day. Now I am starting to believe that the mechanics diagnosis is correct, and I will take my car back to the original dealer to have the warranty repair done, but I will demand assurances that the new unit has been improved and will not fail again in several months time.

It doesn’t cost them anything to talk to me.

Edited by mazda626, 08 January 2009 - 12:54 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   mazda626

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:26 PM

The service manager now told me the PTU uses the same "Mercon V" fluid that the transmission uses, so the pink fluid is coming from the PTU.

#5 OFFLINE   theDuff

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 06:05 PM

The service manager now told me the PTU uses the same "Mercon V" fluid that the transmission uses, so the pink fluid is coming from the PTU.


Wrong. Its 75W140, just like yt90sc said. Its just an axle seal leak. If the dealer is replacing ptu's over this they will be audited by Ford so quick there heads will spin. It's common. Don't worry about it. If you are dissatisfied with your service experience, go somewhere else. There's a tsb on this seal leak. I'm sure that's what they're gonna do. I just did one last Thursday. They've updated the part a little bit. That black plastic dust cover is a bitch to get back on though without breaking it. If you really want to be pissed off at the service department, after you get your vehicle back, look to see if the cover is cracked. It's a black shield that covers the seal. It looks like the intermediate shaft slides into it. :stirpot:

#6 OFFLINE   mazda626

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 11:53 PM

Thanks for the tip about the dust cover.

In my conversation with the service manger at the second service department he said the policy (Ford's?) was to replace the leaking seal up to two times before a new PTU will be installed.

Both of you are certain it is a seal on the transmission that has failed. If I understand this correctly, the PTU is OK, but still needs to be removed to replace a seal where it mates with the transmission. When I looked at the PTU it looked like the fill plug has never been touched because the corrosion is not disturbed and there were no wrench marks, so I think YT90SC is correct; they never added any fluid to it.

The service advisor told me it would take 9 to 10 days to get the new PTU, and it would take two hours to put it in (that sounds optimistic). He promised me same day service when I bring my car back. It seems the service advisor doesn't have his facts straight, which is why my gut instinct is not to trust him. When I go back I will try to get clarification whether they are replacing the “PTU seal” or the actual PTU.

I suspected that Ford would watch for suspicious warranty replacements, and would audit if an expensive part like a PTU was replaced.

Edited by mazda626, 12 January 2009 - 12:03 AM.


#7 OFFLINE   mazda626

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 12:02 PM

My Ford dealer finally called me to say they have a redesigned seal kit to install (8T4Z-7275-B ) that was backordered. I took the car in on March 10th (two and a half months after I first reported the problem) and they installed the seal kit the same day.

The invoice from the repair shows they replaced the seal as per TSB 08-12-03. If you read this bulletin below you can see the service procedure requires some skill and specialized tools (ESST 308-125 and ESST 205-241) to do it correctly. It even describes using a heat gun and infrared thermometer to warm the parts during installation. I haven't met the mechanic working on my car, so I don't know if he is the type of person to carefully read and follow instructions.

While I was driving the car the next day I thought I could still smell the burning transmission fluid as it dripped on the exhaust pipe. By the weekend the car was leaving a dinner plate sized puddle of transmission fluid on my driveway. The car is back at the dealer, and now they have ordered an entire PTU which is being installed today. They never told me why (did they bungle installing the seals?).

TSB 08-12-03 covers the 2008 Taurus x, 2008 Taurus, and 2007-2008 Edge. It turns out this is a common problem (like my service rep originally told me), but there is no known fix according to a blog created by a Ford Edge owner:

SMOKIN EDGE
The Stinkin PTU Problem with the Ford Edge
http://www.smokinedge.com/

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#8 OFFLINE   merich

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:10 PM

EXCEPT: PTU's are NOT filled with ATF. They are filled with gear oil. Gear oil is not red. Your leak is red. You have a PTU to axle seal leak or the seal between the PTU and transaxle is leaking, NOT the PTU itself. Stop accusing them of overfilling your PTU. They didn't. PTU's suck to fill and if it isn't leaking, they didn't add anything to it. Multiple PTU leaks are most likely misdiagnosis or mis installation. And no, they shouldn't be replacing the PTU for an ATF leak as it is leaking ATF, NOT 75w140. BTW, it is just a coincidence or they missed the leak on the check sheet. It happens. Going in and blatantly accusing them of overfilling it (and being DEAD wrong) will only make them (and you) irritated.



#9 OFFLINE   merich

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:20 PM

The service manager now told me the PTU uses the same "Mercon V" fluid that the transmission uses, so the pink fluid is coming from the PTU.

PTU Oil is black and smells realy bad trans oil is pink if not burned it also smells bad but not as much.

Vaccume out old PTU lube and refill with new lube it is a lot of$$$ per quart but it only holds a few ounces do this two times about 1000 miles apart and it may stop leaking ,also make sure there is no dirt around the slinger on the axle.
ther are new seals for it if you need to have it done TAKE IT TO THE BEST!!! FORD DEALER YOU CAN FIND TO GET THIS DONE