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2014 Escape ecoboost 2.0. It is my mother's car. She depends on it. She called me last Tuesday said she couldn't get it to shift out of park. Starts and runs ok, just won't shift out of park and into any gear. I left work and went over there to check it out and she's right...it won't shift, period. It has 66,000 miles on it. It was in a parking lot so she had no choice but to have it towed to the dealer for repair. Week later (and in the time being, she's driving a rental on her dime), dealer calls and said it's done. Shifter cable broken. I told mom to make sure to get the old cable if it's not under warranty....and they said it wasn't, and that the cost to replace it was a little over $500 before tax.

Now my question is/are....why on earth is it $500 to replace a shifter cable? Secondly, I looked at the cable and it's just the little plastic bushing that's broken-not the cable itself. I looked it up and found aftermarket bushings for $21 online. Does Ford not offer that bushing? Make you buy the whole cable? Does warranty not help with this repair and why? And lastly, is this a normal occurrence, does she have to plan on this happening again in a couple years?

The fact that it basically strands you when it breaks is unnerving. Especially for an elderly lady who's got a laundry list of health issues.
 

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its not just the cable you are paying for, but the labor to remove the old one and install the new one, as well as the dealership overhead. as for just replacing the broken piece, yes ford might have the piece, but probably not. the aftermarket tends to find solutions to fix these types of problems where as the factory just does whole asemblies.
 

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Dealerships make big money selling parts. The labor for that job won't change, they still have to take the old cable off, then put it back on. So they can eithet sell you a $21 bushing or a $300 cable.
 

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Does warranty not help with this repair and why?
3 years or 36,000 miles. It's out of warranty by both time and mileage. Pretty basic. Pretty simple. Abundantly clear.

It's $500 because it is probably a 4-5 hour repair time to fix it the way Ford says to do it with the part they say to use for it. The dealer probably gets $90-100/hr labor plus the part. You could fix it yourself. Or you could find an independent shop to fix it. Both would save money. Or pay the dealer.

Whose dime do you think the rental should have been on? Not Ford's responsibility to supply rentals. Not the dealerships either. Why do so many people think it's someone else's responsibility for something that is clearly theirs?

Things break. It happens. Pay and move on.
 

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It may not even be the cable or bushing that is the problem. There is a shift interlock that rely's on the brake pedal being pushed to unlock the shifter mechanism. This is usually an electronic part. My money says that the bushing and cable are not the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I work at a dealer and I know how dealers work. I was simply curious if anyone else has run into this same issue before. It sucks. Mom don't have any money to speak of so $500 is hard to find. I had to forego my fox body stuff for a few months so she could get her car out of hawk (loaned her some cash). It just struck me as an oddity to have to spend 4-5 hours to replace a shifter cable. Especially at only 66,000 miles. This old '92 fox body (AOD) has well over 200k on it and the cable's just fine...original cable. And my old 2004 with a V6..400,000 on it, only thing I ever had to do was 2 water pumps and a rack. Easy and cheap. That's exactly the reason Mom chose to buy the Ford car...good history with them. But this Escape...EPS died 2 years ago (warranty picked up the repair), but it failed sitting at a traffic light, turned green, she goes to turn left...car won't turn. She limped it into the grass and it got towed from there.

Is that all they have is 3 years/36000? I guess I need to read the warranty statement. I coulda swore she had 100k warranty? Maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe it's aftermarket...since the dealers have a tendency to sell every possible thing to the elderly sometimes.

So at this point, she's real bitter about it-and actually is seriously considering trading it off. She's lost confidence in Ford because of the Escape. And sadly, she's less than 2 miles from a Honda dealer (which I work directly next door to), and she is considering going to a comparable Honda. In a way I can't blame her but on the other hand, I don't know anything about Honda....their reliability has been well known but I don't know if that is still the case, as we all know that cars ain't built like they used to be.

I'd have loved to have done the repair myself to save her some money but the thing was DEAD, in the way of a busy parking lot (actually a drive through), and it HAD to be moved...ASAP, and she depends on the vehicle to take my disabled brother's wife (who had a stroke at 24...now 32) to/from the doctor, goes over to their house & helps clean, laundry, etc when he can't. So it's kinda important. Yes things happen and I know this-but at the same time, if I'm the owner and I depend on it as much as she does, and it is dead at 66,000 miles...I'm gonna be on the horn with Ford real quick. I might to it anyway, just to express my concern about the lack of reliability with this particular vehicle. My personal experience has been awesome but then again, I can do my own stuff (when I have time) and mine are at least 15 years old, with one being 42 this year.

I see a trend, actually have been watching it over the last ~10 years or so. Vehicles in general have been getting cheaper and cheaper built. It was a GM engineer who told me personally that the goal is to build the vehicle as cheaply as possible yet it still last long enough to get past the warranty period. Maybe that's the same as it's always been but I'm sure seeing it. Everything's going electronic, plastic, cheap, brittle, and for many reasons-but when it does break, the complexities become apparent in the cost to repair such a simple item. I even see it at work-on tractors and ATV's.
 

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3/36 bumper to bumper, 6/60 powertrain I think and 100k on some emissions stuff. Sometimes warranty periods are extended by Ford if a particular issue becomes real prevalent across the model line. Give me a vin and I can look up on PTS/Oasis and see if there are any SSM's or TSB's regarding this concern.
 

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Planned obsolescence. Manufacturers wouldn't even offer a warranty if it wasn't required by law. They want to sell you a new car and then another new car. They also have to make or have service parts for like 7 or 8 years after the last car is produced.

Cars that are too well made don't get replaced.
 

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Planned obsolescence. Manufacturers wouldn't even offer a warranty if it wasn't required by law. They want to sell you a new car and then another new car. They also have to make or have service parts for like 7 or 8 years after the last car is produced.

Cars that are too well made don't get replaced.
Yep. It's like they are making you want to just lease cars until you die. Then you can have a fixed expense. But for people like us, that takes the fun out of doing mods. Nobody wants to spend a bunch of money modding a leased car. If they would stop requiring $100k+300k+$100k for leasing and just keep my insurance normal, then I would probably lease. I like to purchase to keep my insurance lower and so I can mod the cars.
 

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If she has no real money to speak of, why buy a new car? The $500 repair is 2 or 3 months car payments, not 60 or 72 months. Still way ahead of the game paying for a repair over a multiyear car loan. All that interest is just lost unless it is a business vehicle.

Stuff breaks, one way around all this autotragic transmission trouble is to by a vehicle with a manual transmission. Mine have been rock solid and even an advantage, if the battery dies, a push start gets you on your way.

Honda dealer, well, there are worse cars out there to purchase. GM comes to mind as well as Fiat/Chrysler; Ford lost me when they stopped with manual transmissions in trucks.


Michael Means
 

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