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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a beautiful condition 2006 MY 2.0L petrol Ghia Auto C-max (I have a back injury that means I can't drive a manual).
The car has very low mileage, and paperwork to back it up. I think the previous owner was old and used it little as it's in showroom condition inside.
I thought I test drove it enough to locate any issues and so parted with quite a lot of money to buy a 14 year old car with 54k miles on the clock.
The car works perfectly and drives beautifully, but...when I get over about 50mph and then accelerate gently (or have cruise on and reach an uphill section) the car judders and shakes until the road levels out or I ease off the throttle. Accelerating hard seems to reduce it somewhat, but it doesn't go away, again until the load on the engine drops.

When I got it it shifted harshly, and after reading lots of forums I treated it to a transmission flush and I cleaned all the solenoids (per some YouTube videos). If you're scared of this, trust me it's not that hard. This improved shifting beyond recognition, and the box is almost as smooth as the one on my old Volvo now.
But the problem could still be in the auto-box as it has an electronic overdrive in 3rd and 4th which would account for not being able to make the problem happen at slower speeds. Also, not being a transmission specialist, I don't know if issues with the bands could do this.
Another thread made me think of engine mountings - so I replaced all 3. No change, but not a huge outlay, and they were 14 years old.
And, I've replaced the plugs and coil packs as everyone told it it must be them.

Part of me thinks it could be driveshafts, but I've had driveshaft problems before, but none gave these symptoms.

Has anyone had similar, or can help me rule out the driveshafts, or the transmission, or can suggest anything else?
The car is silky smooth, and has loads of power, starts easily and is returning almost 33 mpg which I think is brilliant as I annoy BMW and Audi drivers. I am an experienced home mechanic (and restore classic motorcycles for a hobby) with 40 years of grubby T shirts, so don't like to be beaten by niggly problems like this.
Thoughts anyone?
 

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Interesting I would say the DMF but of course being an auto it does not have one? :)
You've already done what I was about to suggest the gearbox oil flush and new oil.
Does it seem to lack power when the vibration starts if so it could be a restriction in the fuel filter.
Check the wheel balance weights have not come unstuck on one of the wheels and gone into oblivion, there is a bearing on the o/s/ driveshaft centre they don't normally give trouble but when they do give similar symptoms.
Also maybe the rear shockers is worth checking I've changed quite a few of them.
Good luck.
 

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I've just had a another thought I had a Modeo a long time ago it would only vibrate after a few miles that was a bugger to sort it turned out to be a bulge in a tyre but the bulge would only show when the tyre got hot , so well worth checking for bulges in the tyres best done when the tyres are warm or over inflate them for testing purposes before returning to the correct pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Nighthawk .
The engine has loads of power when it happens. Btw, did you know the Focus fuel filter is inside the tank? Or that's what the forums seem to suggest.
If a wheel weight was lost, surely that would show up at high speed no matter if you were accelerating or not?
I will research the driveshafts suggestion again. The transmission is an expensive last resort; if I could find a rebuild kit I would seriously consider it.
I had a Honda which had a shudder over 60mph which was caused by rear shocks, but it also didn't care if you were accelerating or not it just kicked in at 58 mph and got worse the faster you went.
 

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Hiya , sorry I just just woke up as I'm on nights, I quickly read through I thought you said the vibration was above 50.
There should be 2 fuel filters one in the tank more of a gauze and one in front of the tank a canister, not that this is the problem if you still have power.
Is the box actually changing up and down the gears properly more so changing down when you accelerate or under load as it don't sound like it is (kick down)?
Also there is a big filter in the bottom of the auto box it's about £40.00 but has been known to cure a lot of problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It does kickdown, when pressed, and I did replace the auto box filter when I cleaned the solenoids. I couldn't do a full transmission fluid change as I couldn't get the bottom hose off to do a proper flush, but I did swap about 4 litres of fluid, and it is at the correct level now.
I'm still suspicious of the electronic overdrive. Does anyone here know if any of the software available would tell me when it is switching in or out? I use Torque and recently bought Forscan (which I can't seem to get to do more than tell me the cars' details). but I am very computer litterate so happy to try other things.
I see no mention anywhere about what happens to the overdrive if you select gears manually; does it disengage, or work normally? There seems to be no change in revs or feel when I switch to manual at a steady speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
New development today:
Part way into a long (65 mile) drive back from Southampton to Oxford I noticed that the car was now shuddering when accelerating from any speed. Just as I was leaving the A34 (thankfully) I felt a loss of power and it really felt quite odd to drive the last 2 miles at much slower speeds. once on the drive I checked for error codes with my reader - there were none. However going from drive to reverse generates a large thump. Not sure where to go from here.
 

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Hiya, that bottom hose is a pain, If the oil has been changed before it should have a gasket I'm almost certain that from the factory it's got silicon sealer and no gasket.
Did the old oil smell burned or not and was there anything on the magnet?
I'm guessing because of the mileage it's no and no.
I take it you know that there is a switch for overdrive it's on the left side of the selector lever have you tried driving with it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To answer these: There was no gasket just silicone sealant, so from factory. There was some sludge on the magnet, but not as much as I have found on ones in other cars I have looked at.
Several people mention the switch on the side - there isn't one on my car. And I just went out in my pyjamas to confirm!
yes, I know to check the ATF level with the engine running and I did use the Mercon V ATF spec fluid - and changed the filter when I thoroughly cleaned all the solenoids with white spirit and made sure they were all fully dry before refitting. Oh, and I checked the coil resistances were within spec (although as an electronics engineer, I would expect them to either be okay or open circuit in that environment).
I did find a solenoid pack and a ban kit on ebay a few weeks ago but they seem to be gone now. I might have to look for a recon box :(
 

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You could also try disconnecting the battery for 30 min's
your vehicle is equipped with what's called adaptive transmission Shift Strategy.
that is optimal transmission operation and shift quality.
After the vehicle's battery has been disconnected the transmission will need to relearn the normal
shift strategy parameters.
The Adaptive transmission Strategy allows the transmission to relearn these operating
parameters.
This learning process could take several transmission upshifts and downshifts; during this learning process, slightly firmer shifts may occur.
After this learning process, normal shift feel and shift scheduling will resume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had the battery disconnected last week while I replaced the engine mounting under the battery box.
And I forgot to mention that I tried that before too.
Don't know where to go from here...except not far!
 

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You got me scratching my head now, Personally I think the over drive solenoid is not releasing when it should What I would do is drain the transmission oil into a spotless container remove the sump again pull the white wire from the solenoid I'm sure from memory that is the overdrive one (Centre one) turn key to position 2 and see if engine light or anything else stays illuminated if it don't then you can put the sump back on with the white wire unplugged, put the sump back on re use the oil and test drive, a lot of work but that will eliminate the overdrive part of it.
Thinking about it I'm sure that when the overdrive is disengaged that a light should inform you of this so if you're not getting this light then it's almost certain over drive is staying on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Nighthawk, Really good plan! I like the theory.
I did however just go to the Ford dealer in Wantage (a very small local dealership). It's about 10 miles away and the car was fine for about the first 3 miles ,then as it warmed up started the shuddering again, now noticeable even at slow speeds, but really bad over 50.Anyway, a cheerful mechanic took it for a drive and came back with a shocked look and the comment "that's really bad!" and "definitely the transmission". he said they don't do automatics at such a small place but have a local specialist do all that type of work...and he's coming in first thing Monday to look at another car. Bonus!

Now if I wasn't planning on meeting up with a special lady tomorrow for the day, I would be tempted to give your theory a go, as it makes such sense. I don't understand why they removed the button from my car to leave O/D off; but they have. It would have been useful.

In my quest to figure this out I found several helpful threads which others may find helpful:
4F27E transmission
Filter and fluid change
manual

I'll see what the local man says; and what he thinks the fix is...and will cost.

Thanks again.
Paul
 

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That's great extra bonus good job you went over there today.
Do have a great day with your special lady tomorrow 😊 and I will keep everything crossed for you on Monday and hoping it's something cheap.
Do please let us know what he say's as the suspense is killing me.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I went there first thing on Monday, and met the 'specialist' who test drove the car for a while with the mechanic. He then said he doesn't think it is transmission, but could well be driveshafts, suggesting the dealer remove the driveshafts and check them (possibly replacing them in the process). If that doesn't fix it, then he can look at the transmission.
Removing and checking the driveshafts will only take a couple of hours each side...and the dealer only charges £108 per hour, although 2 new driveshafts are close to £500. So there goes another £1000 on an "it might be, or might not".
I'm retired on less than full pension so that just isn't in the budget! I told the dealer I'd have to think about how I could pay for this and left.
But I might pull them myself on the drive just to see for myself.
To be continued...:(
 

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Hi Paul,
Really sorry to hear your bad news , but you can buy drive shafts from Euro parts for about £70.00 each exchange using the online discount code of mid60 and fit them your self and hope fully it will cure your problem.

Good luck

Trevor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Paul,
Really sorry to hear your bad news , but you can buy drive shafts from Euro parts for about £70.00 each exchange using the online discount code of mid60 and fit them your self and hope fully it will cure your problem.

Good luck

Trevor.
I hear variable reports about Euro car parts, but have previously used parts supplied by them. Would you use their driveshafts? The price is a bargain compared to other places - even eBay sellers. I don't see that they require the old parts in exchange. They even offer free delivery. I struggle to justify spending all the effort to remove a driveshaft and not replace it with a new one, even though the current original ones have only done 61,250 miles.
I found 2 interesting videos; they are both American, but the first shows someone diagnosing a vibration, and finds the cause 3'55" into the video
The second shows what I think of as a rather unorthodox way of removing the driveshafts; but it does look simpler than splitting ball joints Here. Thoughts?
 

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Hi Paul, Yes Euro parts are just fine I've never had a problem as yet.
Interesting having checked back only the most expensive drive shaft has a surcharge of £75.00 the cheap one does not have a surcharge (same part just different supplier).
Just remember to jack up the car far higher than you need (and axle stand) so the oil goes to the other side of the box and does not leak out.
Spotlessly clean and re-oil drive shaft seals but only when your about to insert the new drive shaft as bits of grit will stick to the oil on the lip of the seal and destroy it, also be super careful not to damage the drive shaft seals when inserting the drive shaft as they were nearly £40.00 a side last time I had to buy one.
I will check out the videos when I get a moment off to work right now.

Trevor.
 
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