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Robert Hoffman - Cam Failure #280

new 7/07/03


Subject: Engine Failure Vehicle I.D.: 1FALP54N9TA249154                                                                                                                                                                   

To Whom It May Concern: 

I am the current owner of a 1996 Ford Taurus SHO Vehicle I.D. number 1FALP54N9TA249154. I originally purchased this vehicle on June 24, 1998 with 25911 actual miles on the odometer, and I have remained vigilant in maintaining the preventative maintenance schedule since that time. Although this engine was advertised as a “100,000 mile before scheduled tune-up” engine, I even went so far as to have a tune-up performed (at a Ford dealership and per their recommendation), on April 04, 2002 with 84707 miles on the odometer due to poor fuel consumption and improper idling.    

However, on May 30, 2003, with 98195 miles on the odometer, I experienced a total engine failure. Below is a description of events leading up to the failure, along with a description of subsequent actions provided by the mechanics involved in the long block rebuild my engine required:

On May 30 2003, I had just left a local garage (Dan Jones Automotive Specialists Avon, IN*) where I had scheduled a routine alignment, and asked them to take a look under the hood to determine the cause of a “ticking noise” I had noticed that same week. After leaving the garage, I stopped to see a friend at his place of employment. When I returned to my car and attempted to start the engine, the engine would barely turn over. I tried to start the car several times, and the engine would not idle without full gas. Even then, it sounded as though the engine was only running on four of the eight cylinders. I called a tow service and had my car towed back to Dan Jones Automotive. Within two business days, the mechanics at Dan Jones Automotive Specialists (all previous Ford Dealership mechanics, and Dan Jones Automotive was a referral from a local Ford Dealership) determined that something in my timing chain/sprocket had failed and I would require a rebuild in order to get the car running again. Dan Jones Automotive was quoting $6500.00 for the rebuild, and I began shopping around the area for other quotes.

After a couple days of shopping the area, I discovered a shop on the North side of Indianapolis (Autowise Engine Service Centers**) that could rebuild my engine for around $4500.00. I had my car towed from Dan Jones Automotive to Autowise where they promptly began the rebuild process. On June 13, 2003, ($4,393.70 later) I picked my car up, and I currently have 658 miles on the rebuilt engine.

I have recently discovered through several internet searches that my scenario is quite common for other V8 SHO owners, and I am troubled, but not surprised, to find out that Ford Motor Company has done nothing to correct the problem. In my opinion, Ford Motor Company should reimburse all expenses related to the cam/engine failures associated with their faulty design, and set up an account for those who are destined to experience a failure in the future.

Kind Regards,
Robert A. Hoffman

* Dan Jones Automotive Specialists
 248 S. Dan Jones Rd
Avon, IN 46123 
 Ph: 317-272-0613  

**Autowise Engine Service Centers
4173 N. Keystone Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46205 
 Ph: 317-549-1131 

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