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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am in desperate need of advice as I believe I may have some serious issues with a dealership service muck up.

I have an'06 F350, 6.0L 4x4 Crew Cab, purchased at 32k miles in '09, now has about 128k miles on it. I've since fully deleted it, beefed up the suspension (I haul a 4 horse with living quarters and when I'm not doing that, I have a Lance 855S slide in Truck Camper, so wanted to keep the rig solid). I've done some other mods, nothing crazy, mostly because I use this truck. In fact, I have been driving and hauling from Tennessee to Maine fairly regularly to help with a move.

I have a mechanic I really like in TN, who's not only kept my truck going well, but has been teaching me so I can fix some stuff myself and so I can talk to him if I have an issue on the road. I have a LiveWire hooked up so I can monitor the truck and also see the codes. Keep up with oil change/filters, rotate & balance, etc.

So, last week, I filled up with diesel and my fuel gauge didn't move. Sat on empty (I had ¼ tank left in it before I filled up). Message on dash read: "Fuel level data error." Checked LiveWire and got the following codes:
P0460- Fuel Level Sensor A Circuit
P0463- Fuel Level Sensor A Circuit High

Contacted my mechanic in TN, he said it sounded like the sending unit was going bad. Contacted my mechanic in Maine, they couldn't get to me for a month and I asked if this was something the dealership could handle (don't go to dealership because they get overwhelmed by the mods). Was told yes and I could also do an oil change (it was due), R&B, and alignment.

Dealership could get me in this past Tuesday for all the above. So I took it in. Got the appropriate admiring looks (an '06 in Maine in Great Shape is unheard of)...

They called me back that afternoon and said:
1) Re: fuel sending unit- there was a service bulletin put out on code P0460 (I have a copy), which states that this can be caused by the installation of aftermarket equipment such as remote starter systems... which I have, so they aren't touching the fuel sending unit.
2) Were doing the alignment and found I had a bad ball joint and tie rod, that I should replace them. Spendy, but my husband had complained about the truck feeling a bit swervy on the highway, so I agreed. They said they'd call me Wednesday morning so I could pick up the truck.

Which is where things got wonky.

Wednesday morning I never heard from them, so called them by lunchtime... Service Advisor immediately asks me "Have you ever had any trouble with the key?" Me: "No, why?" SA: "Everything is done, but when the tech went to get the truck off the rack..." (he pauses, my heart goes into my throat), "the key froze up. The tech couldn't start the truck, he couldn't remove the key. You need a new ignition switch."

This led to a conversation about who was paying for what (dealership wanted to cover labor but have me pay for the part), and what resulted was me reminding them that they had asked about the key before they even told me what was up, so my answer was honest... and this is what they had insurance for, as they broke it. So, they're going to cover that. Parts in stock, they will call me Thursday morning so I can pick the truck up.

Thursday morning comes and goes, so I call. Am told my service advisor is in a meeting and will call me back when he's out, which was about 5 minutes. When he called, he sounded like someone had shot his dog... and proceeded to tell me that the ignition switch was in, but the entire steering column had gone bad and needed to be replaced.
<pregnant pause>
And then he continues with "and we are going to cover it and put you in a loaner truck until it can be fixed."

I'm in the loaner (but am not allowed to hitch anything to it, AND the bed is shorter than mine, so can't put my camper in it). I'm supposed to go camping next weekend, but am now seriously concerned that the dealership will "fix" just enough so it dies on me and then "it's my issue"...

What I need from y'all (besides a stiff drink and a lot of commiseration) is:
1) Where/how do I find back up material to show that the dealership totally messed things up? My husband (who is out of town) mentioned something about a special programming that needed to be done when an alignment is done or the truck will lock up to protect itself. My guess is that programming was NOT done during the appropriate time during the alignment, and now the dealership is dealing with a host of issues they caused.
2) What other issues should I be on the look out for that may result from this?
3) Any suggestions of how to proceed and protect myself?

I expect to be treated like an idiot in Tennessee, because I'm female, but have never run into this in Maine before. I honestly feel like the dealership is trying to pull a fast one over on me. I'm actually considering flying my mechanic from TN up to talk to them...

Sorry for the length- this truck is my baby, but I use it as a truck and need it as a truck. And it's not like I can go buy a new truck, seeing as there are NO new trucks (plus I wouldn't buy a new or used truck in the rust belt).

Thank you all so much!

~Vivi & Freddy (my F350)
 

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i have never heard of an aftermarket remote start causing the fuel sending unit to stop working.
i have put remote start on numerous vehicles, and never seen that.
i have also never heard of a special program needed to be performed after front end alignment.
my guess is the parts changer (i will not call him a mechanic) screwed up the key cylinder, then screwed up the steering column trying to replace the key cylinder.
by the way, the key cylinder and the ignition switch are two completely different parts in the column.
 

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Yeah, something fishy going on there. An alignment is purely mechanical and doesn't need ant programming, so your husband is wrong there.
My guess is they put the wrong key in, tried forcing it and fogged the ignition lock..... Then, in repairing that, screwed up the clock spring or the clock spring plug/connector (or did this when the screwed the cylinder up). Thus, needing to replace the whole column.
Basically, if I took a truck in for an alignment and "all of a sudden" needed interior parts, the dealer would be on the hook for the interior parts, as they don't correlate to each other.
 

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They were being truthful about the false P0460 (you clearly know this since you stated you have a copy of it). They certainly may be using it as an excuse, but Ford definitely identified it as an issue in enough cases to issue this TSB:


Summarizing the TSB:
Check Engine Light on with P0460 Fuel Level Sensor Code:
This may be caused by a miscommunication of fuel level status between the instrument cluster and engine computer. This code is set when the engine computer does not see the fuel level dropping it expects. It may be caused by customer-installed items, such as a remote start system that does not power the dash when activated, an over-sized fuel tank or in-bed fuel tank. If these conditions do not exist, the engine computer should be reprogrammed using WDS/IDS version 43.4 or higher. This condition can also be caused by fueling with the engine running, parking on an angle, or driving up a long grade. In some cases the fuel level sender may be faulty, or have a sulfur build up on the sender and have code P0463. TSB 06-13-11

With the P0463, they should have replaced the sending unit, or at least tested it electrically.
"Test circuits 29 YE/WH and 396 BK/OG. Use proper test lead adapters to prevent damaging the terminals especially at the cluster as they are tiny and fragile. Also, locate connector C211 on the left front splash shield in the engine compartment. Identify it by matching the wire colors and their respective pin locations. Disconnect it making sure it was fully connected, clean and dry with no terminal corrosion. Reference wiring diagram"

It may be needed for newer vehicles, but as stated above, the 6.0L trucks do not need re-programming after an alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They were being truthful about the false P0460 (you clearly know this since you stated you have a copy of it). They certainly may be using it as an excuse, but Ford definitely identified it as an issue in enough cases to issue this TSB:


Summarizing the TSB:
Check Engine Light on with P0460 Fuel Level Sensor Code:
This may be caused by a miscommunication of fuel level status between the instrument cluster and engine computer. This code is set when the engine computer does not see the fuel level dropping it expects. It may be caused by customer-installed items, such as a remote start system that does not power the dash when activated, an over-sized fuel tank or in-bed fuel tank. If these conditions do not exist, the engine computer should be reprogrammed using WDS/IDS version 43.4 or higher. This condition can also be caused by fueling with the engine running, parking on an angle, or driving up a long grade. In some cases the fuel level sender may be faulty, or have a sulfur build up on the sender and have code P0463. TSB 06-13-11

With the P0463, they should have replaced the sending unit, or at least tested it electrically.
"Test circuits 29 YE/WH and 396 BK/OG. Use proper test lead adapters to prevent damaging the terminals especially at the cluster as they are tiny and fragile. Also, locate connector C211 on the left front splash shield in the engine compartment. Identify it by matching the wire colors and their respective pin locations. Disconnect it making sure it was fully connected, clean and dry with no terminal corrosion. Reference wiring diagram"

It may be needed for newer vehicles, but as stated above, the 6.0L trucks do not need re-programming after an alignment.

Thank you for the info on the code P0463. I had done a search here and didn't really find anything that I can go back to them with on that. So this is VERY useful.

More on the ignition switch/steering column below. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your info. As Bismic1 confirmed, there is a service bulletin on the code P0460 which has to do with aftermarket remote starters. I will go back to the dealer with the information on code P0463, which they totally ignored (even after I asked them about it) and shouldn't have.

It truly is the ignition switch that was replaced. And as for the steering column, it seems I took notes when I talked with the SA, who stated:
steering column needs to be replaced- they’re going to take care of it. internal popping noise in column. parts ordered.

I have also finally heard from my TN mechanic, who was out with his family for the weekend. After explaining all the above and the bit about the "popping noise in column" he thinks:

the only way i think that could happen is if the tech left the wheel locked and and forced it when aligning and broke the lock so now its hitting trying to engage the key lock

So... back to my original questions...

1) Is there any way to prove the tech left the wheel locked?
2) What other issues could result from this?
3) Any suggestions on how to proceed? Any wording I can use to protect myself? Do I need to get something in writing from them?

My big concern is that they've done something that will rear it's ugly head when I am back country with my camper in place (it's heavy) and have no way out/no cell service/and now way to get a tow truck to get the truck. I have way more in this truck than it's worth to anyone but me, so if the dealership has truly mucked it up, then I will need to fight for either my truck or a worthwhile replacement. And as you all know, a new truck is not an option and a used truck would be a pain to find & fit to what I have now.

I truly appreciate all y'all's help.
~Vivi & Freddy
2006 F350 6.0 crew cab, deleted, upgraded suspension, airbags, Torklift Stable Load, Torklift SuperTruss, bigger air intake/washable air filter, upgraded turbo, upgraded wheels/tires, replaced stereo system, added remote start/satellite alarm, front/rear dash cams, LED lights around truck, and more...
 

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if they do replace the steering column ON THEIR DIME than i do not expect there to be any other issues.
and your mechanic makes a very good point. if the column was in the off/locked position, the parts changer very well could have forced it and broke something when trying to do the alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
if they do replace the steering column ON THEIR DIME than i do not expect there to be any other issues.
and your mechanic makes a very good point. if the column was in the off/locked position, the parts changer very well could have forced it and broke something when trying to do the alignment.
Thank you, I depend on this truck and often drive the 1300+ miles each way to/from TN & Maine, often with the camper on and a 16' loaded cargo van behind.
Yes, according to my SA this is all on the dealership dime.
So thank you again, this makes me feel a lot better.
 

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I am not one to trust most Service Advisors. When it comes to the actual repairs and troubleshooting, they tend to not be accurate in all the details that they communicate (I don't think they know as much as they want customers to believe). I like talking directly to the Techs, if that is possible.

That said, it is appropriate that they fix the issues they caused ..... and for them to step up and do it without a lot of resistance speaks well for them.

I don't see that you should expect to see any difficulties that they caused....or covered up. With that perspective, you probably don't need to insist on anything in writing.

You may keep getting the P0460 and P0463 codes though. You really should get that fixed. Just be aware that it involves testing to make sure that it is the sending unit, and if it is the sending unit, it is fairly expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not one to trust most Service Advisors. When it comes to the actual repairs and troubleshooting, they tend to not be accurate in all the details that they communicate (I don't think they know as much as they want customers to believe). I like talking directly to the Techs, if that is possible.

That said, it is appropriate that they fix the issues they caused ..... and for them to step up and do it without a lot of resistance speaks well for them.

I don't see that you should expect to see any difficulties that they caused....or covered up. With that perspective, you probably don't need to insist on anything in writing.

You may keep getting the P0460 and P0463 codes though. You really should get that fixed. Just be aware that it involves testing to make sure that it is the sending unit, and if it is the sending unit, it is fairly expensive.
Thank you. I gathered my SA didn't know a lot as I was able (with my "I'm not a wrencher, but I can pick up things quickly" attitude) to talk circles around him.

So quick question... do I bring your information about code P0463 to the SA/Service team at the dealership, or would it be ok to wait until I can get in with my local diesel mechanic (who's about a month out)? If the latter is ok, is it ok to go on the camping trip (given that the parts arrive and my steering column is fixed by then) or should I stay close to home? I ALWAYS reset my trip odometer and actually use that more as an indication of when to fill up than I do my fuel gauge...

Thanks again.
 

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How big is your tank? I look for fuel at 1/2 tank or around 200-250 miles and try to get filled before 1/4. My tank is 26-28 gal
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How big is your tank? I look for fuel at 1/2 tank or around 200-250 miles and try to get filled before 1/4. My tank is 26-28 gal
Interesting… My tank is about the same size, but I’m at ¾— 5/8 at 200-250 miles… I can get 400+ miles out of a tank but don’t like risking it and/or sucking sludge into my engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ongoing saga of Freddy the F350… I just picked him up. I got about 5 miles when I realized my blinkers weren’t working (not showing up on dash, not on aftermarket mirrors with indicators, not in the reflection of my truck at the stoplight in the next guy’s tailgate). Turns out none of my lights are hooked up. Also, while I see the readings on my LiveWire, I’m not getting performance boosts in either “performance” or ”extreme” and… my front dash cam is not coming on, but is extremely hot (didn’t check the rear dash cam).
So we’re back to the dealership. While I am going to tell them about what they didn’t do for the 463 code that they should have, I’m not confident in this dealership to take care of it properly, so will wait to get the truck into my mechanic up here. I’m also not going to get to go camping this weekend. Was supposed to load up the slide in camper tonight and take off, but I probably won’t have the truck back nor will I feel confident in it until I’ve driven it for a few days.
<sigh>….
 

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Bummer.

I have gotten 400 miles out if my tank when I'm almost home and don't want to stop from time, I think our gauges are just reading different, but 400 is a almost e
 
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