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Old 06-04-2019, 10:27 AM   #1
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Question Towing a new Ford problems

We just towed our new Expedition 4x4 for about sixty miles and pulled into a tourist spot. Stopped and then pulled up to parking area when we noticed the back tires were locked. We knew something was not right, disconnected and had unit towed directly to the dealer and was told the transmission had somehow got into gear. Both transfer case and tranny were damaged and now are a little reluctant to tow again as Ford had no explanation as to how this happened.
Any experiences would be apprciatted.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
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When we start out my wife does a walk around as I pull forward slowly. She ensures all the wheels are turning on the toad. Left the parking brake on one time.

Are you sure all wheels were turning when you started?
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:00 AM   #3
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I've seen plenty of folks accidentally leave the toad in gear and I've heard plenty of stories about toads that spontaneously put themselves in gear. That's why the wife and I both check things before and as we start out.

Somebody posted these as the steps to prepare an Expedition/Navigator for towing. If they're correct it sure looks pretty complicated to me. I can see how it might be easy to miss something.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dbgn5kh0uq...ions.docx?dl=0

It was posted in this thread -

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/flat...on-434491.html

I hope you're able to figure out what happened. Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:10 AM   #4
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I'm guessing that getting the 4x4 into some sort of neutral is now more complicated that pushing a transfer case lever to N. The newer electronic control systems typically don't make that a simple process, therefore easy to mess up. Can't rule out the possibility that something in the vehicle triggered a change of state, but human error seems far more likley.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedub View Post
We just towed our new Expedition 4x4 for about sixty miles and pulled into a tourist spot. Stopped and then pulled up to parking area when we noticed the back tires were locked. We knew something was not right, disconnected and had unit towed directly to the dealer and was told the transmission had somehow got into gear. Both transfer case and tranny were damaged and now are a little reluctant to tow again as Ford had no explanation as to how this happened.
Any experiences would be apprciatted.
Your owner's manual says that the battery must be disconnected after you put the trans into N, before you can flat tow it. I think this is to prevent the trans from straying out of "N" as it is moving. I am wondering if in fact you disconnected the battery? Here is the link to the section in the owner's manual for a 2019 Explorer: http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Fo...userMarket=USA
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by av8tor2 View Post
Your owner's manual says that the battery must be disconnected after you put the trans into N, before you can flat tow it. I think this is to prevent the trans from straying out of "N" as it is moving. I am wondering if in fact you disconnected the battery? Here is the link to the section in the owner's manual for a 2019 Explorer: http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Fo...userMarket=USA
Not with my 2016 Expedition 4x4. Yes, it is a bit complicated putting into disconnect mode. That's why I only do it and we do check to make sure all wheels are turning freely. Have towed it about 15,000 miles without problems (knock on wood). Only issue is that I cannot lock the doors using the keypad but can using the keyfob so we keep the extra set on a coathook in the RV.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:52 PM   #7
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Yeah, in the 2016 manual, on page 218 it specifically says to NOT disconnect the battery.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
When we start out my wife does a walk around as I pull forward slowly. She ensures all the wheels are turning on the toad. Left the parking brake on one time.

Are you sure all wheels were turning when you started?
There's no way he towed 60 miles with the wheels locked from the get go.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hohenwald48 View Post
I've seen plenty of folks accidentally leave the toad in gear and I've heard plenty of stories about toads that spontaneously put themselves in gear. That's why the wife and I both check things before and as we start out.

Somebody posted these as the steps to prepare an Expedition/Navigator for towing. If they're correct it sure looks pretty complicated to me. I can see how it might be easy to miss something.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dbgn5kh0uq...ions.docx?dl=0

It was posted in this thread -

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/flat...on-434491.html

I hope you're able to figure out what happened. Good luck.
That is complicated.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:21 PM   #10
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On our F150, I can see "Neutral Tow Enabled" on the instrument cluster display for a few seconds after closing the door. It gives me a little peace of mind that things are as they ought to be.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:45 PM   #11
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There's no way he towed 60 miles with the wheels locked from the get go.
Probably not. However, if you start out towing with something in gear the wheels will turn just fine. At some point the lack of lubrication, overheating, excess engine RPM or some other mechanical issue might cause the wheels to lock.

I once saw a toad with the manual transmission left in gear. It made it about 20 miles before things heated so bad that the toad caught on fire. Likely from the high RPMs the engine was forced to turn.

When these things happen it's extremely difficult to determine the root cause. There are many possibilities and I doubt we (or the OP) will ever know for certain exactly what happened.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hohenwald48 View Post
Probably not. However, if you start out towing with something in gear the wheels will turn just fine. At some point the lack of lubrication, overheating, excess engine RPM or some other mechanical issue might cause the wheels to lock.

I once saw a toad with the manual transmission left in gear. It made it about 20 miles before things heated so bad that the toad caught on fire. Likely from the high RPMs the engine was forced to turn.

When these things happen it's extremely difficult to determine the root cause. There are many possibilities and I doubt we (or the OP) will ever know for certain exactly what happened.
I was responding to the post that asked if he was sure the wheels were turning when he started. I had to replace two tires after dragging the toad about 75' with the emergency brake on so I know you don't get far with things not turning. It made such a screeching noise I should have picked up on it sooner or at least stopped immediately. Now the wife stands beside the truck to make sure the wheels are turning before we start off.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:27 AM   #13
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Towing a new Ford Expedition

Yes the wheels were turning and we did get the message that it was ok to tow. It is interesting that the manual actually said that if this process fails, repeat as needed until you get the correct message. We did it about 8 times until we got the correct message. Also talked to a new neighbour in the park here in Santa Fe and he had a similar problem last year. No one at Ford could explain what happened. Thanks for the procedure page as it is explained a little bit better than pg195 in the manual.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hohenwald48 View Post
I've seen plenty of folks accidentally leave the toad in gear and I've heard plenty of stories about toads that spontaneously put themselves in gear. That's why the wife and I both check things before and as we start out.



Somebody posted these as the steps to prepare an Expedition/Navigator for towing. If they're correct it sure looks pretty complicated to me. I can see how it might be easy to miss something.



https://www.dropbox.com/s/dbgn5kh0uq...ions.docx?dl=0



It was posted in this thread -



http://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/flat...on-434491.html



I hope you're able to figure out what happened. Good luck.


Those are really well written instructions. I am hoping to complete the prep for my ‘19 Expedition this weekend. When I wrote up a set of instructions I noticed there are several slightly different ways depending upon which model of Expedition and what option groups you have from the factory.

Bottom line is these are a great starting point but each Expedition / Navigator owner needs to confirm and/or tweak it for their options. The owners manual had all of the info - but it is spread in 2 different sections.

For example keyless start/stop vs physical key had several differences.

I will also say for anyone looking to buy an Expedition to tow it - do not expect your dealer to have a clue. I had to show the salesman and floor manager where in the Ford material it said the HD towing package had the 2-speed transfer case (enables 4L and Neutral Tow).
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