My Confusion With Our 2010 Ford Fusion Episode in a Day in A Life.
2010 Ford Fusion Confusion
We own a 2010 Ford con-Fusion.
I say that not so much as a joke, but rather as a statement of fact. Fix Or Repair Daily = FORD
Last week I noticed a sluggishness in our car as I drove it down a main road at about 35 to 40 mph. The gears seemed to be delayed at times going from gear to gear as I accelerated. I thought perhaps I had been driving in Low gear. It is an automatic 4 cylinder sedan. 2010 Ford Fusion SE - 2.5L FWD. The unusual behavior of the transmission made me concerned but I did not do anything until a few days later when we drove it to Duncanville TX just south - west 10 miles from Dallas, to shop at a Walmart Supercenter.
On the way to the Walmart , running the A/C on medium, we enjoyed the cool breeze from the front vents and had a pleasant run to our destination for some casual shopping, just to get out of the house after being cooped-up for a few days, waiting for dry weather, after a few days of heavy rain. On the way back home, I looked at the dashboard and there was this unusual light in the shape of a two sided open end wrench. Oh no, I became apprehensive. I drove us directly home. I wasn't going to risk the car doing something that was unexpected.
Once home, after unloading our purchases, I went immediately to the bookcase and picked up our Ford owner's manual to see what it had to say about our car's warning lights. I scrolled down with my index finger on a page that gave me a clue as to what that orange wrench light was about. It said there was an issue with the electronic throttle body. It said, the warning light 'orange wrench' was not the same as the 'check engine light' - so I figured, I better see to getting that tested using an OBD2 scanner. I purchased a scan tool via Amazon Prime. I also ordered a new Throttle Body and gasket.
A few days later, as I was waiting for the new part to arrive along with the scan tool, I thought it would be okay just to drive a short distance to the parts house to pick up a new air filter for the air filter box and bring the car by the local mechanic's shop. But I was too early. They don't open up until 9 AM and it was only 15 minutes after 8. And on the way I thought it was a good idea to stop by the South West Dallas Police Precinct to file a report on our recent encounter with a falling bullet that pierced our car's roof and left an indentation in it and had landed right on our front porch. I filed the report with an officer who was sitting outside at a table, just outside the precinct entrance.
So far, so good. I drove back towards the house as I had about 30 minutes to kill before Casillo's Muffler & Radiator shop opened up so I could bring our car in for testing to see what was going on. I had only recently had new spark plugs put in and that cost me 50 dollars just for that in labor only. At an intersection light, I had to stop and then I noticed, the orange wrench light appeared once again. I was idling as I moved forward, at about 10 mph, as my accelerator did nothing to increase the speed. I instinctively pulled into a local shopping center parking lot and stopped the car and turned off the engine. I was unable to start the car. I was only a short distance to our home. I got out my flip phone and dialed Allstate Motor Club. An automated message played. The option was to either hang up and dial 911 or download the Roadside App. I don't own a smart phone. Just a basic flip phone. I don't know how to download apps on the phone. There was no option to speak to an agent. In fact, every time I entered an option it repeated the same message. There was absolutely NO option to speak to any person. So, I had to do the next thing. I waited until the muffler shop was about to open and left a message with the owner. By then I had called my wife and told her my predicament and a friend's voice mail about being stranded nearby with no way to start the car and no way to contact Allstate for a tow.
If this had been any other location, far from home, or at night, it might have been a worse case scenario. So I got lucky. I finally got Castillo's on the phone and the owner told me, he talked to my wife and had a tow truck on the way and that he knew exactly where I was. Thank God. I was so relieved. He took the car to the shop and drove us to our house to pick up the Throttle body and gasket. He dropped me off at the house and told me he would find out what needed to be done.
I got a call from him 8 hours later. The problem was a short that caused a fuse to burn out and when putting a new fuse in place, it too burned out. So there was a short somewhere in the system and they had to run a schematic on it to see if they might need to replace the entire fuse box. I was quoted $225.00 to get a replacement from a local wrecking yard. But the next day I wend back down to the shop and spoke to the owner and he is one of the lead mechanics. He told me, it was not necessary to replace the fuse box after all but that there was a wire, under the box that leads up to one of the fuses that is directly connected to the ignition coil that prevented the car from starting. They had already fixed that problem and had also put in the new Throttle body. His father had the car out on a test drive. He told me it had been fixed and the amount for labor was only $150.00.
He said, to drive it a few days and make sure it is running smoothly and to bring it back if there are any issues. I was thankful. I told them both how much I appreciated their work and paid the man. I drove home, and my friend, who had driven me to pick up our car sat with me on the front porch and we enjoyed a long conversation. I wore my Covid-19 face mask even though I am fully vaccinated. I took the double dose, 21 days in-between of the Pfizer vaccines at a local county hospital many months before. My friend, however, doesn't intend to get vaccinated. That is why we visited outside on the porch. My wife is immune compromised and I will not allow visitors inside our home under any circumstances. Mask or no mask. So, that is how my day went, after driving in fear for days wondering WHAT DOES THE YELLOW WRENCH LIGHT indicate? It indicated there was a problem but it was not even detectable using the new OBD2 scan tool.
Many times a car owner will run into a problem that can not be detected by just using a scan tool. Sometimes it has to become such a problem like we had, when the car simply dies and can not even start. By the time you find yourself in this kind of situation, you might want to rethink apps. I learned a few lessons from all this. 1. don't drive your car once you see a yellow wrench light appear on your dashboard information panel. It is not worth getting stranded in the middle of traffic and 2. don't pay 7.00 or more a month the rest of your life for Roadside advantage if you can simply put away a hundred dollars and have phone numbers handy to call local wrecking services in the area. On the other hand, if you want to drive long distance, it is probably a better idea to GET THE APP and be ready to be challenged with the options to do it 100% automated. Because the way things are going, it is becoming nearly impossible to get hold of a real LIVE PERSON when you find yourself stranded along the side of a road, street, avenue, boulevard, or freeway, with no way to get to the side and out of harm's way.
Image Credit »