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Zalvern

Dreaded PTU leak discovered

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Unfortunately caught this oil leak coming from my 2017 MKZ after washing it one afternoon.

Fast forward to today: Transmission tech confirms its a leak from the axle shaft/PTU case. Awaiting to determine if a seal replacement is sufficient or will get a whole new unit.

This is a problem known among all Ford and Lincoln vehicles that have AWD. Even some Focus RS owners are encountering this issue. Been on going for years, and repairs vary based on how soon it is discovered.

Just a heads up to other AWD MKZ owners to always be watchful for PTU leaks and get them fixed asap.

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Edited by Zalvern

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Does driving style have anything to do with this or is it just a design flaw?

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Motorcraft seems to have improved on the seals as the PTU, like the transmission series, is roughly a decade old.

 

In my case: the leak may be the delayed result after my accident some months ago. To avoid a more serious collision, I ended up bumping my front wheel into a stone guard wall while some dolt started to lose control as they turned with me (I really hate dual turn lanes and people who ride next to you).

 

The wheel was bent, and a bent wheel is pretty much doned for. My steering assembly was also misaligned completely. That was replaced. PTU at the time was all fine and dry. Even with my "mods" and tune, the MKZ performed just fine.

 

Then just one day, the leak begins. Seal must of finally caved in after suffering unexpected impact. Of course its only one of many hypotheses as to why it leaks now at 18,000 miles.

 

The PTU as long its maintained is very durable, but the seals are another story and even fragile to any forms of impact, fluid overfill, or improperly installed.

 

I can see just hitting a bad pothole or accidentally "curb checking" yourself might degrade the seal prematurely. If the issue continues...then it can be a fault with the PTU itself.

Edited by Zalvern

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Mine started leaking at 23,500K on my 2014.  My post.

 

I'd merge the two topics but that option isn't available for me on this forum.   It is on the Ford Fusion Forum, where I'm also a moderator. Go figure.  I'll contact Robert Lane.  

 

I thought Ford had remedied this widespread problem by 2014 but apparently not.

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I was always wondering what happened with your accident. Ok. Thanks for sharing. I'll keep watch on mine as time goes on. At least they fail under warranty.

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I wouldn't let this get in the way of enjoying spirited driving, or even the occasion drag strip or race track play. If its going to leak, its going to leak.

 

Mind you high performance play is more likely to trigger the sensors of high temperatures which, if you actually do manage to overheat the PTU or RDU...it'll shut down and convert to "FWD mode" only and limit performance.

Edited by Zalvern

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Ain't nothin gonna break my stride. Nobody gonna slow me down. Oh no, I've got to keep on movin.

Sorry. The sun's getting to me while on vacation.

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Well in good news, it is only the axle compression seal needing to be replaced. According to the service tech, mine seemed to come loose in a way that allowed fluid to start seeping out when under pressure due to use. A heavy impact or jolt that disrupts the driveshaft in a manner could have lead to the premature wear...so my hunch being related to my past accident is probably on target. Seal itself wasn't cracked or anything which is good to know.

 

Warranty is taking care of all costs, and getting me a new seal. Should be all dandy and no more fluid bleeding. Now I can enjoy my firm shift tune!

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I believe the car I bought two weeks ago, with a current 6300 miles on it, has this problem. I found a puddle of red fluid on the ground the other day in the garage where it was parked and again a few spots after moving it. Looking under the car and boom, red fluid. Yikes.

 

My RS somehow missed this PTU thing. Maybe this is karma. lol

 

I called the dealer and they can't pick it up until Thursday. I don't really need the car for another two weeks so I'm ok with it, but if I did, I'd be a little miffed. I thought the service piece was one of the big selling points? They told me I could bring it in myself and pick up a car that had some body damage, why would I want to do that? lol

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I believe the car I bought two weeks ago, with a current 6300 miles on it, has this problem. I found a puddle of red fluid on the ground the other day in the garage where it was parked and again a few spots after moving it. Looking under the car and boom, red fluid. Yikes.

 

My RS somehow missed this PTU thing. Maybe this is karma. lol

 

I called the dealer and they can't pick it up until Thursday. I don't really need the car for another two weeks so I'm ok with it, but if I did, I'd be a little miffed. I thought the service piece was one of the big selling points? They told me I could bring it in myself and pick up a car that had some body damage, why would I want to do that? lol

Did your visual inspection confirm that it's the  PTU?  IIRC, when mine was leaking, I swore up and down that the fluid on the floor of my garage was engine oil.  It was dark in color; definitely not reddish.

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If it is reddish that's quite great, means the fluid is fresh. Turns darker in color as it ages and constantly gets used and heated. Standard Ford Mercon LV has a tendency to turn real dark quickly after freshly added.

 

The PTU unit or around axle shafts will have oil if the leak is concentrated from the unit. Otherwise if it's actually the transmission, the case will be leaking down somewhere.

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Ill snap a quick pic today...

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Best I could grab. If you zoom in on the upper right corner in the first pic you can see it weeping fluid...They took the car today.

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Sorry to bring up an old thread guys - is there a drain on these PTUs? Or do you have to siphon and fill from the fill plug?

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No, there's no drain plug on these particular PTUs.

 

You also posted this question in another forum.  Please don't create duplicate posts.  It confuses those who may wish to respond.  The other post has been deleted.

 

 

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