Is My Car A Lemon?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Hi Bob,
I have a 1990 Ford Aerostar, which has been having air conditioning problems for quite some time. I had to have the air conditioner repaired three times since I bought it new. The system would quit working due to lack of freon. I now know that the O-rings are faulty, and there are plenty of them in this system, since we have an extended body with the vents extending into the rear of the van. The system is out of freon again, and I want to have it repaired, but I am getting tired of paying all that money to have the system recharged. The O- rings are fairly inexpensive, but the labor and the freon are what cost so much. My question: do you think that I should have to shoulder the responsibility of paying for another repair, or should I try to get Ford to pay? It seems like it would be their responsibility since it was their product that was faulty. If I had known in the beginning what was the problem, I would have had all of the O-rings replaced at one time, but Ford never shared that information with me.

Also, on the same van, we had trouble with one of the power window motors while still under warranty. The Ford dealer that we bought it from repaired it, claiming to have replaced the motor. Now we are having the same trouble with the motor. It goes up and down so slowly that at times it stops. I suspect that they just greased the motor that was in there, which ended up greasing my window for months. And the door panel is falling off of the door. Seems that when they fixed the motor, they pulled the panel off, breaking the clips off, and then when finished, glued the panel back on. Obviously not a great idea. We no longer live in the same state as this dealership.

I am so fed up with the service that we have gotten from several Ford dealers. How do they expect to keep customers when they can't take care of them? We bought a Ford because we can get it at 2% less than dealer cost, but our next vehicle purchase will not necessarily be a Ford. It's just not worth it. Customer satisfaction is everything.

Sorry to hear about your problem. Unfortunately, there is nothing the backyard mechanic can do for air conditioning these days. Since the Federal Government put a bad on the production of R-12 (the freon used in older a/c), you cant even fix it your self.... That is what also keeps the cost to have it professionally repair so high. The only this I can say about the air, is either get it fixed again, have it converted to the new R-134a or sell the car.

For your window problem, sounds like shoddy workmanship to me (the door panel falling off). But window motors do wear out. The first sign that they are going is slow movement. As far as the grease, they probably greased up the inner gears inside the door, but they put way tooooooo much.

Now, don't knock fords just because you had service problems on one car. I am on my third ford. Had a 91 bronco since new and recently traded it in for a new one! and I have an 86 taurus. Now here is something for you, the new ford taurus can come with a flexible fuel option. What this allows you to do, is use ethanol or methanol based fuels in your car. Now you might be asking, "what the heck is that?" Well, as of now, there are only a select few markets that offer these fuels, but that is going to change soon. The reason that I suggest this car is not only for the option to use different fuels, but with the special discounts that ford is offering, I hear that it is $350 less that a gasoline only taurus! This is one case of you getting more and paying less!!
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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