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Old 08-10-2018, 11:15 AM   #1
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Sudden intermittent electronic failure Fusion 2013 climate controls, window controls, audio system

I have 9 repair receipts for this problem from same dealer shop, and the first is dated 01-17-17. The last was yesterday. I'm pretty desperate. This problem began as intermittent. Periodically, it becomes consistent. That's when we take it into the dealer repair center. Typically, they observe the problem, disassemble parts of the electrical system, then the problem disappears again before they can identify a cause. They keep it for a while (latest duration was 5 weeks), and drive it periodically to try to induce the problem again. They lend us a car sometimes, but we normally have to return the loaner before any conclusion is reached, and eventually they give our Fusion back without a diagnosis. Sometimes they replace a part or two and charge us for a new repair, but they've told me they won't charge me again if I bring it in when the problem is consistent.

This is the most bewildering car problem I've experienced in my life, and I'm 61.

Here's what happens. All of these symptoms always appear simultaneously, except for some of the non-driver door electronic switches, which I will describe below. The temperature readout in the dashboard changes from a number to two dashes. The climate control indicator lights go out, there's no air output from any of the vents. There's no further response from the climate controls. The audio system indicator lights go out, there's no more sound output, and there's no further response from the audio system controls. There's no further response from the driver side window controls, or electronic lock controls. Usually none of the electronic controls in any other door responds, either. One time the problem occurred while we were driving and other window controls continued to respond, so we were able to lower windows in order to get air circulation. Normally, no door or window controls respond when the problem manifests. The problem usually manifests upon a cold start, but, as I said, it has occasionally manifested during operation. The problem typically goes away after the car is stopped and turned off for a variable period of time, usually overnight. Sometimes turning the car off for 5 minutes is enough to make the problem disappear. We have never been able to induce the problem intentionally.

The final aspect of the problem is that depletion of the battery occurs at varying intervals. We are on our 4th battery since the first one was replaced on 01-17-17. The first diagnosis of the problem was a failed battery. The problem has never stayed away for more than 3 weeks of operation. Battery depletion has occurred in as little as 2 weeks from the time the battery was replaced with a new unit. Now that I have the car back after its latest shop stay, I've installed a battery terminal switch to help us mitigate the battery drain issue.

The car was purchase on 08-03-13. The original warranty had already expired by the time the problem was first observed. We have no extended warranty. I have a case number from Ford Customer Service, but they haven't offered any specific assistance. The only recommendation they have offered is to suggest that we ask the dealer shop to work with them, which we have done. The dealer repair advisor I've been working with told me that Ford hasn't been able to suggest a remedy. I've contacted one other dealer repair advisor in our area, and he suggested that taking it to another repair center will cost us more and will probably not increase the likelihood of solving the problem.

Any advice or ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by Threnical; 08-10-2018 at 11:26 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Sudden intermittent electronic failure Fusion 2013 climate controls, window controls, audio system

Sounds to me like a body control module failure. This will cause all sorts of wonky issues and can even cause battery depletion if the bcm wakes up on its own while the car is not running.

Some cars require a "relearn" after the battery is replaced. Not sure if yours does.
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: Sudden intermittent electronic failure Fusion 2013 climate controls, window controls, audio system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealthee View Post
Sounds to me like a body control module failure. This will cause all sorts of wonky issues and can even cause battery depletion if the bcm wakes up on its own while the car is not running.
Thanks! Can you tell me whether the repair receipt might might refer to that part as the body control module? I think this might have already been replaced. Several modules have been.

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Some cars require a "relearn" after the battery is replaced. Not sure if yours does.
I don't think so, all we lose is the time on the clock. And after we throw the switch on the battery terminal, only the clock has to be re-programmed.

Last edited by Threnical; 08-10-2018 at 01:29 PM. Reason: format correction
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:01 PM   #4
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Re: Sudden intermittent electronic failure Fusion 2013 climate controls, window controls, audio system

I just heard of this relearn recently. It has nothing to do with the clock. It has something to do with rate of charge amongst other things.

Do a Google search on Ford battery relearn procedure and you'll find all kinds of posts.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:59 PM   #5
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Re: Sudden intermittent electronic failure Fusion 2013 climate controls, window controls, audio system

I still don't think the relearn scenario applies to our vehicle for 2 reasons.

First, the owners manual includes instructions for a procedure, but it includes a step which instructs that if the engine dies, press the accelerator to restart. On our model pressing the accelerator if the engine dies has absolutely no effect. I've driven cars with that feature and ours most definitely does not have it.

The second reason is that the manual specifies that if the battery is disconnected, the radio will lose its station presets. Ours does not. The only loss we can observe is the time of day on the clock.

Last edited by Threnical; 08-10-2018 at 04:04 PM. Reason: accuracy correction
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:47 PM   #6
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Re: Sudden intermittent electronic failure Fusion 2013 climate controls, window controls, audio system

We can observe on our repair receipts that a GWM (gate way module) has been replaced twice, and something called the FCIM (another computer module) has also been replaced. The only other major part replacement was the audio system central console, which was the most recent attempt at finding a remedy. Other than that the only work done for this problem has been replacing batteries as they have become unrecoverably depleted, and disassembling to check connections for cable harnesses.

Do either of those modules correspond to the body control module that was mentioned in Stealthee's reply? Thanks.

Last edited by Threnical; 08-11-2018 at 01:48 PM. Reason: tense correction
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