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Old 17th May 2014, 00:22   #1
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Default Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Hello Fellow BHPians,

Last week, I was on my way to work. It was around 8:30 PM (I work the night shifts) I was probably doing 60. I hear a noise from the engine bay, like something getting caught in the wheels or something. I slow down and a few seconds later, The steering wheel gets very heavy. I then managed to park the car off the road, turned the ignition off. Checked under the car and found a belt hanging off the engine. The battery sign stayed lit when I tried turning the ignition on again.

Since I couldn't reach anyone at the Ford service center (MPL), and I wasn't sure if I could continue to drive the car like that, I called the ford helpline. They promptly followed up and arranged for a tow truck. The truck arrived after about an hour and a half. Towed it to MPL Motors, Kovilambakkam. Which is where I get my car serviced regularly.

After I got back to work, I 'googled' for more information and found out that there are some 'tell signs'. Like in my case, I used to get a mild 'squealing' noise when I start the car in the mornings or at least that's when It's quiet and I would hear it. It would die down after a few minutes though.

I had mentioned this to the SA during my last service (40,000) in February and he told me that it's nothing to worry about. 2,600 kms later, 'IT SNAPS'.

The next day, I met with the Service manager and mentioned the issue and that I had notified this in my last visit, he checks on the logs and tells me that it was indeed mentioned and they did check and it didn't look like it needed replacement.

After keeping the car for a day and a half and some pushing, they delivered the car along with a bill for Rs 11,000!. I was told that they've got to change not only the belt, but a few other bearings and stuff.

Can the gurus please throw some light on this issue and if this is a common 'failure' in cars and also on the final bill amount. I searched the form, I could not find anyone else mentioning it happen in a Figo. The car completes 4 years this June, and I have been following all the service schedule and it's been serviced only at MPL Ford.
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Old 17th May 2014, 01:42   #2
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Default re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

That is very scary. Does your car have extended warranty ?
Secondly when was the 40,000 KM Service done?
Can you post complete details of all the parts replaced?

You should ask Ford to replace the parts FOC as this is a defect. This is not a common failure.
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Old 17th May 2014, 02:41   #3
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Default re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
That is very scary. Does your car have extended warranty ?
Secondly when was the 40,000 KM Service done?
Can you post complete details of all the parts replaced?

You should ask Ford to replace the parts FOC as this is a defect. This is not a common failure.
It sure was a very scary situation. I realized that only after a few hours as it sank in. So many things could have gone wrong! Thank goodness, nothing major happened.

The car was serviced in February (2014). and yes, the car is under extended warranty (till 27th May 2014).

I will post the details of the bill as soon as I get back home.

I happened to meet the GM-Customer Service for MPL yesterday (Friday Morning) while I was there. ! Yes, I had to take the car back on Thursday night for a different issue. in fact, I had mentioned this issue as well to the SA during the 40K service. The Gear stick was acting rough when I slot into the 1st / 2nd gear. And this was what he had to say during the delivery "Nothing to worry about Sir!, Everything is fixed and is normal". anyways, Thursday night, on my way to work, I stop at the toll plaza, after I paid the toll and when I moved the vehicle, I wasn't able to slot into the 2nd or any other gear.

I managed to drive to the service center with the gear still stuck in '1'.must be some 3 kms, I think. Anyways, fortunately the Service Manager was still there (around 8:45 pm), he checks and says "This too will not cover under warranty" as its a normal wear and tear issue.

And when I asked him as to why it wasn't taken care of when I had mentioned both the issues just two months ago, I pretty much got the same answer that I got from the GM on Friday morning, "We check these parts for sure, it comes under the standard checks, however the service engineer would not have noticed anything major, and hence would not have suggested a change"!

I'm not sure if I should write to Ford about both these issues asking for a clarification, since both the issues have been notified earlier. My question is, if a novice like me could see the 'signs' that something wasn't right, how could the service guys have not seen that these parts were giving away??

My understanding out of both these issues is that, when we leave the car for service, at least with MPL, I think they just complete the regular service and give the car back to avoid any additional work load. They attend to something like this only when there is a break down.

anyways, this one cost me my time and 1K to fix. The car was returned around 12 on Friday.
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Old 17th May 2014, 05:01   #4
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When I had a wheel alignment issue in the rear wheels of my Nano, they changed my rear suspension..for free.

When I had a clutch cable squealing issue, they changed my clutch assembly...for free.

When I had a rubbing noise when turning the wheel to full lock, they changed the front right suspension...for free.

All of this even after a recent accident which had destroyed the front right side. The accident repair was available on their records.

What I'm trying to say is that when Tata can give such repair for free, why not Ford? Like you said, when you had told them about the squealing noise on a modern figo they could have checked the alignment of the pulley driving the ps pump. Most probably the bearing of the pump must have worn due to the misalignment and jammed eventually. But you said that the battery light also remained on, so does the alternator belt also depend on the same pulley?

Last edited by GTO : 17th May 2014 at 16:19. Reason: Adding paragraph spacing for better readability
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Old 17th May 2014, 09:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew1105 View Post

Like in my case, I used to get a mild 'squealing' noise when I start the car in the mornings or at least that's when It's quiet and I would hear it.
I guess the belt was loosing its tension and was not fitting properly in the pulley so after the prolonged running it snapped on load. Squealing sounds are indicating a loose belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew1105 View Post
The next day, I met with the Service manager and mentioned the issue and that I had notified this in my last visit
Do you have proofs that you informed about these issues earlier at FASS during service? This case of belt snapping is just NOT normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew1105 View Post
After keeping the car for a day and a half and some pushing, they delivered the car along with a bill for Rs 11,000!. I was told that they've got to change not only the belt, but a few other bearings and stuff.
Please post the bill for this 11K work. Bill amount looks exorbitant.

Since the car is 40K kms old, I think warranty should be there for your car. Check it and if it is there then demand that these repairs should be done under warranty or ask the ASC guys to show you the owners manual where it is written as a normal wear-tear parts.

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 17th May 2014 at 09:19.
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Old 17th May 2014, 16:24   #6
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

A belt snapping like this at only 40,000 kms indicates either poor quality of material used by Ford, or careless labour at the service center. Whatever the case, it is Ford that has to pick the tab for this premature failure.

I'm just glad you were able to bring the car to a halt safely. Can think of some people who wouldn't have a clue, or even the frame of mind to hold the steering hard and steer.

The incompetence of the service center shows in their ignoring your earlier complaints. As always, it is the customer who has to suffer due to their mistakes.

Please bring this matter & thread to Ford's attention. They have to own up.
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Old 17th May 2014, 23:28   #7
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nijelj View Post
When I had a wheel alignment issue in the rear wheels of my Nano, they changed my rear suspension..for free.

When I had a clutch cable squealing issue, they changed my clutch assembly...for free.

When I had a rubbing noise when turning the wheel to full lock, they changed the front right suspension...for free.

All of this even after a recent accident which had destroyed the front right side. The accident repair was available on their records.
Very happy to hear that nijelj! Have booked a nano twist last week in spite of not so encouraging talks I received at home and from friends.

anyways, please here's the bill for the repairs. The charges were inclusive of tow assistance provided by ford.
Attached Thumbnails
Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!-photo-1.jpg  

Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!-photo-2.jpg  

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Old 18th May 2014, 04:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew1105 View Post
anyways, please here's the bill for the repairs. The charges were inclusive of tow assistance provided by ford.
Thanks for the bill! Looking at that bill it seems that only the pulleys, belt were changed. If they had diagnosed properly the squealing the first time you complained, maybe they would have done the same repairs.Atleast they could have saved you from being stranded on the road. So I suggest that in the complaint to Ford, please write about how you had already raised this issue with dealer and that he ignored it, leading you to be stranded in the middle of the road (leading to towage charges) .Also the belt might not be covered under warranty, but the pulleys should be.
Congrats on the Nano twist, wishing you happy kms!

Last edited by nijelj : 18th May 2014 at 04:54.
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Old 18th May 2014, 05:31   #9
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew1105 View Post
Hello Fellow BHPians,

Last week, I was on my way to work.
Mathew, I too had an issue with the power steering for my Figo at around 42k kms. The culprit at the time was power steering fluid rather than the belt. The issue was promptly accepted by the A.S.S (Cauvery Ford, Bangalore) and all the work was covered under warranty.

Agree that my issue is not a major one as yours, but when your car is under extended warranty, the service centre should replace the belt free of cost. Please take up the issue again with MPL Ford.
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Old 18th May 2014, 06:35   #10
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by satan's_valet View Post
when your car is under extended warranty, the service centre should replace the belt free of cost. Please take up the issue again with MPL Ford.
I don't think taking up with MPL would do any good. Over the last 4 years from my experience with MPL, they seem to respond better or respond at all only when it gets escalated to Ford.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nijelj View Post
I suggest that in the complaint to Ford, please write about how you had already raised this issue with dealer and that he ignored it, leading you to be stranded in the middle of the road (leading to towage charges) .Also the belt might not be covered under warranty, but the pulleys should be.
Congrats on the Nano twist, wishing you happy kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The incompetence of the service center shows in their ignoring your earlier complaints. As always, it is the customer who has to suffer due to their mistakes.

Please bring this matter & thread to Ford's attention. They have to own up.
Thank you Nijelj and GTO!! I'm going to be sending out an email to Ford right after I post this one

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Do you have proofs that you informed about these issues earlier at FASS during service? This case of belt snapping is just NOT normal.
Thank you Anurag, I might have the booking form with me. it would need some digging. however when I complained to the service manager last week, he checked something and did mention that they have it on the record.

I'm not sure though, if they would come forward and accept it when Ford questions them.

I will update the thread as soon as I hear from Ford. I hope they do.
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Old 18th May 2014, 06:57   #11
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

IMHO belt wear is not a warranty covered issue but pulleys are.

Off topic :
Towing charges on breakdown could have been avoided. With belt snapping the alternator, coolant pump and power steering would not work. However car is still drive able if done carefully while keeping careful watch on engine temperature. Normally it is a quick acceleration and then coast with engine off till slowed down. Then jerk start before coming to complete stop. Cycles through till reaching a safe place. Also remember with engine off while coating the brakes can become hard due to loss of vacuum assist. Not recommended except when stuck.
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Old 18th May 2014, 07:04   #12
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew1105 View Post
I don't think taking up with MPL would do any good.

I might have the booking form with me. it would need some digging. however when I complained to the service manager last week, he checked something and did mention that they have it on the record.

I'm not sure though, if they would come forward and accept it when Ford questions them.
Please do search for the proof's from your side and if possible get the record of the complaint that you had done at MPL Ford. Use these two proof's when mailing to Ford for an answer to this issue. Dealing with MPL may not yield anything but the same issue if comes via the head at Ford India the impact + attention you'll get will be better.

All the best and please do keep us updated.

Anurag.
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Old 18th May 2014, 08:19   #13
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
IMHO belt wear is not a warranty covered issue but pulleys are.

Off topic :
Towing charges on breakdown could have been avoided. With belt snapping the alternator, coolant pump and power steering would not work. However car is still drive able if done carefully while keeping careful watch on engine temperature. Normally it is a quick acceleration and then coast with engine off till slowed down. Then jerk start before coming to complete stop. Cycles through till reaching a safe place. Also remember with engine off while coating the brakes can become hard due to loss of vacuum assist. Not recommended except when stuck.
Thank you Sudev! I hope and pray that no one gets into such a situation. I didn't want to drive because of the battery warning sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Please do search for the proof's from your side and if possible get the record of the complaint that you had done at MPL Ford.
Thanks Anurag!! I just managed to get a hold of the service form and have emailed all the info to Ford

here's the copy of the form..
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Old 18th May 2014, 14:04   #14
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

A simple broken belt and Ford tows the car to the workshop?? And charge you ~3k!!!.. . Doesn't the recovery team come prepared to even change a belt? Sad..

Also, are you sure the tensioner pulley is gone bad? Or is it a rare defective part (belt) issue? If the latter is the case, this could've been solved in ~500 bucks and on road side.

Looks like the dealer is ripping you off..
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:44   #15
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Default Re: Figo: Power Steering Belt snapped at 60 kph!

Dear Mathew,

It is strange that they have charged you Rs.240/- for replacing Timing belt idler and tensioner pulley when the drive belt and its pulleys were replaced.

The description for no. 6 Rs.400/- in labor is not printed clearly.

The cost of pulley and tensioner seems to be on the higher side.

Rs.2800/- for towing is ridiculous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Towing charges on breakdown could have been avoided. With belt snapping the alternator, coolant pump and power steering would not work. However car is still drive able if done carefully while keeping careful watch on engine temperature.
A small correction, 1.4 TDCI has a coolant pump that is driven by timing belt. Even the brake vacuum pump is driven by the camshaft which is in-turn driven by timing belt.
Only the alternator, A/c compressor and power steering pump is driven by auxiliary drive belt.

So, the car can be driven safely until the battery charge drops.
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