Recall Alert: 420,000 Ford Sedans, SUVs


Ford is recalling more than 420,000 model-year 2013 sedans and SUVs to check for fuel-tank leaks that could result in a fire; affected models include the 2013 Ford Fusion, Flex, Explorer, Taurus and Police Interceptor sedans and SUVs, as well as the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, MKS and MKT. In addition, Ford also announced two more separate recalls to address problems with engine-block heater cords in 500 model-year 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedans and steering gears in a small number of 2013 Ford Fusion sedans.

In the largest of the recalls, as of March 31, Ford had received 600 consumer complaints pertaining to potential leaks in the vehicles' fuel-delivery module, which could result in a fire. Ford said there had been no reports of fires or injuries as a result of the leaks.

"The condition could result in customers detecting an odor of fuel, or in some cases, observe evidence of a fuel leak on the ground," said Kelli Felker, Ford safety communications manager, in a statement. "While a fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire, there have been no reports of fires. We are not aware of any accidents or injuries attributed to this condition."

By Matt Schmitz | June 3, 2013 | Comments (0)

What Does This Outlet Do?


House-style AC outlets are one of those handy "little things that count" new-car convenience features that literally have hundreds of uses. The outlet goes by different names and voltage ratings like 110-,115- and 120-volt AC outlets, though they all serve the same purpose and offer an alternative multi-use outlet compared to the common probe-style DC outlets that accept phone and portable GPS chargers.

The feature is still far from standard equipment on family cars (where it often appears), and is usually paired with expensive rear-seat multimedia systems in large SUVs and minivans or available only on more expensive trim levels. When equipped, the outlets are typically found in the second row or cargo area appearing just like they do on the wall at home.

As cool as it would be to plug an electric snow blower or refrigerator into your car, not everything with a plug will work. The plug has its limitations, and there are guidelines to follow in order to use electronic devices safely.

By Joe Bruzek | March 20, 2013 | Comments (4)

Two Big Family Haulers, Lots of Incentives


A good deal can make an ugly car more palatable or a mediocre car more desirable when the end result means a ton of money off the asking price. Maybe the Ford Flex's hearse-like styling becomes acceptable or the Chrysler Town & Country's minivan stigma less traumatic when there are serious incentives on the table, which happens to be the case with the 2013 Ford Flex Limited with the Titanium Package and 2013 Chrysler Town & Country Limited we recently tested.
As configured, the Flex and Town & Country offer similar gas mileage ratings, seating for seven, comparable horsepower and equal safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Plus, nearly identical retail prices are separated by a mere $170: $42,570 for the Flex and $42,440 for the Town & Country as-tested, not including destination charges. The amount of money taken off the top is impressive with enough discounts to take the whole family on a summer vacation in either family hauler. 

By Joe Bruzek | March 8, 2013 | Comments (0)

Living with MyFord Touch on a 3,500-Mile Road Trip


Ask Ford's reps about MyFord Touch and they say if you live with the system, you'll love it. They say that 80% of Ford owners with the system would recommend it to others.

My family and I lived with it for two weeks. Let me be clear: We did not love it.

Some of the issues that were prevalent when it debuted remain today on the 2013 Ford Flex, though it was supposed to have updated software. Among our issues:

By Patrick Olsen | August 22, 2012 | Comments (21)

A 3,445-Mile Road Trip in the 2013 Ford Flex

It was an ambitious roadmap for a summer vacation: Go from Chicago to the Twin Cities, across Minnesota and through Bismarck, N.D., down to Rapid City, S.D., to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, and then over to Denver before returning to Chicago. It included Alpine sledding, whitewater rafting and a trip to the top of Pikes Peak. All in a refreshed 2013 Ford Flex.

Now, we've driven each version of the Flex before. Our first trip took us in the original version from Chicago to upstate New York. Two years ago, we drove an EcoBoost-equipped Flex from L.A. to Chicago. This time, we had a new Flex with the stronger-than-the-original base engine.

Here are bits and pieces of how the trip went.

By Patrick Olsen | August 21, 2012 | Comments (13)

Suburban Dad: 2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost Gas Mileage

The Flex performed pretty well on our cross country move, given that we had two adults and a car full of cargo. Its EPA rating is 16/22 mpg city/highway. The 2011 Flex EcoBoost is rated at 16/21 mpg for some reason. We traveled a total of 2,024 miles over four days. Here’s how each day broke down:

Day 1
  • Distance: 550.7 miles
  • Travel time: 10 hours
  • Terrain: Combination of flat desert roads and crossing the San Bernardino Mountains, and beginning to climb into the Rockies in Utah.
  • MPG: 22.8
  • Notes: Our mileage was likely affected to some extent by trying to keep two cars together on the journey. Still, the Flex’s cruise control worked terrifically, and the steering-wheel controls made slowing down and speeding up easy, not nerve-wracking.
By Suburban Dad | July 14, 2010 | Comments (3)

Does Today's Dad Need More Power?


Over the last few weeks, I was able to get into two crossovers with upgraded engines. While both offered more horsepower, I wasn’t completely floored by either, and it begs the question of whether they’re worth the additional cost compared to their basic offerings.
By Suburban Dad | September 25, 2009 | Comments (13) Podcast Show N' Go: 2010 Chevy Camaro RS, Ford Flex EcoBoost


In this week’s podcast, editors Joe Wiesenfelder and Kelsey Mays are joined again by’s Joe Bruzek. They talk about the V-6 Chevy Camaro and how the less powerful version of the muscle car handles itself. Ford’s family-friendly Flex has a new twin-turbo V-6 with a lot more power, which also makes it more driver-friendly. Finally, the three discuss a question from

Download the podcast via iTunes here or listen in a browser here

By David Thomas | September 21, 2009 | Comments (0)

2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost: First Drive


Forty years ago, in what arguably remains mankind’s most significant technological achievement since the invention of the car engine, Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface. Ever since then we’ve pondered other not-so-significant challenges with the question: If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we … ? As in, if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we keep our cereal from getting soggy? Or, if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we buy a family-hauler that both mom and dad can enjoy driving?

Ford has just answered that last question.

By Mike Levine | July 20, 2009 | Comments (7)

Car Buyer Q&A: 2009 Ford Flex Limited


I was reading one of my favorite blogs — GeekDad — the other day and saw a post by the editor talking about the new car he’d just bought, which has Ford’s Sync system, and how he was testing it out. Of course, being all geek-focused, editor Ken Denmead didn’t even mention which Ford he had just bought. I contacted him and asked if he wanted to share his experience. The 40-year-old father of two from Fremont, Calif., was happy to oblige.

KickingTires: Why did you decide to buy a car in this down economy? Needed a replacement? Needed to upsize?

Ken: My wife's car — an '02 Saturn Vue, which was her commute car and the de facto family car — had suffered through the first seven years of both our boys' lives, plus acted as transportation for two dogs who steadfastly refused to stay behind any kind of pet barrier. With 110K miles and an interior that looked like the inside of a concert hall after a Gallagher show, it was no longer in a respectable state. We came into a little surprise money at the right time and went looking for deals.

By David Thomas | April 7, 2009 | Comments (2)

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