Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego Maintenance & Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Post your Five Hundred/Montego issues here.


  • charlescurtischarlescurtis Member Posts: 1
    2006 Ford 500 SE Vibration and Other Problems

    The car vibrates in the driver's seat at 65 MPH until 72 MPH. (The speeds I cruise at). Ford re-balanced the tires at 1,100 miles - after which the vibration still existed. A Ford technician drove the car, and acknowledged the vibration, and informed me it was likely not tire related. At the time, it was very notable to the technician, and he stated that he would go to Ford and research the problem. Just to be sure , they swapped all the wheels and re-test drove it, but the vibration still existed.

    After 1 week Ford said - the vibration is not enough to warrant any further examination. Live with it. - But to me the vibration is VERY noticeable, and annoying. Why should a new car vibrate at highway speeds?

    I decided to test drive other Ford 500's, thinking I could trade in my vibrating car. Test Drive revealed that all the cars have the same type of vibration. Some more ... some less.

    The salesman suggested - "It's got to be tire related. Ford puts pretty cheap tires on the car. I advise you to buy a set of high - end Michelins for your car." Personally - I don't want to add another $1,000 into my investment in the car to get it to ride smooth! Will the ride change?

    Other problems

    1. The rear brake rotor was causing a serious chattering in the brakes, when braking at highway speeds. Odometer: 60 miles - Ford repaired the problem - turned the rotors, and removed glazing from the pads. (Imagine: Bad brakes at Odometer reading of 60 miles!)

    2. Motor pings when accelerating. Odomoter: 1,500 miles. I purchase Shell gasoline.

    3. My center console compartment on the dashboard is bubbling up. Odomoter: 2,200 miles

    4. Dialing the heat/cool temperature produces an annoying creaking noise. Odometer: 1,500 miles

    I wonder why can't Ford get it right. I am really disappointed.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    Vibrations like this are almost ALWAYS tire-related.

    Find a place that can balance them at a particular speed.
  • evandroevandro Member Posts: 1,108
    This problem is becoming more and more common as designers stiffen the chassis, raising its resonant frequency.

    I've had this same problem on my Bonneville (see this), but it was also noted on other FWD full-size GM cars and, more recently, on the new Grand Prix. After 4 tire sets, two OEM, one Continental and one Michelin, and careful road-force balancing, the problem still persists.

    I seriously suspect that it's not the tires, as the vibration can come and go with no change in the speed and even vanish above 75MPH or so. The vibration seems to vary according to the roughness of the pavement too. Maybe it's the soft bushings, maybe the multi-link rear suspension, I don't know...

    Please, keep us informed about your findings.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    Aside from poor balancing and anything else that may be correctable, the chief problem with vibration is related to the use of low profile tires. I have ridden in some expensive cars with harsh, jittery rides, and i am convinced it's related to low profile tires. After all, the less cushion and give, the more pavement problems will be noticed. Sure, we want good handling, but car makers have gone too far. Anything below a 60 profile is going to be harsher and noisier, and there are many vehicles that shouldn't even be using 60
  • vic10vic10 Member Posts: 188
    A few years ago I bought a very bad set of Firestones (redundant, I know). The car vibrated similar to what you describe. It wasn't balance. It wasn't alignment. Had them shaved for being out of round. Wasn't that. But a friend following me one day noticed that the tires appeared to wobble from side to side. THAT was the problem. The tread was messed up laterally. Possibility here....
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    It was probably tread separation . . . which can definitely affect "balance". Of course, rebalancing the tires won't help in that situation . . you just need new tires. Most tire warranties will cover tread separation.
  • evandroevandro Member Posts: 1,108
    Quite possible.

    In the case of the OEM Goodyear Eagle RS-A, the dealer said that they it wasn't an out-of-balance issue, but rather that the tire had some hard spots on the side-wall and, being low profile (P55), was more susceptible to them.

    Sounds reasonable, but didn't solve the issue. I tried Continental ContiPremierContact out of my pocket and after a day in the parking lot, it would need to warm up to lose the wobble due to the 8 hour-belly. After 1000mls they were returned.

    Yet, even after shelling premium $$$ for a set Michelin MXV4+, though immune to wobble, it still vibrates between 65 and 70MPH. The tires have been road-force balanced twice to strict tolerances, so I'm getting open to something else other than the tires at least contributing to the vibration.

    Of course, I'm talking about my '02 Bonneville, but perhaps could help you guys with your 500 when talking to your Ford dealer.

  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    Other problems

    1. The rear brake rotor was causing a serious chattering in the brakes, when braking at highway speeds. Odometer: 60 miles - Ford repaired the problem - turned the rotors, and removed glazing from the pads. (Imagine: Bad brakes at Odometer reading of 60 miles!)

    2. Motor pings when accelerating. Odomoter: 1,500 miles. I purchase Shell gasoline.

    3. My center console compartment on the dashboard is bubbling up. Odomoter: 2,200 miles

    4. Dialing the heat/cool temperature produces an annoying creaking noise. Odometer: 1,500 miles

    Given the fact that you are driving a second year (2006) model, these problems are very surprising. Such problems are usually caught and corrected in first six months of new model production.

    Has anyone else experienced these problems on the 500? Or are these isolated to Charles car?
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    Has anyone else experienced these problems on the 500? Or are these isolated to Charles car?

    I haven't seen any issues like that on my 500 or Freestyle. Both at around 10,000 miles, and 1+ years of ownership (both 2005 models).
  • nedc2nedc2 Member Posts: 192
    At 18 Months and 19,000 miles I've only noticed issue #3 the dash door bubbling, it was taken care of by me with no dealer sevice required, just the judicious applcation of a sharp pin to the affected areas to burst the bubbles. The only other problem I've noticed is a slight but annoying rattle which comes from the driver side A-pillar when driving over certain road surfaces, like washboard roads, for an extended time. Sounds like a loose plastic connector or something in the pillar. I keep meaning to take it in to get it looked at but it is really hard to duplicate without going for a 20 mile ride from my dealer;(
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    The only other problem I've noticed is a slight but annoying rattle which comes from the driver side A-pillar when driving over certain road surfaces, like washboard roads, for an extended time. Sounds like a loose plastic connector or something in the pillar.

    I assume you have one of the early 2005 models since you been driving for 18 months. Is it the SEL or Limited?

    Also, after you pricked the bubbles on the console, did they reappear?

  • nedc2nedc2 Member Posts: 192
    It's a Montego Luxury, roughly equivalent to the SEL. Only options are the safety and convenience packages and the reverse sensing. I imagine the rattle is from something in the wiring harness in the A-pillar, I should have it looked at but that means taking all of the stuff I've got stowed away in the cabin out and making an appointment with my service manager sometime when they're not too busy i.e. not within 2 weeks of any holidays.

    As for the bubbles, no they don't reappear after they've been pricked. I imagine Ford is trying to come up with a new way of curing the urethane or increasing the surfaces "breathability" to prevent the bubbling but it seems its still an issue with the 2006s.
  • iusecadiusecad Member Posts: 287
    Overall I really like my car, but

    there is a very loud metallic grinding noise (I can only assume from the drivetrain) when climbing hills at 30 mph. Is this normal for the CVT in this situation?

    The suspension has a very loud rubber squeak when I have passengers. None when I am alone.

    The driver's door lock post rattles; all the time if my leg leans against the door.

    Last night there was loud high-pitched whine when I backed up my brother's driveway. That's the first time I've experienced that.

    And finally today I took it through my favorite touch free car wash (my third trip through with this car) and when I returned home I noticed the piece of body colored trim on the roof that runs from the windshield to the rear window was gone. I don't know what took it: if it was the high pressure water, the high speed blowers that dry the car, or if they together loosened it and the drive home blew it off... I've been through that car wash several dozen times in the many years it's been open and never left parts behind. The Focus I traded-in on this 500 went through dozens of times and never lost anything.

    I had 1 issue with my Mexican built Focus in the 2 years & 13k miles I owned it to the 5 I've got in 2-1/2 months & 2.6k miles with my Chicago built 500... I guess I'll schedule an oil change and bring up my issues and see where the chips fall...

    At least my mileage has been good. Worst has been 24.5...
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    This noise is not at all normal. See your dealer at once.
  • iusecadiusecad Member Posts: 287
    Well, here's what I did:

    I took my car into the dealer Tues (8/8) for a Wed appointment to fix the squeaks in the suspension & driver's window and to fix the missing trim piece. I also scheduled an oil change. I decided against bringing up the CVT noise because I assumed they'd either not hear it and do nothing or they would hear it and tear it apart and make it worse. Since it only makes noise on 2 steep streets I only drive on a couple of times a month I figured it wasn't worth it.

    So Wed (8/9) afternoon the dealer calls and says they fixed everything 'cept for the trim because they had to order it & it would take 2 days to get. I go to pick up my car and there's an oil stain on the driver's seat. Not huge, but enough to irk me. I go and let the service counter guy know and he apologizes and says if I bring it in in the morning they'll detail it then. I live 45 miles away and have to schedule rides w/family. Bringing it back was not an option. Not to mention I'd have to bring it back down when the trim came in. So I left it and picked it up Saturday (8/12) when they called and said everything was done.

    The trim piece color matches nicely, but it does not line up with the windshield (it sticks up above ~3/16") and at the rear glass its twisted. The middle of the trim sticks up above the roof. Oh well. Maybe the car wash will rip this piece off too... Oh and detailing the seat did not get all of the stain out.

    Oddly enough the drivetrain has never been quieter; tho I haven't driven on those hilly streets lately...
  • jbentkowskijbentkowski Member Posts: 1
    Bad rear brake design! My car has 19k miles on it and we just had to have a major rear brake job on this car. Imagine my surprise when my mechanic said that this car basically has disposable rear rotors and I had been lucky to have the brake pads last 19k. My mechanic spoke with guys at Ford and they said that the pads usually they only last 15k and they don't know why they wear out so quickly. I find this is absurd. Has anybody come up with an alternate solution, like thicker rotors or an entirely new brake caliper and rotor replacement set?
  • dilldill Member Posts: 31
    This is a very common problem amoung delicate front ends on cars nowadays. I have had it happen to me.

    First thing I'd do is have the wheels tested to see if they are true.

    If they are found to be ok, than I would look for a dealer with a Hudson machine. A Hudson machine spins the tires and sees if they are even a slightly bit out of round. If they are out of round than 99% chance that is the problem. A new tires or tires are needed depending on how many tires are out of round. These machines are very expensive and because of their expense very few places have them. There are two makes of tires I have found that are very unlikely to have this problem. The first one is Michelin - from what I have heard they put all their tires on this machine prior to it being shipped from the factory and the other tire company is Cooper Tire. I'm not sure but I think Cooper might do the same thing Michelin does. Two nice things about Cooper tires, they are less than Michelins and they are American made in Finlay, Ohio.
  • amunitzamunitz Member Posts: 1
    I have an 05 Five Hundred which I purchased with 20k. I noticed the clear coat is coming off just below window left side rear door. Its acrosws the door panel in a jagged line. Has anyone else had a problem similiar?
    Thanks, Alan
  • zhugezhuge Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 2006 Five Hundred SEL at the end of July and I now have 2700 miles on it (mid-October). So far, I've had three issues -- I have the annoying rattle that someone else mentioned that seems to come from the passenger's side.

    In addition, when I first back out of my driveway in the morning, I have a terrible grinding sound while braking. I took it to the dealer and they said there was a TSB out on the problem that recommends being sure to engage the parking brake while parked. So, I'll see how that works out.

    The most serious issue is also a very sporadic one. Occassionally when I come up to a stop light, the car begins to have a surging in the engine when I begin to brake. As I'm sitting stopped, it's surging enough to cause the entire car to vibrate *badly*. Then, when I come out of the stop, the car will stutter as if it's about to go dead (although it has not yet). When I took it in, the dealer could not replicate the problem, so I still haven't had a resolution to the problem. I thought it could be a case of bad gas, so I began fueling up at a different gas station, but the problem still exists.
  • automotive2automotive2 Member Posts: 1
    Regarding the rear brakes on the 500. I am a A automotive parts salesman (35yrs). It seems the rear brake pads are undersized for the size of this vehicle. Also Ford is useing what is called "organic" pads on the entire vehicle. These will work well, however they are what we call in the trade a very dirty ( look at your nice rims ) pad. The life of this type of brake pad is low ( 18 to 20000 ) miles. Suggest replacing same with a quality ceramic disc pad, this will give Much longer life and be a very clean to your wheel change.
  • gordon59gordon59 Member Posts: 1
    I replaced my back brakes at 20K also. Not at the dealership but at a reputable goodyear dealership and was told the same. They used a quality ceramic disc pad and I am not having any of the bad brake dust on the back wheels like with the original pads (or grinding noise). I was surprised the back pads wore out before the front. Every car I've owned before the front wore out first and would have brake dust.
  • plazar3plazar3 Member Posts: 1
    Generally love our 2005 Montego. Lots of room and 30mpg+ between Baton Rouge and Houston, routinely. two engineering flaws of note:

    Rear Brakes wearing out fast. Brakes worked at 17k miles and again at 12 kmiles. Service is installing ceramic brakes as per TSB from FoMoCo. We will see.

    Trunk latch has never worked right, service can't fix it and FoMoCo does not seem to have a TSB on it. When you pop the lid (remote or dash button) the latch does not completely let go, like a burr or something is holding it. It is actually hurting my wife's arm as when she goes to open it thinking it is released, it is not without a firm tug. The trunk ought to rise a little. Anyone have a known solution?

    The final complaint is minor but noticable: sheet metal/finish a little more vulnerable to parking lot damage than I would like.
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    Hi Zhuge:
    Here is the important question dealing with dealer service. How come, the dealer never can "replicate the problem," but the owner can drive five blocks away from the dealer's service department, and the problem appears? It must be Magic!!!!!
    I am in the process of making a purchasing decision between a Ford 500 and a Chevrolet Impala LT2. I like the Ford 500 more, but the brake issue has me concerned! Small Ford dealers, in my part of the country, that have been in business for years, have closed their doors. I am concerned that I will not be able to get "quality service," because the remaining dealerships will be over run with service customers. The LT2 Impala is starting to look like the final choice! :cry:;) :confuse: ----- Best regards. ---- Dwayne
  • jog4jog4 Member Posts: 4
    Went to dealer to have transmission flushed 30000 miles maintance. Dealer said cost is three hundred Fluid for the cvt is expensive.Has anyone else priced the flush.
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    Hi jog4:
    Does this transmission have a fluid pan on the bottom of the transmission case, like the older transmissions?--- If so, I would rather "drop the pan" to remove the trans fluid, rather than having the transmission flushed! From what I have been reading, (transmission flushing equipment and the process), can damage a trans.. Only used the manufacturer's fluid in any transmission. Do not use aftermarket fluid! :confuse: ;) Best regards. ----Dwayne
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    You were "upsold" the maintenance interval on the CVT is 60,000 miles. Also its just a change, flush is not specified. (the high presure filter has to be changed also)

    You can customize a scheduled maintainence for your specific Ford, based on your driving habits, by visiting Use the maintenance tab.

  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    You were "upsold" the maintenance interval on the CVT is 60,000 miles

    I will probably change mine at 30k, also. 60k just seems WAY too long between changes. Maybe if it was all driven in only 2 or 3 years.
  • jog4jog4 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the web site very informative.I did not have trans flushed I thought it to expensive but I did have pan dropped filter change and 5 or 6 quarts added.
  • jog4jog4 Member Posts: 4
    The manual states replace cabin filter if equipped. Does 2005 five hundred have one and if so where?
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    As far as I was able to discover, the Cabin Air Filter was removed before production...thank you MR BEAN counter.

  • glenncofglenncof Member Posts: 6
    I have a 2005 Freestyle which is same platform as this forum. I have been studying the CVT maintanence and trying to decide a stategy.

    Went to the Dealer today and asked about the CVT. Service manager said "we'll flush it". This is WRONG and not even possible from what I read.

    Then he said "call Joe" since he has done one. "Joe" said three hours = $270 + parts. This is not far from the AllData pro database which was about 2.6 hrs +.2 for pan filter. I was told the "case filter" is up against the "firewall". Yes, there is a pan filter inside pan and a high pressure, case filter located on the driver side of tranny. MyFord specifies the case filter be changed with fluid (as does AllData). I have not inspected case filter access.

    The CVT has a torque convertor like standard automatic. It's between the tansmission and the engine as usual. From the diagrams I've seen, the torque convertor is not accessable from the pan. This means there is no access to a drain plug. Perhaps the CVT must be removed to access it. Only 5 of 10 qt will come out.

    My current thought is to do a "fluid only" change at 30K if dealer will do it. Then case filter and fluid at 60K. I would do the pan filter at that time if the case filter indicated any need. After warranty I'll do this myself but level setting is still tricky (I've posted the procedures on Frestyle/500 forums.)

    Please post any CVT fluid service experience/costs that you have for all of us.
  • ansaransar Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Ford Five Hundred SE. The radio that comes with it has an Aux button, but of course nothing is connected to it.

    Does anyone know if there is an actual Aux input in the back of the radio that I could use? I hate to take it all apart only to find that there is no inputs.

    Also, if there is an Aux input in the back of the radio, does anyone have any suggestions for the proper way to remove the radio? I can figure it out, but it would be nice to see a guide if someone has already done one.

    Thanks for your time.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    There is no aux input on back of the radio.

    What you need is one of these:

    This assumes that you don't have the DVD option.

    You can hook up anything with RCA jacks using this adapter.
  • diecast61diecast61 Member Posts: 11
    There are a number of sites with instructions on how to remove the radio. A number of vendors -- that sell the PIE adapter above on ebay provide the instructions on line.

    The adapter works great -- I just had one installed in my '05 Montego - along with an AMP and new speakers. If you want to hook up an IPOD or Sat Radio or DVD player -- you will need an RCA to 3.5 Stereo cable.

    If you don't want to mess with pulling out the radio yourself -- You can probably get Best Buy, Circuit City or any other car stereo shop to install it for you -- probably around 25 bucks.
  • johnm152johnm152 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where the Ford Five Hundred turn signal flasher is located?
  • maxx9000maxx9000 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Ford 500 Limited with 14000 miles. My Side Mirrors move when you close the doors and need re-adjusted and the drivers side window, when I put it down about 2 inches (since I smoke) when I go to put it back up it goes down about 3/4th of the way and I can not stop it from going down till that point then it will allow me to put it back up. Has anyone had these problems and if so were they resolved by the dealership? Steve
  • times2times2 Member Posts: 45
    I have a 2006 Ford Five Hundred SE. Yesterday, while my wife was driving, the gas cap indicator on the dash came on. I checked the manual, and did what it said (shut off the car, took off the cap, put it back on making sure it was secure), and then restarted the car. Light is still on. Checked again this morning, and the light is still on. There's about a 1/4 tank of gas in the car now. Is there anything else easy I can check, or do I need to bring it in to a Ford Dealership?

  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    How are the brakes, especially rear, holding up in the 500 and Montego? There are lots of complaints with the Freestyle.
  • queen4queen4 Member Posts: 1
    Just bought used ford 500 se. want to use key pad on driver's door. Need to locate factory set code on computer module. Don't want to go to dealer to pay 1 hour labor fee for them to hook it to computer to find it for me. Does anyone know where the computer module is located. Thanks
  • times2times2 Member Posts: 45
    I had mine checked when I bought the car with 22,000 miles (Ford 500 SE). They looked fine. From the reading I did, that seemed to be more of a problem with 2005 models. It also seemed to be a problem if the vehicle sat for a while and built up rust on the rear rotors.
  • nic1313nic1313 Member Posts: 1

  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    Just had my Five Hundred AWD LTD brakes checked at 15,000 miles.

    Still had 90% wear left on the rear brakes, and 80% left on the front brakes.
  • roboron231roboron231 Member Posts: 2
    Hey did you ever find the flasher? I am trying to find mine too and I just can't find it and I also can't find anyone that knows where it is. I want to replace it with an electronic flasher.

  • diecast61diecast61 Member Posts: 11
    The flasher is located in the smart junction box - which is behind the dash panel - on the left hand side - according to the service manual.

    I don't know if you can or how to post a diagram here.

    Look in your vehicle manual that came with the car to see if they are more specific -- of if they describe the "Smart Junction Box"

    Not much help - but it's the best I can do right now.">
  • roboron231roboron231 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I wonder if there is a flasher inside the smart junction box that even can be replaced?? I am looking to upgrade my flasher to handle larger loads and LED lights. But I wonder if it can be done.
  • enksenksenksenks Member Posts: 1
    I have just replaced both rear brakes and rotors. 36,900 miles! I have also had the center dashboard console replaced because of bubbling. Need new tires already. That is not right at 37,000 miles!
  • mhanlenmhanlen Member Posts: 1
    I had the same thing happen to me on my 2007 500 SEL. Ford had to replace the gas cap under warranty. The warning would go off after I filled up, but would come back on. Two months later the warning light has not come back on since it was replaced.
  • jog4jog4 Member Posts: 4
    I have had the exact same problems. I will be going for my second console the new one is bubbling also.Now for the good news Ford will replace the brakes under customer satisfaction program 07N10 "also if you paid to have the rear pads replaced before the date of this letter,you may be eligible for a refund...." Hopefully they will pay for the rotors also because they were the most expensive rotors I ever bought.Recieved the letter about 7/15/07.
  • ncsportsfan57ncsportsfan57 Member Posts: 3
    Had similar issue with center pocket on dash bubbling up when car was 9 months old and received no satisfaction from dealer or Ford.

    Have had numerous issues with the brakes which I will outline in another post. Rear brakes replaced at 31,000 miles again at 54,000 miles and needed again as warranty recall now at 93,000 miles but Ford dealers in NC have no parts to repair and my car has been deemed unsafe to drive. I am being told it is on nationwide backorder and wait is 2-3 weeks...(without a car?)

    I have joined the class action lawsuit on this vehicle with the brake issue thanks to this message board.
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