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Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Maintenance & Repair



  • podpod Posts: 176
    Occasionally I need more space to carry a large item, or one I don't want to put in the trunk. I am considering purchasing a small utility trailer with a 500# capacity and using that hitched to my 2010 Milan I4. The items would weigh only 200-350 pounds max so the added weight isn't an issue. These would be short trips at moderate speeds. My question is whether the plastic skirt and rear bumper enclosure makes installation of a standard trailer hitch difficult without making a cut out on the bumper enclosure which I would prefer not to do. I know some hitches have a bend in them and then come back up to the ball hitch. Does anyone have experience with putting a hitch on a fusion/milan? Any advice or product endorsements? Thanks.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I have a 2010 Milan with the electrochromo-whatever, self dimming mirror. I'm not sure it works. When I cover the two sensors at the base of the mirror if a set of lights behind me is very bright, no change. I would expect it to get brighter. I shone a small flashlight into it the other night while driving, no apparent change. On the other hand headlights in the rear view mirror do seem less intense than in the side mirrors.
    Does anyone know how long it takes for the mirror to change reflectance after a bright light appears. It may be designed to have a relatively long response time to avoid short cycling with every reflection.
    One very unusual idea which I read in one of these forums is to rotate the mirror 180 degrees. This is done easily and puts the light sensors at the top of the mirror and the microphone at the bottom. I wonder which is the intended way. The side taper seems more correct in the microphone up sensors down position.

    Does anyone have a recommendation as to how I could test the mirror to see if it is working as intended. I hate bright headlights. Recently Audi brightened thier taillights to a nuclear level which is a new problem: they are too bright to begin with but when the brakes come on they are blinding. What is this trend to get brighter and brighter lights? The national highway safety did a research project and concluded that highways are so well lit these days that headlight intensity could be reduced 40% with no issues (and this was before the HID, LED nuclear intensity fad appeared). I actually wear lightly tinted sunglasses when driving at night to reduce some of the retina-searing moments.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    edited September 2012
    I was able to read some and speak to a service manager at my local ford shop. The autodimming mirror (in the 2010 models) works with three sensors. The one which faces forward (toward the dashboard) senses whether it is day or night. If it is bright the mirror defaults to a standard mirror with no dimming. If it is dark enough to simulate night, then the front two sensors determine how much dimming should be provided. To test whether the mirror is working (the effect is subtle on a well light highway) put a piece of black electricians tape over the front-facing sensor during the day, the mirror should obviously darken. The car has to running, not just on for this effect. If it doesn't darken it is broken.

    I prefer extreme dimming so I have fashioned a little pull down blind over the front sensor which I pull down at night. The mirror works remarkably better at night this way.
    I was unable to determine why there are two sensors facing the rear.

    It turns out my mirror was operating and not broken but the subtle dimming was hard to see. Now with the opaque baffle over the forward facing sensor, it is dramatic and very helpful.

    For reasons puzzling, putting your finger over the sensor does not work to "blind" it. The black electricians tape is specifically recommended by Ford or the manufacturer.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I am not too bright. When I have heard about people going to wider tires I always assumed the difference was considerable. Then I thought about it. The width difference between a 215/17 tire and a 225/17 tire is 10 mm! That is one centimeter. That is approximately 1/3 of an inch.

    In retrospect I now realize that adding 10 mm to the base of 215mm isn't even increasing the width by 5%. I did not appreciate the very small steps that tire width increments provide.
    Yet, presumably, the gain in grip is considerable. Surprising.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    If you consider that only a tiny portion of the tire itself is actually in contact with the road at any given point in time, an increase of 10 mm is a bigger increase in contact patch percentage wise.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    Whatever the area of the contact patch, increasing it's width by 5% would result in a 5% areal change (Area=L xW). In any case, I find it remarkable that the increase in width is so small from one size to the next. I guess my notion stems from my long history of cars with 16" wheels and narrow tires where 225s wouldn't fit in the wheel well or they would chide against the sheet metal on extreme turns. I always pictured them as being very much wider than my "little, thin" tires. I guess not so.-----
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I was thinking there would be a larger percentage increase in the contact patch since it's way smaller than the circumference of the tire but you're correct - a 5% change in one dimension is a 5% difference in area regardless of the overall area. Although in terms of cornering ability I bet a 10 mm increase in width is more effictive than a 10 mm increase in length of the contact patch. Won't matter for acceleration though.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I feel like I should know this but I don't. At what times does the AC come on and mix dry cool air with the heater air. Does it come on every time you turn on the heat? Or does it come on only when you are in the windshield defrost mode and have selected the windshield defrost button. I have a 2010 Milan/Fusion I4.

    I assume that when you select heat you get warmed air from the fan without AC activation but I wonder if my assumption is correct.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    You are right. It comes on in the defrost mode, not in the heat mode.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    If you have auto climate control the A/C will come on most of the time until temp goes below 40 or so. It helps dehumidify the air whether it's warm or cool.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I should have specified that my car does NOT have automatic climate control and I understand that this feature assumes control of the AC and heater when active. Thanks.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    That's what I assumed but wanted to let others know in case they did have EATC.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    As mentioned earlier I have located a class one trailer hitch (200# tongue load/2000# overall) that is custom drilled for attachment to the 2010 Fusion/Milan. It is an easy installation that requires only a ratchet set and a strap for the exhaust (which is temporarily lowered from the rear hangers). The receiver sits nicely under the bumper with no need to cut or modify anything.
    Then I read and discovered that Ford "does not recomment towing with the vehicle". I discovered that many 4 cylinder cars have similar disclaimers.

    Speculation is that liability concerns make it prudent for the manufacturer to be very conservative in endorsing trailer load since driving at too high a speed could outrun the braking capacity or, with too big a load, over heat the transmission. And so on.
    I understand that caution by Ford.

    However I doubt that a small trailer (4' x4') with a small load (e.g. a recently purchased generator which weights 230# would pose a problem. There are folding platforms that attach to the hitch receiver and extend outward from the rear of the car which are rated at <300# load (and weigh 50# themselves).
    What do people think. Is towing a llight load (total<500#) a likely source of strain or damage to the I4 Fusion?
  • podpod Posts: 176
    No takers on the original question so I will elaborate. Many manufacturers of 4 cylinder cars advise against towing without citing any specific reason. I think it is obvious that a small engine is not able to move a huge load without overheating the transmission and straining other parts. I am talking about towing small loads (total weight of trailer and goods less than 500 pounds). There are trailer hitches that bolt into the chassis holes in the Fusion without need to drill or reroute anything. The receiver sits just under the bumper cover and is nearly out of sight. I maintain that a small trailer and load should be no problem provided the car is not also hauling four adults. That is my point: the car is designed to accomodate five adult passengers. Assuming that none are obese that load may weigh 5 x 160#=800#. A single driver and a 500# load on the hitch should represent a lesser load and strain.
    I suspect that Ford and other manufacturers are concerned that if they give advisories on trailer loads, etc. that they may be liable for issues that arise from overloading. My concern is that if I put a hitch on then subsequent warranty issues may be incorrectly attributed to the fact that I occasionally put a trailer on the car.
    I wish to have the traileer for the 3 or 4 times a year when I want to haul a large item or a messy item or one that just won't fit in the car or the trunk. A generator comes to mind as a good example. Typically portble generators weigh in the 200-300# range and should present not overload problems. Agree?
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I recently visited a Ford official site regarding maintenance intervals for the various fluids and filters in their vehicles. I was good with all the information except the recommended 15,000 mile change recommended for the fuel filter. My experience suggests that this is a ridiculously short interval and it raises questions about the credibility of the site. My extreme example is my prior 2000 Mercury Sable in which I did not change the filter until over 150,000 miles (through ignorance). The car ran well throughout my ownership and the change, even at this extremely long interval, did not result in any discernable change in dynamics or power. Obviously one swallow does not a summer make but 15,000 miles! This has to be driven by profit motive or a desire to get them into the shop (most folks won't try this filter change by themselves). Can anyone defend this citation? I think Ford are very well engineered cars and can't help but think that the engineers are embarassed by this suggested interval.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Not sure what you were looking at but the 2013 Fusion does not list any required replacement interval for the fuel filter - it's a lifetime filter. Maybe you were looking at the diesel truck recommendations.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    No, it wasn't in reference to the Fusion or any particular model or year. It made the general statement that the Ford Motor Copmapny recommends replacement of the fuel filter every fifteen thousand miles and at a shorter interval for heavy duty service

    It was in a Ford Motor Cop. owners site with this link

    ---- %2FPage%2FArticleDetail&recid=1251387049862&parentheadlineimageid=1234280151966&- parentrightrecid=1239636411265

    under a section called "care and maintenance tips"

    It seems an official Ford site and asks for sign in and password and/or VIN. Seems legit thats why I was so puzzled. It has to be a misprint. I agree with a very long service interval (half way to never).
  • podpod Posts: 176
    The three dashes (---) before the http:// donot belong there. Sorry for the bad copy and paste. Leave them out and you will get to the Ford site which is currently down for maintenance but will open again.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    That's just a generic recommendation and probably an old one that hasn't been updated. The actual maintenance schedules for each vehicle are correct.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    Agreed. I can't imagine any time in the past thirty years when it would be a proper reference. Gremlins in the site I guess. Maybe they should edit the site each spring and clean out the archaic references. I am pleased that Ford has simpified the recommended maintenance schedule. I am almost three years and 30,000 miles into my warranty and except for oil changes. tire rotations and multipoint inspections every 5-6 thousand miles and a change of air filter, I have done nothing because nothing needs be done. That good design. I smile when the good folks at XYZ motors say that they will provide all necessary maintenance for free for the first year. I guess that translates into about $50 dollars worth of "free".
  • I just purchased a 2011 Milan V6 with 12,000 miles and have also noticed the low pitched "moan". I am also noise sensitive on vehicles as well and my fiance can't hear the low moan but then again she's not very observant : ). To me it sounds like a minor wheel bearing howl/ groan or differential/ gear moan. Did you ever track down the "moan"?
  • variable22variable22 Posts: 1
    edited December 2013
    Hi. I have a 2012 Fusion and have the same vibration noise at idle 900rpm. I've taken it to the dealer and they said it's just the car's normal frequency and nothing can be done, which is ridiculous. Did you ever determine the cause of the noise?
  • Hello, I have a 2012 Ford Fusion SE (2.5L, Automatic, FWD). i was very happy with the car until today. I dropped the car off to fix a seemingly minor issue - the air conditioner was making a rattling noise. The shop at the dealership changed a motor assembly in the AC/Heater unit (YH-1886). That seemed to have fixed the noise. On my way back home the car started behaving as if I was downshifting the gear. The RPMs increased and the car slowed down. I pulled over to the shoulder, tried to stop and start the car. The engine started, but the gear would not shift. It also flashed "Service AdvanceTrac". I called the tow truck. When it arrived, the operator was able to shift from park, and have it roll onto the towing arm. Although he could shift, he said it didn't drive right.

    At the dealership, the car drove ok. The service technicicans were unable to diagnose it immediately as it was the end of the day. From the symptoms, it seems unlikely that the transmission and/or stability control issues were unrelated to the issue they fixed, although I can't be sure. Has anyone seen a similar problem?


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