Informative; Potential 11-14 Issues to Watch For - Mustang Evolution

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Old 12-04-2017, 08:06 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Informative; Potential 11-14 Issues to Watch For

Hey Guys, I've been sitting on this idea for a while and I thought Id finally follow through with it to see if I can help anyone out there who owns a 2011-2014 V6(or even GT) Mustang. As a disclaimer I'd like to point out I am definitely no mechanic and I am only 22 Years Old. To qualify myself I am the current owner of a 2011 Mustang V6 MCA Edition with performance package and a mileage of roughly 150k with consistent service records. I dont see a lot of Mustangs of my year and make at the 150k mark so I feel obligated to share with you guys some things Ive experienced at that mileage. A majority of those miles were highway. The car was well maintained for the most part but wasn't "garage kept" either. Whatever I say in this post feel free to take it with a grain of salt. I hope this posts can help someone like me who when first bought their vehicle and had that "knock or creak or whistle" understand what MIGHT be the issue and point them in a general direction to getting the help they need. Ill start with the least expensive repairs and end with the most expensive. Keep in mind no one vehicle is the same and every level of care is different. An issue my car had at XXXmiles yours may not experience until XXXXmiles. As far as engine repairs the two most common things Ive seen with my own vehicle and others are the Tensioner Belt Pulley and the Water Pump. As far as the 6R80 transmission(automatic) it is widely regarded as a bullet proof transmission however mine DID start going at 150k due to valve body wear and tear and I had to put in a reconditioned transmission.

Water Sloshing Around in Door Panel. (DIY)
This is an issue my friend had experienced around 80k miles and Ive heard of it happening as early as 40k all the way to 150k. After rain or a car wash you might notice water sloshing in your door(it may sound like the center console as well. This is because at the bottom of either door youll see two horizontal black rubber seal plugs. There is a hollow bar inbetween them that acts as a drain(think of a gutter) for your car doors. Over time residue in rain and water will build up in that "gutter" and clog the seals. To fix this issue I found that simply removing both of the plugs(no special tools needed) will allow you to get that nasty **** outta there. I used a bent coat hanger and simply ran it back and forth until the water drained out. Since we have done this my friend has not had the issue and that was about 10k miles ago.

Creaking, Cracking, Moaning from front/rear Suspension (10-30$ per Sway Bar Link DIY)
A huge problem a lot of 2011-14 mustang owners will complain about even as early as 20k is the Lower Control arm creaking. There is a Pinned Post to easily diagnose and fix that issue if you look under V6 Mustang Tech. There is another issue some have experience including myself with the sway Bar Links. At about 140k miles the Sway Bar links in the front and rear were completely worn out. The noise that led me to diagnose it was a creaking/moaning that was constant at most speeds and became more noticeable over bumps. It was a little different from the control arm issue in that it was at any speed even if the road was smooth. A great way to easily figure out if the sway bar links are the issue is to lie on your back and reach behind the tire and wiggle the sway bar link to see if there is any play. Usually both are worn out if one is and usually if the fronts gone to **** then the back is next in line. An easy fix, simply go to any auto parts, purchase the sway bar links(Just say make and model, and there are plenty of videos on how to replace the links with a jack and wrench set. Usually takes 20 Minutes for each link.

Whining, Whistling, "loose change rattle" in center console/ engine bay. (30-120$ DIY)
Probably one of the more annoying issues I had experience at 140k was whistling, squeaking, or a loose change rattle coming from my engine bay. When sitting in the driver seat it sounded like it came through the center console. It makes you feel like the car is in a state of disarray and that **** sucks. It was more noticeable at lower RPMs typically <1.5K rpm. Have no fear Kimosabe, its an easy fix. First I opened the hood and noticed it was coming from the Belt Assembly(which for the most part is usually what it will be). A great way to figure out which PART of the belt assembly it may be is to get a spray bottle full of water. Make sure the car is running and the squeaking is present(usually happens most during a cold morning start). Then spray each pulley individually.When you spray a pulley and the squeaking stops take a moment and pat your self on the back, take a selfie, and text your ex-girlfriend cause you just figured out how to diagnose a worn pulley bearing! Now if NONE of the pulleys stop the squeaking you should spray the belt and see if that makes it stop. If it does its a worn belt or a belt misalignment and youtube has many videos on how to fix this. But if you do find a pulley thats causing squeeking you gotta get that ***** outta there and replace it. One of the MOST COMMON TWO THINGS that go wrong with the 3.7 cyclone are the Tensioner Belt Pulley and the Water Pump! Also youtube-able. If you are unsure on how to replace these things and do not feel comfortable poking around in your engine bay GET HELP. Better safe than sorry and take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Spark Knock (Sounds like an engine rattle on acceleration): (170-220, I recommend a Ford Dealer)
Around 145k I noticed on acceleration I was experiencing a moderate engine rattle. After taking it to multiple mechanics and numerous compression tests my vehicle had gotten diagnosed with a spark knock which is due to carbon build up in the piston compartments. A GREAT WAY to do some preventive maintenance is "floor it" every now and then to get the engine up at higher RPMs and clean out that carbon before it starts building residue. Contrary to popular belief, running an engine at lower RPMs is NOT ideal for engine longevity. Keeping an engine running at moderate RPMs will actually help the engine long term. What solved my issue was my Local Ford dealership for 170$ shot something(not sure if it was a chemical I cant remember sorry fellas) up through my engine to clean it out. I havent had an issue since. I feel like a ****** because I actually forgot what it was called that they did but if you think you are having this issue, do some more research and then mention spark knock to a trusted dealership and they may offer you what was offered to me.

Brakes(1000, DIY or Mechanic)
Self Explanatory, brake lines, rotors, and calipers needing replacing around 145k)

The Transmission. (3200, Transmission Specialist)
So this is the biggest one and maybe most pertinent. I have heard of issues with the 6R80 as early as 20k miles but as previously mentioned the 6R80 is widely regarded as a stout piece of machinery capable of lasting for a very long time. I started noticing issues around 140k. Right off the line after starting my car or a red light I noticed some throttle lag. I would give a little gas and the car would hesitate for a second and then jerk forward. This was constant. The problem starting getting worse after 2 weeks. It seemed the car wouldn't even go into third gear and jump right to fourth. After about 20-30 minutes of driving the issue would become even worse where the car wouldn't even shift and Id be stuck between 2nd and 4th trying to get a gear to catch. It took many different mechanics and ultimately a transmission specialist to pull it apart to find out my valve body had become worn out. Its very difficult to diagnose and 90% of the time will require transmission disassembly to do so. Id like to mention that I pulled Fuse 47 and it didnt help, I had a trans flush, and I already had a new throttle body from the Customer Satisfaction Recall. The 6R80 is a great transmission but it cannot last forever just like anything else on a car.

So that's what Ive experienced thus far with my car. It runs like a champ but Im looking to trading it in soon to get a 2012 GT Premium. Its been a great daily driver and very reliable by any stretch. If any more issues arise I will document them here and let you guys know what happened, when it happened, and what I did to fix it. If you guys have any issues you've noticed as well as a way to fix it feel free to share them it would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure there may be some more issues in the future for me and its always good to get some insight into what other people have gone through. If you have any constructive criticism or recommendations Id love to hear them too. Mustangs are great cars, always will be, and Im sure I could get another 100k if I really needed to out of mine.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:07 PM   #2
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I've had both the water sloshing in the door and lower control arm problem on my 14 v6 mustang with only around 10k miles on it.

Water sloshing I fixed with cleaning the door drains. But I also had to clean out the drains under the hood in the firewall. They were stuffed with crud.

The LCA problem Ford fixed under warranty.
2014 DIB V6
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:36 PM   #3
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Nice Post! I have a 2013 MCA V6 with the MT82 (manual), also at 150,000 miles. I agree there are a few things here and there that Ford cheaped out on ***cough - sway bar links ***.

Suspension - I refreshed the suspension about 300 miles ago, figured 150k was enough on the stock setup. Went with the Eiboch Pro springs, Koni STR-T struts, J&M camber/caster plates, and Whiteline rear lower control arms and panhard bar. WOW, car feels so much more planted and drives better than new. Not bad for $1200.

Strut tower Brace - Added the Boss 302 brace from FRPP around 120k. Helps with front end flex a lot.

Shifter and Trans. support - replaced with the Barton short throw and transmission bracket (same as Ford Racing but Black instead of Blue). The stock rubber support had zip ties holding it together and one was missing! The shifting was vastly improved and with no doubt in my mind the reason my MT82 is holding up so well.

Water pump - I had that leak and go around 128k. Thank you ford and all your wisdom, the 3.7 has two water pumps, an inner and outer pump. I was lucky it was the outer pump that failed.

Brakes and Tires - wear and tear, I'm no my second front set and third rear set of pads. Original rotors.

Radio - The original stereo crapped out around 50k, the warranty covered it. No problems since. Stock Shaker system (premium trim).

Battery - Just went out a month ago, not bad considering the car is 5 years old.

Rear Pinion Seal - Went twice, mechanic said he sees them going on most of the S197s. Minor seal leak, not a big deal.

Snow Tires - Bought second set of wheels and mounted snow tires, I live in the North East USA and work in an emergency response field. This car handles as well as my old 325XI with all wheel drive when equipped with a full set of snow tires. Also, don't drive like a tool.

Overall this car has been very reliable and nothing has seemed to be unreasonably poor quality. As the OP stated everyone's level of maintenance will vary. Mine tends to be of the obsessive preventative variety. I fully plan to see 300k on this car.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:16 AM   #4

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nice post!

welcome to Mevo

2012 V6 traded for a 2017 VW GTI
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:37 AM   #5
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your spark knock discussion was interesting. i've had it ever since like 19k miles; very slightly on the stock tune, but much more so on the 87 performance MPT tune i have. i have to run 91 on my 87 tune to eliminate all knock. for a car with that little amount of miles though, i'm sure my problem wasn't the same as yours. and ditto on the water sloshing. i've had that since day 1.
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MPT Performance Tune, AM Laguna Seca Black 19" Rims, Borla Touring Axlebacks, Boss 302 Strut Tower Brace, Airaid Modular Intake Tube, aFe Pro Dry S Air Filter, Mustang GT Grille w/ Foglight Mesh, Taillight Tint, Tinted Door Ventvisors, Diode Dynamics LED's
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
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I have a 2012 V6 MCA and never a problem. of course I just turned 32,000 miles.
So far , It has been a great car and enjoyable to drive.
Thanks for this information because it is something I can look for and get repaired as soon as the problem is noticed
2012-candy red- V-6 MCA, Automatic Trans. CFM Valve cover breather. MMD blackTail light trim.Magnaflow axle back street mufflers, JLT oil catch can.MMD hood struts.
Airaid Cold Air intake. red caliper covers, 3.7L performance engine cover, Flat black hood spears.Boss 302 strut brace, CDC rear panel, Trunk Cargo net,--Dash carpet cover,
Viser stickers to cover ugly yellow warning crap,Aluminum driveshafft and Swarr Bar.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:50 AM   #7
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I've been driving my 2011 since May 2010 and have 28,750 miles on it. It will be a long time until I get over 100,000 miles . Good to know what to expect in the future
Little Red. 2011 V6. Automatic Trans., C&L CAI, JLT Catch Can, BBK Ceramic Coated Long Tube Headers with BBK Catted X Pipe, Axle Exchange (American Muscle) Aluminum DriveShaft, GT 500 Lower Control Arms, Koni (orange) Dampers, Steeda Watts Link, Ford Racing 3.73 Gears, Magnaflow Street Series Axle Backs and a few more mods....Wifes car, 2014 Ford Edge Limited.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by David Young View Post
I've been driving my 2011 since May 2010 and have 28,750 miles on it. It will be a long time until I get over 100,000 miles . Good to know what to expect in the future
That's awesome it's still new lol.
Same here, my 13 was bought in 2012 and has 25 000kms on her.
Now she's sleeping for the winter.

Sent from Galaxy S8+
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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My 2012 V6 needed new bushings on the rear sway bar and new end links to cure an annoying clank, it was really the end links but when you have it apart why not put new sway bar bushing in. After a year of searching, I found the cause of a vibration when at about 1,500 RPMs in 6th gear that were coming from the area around the drivers side A-pillar. Long story short, the fender was vibrating and hitting the A-pillar. I wedged a wooden matchstick between the two and the vibration quit. Today I adjusted the fender and that should fix it permanently. I want to thank another member on this site for the tip to start putting shims between parts until the vibration quit. I have 58,000 miles and other than the end links I have not had any other problem.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:54 PM   #10
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I've had the rear sway bar links replaced on my first 3.7 around 37k miles. Other then that haven't had any issues. Beat the snot out of it well over 100 track passes and just had some wear and tear from that but thats it. Same with my 5.0 no problems.
2014 5.0 MUSTANG - 12.1 @ 116.5 6R80 3.15'S MPT93 LETHAL ORX CUSTOM 3" OTA VIKING SHOCKS UCA LCA
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the positive response fellas and merry christmas! I just turned 150k and shes still runnin like a champ. Im hoping to get 2-3 years.out of her before i upgrade to the GT. Glad to hear these cars have been lasting long
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