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.