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The smell......


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So I've been noticing that smell....the smell of a PTU staring to go.


This will be the fourth time that my PTU will either have to be repaired or replaced- It's been replaced three times already in 6 years.


is it possible that the seals just need to be replaced or am I looking at a complete tear down and rebuild?


This is so infuriating that I can't describe the anger I have.



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That would be extremely frustrating, for sure! A transmission fluid type smell would possibly be the intermediate shaft seal leaking, a truly disgusting smell (PTU fluid) would be the PTU fluid venting. You'd need to check the fluid in the PTU to make sure the trans fluid is not leaking into it.


Do you know the exact part number of the last replacement PTU unit? May not be the latest revision. Also, did you have the replacements done at the same service center/dealership? May want to change the place this time around. Each time the unit is replaced, the fill level MUST be correctly verified by the technician. Too easy to be low.

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It's the same gear lube oil smell similar to a PTU- I had the repairs done at the Ford dealership where I bought the truck. Unfortunately I don't know the part number without getting out the paperwork for it.


It looks like I'll be bringing it somewhere else this time.

This is it for me and this vehicle and Ford- I'm done.

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Just make it clear to the servicer that the fluid level in the new PTU (if that is what they do) is checked. The leak in this case could also be between the driveshaft & PTU seal, so that needs to be checked as well. The driveshaft bearings should be checked for play, and the driveshaft indexed if need be, especially if you experience any vibration/roughness while in DRIVE or REVERSE.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I had my Edge checked and it's dry as a bone underneath, so it's not the PTU, which is a relief.


It might be an interior cabin smell or something else- I've had everything else checked and no leaks, so that's good.


It's still very annoying having to deal with this over and over again, but at least it's not leaking. I'll keep checking the seals to watch for leaks.

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Although it's a long shot, you could pull the cabin filter and see if there's any mold or organic material causing the smell.

Is there any possibility that the HVAC case drain may have become clogged and developed mold or mildew?

Are there any special conditions where you smell the odor stronger (such as when idling or at highway speeds). Does it change when you run the heater or AC? Is it less if you switch to recirculate?

Have you sniffed near each wheel assy. (thinking of bearing grease bad and the like).

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I'm sure the cabin filter is due for a change as well. It's the original one.

I'd pull that puppy immediately. When they get old, they carry mold, mildew and spores. Easy and cheap to change, takes about 5 minutes and costs $6-$12. Need to change about every six months or sooner.

Don't need to breathe that crap. Esp. in a closed environment like a car (which is already the most polluted environment we get into every day).

Edited by enigma-2
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