2015-2018 Ford Edge owners are hearing troubling rattling noises coming from the back of their engines, particularly during idling and engine start-up. The noise is likely the result of a cracked flexplate.
Owners who have had their flexplates replaced say it's only a matter of time before they crack again. And, if left unattended, the plates can shatter leading to greater engine damage.
What is a Flexplate? ∞
A flexplate is a metal disk that helps convert energy from the engine into something an automatic transmission can use to help propel the car along smoothly.
It does this by captures the engine's energy and storing it by spinning at a speed that is usually smooth and even. That spun energy can then be used by the torque converter to send to the gearbox.
Common problems with flexplates ∞
A flexplate needs to be smooth and evenly distributed to proprly work.
A warped flexplate won't properly engage with the starter motor and can damage the teeth of the surrounding ring gear. A cracked flexplate can allow for unintended movement and can be heard rattling while the engine is idling.
This video has a great example of what a rattling flexplate sounds like:
If the flexplate is warped or cracked, owners can expect a whole host of problems:
- Rattling, grinding, or clunking noises from the back of the engine during idle
- A loud knocking noise when the engine shifts into gear
- Unsettling vibrations in the driver's sear while driving
- A loss of power at high speeds
If the flexplate shatters the vehicle won't be able transfer engine power into the transmission, meaning it loses the ability to move.
What's Wrong with the Edge EcoBoost Flexplate? ∞
The most common problem with the flexplate found in the 2015-2018 Edge SUVs is it cracks around the crankshaft, specifically where the circular bolt patterns for the crankshaft and torque converter meet.
The cracks allow the flexplate to separate around the bolts and lead to rattling noises that are most prevalant during start-up and engine idle.
If left unaddressed, the flexplate will eventually shatter and stop the SUV from moving as the engine's energy is no longer available to the transmission. Shattered flexplates usually result in damage to the Bendix drive, crankshaft seal, and the starter. It's not uncommon for repair bills to be greater than $2,000 (not to mention any towing and rental car fees).
Flexplate and engine rattle service bulletins ∞
In July of 2018, Ford released Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) #SSM 47398 which simply informed service technicans that
Some 2015-2018 Edge vehicles equipped with a 2.0L EcoBoost and 6F35 transmission may exhibit a rattle noise from the transmission bellhousing area while running. This may be the result of a cracked engine flexplate.
Importantly, technicans were advised to use new dowel pins in the engine block.
If the dowel pins were pulled out of the engine block, new dowel pins will need to be installed in the engine block. Failure to do so could result in a repeat repair.
Why proper dowel installation is critical ∞
A second bulletin gets into more repair details ∞
A second bulletin, TSB #19-2236 was released in August 2019 with more specific instructions on how to fix the condition and correctly replace the
flexplate, transmission fluid pump, and torque converter.
Repeated Edge Flexplate Failures ∞
A 2021 flexplate rattle class-action lawsuit is worried about repeated failures of the 2015-2018 Edge flexplate.
One of the plaintiffs waited five weeks to have their flexplate repaired, only to have the new disc fail within the first 6,000 miles.
The plaintiffs say Ford should recall all the SUVs to properly repair the vehicles and extend warranty coverage for the flexplates.