Mondeo Estate Struggles when towing - We are about 300kg under the car tow weight?

May 4, 2022
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Hello,

We have a Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0 CDTi ECOnectic 150bhp 2015 Estate, which we bought 6 weeks ago to tow our swift challenger 514 2012.

However, we drove from Peterborough to Grantham A1(north). We noticed on the hills we were having to use 4th gear and was using 16mpg.

On flat roads we was in 5th gear, could not get the car to stay in 6th gear as the car was slowing down due to struggling.

We had about 80-90kg of weight in the caravan and possibly 20kg in the boot of the car.
The weight in the van was distributed evenly with the awning over the caravan axle.
We left pillows and Quilt on the bed at the back, deck chairs (weight 25kg) next to the bed so they were secure, Awning in the middle over the axel (weight 35kg) and then at the front of the van we had a table (weight 7kg), light weight pots and a kettle, some plastic plates, bowls and cups (all in a basket which weighed a few kg at most).
In the front of the caravan we had the water hog, electric wheel, bucket, waste water container (all empty). (we had only gone away for 3 days so didnt take a lot with us, it was a trial run).

We are going abroad in a few months and we will have more weight to take, as we will be gone for 2 weeks. So we are fairly worried about the car being able to tow the van.

When towing the van empty, it seems to tow well (we have only towed empty on flat road though), but for our first time away in our caravan we was shocked by how much the car was struggling.

The car should tow 1600kg

Our caravans weight is:
Unladen Weight: 1230kg
User Payload: 150kg
MTPLM: 1380kg

Has any one else had this issue? Or could advise us?

We have been thinking whether to trade the car in, lose out on 3k (as trade in is a lot lower than we paid), and look at getting a AWD Ford Kuga or Vauxhall Antara.

Any advise before we buy another car would be great.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hello,

We have a Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0 CDTi ECOnectic 150bhp 2015 Estate, which we bought 6 weeks ago to tow our swift challenger 514 2012.

However, we drove from Peterborough to Grantham A1(north). We noticed on the hills we were having to use 4th gear and was using 16mpg.

On flat roads we was in 5th gear, could not get the car to stay in 6th gear as the car was slowing down due to struggling.

We had about 80-90kg of weight in the caravan and possibly 20kg in the boot of the car.
The weight in the van was distributed evenly with the awning over the caravan axle.
We left pillows and Quilt on the bed at the back, deck chairs (weight 25kg) next to the bed so they were secure, Awning in the middle over the axel (weight 35kg) and then at the front of the van we had a table (weight 7kg), light weight pots and a kettle, some plastic plates, bowls and cups (all in a basket which weighed a few kg at most).
In the front of the caravan we had the water hog, electric wheel, bucket, waste water container (all empty). (we had only gone away for 3 days so didnt take a lot with us, it was a trial run).

We are going abroad in a few months and we will have more weight to take, as we will be gone for 2 weeks. So we are fairly worried about the car being able to tow the van.

When towing the van empty, it seems to tow well (we have only towed empty on flat road though), but for our first time away in our caravan we was shocked by how much the car was struggling.

The car should tow 1600kg

Our caravans weight is:
Unladen Weight: 1230kg
User Payload: 150kg
MTPLM: 1380kg

Has any one else had this issue? Or could advise us?

We have been thinking whether to trade the car in, lose out on 3k (as trade in is a lot lower than we paid), and look at getting a AWD Ford Kuga or Vauxhall Antara.

Any advise before we buy another car would be great.
So 110kg of load distributed 90 kg in van and 20kg in car makes a big difference compared to towing an empty van. I’m very surprised that as you say a relativity light load makes such a difference. The 16 mpg fuel consumes well below what would be expected.

This may sound obvious but was the caravan handbrake fully disengaged, or was a mover not retracted? Could the caravan brakes be sticking. The difference between a relaxed empty tow and your concerns isn’t due to the load. If it’s not caused by extra friction from the caravan then the car needs checking out because a Mondeo should perform better. I had a 2000 reg TDI 1.8 estate towing 1250kg up to Scotland no trouble. With only around 90 bhp it was no bundle of fire but it kept up with traffic and no concerns re it’s ability.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Based on what you have told us, it suggests either or both teh car and caravan are not running correctly. When were they both fully checked?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I would be tempted to take your Caravan to a weigh bridge, normally a metal scrap yard, and get it weighed, with possibly a motor mover, another 30 kg, Gas bottle, 10kg or two, battery another 20 kg, have you drained the water heater, another 5 kg, water in the toilet, another 5 kg.
You could possibly have a "hidden " 70 kgs of weight.
Our Coachman is about 30 kg heavier when empty than the advertised weight.
The hills can really hit the MPG,
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I would be tempted to take your Caravan to a weigh bridge, normally a metal scrap yard, and get it weighed, with possibly a motor mover, another 30 kg, Gas bottle, 10kg or two, battery another 20 kg, have you drained the water heater, another 5 kg, water in the toilet, another 5 kg.
You could possibly have a "hidden " 70 kgs of weight.
Our Coachman is about 30 kg heavier when empty than the advertised weight.
The hills can really hit the MPG,
But the OPs delta for weight between an empty van and the load recently towed was only 110kg. I cannot envisage that difference making such a noticeable change to the cars engine performance between an empty van ( with battery, gas mover assumed) and the “ lightly “ loaded van.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I would agree that there is something mechanically wrong with the car or can. I tow 1500 kg. Which is most likely overloaded. With a 135 bhp car without a problem. I would like more power but it is a good compromise.

16 mpg is neither here nor there if it is when pulling up hill. I think you should expect about 25 - 27 on average.

John
 
Jan 3, 2012
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When was the caravan serviced that should tell you everything is ok that just leaves the car .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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When was the caravan serviced that should tell you everything is ok that just leaves the car .
Servicing the caravan would not tell if the handbrake had not been fully released or the movers not retracted fully. Even if it had been serviced say 3 months ago if the handbrake had been fully applied for that period it could have led to brake sticking even when the handbrake was released.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Servicing the caravan would not tell if the handbrake had not been fully released or the movers not retracted fully. Even if it had been serviced say 3 months ago if the handbrake had been fully applied for that period it could have led to brake sticking even when the handbrake was released.
i was only ruling the caravan out and it just leaves the car needs to be checked by a qualified mechanic .
 
Jul 15, 2008
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.......given the symptoms then I would have a diagnostic test done on the car engine.
This would generate a fault code pinpointing any fault.
If you bought from a dealer and since you have only owned the car for 6 weeks....they would be my first point of call to have a test done.
A faulty mass air flow sensor would produce the symptoms you are describing.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We towed a twin axle Lunar caravan behind our 2.0L Mondeo with no issue. I think the MTPLM was closer to 1500kg though. That car should not struggle with a caravan in tow.
I would suggest that the car needs checking by an independent 3rd party for a report and if any serious issues the you need to take it back to the dealer where it was bought for them to repair as it is only 6 weeks since purchase.
Make sure that the 3rd party does not do any work on the car when doing a check. Could be the best £100 spent.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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.......given the symptoms then I would have a diagnostic test done on the car engine.
This would generate a fault code pinpointing any fault.
If you bought from a dealer and since you have only owned the car for 6 weeks....they would be my first point of call to have a test done.
A faulty mass air flow sensor would produce the symptoms you are describing.
Another possibility is a leak in a turbo hose.
 
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Oct 17, 2008
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We used to have a 2L Mondeo (older than yours and 130bhp) and found an enormous difference in power and fuel consumption if we used Shell fuel compared with supermarket. What are you using?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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What is the fuel consumption and performance like of your Mondeo when it isn't towing? On a run, you should be getting around the middle 50's of mpg and a monthly average of 48-ish. Your Mondeo is fitted with the same 2ltr engine as that fitted in my Citroen C5-X7 and both our weights are similar. My caravan is a wee bit lighter but just last week I did a tow down to Wiltshire and I drove most of the way in 6th gear with an average of around 30mpg.
I suspect there's something sadly wrong with some aspect of your outfit.
 
May 4, 2022
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Good Morning,

Thank you to everyone who has replied.

The caravan does not have a motormover. However we did drain all water out the system and the handbrake was fully off as we had manoeuvre the van ourselves to the car to hook it up due to the pitch we was on.

My partner had a look on the Ford website and turns out there are 2x recalls on the car!

Spoken to the dealership we got the car from this morning and we are now waiting for a manager to call us back, as the sales guy we spoke to said the car should of never been sold with recalls on it. The car had a full service and MOT in March the day before we bought it. But we are not feeling very confident in that now we found the recalls.
The recalls are:
17e09 duratorq de-silpherisation
20b02 epas steering gear motor bolts

The caravan was bought early March and also had a service done on it.

Fuel, We had BP fuel in, but the night before we went away, we filled the car so it was full with Tesco fuel (though this was about 1/4 of the tank, as it wasn't low of fuel, we just wanted a full a tank)

We are just really worried about going abroad in a few months as we will have the same weight in the van, plus two more people and additional clothing, towels, bedding etc for the 2 weeks we are away.

My partner has started looking at 4x4's, The Ford Kuga ,Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Vauxhall Antara. I know Mondeo do a AWD of the car we have too. Does anyone have any experience with these cars? Right now the dealership have a lot of Ford Kuga's in stock, the Mazda and the Honda. Unfortunately after this, we have lost a lot of faith in the car we have :-(

Not sure if we are stuck with the same dealership, I think were we buy the next car from is going to depend on if the dealership will give us a refund or trade in value, which looks like £8500, we bought the car for £12000! If it's trade in value, I think we will be going else where for a car.

The manager should be calling us back today.
 
May 4, 2022
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What is the fuel consumption and performance like of your Mondeo when it isn't towing? On a run, you should be getting around the middle 50's of mpg and a monthly average of 48-ish. Your Mondeo is fitted with the same 2ltr engine as that fitted in my Citroen C5-X7 and both our weights are similar. My caravan is a wee bit lighter but just last week I did a tow down to Wiltshire and I drove most of the way in 6th gear with an average of around 30mpg.
I suspect there's something sadly wrong with some aspect of your outfit.
The Mondeo is lovely when not towing, its a very responsive car, goes up the gears well, accelerates as expected etc we usually get about 44mpg.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The Mondeo is lovely when not towing, its a very responsive car, goes up the gears well, accelerates as expected etc we usually get about 44mpg.
Not knowing what your driving environment is I would think 44 mpg on the low side. My Superb 170 ps would average around 50 mpg solo and on a long run to Scotland 55 mpg solo. I suspect that there’s something probably quite minor not right with your car that warrants checking out. If as you say the van was easy to self move, and at its stated weight the Mondeo would have no trouble towing it. For info how did the car perform when you brought the empty caravan from the dealer to home/ storage and what was the distance road type(s).
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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I would not worry about car recalls, they are normal and of course should be done. But seems to me that the power output is not as it should be. The dealer may well sort it, just give them a chance. As already said, it might be something simple like a leaky intercooler pipe. If it can be corrected, why loose money on what otherwise is a good car.

Tesco fuel for me all the time. Never ever a problem. Did try a premium fuel once and did notice a slight improvement. But not a cost effective one.

John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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.... The car had a full service and MOT in March the day before we bought it. But we are not feeling very confident in that now we found the recalls.
The recalls are:
17e09 duratorq de-silpherisation
20b02 epas steering gear motor bolts
...
A similar point has just been raised in another thread, but for clarity MOT's do (edit) not check to see if any recalls have been issued or carried out. That is the job of the selling dealer.

Sorry just realised I missed an important word
 
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May 4, 2022
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Not knowing what your driving environment is I would think 44 mpg on the low side. My Superb 170 ps would average around 50 mpg solo and on a long run to Scotland 55 mpg solo. I suspect that there’s something probably quite minor not right with your car that warrants checking out. If as you say the van was easy to self move, and at its stated weight the Mondeo would have no trouble towing it. For info how did the car perform when you brought the empty caravan from the dealer to home/ storage and what was the distance road type(s).
We picked up the caravan using my dad's Sorento so we cant go off that.

We have towed Caravan a few times completely empty to the storage place etc, roads are very flat where we live so there was no struggle at all.

The best mpg we have had out the car (not towing and no considerable weight in the car, was just ourselves and daughter) we got about 45mpg, again fairly flat well conditioned roads.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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A similar point has just been raised in another thread, but for clarity MOT's do check to see if any recalls have been issued or carried out. That is the job of the selling dealer.
That is opposite to what you said on another thread? Not having a recall done may cause insurance complications if making a claim depending on the recall and the incident. We had a recall on our Volvo S80 and that was the advcie given at the time.
 
May 4, 2022
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I would not worry about car recalls, they are normal and of course should be done. But seems to me that the power output is not as it should be. The dealer may well sort it, just give them a chance. As already said, it might be something simple like a leaky intercooler pipe. If it can be corrected, why loose money on what otherwise is a good car.

Tesco fuel for me all the time. Never ever a problem. Did try a premium fuel once and did notice a slight improvement. But not a cost effective one.

John
All we can do in that respect is wait for the dealer to call us and discuss options with them.

Since January I have been measuring diesel in my Nissan Juke. So I fill up at garage write down the litres I put in and then note the miles on the car, at the next fill up I can then work out the litres to miles. I get about 3 miles more to the litre with BP fuel, than I do with Sainsbury's fuel for example. I've done this with 10 garages now, GP and ESSO I get the most miles to the litre, SHELL is about 1 mile less to the litre, Morrisons and JET is about 2 miles less, Apple Green I was shocked to find I get 4.5 miles less to the litre. However whilst this is not 100% because driving conditions vary by weather and where I am driving on each tank, I do find it helpful to know which fuel is getting me the best miles per litre. I will do a Tesco fill next.
Esso Premium diesel was surprisingly the exact same as BP normal.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I would not worry about car recalls, they are normal and of course should be done. But seems to me that the power output is not as it should be. The dealer may well sort it, just give them a chance. As already said, it might be something simple like a leaky intercooler pipe. If it can be corrected, why loose money on what otherwise is a good car.

Tesco fuel for me all the time. Never ever a problem. Did try a premium fuel once and did notice a slight improvement. But not a cost effective one.

John
I agree with John I cannot envisage that the difference between supermarket diesel and Premuim branded diesel would make such a noticeable performance difference. I tended until prices rose to use branded premium but for its detergent effects not any performance gain.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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That is opposite to what you said on another thread? Not having a recall done may cause insurance complications if making a claim depending on the recall and the incident. We had a recall on our Volvo S80 and that was the advcie given at the time.
Many, probably all, car manufacturers issue lots of Technical Service Bulletins which aren't regarded as vital and don't constitute a Recall - a franchised dealer selling a used car of the same franchise will have access to the Technical Bulletins but a dealer with a different franchise won't, nor will a non-franchised dealer.

It is of course possible, at least theoretically, that the OP has mis-fuelled the car with petrol - that would make it down on power and not be good for the system.
 

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