Code P0A1A Generator Control Module

Vulnox

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So, outside of these forums, I vented my frustration on social media and tagged @Ford on it. A social media specialist responded damn near immediately and I've been in constant, consistent contact via DM.

He's created an escalated case for my concerns and informed me a customer experience rep will be in formal contact with me by tomorrow at the latest.

I would definitely be a lot less cynical if I got this level of customer support in the first place. I really wish Ford could find a way to bypass the dealers, the dealers seem to be holding everyone back.

That being said, if Ford Corporate can light a fire under the dealer's ass, that would be awesome. Updates as they come.
I brought this up in one of our global town halls at Ford. They used to have reps at the F-150 forums and I think also Mustang forums. Not here that I know of, this forum is too new, but at f150forum for example. They would look out for upset customers that weren't getting traction with the dealer and PM them and respond on threads. That went away maybe 5 years ago? Tough to recall. I asked if they planned to bring that back, but while they did say they had plans in place to improve customer engagement, I got the feeling it was more social media related like you mention, and not forums.

Unfortunately, Ford's customer service and PR team seem super focused on social media channels, which is insanely frustrating because at this point social media in the form they worry about (Facebook especially) is a dying concern for most younger people and even those in the older generations that were still using it long after many younger gens already left. Forums are far older than even Facebook, but they generally have more reach with more engaged customers and also are easier to search from search engines, Ford 10000% needs to be here, and I plan on bringing it up with them again directly with the CX team.
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oldschool

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I haven't had a chance to take the truck into the dealer over the weekend, so I went ahead and purchased the full service manual. Finally arrived this morning.

Looks like this specific error code is listed as this DTC in the manual:
DTCFailure.PNG


The steps listed to identify root cause essentially are the following:
1. Diagnose battery and high voltage cable connections
2. Make sure that the Inverter System Controller Calibration is fully up to date
3. Make sure there are no DTCs present while doing self checks on the Battery and Inverter controller modules
4. And finally....test drive...
testdrive.PNG

This is where I suspect the problem is...basically if the generator is outputting too much torque than it's specifying, then I need to have the entire Hybrid Drive replaced 😑
Unfortunitely, this makes sense to me, since the CEL only pops on after I stomp on the gas. I wonder if things are being over-torqued in that particular road condition?

My only modification to this vehicle has been slightly larger tires than stock. Will really suck if I have to have the entire drive replaced.

I'll go through the first troubleshooting steps to just verify that I have to arrive to the Test Drive part...and then I guess it's off to the dealer with my findings.

Hopefully if any other Powerboost owner is seeing something like this, they can speak up.
Wayfarer,
Where did you buy the service manuals? Hardback or CD? Wiring diagrams included. Are you
happy with them?
Sorry you are having problems with your new Powerboost. I generally feel that Ford tries to
make right any product failures for customers. Sometimes that occurrs years down the road even after warranty is long gone. Be sure to save receipts.
 
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wayfarer556

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Wayfarer,
Where did you buy the service manuals? Hardback or CD? Wiring diagrams included. Are you
happy with them?
Sorry you are having problems with your new Powerboost. I generally feel that Ford tries to
make right any product failures for customers. Sometimes that occurrs years down the road even after warranty is long gone. Be sure to save receipts.
Read some reviews on other car forums that https://www.factory-manuals.com/ is legit. For $90, I was skeptical. But after using it, I'm super impressed. It's an absolute wealth of knowledge. I learned a ton about how the Hybrid system works in this truck, which is how I know that this job is a serious fucking deal.

For the 2021 F-150, here's a link:
https://www.factory-manuals.com/expand-2021-ford-f150-repair-manual-3263.html

They ask for your VIN and give you the exact manual with a cover sheet that has all the details about your specific Ford, including warranty information. Take about 2 business days for you to get a link. It's a 15000 (!) page searchable PDF that's like 400 MB in size.

I only opted for the service manual. It covers every possible DTC, the testing procedures, and how to replace virtually every component of the vehicle. Every nut and bolt is detailed with photos, down the how much torque is required for fastening.

For example, assuming I had a Hybrid Drive Unit just laying around, alongside a large garage, a floor crane, a special dolly just for suspending the transmission in mid air, and a special tool specifically made to remove the drive unit (the manual even gives you the exact part number for the tool), I could theoretically do this job myself...


Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 3.35.09 PM.png


You can purchase the wiring module separately. I didn't buy that so I can't comment on it, but if I really needed it I would give them the $50 bucks.

And yes don't worry. I'll be saving the receipts. My hope is that my experience can inform other Powerboost owners. As far as I can tell with a Google search, I'm the only person who's experienced this exact issue that qualifies for the TSB. Except for @unixadm who posted the TSB, thanks for sharing that. There's no where else on the internet that has that TSB listed. I would not trust Leif Johnson Ford to share with me that information, based on my current experience.
 

oldschool

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Read some reviews on other car forums that https://www.factory-manuals.com/ is legit. For $90, I was skeptical. But after using it, I'm super impressed. It's an absolute wealth of knowledge. I learned a ton about how the Hybrid system works in this truck, which is how I know that this job is a serious fucking deal.

For the 2021 F-150, here's a link:
https://www.factory-manuals.com/expand-2021-ford-f150-repair-manual-3263.html

They ask for your VIN and give you the exact manual with a cover sheet that has all the details about your specific Ford, including warranty information. Take about 2 business days for you to get a link. It's a 15000 (!) page searchable PDF that's like 400 MB in size.

I only opted for the service manual. It covers every possible DTC, the testing procedures, and how to replace virtually every component of the vehicle. Every nut and bolt is detailed with photos, down the how much torque is required for fastening.

For example, assuming I had a Hybrid Drive Unit just laying around, alongside a large garage, a floor crane, a special dolly just for suspending the transmission in mid air, and a special tool specifically made to remove the drive unit (the manual even gives you the exact part number for the tool), I could theoretically do this job myself...


Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 3.35.09 PM.png


You can purchase the wiring module separately. I didn't buy that so I can't comment on it, but if I really needed it I would give them the $50 bucks.

And yes don't worry. I'll be saving the receipts. My hope is that my experience can inform other Powerboost owners. As far as I can tell with a Google search, I'm the only person who's experienced this exact issue that qualifies for the TSB. Except for @unixadm who posted the TSB, thanks for sharing that. There's no where else on the internet that has that TSB listed. I would not trust Leif Johnson Ford to share with me that information, based on my current experience.
Very informative!!!
Thanks for the links and review. Hope you're up and running soon.
 
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wayfarer556

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Service Director from Leif Johnson called and left a VM. He finally confirmed that yes, the hybrid drive unit will need to be replaced, and that they needed to put a ticket to Ford's engineering team to make sure all details are understood. I should get an update tomorrow.

Finally some communication with actual details. Makes me wonder if the dealer didn't want to admit they would have to do this job until Ford Corporate got involved.
 
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wayfarer556

wayfarer556

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Further update:

Ford Engineering has informed the dealer that a whole new transmission will be sent to be installed (with the new hybrid drive). Honestly, that's kind of a relief. I'm quoted 6 business days for parts delivery and installation.
I feel a lot better. I didn't want some random dealer technician to break down my transmission. A brand new transmission will put me at ease to reset my feelings about this truck.
 
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wayfarer556

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New update:

I inquired with the Service Manager about the status of my job, and he told me that the "hybrid drive had arrived" and showed me a picture of the install procedure.

When I saw this email, I thought to myself...wait...didn't you tell me last week that I was getting a new transmission?

I'll post the correspondence here (names redacted):


From: <Me>
To: <Ford Service Manager>
Thanks for the update.
Also, to clarify, this is the installation of a new transmission + drive unit, yes? Not just the drive unit in my old transmission?
----------​
From: <Ford Service Manager>
To: <Me>
Hello Jacob.
We are only replacing the drive unit.
Thanks
--------------​

So after seeing this response, I wrote this out. Waiting for his reply...I really hope I don't have to make this ugly...


From: <Me>
To: <Ford Service Manager>


<Sir>,

With all due respect, that's not what we discussed last week. You told me on the phone that Ford Engineering recommended a new transmission. In my email I sent you last Thursday immediately after the phone call, I re-iterated your verbal commitment (which you made no attempt to correct or clarify):

Good morning <sir>,​
Thanks for giving me an update this morning. To confirm, about 3 business days for all the parts to come in, and 3 business days to get it installed. Also it sounds like that the Hybrid Drive Unit is not going to be swapped with the old transmission, I'm just getting an entirely new transmission. That is a relief to hear!​
When I said "that this is a relief to hear", that is because I was highly concerned about my 3 month old transmission being dismantled for the hybrid drive installation and put back together. I know what the procedure is because I'm in possession of a 2021 F-150 service manual (which I purchased to specifically look up the codes to my truck when I was initially told by you guys would take 3 days just to look up a code), and that is why I was asking these questions in the first place.

Look, I also work in the customer support industry--for 16 years now--and from everywhere from a shop in some old garage to Fortune 500 companies. I'm not asking for free stuff or for anyone to go above and beyond. I just want a truck that is mechanically reliable at the very least till the end of its warranty (with proper maintenance of course), transparency about the problem at hand, and for commitments made to be kept.

I hope you can understand that my confidence in this $52,000 ($55,000 if you include the extended warranty that Leif Johnson sold me) investment I've made in both Ford Motor Co and the dealership that you work for is shaken, and it is my sincere hope that you can help restore that confidence.


-<Me>
 

mnstang

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New update:

I inquired with the Service Manager about the status of my job, and he told me that the "hybrid drive had arrived" and showed me a picture of the install procedure.

When I saw this email, I thought to myself...wait...didn't you tell me last week that I was getting a new transmission?

I'll post the correspondence here (names redacted):


From: <Me>
To: <Ford Service Manager>
Thanks for the update.
Also, to clarify, this is the installation of a new transmission + drive unit, yes? Not just the drive unit in my old transmission?
----------​
From: <Ford Service Manager>
To: <Me>
Hello Jacob.
We are only replacing the drive unit.
Thanks
--------------​

So after seeing this response, I wrote this out. Waiting for his reply...I really hope I don't have to make this ugly...


From: <Me>
To: <Ford Service Manager>


<Sir>,

With all due respect, that's not what we discussed last week. You told me on the phone that Ford Engineering recommended a new transmission. In my email I sent you last Thursday immediately after the phone call, I re-iterated your verbal commitment (which you made no attempt to correct or clarify):


Good morning <sir>,​
Thanks for giving me an update this morning. To confirm, about 3 business days for all the parts to come in, and 3 business days to get it installed. Also it sounds like that the Hybrid Drive Unit is not going to be swapped with the old transmission, I'm just getting an entirely new transmission. That is a relief to hear!​
When I said "that this is a relief to hear", that is because I was highly concerned about my 3 month old transmission being dismantled for the hybrid drive installation and put back together. I know what the procedure is because I'm in possession of a 2021 F-150 service manual (which I purchased to specifically look up the codes to my truck when I was initially told by you guys would take 3 days just to look up a code), and that is why I was asking these questions in the first place.

Look, I also work in the customer support industry--for 16 years now--and from everywhere from a shop in some old garage to Fortune 500 companies. I'm not asking for free stuff or for anyone to go above and beyond. I just want a truck that is mechanically reliable at the very least till the end of its warranty (with proper maintenance of course), transparency about the problem at hand, and for commitments made to be kept.

I hope you can understand that my confidence in this $52,000 ($55,000 if you include the extended warranty that Leif Johnson sold me) investment I've made in both Ford Motor Co and the dealership that you work for is shaken, and it is my sincere hope that you can help restore that confidence.


-<Me>
Sorry you are going through this. A real bummer for sure. Keep us updated. Most states do have a lemon law for this reason. Hopefully you don’t have to go that far and Ford and your dealership will make this right.
 
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wayfarer556

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I just got a call to VM. The part they ordered won't fit the engine. The part they need is on backorder.

I haven't been in my truck in 3 weeks. I have no idea where to go or what to do from here. Any ideas or thoughts?
 
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wayfarer556

wayfarer556

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Update:
At long last, I got an email from the service manager that the truck is fixed. A quick glance at my Ford Pass app shows the CEL is cleared, which makes me happy.

The hybrid drive unit that they tried to rush order was delayed by Ford to even order until today, which I learned last week. I told the service manager that it was going to mean 40 to 50 days without my pickup, and I would absolutely invoke lemon law unless we could come to another solution. The solution: order a whole new transmission assembly.

Transmission arrived on Monday, and the install has completed today. I'll be picking it up this afternoon and reporting back.

Looking back at when I first got the CEL, this issue started May 25th. Today it's July 15th. I've been in a rental since June 14th.

I hope that this thread has been helpful to anyone who owns a PB F-150. I encourage you all to throw those rev meters over 4000 RPM on a semi-regular basis to see if your truck is affected, and to be sure to escalate this immediately the moment your truck lands at the dealer and they give you the run around.

To be fair to my dealer, these trucks are new. I doubt there are many qualified hybrid mechanics. If you're a mechanic, I bet you could never go hungry learning these drives as they are the future whether you want it or not.
 

oldschool

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Update:
At long last, I got an email from the service manager that the truck is fixed. A quick glance at my Ford Pass app shows the CEL is cleared, which makes me happy.

The hybrid drive unit that they tried to rush order was delayed by Ford to even order until today, which I learned last week. I told the service manager that it was going to mean 40 to 50 days without my pickup, and I would absolutely invoke lemon law unless we could come to another solution. The solution: order a whole new transmission assembly.

Transmission arrived on Monday, and the install has completed today. I'll be picking it up this afternoon and reporting back.

Looking back at when I first got the CEL, this issue started May 25th. Today it's July 15th. I've been in a rental since June 14th.

I hope that this thread has been helpful to anyone who owns a PB F-150. I encourage you all to throw those rev meters over 4000 RPM on a semi-regular basis to see if your truck is affected, and to be sure to escalate this immediately the moment your truck lands at the dealer and they give you the run around.

To be fair to my dealer, these trucks are new. I doubt there are many qualified hybrid mechanics. If you're a mechanic, I bet you could never go hungry learning these drives as they are the future whether you want it or not.
Great news, hope it lasts.
 
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wayfarer556

wayfarer556

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Ok, final update (unless something explodes).

I drove from Austin to Dallas to visit my parents, and joyrode all around Dallas on 35, 30, and 75. Revved the shit out of the engine and pushed it hard. Drove it carefully and got excellent gas mileage.
The truck drives smooth as butter, and the shifting is noticeably smoother. Hell, I think it's even getting better MPG...I was getting 22, now I'm getting 23. And it just feels strong. I suspected that I may have had one of the roughly downshifting examples before the CEL came on, but I was ok with it and was hoping it would smooth out at around 15k miles. Having said that, the new transmission feels to be a noticeable improvement. And the extra MPG makes me wonder if the initial batch of electric motors are not just outputting proper torque to the wheels at high rpm, but low RPM as well. I guess I'll need to drive this a lot more to be sure.

I gotta say, it's easy to fall in love with the truck again. I really missed driving this thing, especially after being stuck in a base model Ford Explorer XLT, which is one of the most soulless vehicles I've driven.
I was so mad at the situation that I test drove a GMC Sierra and a Toyota Tundra. The dealer gave me such little confidence, that I was seriously considering trading in this truck the moment I got it back for something else. But there's something unique about the Powerboost, and the moment I got back into the cabin I realized that I can't just let it go like that. And Ford really knocked it out of the park with the cabin, the cluster, the 12'' touchscreen, the 360 cameras, and in general the tech you have access to. It really is just that good.

So, is all forgiven? Having received a brand new, $10,000 transmission (that feels to have been competently installed), yes. Putting a quick 250 miles on it and driving it hard part of the time, my hats off to Leif Johnson's transmission tech who did the job. I'm sure that I'd have a lot more confidence in the beginning if I was talking to that guy, instead of talking to the service manager.

Is all forgotten? Absolutely not. I can understand a parts shortage, but the reality is that weeks were lost just simply diagnosing the issue. And in the end, my own diagnosing, and recommended solution, ended up being exactly what was needed this whole time. The time and effort on my part was worth it to force an escalation and keep the dealer honest. I think there are good odds that if I had not put in my own time to figure the problem out with certainty, and escalated to Ford, that they would have done everything but right thing, which was replace the transmission.

In conclusion...Ford's biggest weakness is their dealer network. I always read that, and now I know it for sure. Dealers suck.
 

xtraman122

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In conclusion...Ford's biggest weakness is their dealer network. I always read that, and now I know it for sure. Dealers suck.
I completely agree. The part that bothers me most is how much money they suck up. The amount of money sunk into owners/GMs/CFOs/service managers/sales managers/commissions in general is mind boggling. That could all be done SO much more efficiently if it was all centralized through Ford. Escalations could be so much more streamlined, information would flow more direct, pricing could be more consistent (For both sales and service).
 

Tosh

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Some dealers suck. Some people suck. Some situations suck.

I think I've been very lucky. My dealer doesn't suck, my truck doesn't suck, and my situation sucks only a very small amount (such that I feel guilty even *thinking* I have any real problems)

Thanks to wayfarer556 for keeping the information flowing, and pertinent! Glad to learn this story has a happy ending.

oh - I've had mine wound up to above 5K RPM (briefly) and no DTC's - yet
 
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