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Old 08-09-2014, 08:14 AM   #1
Gtracer83
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Question Flex Windshield Breakage

My 2009 Flex Limited has had two replacement windshields and several lighter stone "hits" in 25k. It seems the air flow over the hood must direct the stones into the glass?

Does anyone have experience with the OEM "bug deflector" in this situation?

I have read where you cannot take a bug deflector through an automated car wash?

I would appreciate your advice before I install a deflector. I do not particularly like the deflector, but if it helps I will put one on. I do not drive gravel roads, this hits are strictly on pavement, in traffic.
I do not have this stone problem with my other vehicles, just the Flex.

Love the car but this windshield thing is more than expensive and a nuisance.

Thank you.

Last edited by Gtracer83; 08-10-2014 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
Fred in Markham
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Flex Windshield Breakage

I am interested to see that I am not the only one wondering about the suseptibility of the Flex windshield to breakage.

My Flex is a 2010 (June 2010) Limited AWD approx 90,000km (50,000mi).
I never drive on unpaved roads and aside from our winter trips to south Texas, being retired, my road exposure other than that is pretty minimal and generally just around our small town.

Over the time that I've had the car I've had 3 unrepairable stone chips. The first two chips required replacement of the windshield each time, the third chip I elected to live with rather than make another claim on the insurance.

This morning (Dec. 3rd) I noted a crack right across the middle of the windshield. It is nowhere near the chip I've been living with and stops about 15 inches from either edge. The outside temperature only reached a low of 31* last night and a high of 34* today so I doubt there could have been a thermal shock.

This is becoming not only a royal pain but an extremely expensive one since my insurance company will cancel my glass coverage in the event of a third claim in less than 5 years.

I would sure be interested to hear of any other experiences other owners have had along this line.

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Old 12-03-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
Gtracer83
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Question 2009 Flex Windshield Breakage

Well Fred I certainly feel for you. I am only about 25,000 miles but two catastrophic breaks under conditions you describe. No big thermal differences, weird roads, or unusual circumstances. I would have tried to live with the stars but in both cases the stars cracked before I could get to a glass shop. Last one was in the summer and as the glass cooled overnight it cracked all the way across pillar to pillar. Drove from San Antonio to Corpus Christi for Thanksgiving and collected a lot of bugs but no impacts. Driving was around 80 mph and the big bugs seemed to just be sucked into the windshield much more than they are with my Ridgeline. Seems like a vortex from the front end that just drives stuff into the glass, never had this before in any vehicle. I am going to try a front "bug shield" and see if this helps. Like you my insurance is not happy with me on this breakage. I recently had another windshield "hit" on the highway but no fracture that I could find. Again no traffic, good road and weather, just a God awful BANG.

As an aside, on a dark 5:30 AM morning the Flex just quit dead on the freeway in six lanes of traffic! We were pretty much inching along in the third lane from the right and suddenly all went dead, nothing would work. I tried to roll to the right but of course stopped blocking two lanes. I turned the key off and on - nothing. Jammed the gear lever into park and tried again, this time all came back. Of course all this took a minute or two and I was far from the most popular guy in that traffic. The cars were backed up as far as I could see but we did not get hit. My wife and I were shaken of course and as soon as I could exit I did so and checked everything out - nothing wrong. I replaced the battery with the best I could get about 8 months ago as a preventive measure knowing Ford batteries liked to die in 4 years in my experience. Bottom line, the car is garaged, maintained and very low mileage for a 2009. I could find nothing on the net leading to a diagnosis and found many had had similar events. We ran all the diagnostics and of course all is 100%. I am not taking it to Ford to have them replace a bunch of expensive parts as others have said this is a crap shoot and does no good.

We love the room, ride, looks and construction of the Flex but this and the windscreen breakage has ua a bit gun shy. No one has any substantial suggestions for either problem.

Good luck with your 2010.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:51 AM   #4
Fred in Markham
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Gtracer83, thanks for the quick and comprehensive reply. A closer look yesterday at the crack in my windshield revealed a small stone chip in the centre of the crack. I've had stone chips before but it seems to be endemic to the Flex.

Like yourself, I love the car except for the foolish adjustment mechanism on the tilt steering wheel.

I notice that your location is San Antonio. Having been a Winter Texas for the past 12 years, my wife and I have stopped in SA on each trip to our place in Pharr, both coming and leaving and have extended our visits in SA a number of times. We both agree that right behind Toronto our favourite city is San Antonio.

I hope you continue to enjoy your Flex without any more stone chips.
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