Bronco Sport Overheating when Offroad?

robotfist

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I have been considering the Bronco Sport Badlands, but there’s one thing that’s been bothering me since it was released, and that is heat. Will the Bronco Sport really be able to handle it if you push it in hot weather? Or even in regular conditions? Some of the latest reviews released this week makes me think it won’t. Might be worth waiting to purchase this vehicle until more people put it through some challenging conditions.

CNET Review:
“Unfortunately, after 15 minutes of hooning around in the sand, the power transfer unit on my Bronco Sport Badlands overheats and the SUV goes into limp-home mode. I might expect this if ambient temperatures were very high, but it's a perfect 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, the PTU cools back down quickly so I can keep on playing -- albeit a bit less aggressively.”

Source - https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/reviews/2021-ford-bronco-sport-preview/

Jalopnik Review:
“While on the trail ride in a group, the driver of an Outer Banks model attempted to ascend a hill. After just a couple of failed attempts to climb the rather modest incline, she said over the radio that her vehicle indicated Four-Wheel Drive Temporarily Disabled.”

Source - https://jalopnik.com/the-2021-ford-bronco-sport-has-everything-it-needs-to-c-1845821988/amp



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essentialemployee

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I have been considering the Bronco Sport Badlands, but there’s one thing that’s been bothering me since it was released, and that is heat. Will the Bronco Sport really be able to handle it if you push it in hot weather? Or even in regular conditions? Some of the latest reviews released this week makes me think it won’t. Might be worth waiting to purchase this vehicle until more people put it through some challenging conditions.

CNET Review:
“Unfortunately, after 15 minutes of hooning around in the sand, the power transfer unit on my Bronco Sport Badlands overheats and the SUV goes into limp-home mode. I might expect this if ambient temperatures were very high, but it's a perfect 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, the PTU cools back down quickly so I can keep on playing -- albeit a bit less aggressively.”

Source - https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/reviews/2021-ford-bronco-sport-preview/

Jalopnik Review:
“While on the trail ride in a group, the driver of an Outer Banks model attempted to ascend a hill. After just a couple of failed attempts to climb the rather modest incline, she said over the radio that her vehicle indicated Four-Wheel Drive Temporarily Disabled.”

Source - https://jalopnik.com/the-2021-ford-bronco-sport-has-everything-it-needs-to-c-1845821988/amp
and this is why all car manufacturers, not just Ford, place media embargo’s on drive reviews. Ofcourse youre going to have a small sample of people that have a negative review for every vehicle. But what the embargo accomplished was allow a bigger sample of opinions be heard. And the majority had overwhelmingly positive reviews of its on and off road capability.

I guarantee these reviewers had half their review written before even touching the vehicle. Punch lines to take stabs and tell their viewers what they want to hear, which is, the small bronco is a fake bronco. It’s the same logic that haters have. For these folks, it makes them feel their vehicle is more cool and capable by calling other vehicles uncool and not capable.

It’s up to you which review you want to use to form your opinion on the bronco sport. Ofcourse the haters will focus on the negative reviews and not the overwhelmingly positive reviews.
 

Cyclone Cowboy

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I believe the overheating is a legitimate concern, especially if such a small sampling had issues. We don't know the details, but I certainly want more information. And I point out these test drives were in rather mild conditions.
 
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robotfist

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and this is why all car manufacturers, not just Ford, place media embargo’s on drive reviews. Ofcourse youre going to have a small sample of people that have a negative review for every vehicle.
Actually, if you click on those links the reviews are almost entirely positive. Even their headlines are positive. The overheating incidents were nestled quietly within each review and I doubt many people noticed them. But I did. And I think it’s a legitimate concern. Despite the Bronco Sport being built on the Escape platform it is still a version 1 vehicle. I imagine there will be some quirks to work out.
 

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I have been considering the Bronco Sport Badlands, but there’s one thing that’s been bothering me since it was released, and that is heat. Will the Bronco Sport really be able to handle it if you push it in hot weather? Or even in regular conditions? Some of the latest reviews released this week makes me think it won’t. Might be worth waiting to purchase this vehicle until more people put it through some challenging conditions.

CNET Review:
“Unfortunately, after 15 minutes of hooning around in the sand, the power transfer unit on my Bronco Sport Badlands overheats and the SUV goes into limp-home mode. I might expect this if ambient temperatures were very high, but it's a perfect 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, the PTU cools back down quickly so I can keep on playing -- albeit a bit less aggressively.”

Source - https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/reviews/2021-ford-bronco-sport-preview/

Jalopnik Review:
“While on the trail ride in a group, the driver of an Outer Banks model attempted to ascend a hill. After just a couple of failed attempts to climb the rather modest incline, she said over the radio that her vehicle indicated Four-Wheel Drive Temporarily Disabled.”

Source - https://jalopnik.com/the-2021-ford-bronco-sport-has-everything-it-needs-to-c-1845821988/amp
Look elsewhere on site for more information. This was one person and when I contacted the reviewer they said they pushed the car very hard. I also posted review of Focus RS that used the same rear transmission system and could "overheat" - but it turned out it actually did not have a temperature sensor on transfer unit, but the software detected excessive conditions and automatically reduced the transfer unit. Not clear if Sport actually had a temperature issue or if software detected reviewer's driving was outside design parameters. Do your homework and make your own decisions, but this one person out of a fleet of testers and they said they had no further issues. Check out my posts and others on this site. Draw your own conclusions and forget the speculation. Get the facts.
 

Cabezone

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Any AWD automatic transmission is going to overheat when doing a lot of climbing on top of a loose surface, happened to my Crosstrek. The Bronco Sport is no different. The Badlands gets additional cooling on it's transmission that should keep it going a lot longer than the lower end trims.

Generally speaking you have to be putting a lot of strain on the transmission for this to happen. My Crosstrek transmission overheated while climbing a steep loos dirt trail for a couple of miles. That was the only time it was a problem. The Badlands would likely have tackled this without issue.

If the Badlands, with it's extra cooling, is overheating in the same situations as the lower trims it's an issue. It should be able to outdistance them.

I could be mistaken but most crossovers and SUVs don't have the extra cooling, it's usually reserved for offroad or towing trims.

I don't think most people will run into problems with this. In the same way most people don't run into it with their Subarus.

Subaru's have a transmission cooler standard on it's vehicles in Australia. It's a shame they don't offer it as an option anywhere else.
 

essentialemployee

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Any AWD automatic transmission is going to overheat when doing a lot of climbing on top of a loose surface, happened to my Crosstrek. The Bronco Sport is no different. The Badlands gets additional cooling on it's transmission that should keep it going a lot longer than the lower end trims.

Generally speaking you have to be putting a lot of strain on the transmission for this to happen. My Crosstrek transmission overheated while climbing a steep loos dirt trail for a couple of miles. That was the only time it was a problem. The Badlands would likely have tackled this without issue.

If the Badlands, with it's extra cooling, is overheating in the same situations as the lower trims it's an issue. It should be able to outdistance them.

I could be mistaken but most crossovers and SUVs don't have the extra cooling, it's usually reserved for offroad or towing trims.

I don't think most people will run into problems with this. In the same way most people don't run into it with their Subarus.

Subaru's have a transmission cooler standard on it's vehicles in Australia. It's a shame they don't offer it as an option anywhere else.
Maybe that’s true for CUVs and subarus. Crossovers are designed specifically to have the size of an suv and performance of a car.

The bronco sport is an SUV that isn’t designed to perform like a crossover. The 1.5 trims are also SUVs
 

Sparky

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Any AWD automatic transmission is going to overheat when doing a lot of climbing on top of a loose surface, happened to my Crosstrek. The Bronco Sport is no different. The Badlands gets additional cooling on it's transmission that should keep it going a lot longer than the lower end trims.

Generally speaking you have to be putting a lot of strain on the transmission for this to happen. My Crosstrek transmission overheated while climbing a steep loos dirt trail for a couple of miles. That was the only time it was a problem. The Badlands would likely have tackled this without issue.

If the Badlands, with it's extra cooling, is overheating in the same situations as the lower trims it's an issue. It should be able to outdistance them.

I could be mistaken but most crossovers and SUVs don't have the extra cooling, it's usually reserved for offroad or towing trims.

I don't think most people will run into problems with this. In the same way most people don't run into it with their Subarus.

Subaru's have a transmission cooler standard on it's vehicles in Australia. It's a shame they don't offer it as an option anywhere else.
It would be nice to know if there actually is a temperature probe on the Bronco Sport or if it is a calculation on stress as was posted previously. If they are using a calculation this could possibly be adjusted if there are shutdowns happening to frequently. Would really be nice if it was a temperature probe and that value could be shown on the dash display. I have a transmission temperature display on my GMC Sierra.
 

Cyclone Cowboy

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I think one of the problems is that people are wanting the BS to function like a big Bronco. It's not the same beast. Even in my up-and-coming Badlands, I would not subject it to a torture test like the Big Bronco or a Raptor. The BS is designed for "leisurely" off-roading, not racing in the Baja 500. It's not being promoted as such and with heat issues it would not be a good idea.
 
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I don't think most people will run into problems with this. In the same way most people don't run into it with their Subarus.
I have run into it with my Subaru twice now. I have a 2015 Forester with 61k miles on it. Both incidents happened last August. And now I don’t trust the vehicle anymore. I was looking into switching over to a Bronco Sport but after those two reviews, I am going to wait and see if people have issues with the Sport over the 2021 summer. I don’t care what excuses people say, a vehicle shouldn’t be shutting off it’s 4WD when it’s 82 degrees outside. I get that it was being pushed hard, but that is precisely what Ford is showing in its advertisements. Heck, just driving down I-40 through Arizona and New Mexico you can hit 102 degree temps, which is also something that has disabled my Subaru, causing it to completely shutdown while driving at highway speeds, leaving me stranded in the Mojave desert.

After those experiences, I am now hyper sensitive to the fact that auto manufacturers are pushing these little 4 cylinder engines to the absolute brink, chasing consumers’ demands for better fuel efficiency. I want to see what the Ford Bronco Sport does when it’s 90-95 degrees outside and it’s tackling some off-roading. Ford has been posting videos of the Sport doing some incredible stuff out in Moab.

I do hope the TWO reviews I listed are just random flukes. Coming off my experiences with my Subaru, those paragraphs about overheating jumped right out at me. I am super excited for the Bronco Sport. But I’m going to wait until after this coming Summer, or even early 2022, to see if people start posting about the system shutting down when it’s being taxed.
 

Cyclone Cowboy

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It would be nice to know if there actually is a temperature probe on the Bronco Sport or if it is a calculation on stress as was posted previously. If they are using a calculation this could possibly be adjusted if there are shutdowns happening to frequently. Would really be nice if it was a temperature probe and that value could be shown on the dash display. I have a transmission temperature display on my GMC Sierra.
The real question is if the computer unit is overheating from processing speeds and/or environmental heat (or both). We don't know yet. I'm not planning on driving it in sand mode here in Arizona where the ambient temp. can be 116+ in the summer with even higher temps. near the surface. I would also be concerned about leaving the BS running in hot, high humidity conditions when chasing -- with the AC on.... a shutdown or crawl mode could be fatal... so yes this needs to be resolved and I don't see anyway to know until next summer.
 

Cyclone Cowboy

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I have run into it with my Subaru twice now. I have a 2015 Forester with 61k miles on it. Both incidents happened last August. And now I don’t trust the vehicle anymore. I was looking into switching over to a Bronco Sport but after those two reviews, I am going to wait and see if people have issues with the Sport over the 2021 summer. I don’t care what excuses people say, a vehicle shouldn’t be shutting off when it’s 82 degrees outside. Just driving down I-40 through Arizona and New Mexico you can hit 102 degree temps, which is also something that has disabled my Subaru, causing it to completely shutdown while driving at highway speeds, leaving me stranded in the Mojave desert.

After those experiences, I am now hyper sensitive to the fact that auto manufacturers are pushing these little 4 cylinder engines to the absolute brink, chasing consumers’ demands for better fuel efficiency. I want to see what the Ford Bronco Sport does when it’s 90-95 degrees outside and it’s tackling some off-roading. Ford has been posting videos of the Sport doing some incredible stuff out in Moab.

I do hope the TWO reviews I listed are just random flukes. Coming off my experiences with my Subaru, those paragraphs about overheating jumped right out at me. I am super excited for the Bronco Sport. But I’m going to wait until after this coming Summer, or even early 2022, to see if people start posting about the system shutting down when it’s being taxed.

This is also my opinion. Well said.
 

Cabezone

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I have run into it with my Subaru twice now.
That's what had me drop my beloved Crosstrek. The second it overheated I was ready to get a new vehicle. I do believe that those CVT transmission are more prone to overheating than the traditional ones in the Sport.

EDIT: On the flipside those awesome turbo engines in the Sport also run hotter than naturally aspirated engines and need more robust cooling to keep their components from overheating. I believe that's one of the reasons Jeep still offers those engines.
 
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essentialemployee

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If you want to believe this vehicle will fail like your experiences will other small off-road vehicles, that this was not user error and that all the other positive reviews just got lucky, go ahead.

It is not a 2/4 door bronco. It does not have the same capability. With that said, it is still a capable on and off road vehicle.

The reviews that claim they had negative performance are a minority. They also appear to be dishonest, not truthful, withholding information or all of the above. The point of a review is to give information so that consumers can make informative decisions. Some reviews are better than others. Some only give personal opinions.

In this specific case over concerns of overheating when off-road, just know you are letting someone, that admittedly drove it like a crazy person then claim the only way to not over heat is to drive peacefully when off-road, inform you of its “capabilities.”

Everything that Ford is advertising about the bronco sport, it is doing and being proven. Most reviews are reporting that the off-road capability exceeded expectations. Some reviewers and consumers are “warning” of its limitations. Ford never claimed it had the capability of the 2/4 door without off-road limitations. And off-road limitations does not mean zero off-road capability.
 

Cabezone

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I don't understand why you hate technical discussion so much. This isn't your child it's just a car man and we're trying to discuss technical distinctions and has with other vehicles.

You keep posting these emotional responses instead of just discussing the technical details that we are.
 

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