The Ford service “hotline” is an internal line used by the Ford techs to consult with Ford main service department or engineering for repair issues.Wow.. thank you so much for updating here. I will have info to take with me to point them right where they need to look. Do you mind if I ask what Ford hotline number you called and how you handled it/what you said?
I always suggest when taking a vehicle in to insist on a ride along with the service writer or tech. This way everyone is on the same page. Also if still suspicious as if a noise is normal or not ask to test drive a demo unit on the lot. Assuming of the course the demo unit is performing normal.