pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
24,050 miles
Total Complaints:
30 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (18 reports)
  2. recharge battery (6 reports)
  3. dealership repaired wiring harness near connector c340 (2 reports)
  4. car wiring checked; questionable grounds found (1 reports)
  5. dealership replaced battery with "bad" cell (1 reports)
  6. replaced the battery (1 reports)
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Dec 022019

C-Max Hybrid SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


Ford has known about this problem for years and issued a bulletin.

I bought it new in 2014. It was an unsold leftover. Computer issues right off the bat. SYNC had trouble connecting to any phone to use bluetooth. It works part of the time. Navigation system is useless. Dealer checked it out and said diagnostics say everything is fine and refused to go any further. The PCM issue was known to Ford then, yet the dealer did nothing. I only found out about the PCM issue this past Monday.

Last summer the A/C began to freeze up after about an hour of being on. Took it to my local Ford dealer. It took them almost 2 weeks to tell me that it was the outside temperature sensor and it cost approx. $900 to repair as they told me it was out of warranty. I picked it up, drove it two days before it started to freeze up again. EVEN Ford technicians are unable to correctly diagnose any problems with this faulty computer system. I lost $900 due to ineptitude, period. From day one we were having issues with the rear hatch opening fully or opening at all. Sometimes it would not close all the way.

I went to go to work this past Monday morning and the car would not turn over even though it had plenty of juice. Dashboard display was going haywire and one message was saying PCM starting system malfunction. I had it towed to Mr Tire and they diagnosed the issue which correlates exactly with the issues in the Ford bulletin. Mr Tire said the issue is the software is faulty. Ford knows it and they are fixing the issue at no charge. They simply have to reprogram the computer with the updated software.

I went to the local Ford dealer again and was told that there was no bulletin even though I had presented them with a copy of said Ford bulletin. I was then told that my vin did not qualify for said bulletin that did not exist. The car will be towed to my driveway this afternoon. Anyone know of any lawsuits involving this issue? Lemon laws?

- simon57templarjp, Monroeville, US

problem #29

Dec 312019

C-Max Hybrid SEL 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 72,000 miles

This has been happening intermittently for a few years now. The 12V battery always checks good. My battery maintainers give weird displays sometimes when I try to bring the battery back up to full charge, so I wonder if there's some circuitry between the access posts under the hood and the battery in the back of the vehicle. I believe the discharge issue may be related to the Sync/Sirius Radio updating. I frequently see 0% Update or No Information in the lower left corner of my screen. My radio shows information like channel, song or advertisement details in the middle of the screen like everything's working, though.

I asked at the dealer about it and he made it sound like the Sirius Update was the issue, and there's nothing they could do about it. They had the car about a week when I was out of town and it was dead in their parking lot when I came back! I bought some GOOLOO 1500A Peak SuperSafe Car Jump Starters on Black Friday for all my cars, but only have to use one on the C-Max. It's too bad. I really like the car, and it performed well while I was driving 250 miles/week. Now it's parked most of the time, and I feel bad for the battery getting sucked dry all the time.

Update from Jan 6, 2022: The local Ford garage finally said it was the battery and replaced it. My radio is running an outdated version of the Sync software, but the records online say it's up to date so it won't let me download the new version. Because the OBD doesn't show a code, the Ford garage won't update the software for free, even though I've got a 7yr 120,000 mile Ford wonder warranty, as in you wonder why you paid so much for the extended warranty! They say it'll cost over $200. Yeah, that ain't happening. I let my Sirius subscription expire, and the car & battery are working great 2 years later. I'll just replace the battery myself if it starts happening again.

- shadetree1953, GLENBEULAH, WI, US

problem #28

Feb 162021

C-Max Hybrid SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,710 miles

HAD CAR NOW FOR 4 YEARS - this is about the 10th time I've had to go out and boost the battery. This is the third battery in car. Ford dealership doesn't know how to fix it, just to charge you an arm and a leg for service charge, and one week later it's dead again. Winter months are the worst. I just had to jump the car 3 times in two days this Feb 2021. Very bitter towards FORD and I am a die hard blue but going elsewhere on next car or truck.

- Jackie.chris G., windsor, ON, Canada

problem #27

Mar 022015

C-Max Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 25,000 miles


First...the dates and mileage listed in this complaint are estimated. I don't remember exactly when the problem began. But....

Overnight, in the garage, the battery would be drained enough to thwart efforts to start the vehicle in the morning. This occurred even after the last drive was 30 miles. These failures happened roughly 6 times over 15 months. Eventually, I had the dealer check the electrical system and battery, but they found nothing. When I turned off the vehicle, now and then you would still hear something running (sounded like a fan). Not sure if that is part of the problem.

Then, at some point I brought it back in to the dealer after a few more incidents and the battery now was in bad shape (according to the dealer's testing). The battery was replaced. The second battery eventually experienced the same problems after roughly 18-20 months. I tried to be conservative and turned off all instruments (lights, radio, heat/air) before I turned off the vehicle. I don't know if this helped or not, but again, it got bad enough for me to ask the dealer to check the electrical system again. This time, they said I had a defective battery (theirs). It was still under warranty and was replaced. I am now on this second battery for over a year and have not yet seen the problem (my fingers are crossed).

- Jim C., Gaithersburg, MD, US

problem #26

Jun 282017

C-Max Hybrid SEL Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Had my Ford C-Max parked at airport for one week during summer. Car is covered from sun, when I returned the car was dead. Could not get into the car. The key inside the remote was used, it unlocked the lock but the door would not open.

- Karen A W., Clayton, NC, US

problem #25

Dec 162017

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Can't open door - no power to car. Had to have it towed & pay for rental car.

- Christine H., Tacoma, US

problem #24

Dec 312017

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


Car drove for four days after dealership installed new battery. Then radio went out. Then car is dead same issues as a week ago. Now car is dead, unable to open door. Really fed up with this car! It's a lemon!

- Christine H., Tacoma, US

problem #23

Nov 072016

C-Max Hybrid SEL Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 34,000 miles

This is my first auto purchase in 20 years. Went for the SEL fully loaded... but not knowing if it will start or not is really not even worth owning the car. I bought it from a dealer several miles outside of my area out of necessity. This is just a terrible development. I am very distressed. Who sells a car that can go dead any time for no good reason. I feel sick.

Bought a 2013 C-Max after thinking I had thoroughly and completely researched the car. But missed this battery issue. So embarrassing to buy a new car and have all the neighbor see the AAA come to give me a jump. Broken hearted.

It is 2016... I bought a "Certified Pre Owned" thinking they would have addressed any issues.

What do I do now?

- krisb, San Pablo, CA, US

problem #22

Jun 012013

C-Max Hybrid SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles

The battery goes dead a few days after taking delivery of new vehicle; this happens almost like clockwork every six months - resulting in many visits and 4 new batteries from 6/2013 until 1/2016. No dead battery now for 11 months.

Ford always indicated we did something to cause these conditions. This is not likely - have owned many cars since 1966 (generally two or three at a time on average).

- Mick G., Gainesville, FL, US

problem #21

Sep 242016

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,250 miles

We bought this car used with 35,000 miles on it. The following week we drove from Charleston, SC to Carbondale, Illinois. While we were with friends at a winery having dinner I left the lights on. When we returned to the car it wouldn't start. You couldn't even open the door with the key fob. I thought it was unusual for the battery to go dead after such a short time, and we had to call roadside assistance to jump start it.

- Michael N., Charleston, SC, US

problem #20

Jan 102016

C-Max Hybrid SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


I started to church and noticed something irregular about the way the electrical system was acting. Got to church, but when I was leaving, electrical was dead. Got a jump, got home, turned off car tried to start, was dead. Then tried about 5 minutes later, it started. Turned it off for a minute, the radio came on for an instant. Turned key on and tried to start, nothing. Tried about 8 hours later it was dead again. Waited a little, it started, turned it off again now totally dead. This is about the 6th time the battery has gone dead just sitting. Have had it to the dealers more than once, they replaced the battery once, seemed to help for a month or two. This is a real problem Ford has. This Cmax was supposed to get 47 miles to the gallon, its never got more than 39 to 40 mph.

- Jim D., Pocahontas, US

problem #19

Jul 222015

C-Max Hybrid SEL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

Bought car in 2014; have driven 27,000 miles.

Problem: cannot start car; 4th occurrence since taking ownership; twice after car sat overnight in garage at home; twice after driving car & parking it. Jumping battery starts the car; after turning the car off, never know if car will restart; If it starts, never know when problem will occur again. 2 notifications from Ford about problem; dealer "serviced" (software updates) & car ran fine until problem happened again.

Dealer keeping car for possibly a week to investigate. Thinking of trading car for a 2015 model!

Update from Feb 6, 2016: Last dealer contact for problem update: dealer kept car for two weeks; provided loaner when analyzing problem.

When notified car was ready for pickup, dealer said wiring of car was checked throughout. Said there were a couple of questionable connections (grounds); dealer may have reprogrammed the software also. No problem

experienced since; now have over 35,000 miles on car.

- rgerue, Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #18

Apr 082014

C-Max Hybrid 2.0L ATK IVCT Engine

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,700 miles

45 minute drive to dealership, 2 hours waiting while they do diagnostics, needed car overnight but no loaner avaialble, so spouse had to drive 45 minutes to pick me up, then another 45 mintues home. Drove back 45 minutes the next day, given loaner vehicle since problem still not resolved.

Car was ready 2 days later, they finally just replaced the battery. Drove 45 minutes to dealership AGAIN to rental office, retuned rental, picked up C-max, drove another 45 minutes back home.

Total of like 5 hours driving back and forth from dealership over 3 days. What a pain!

- Joseph M., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #17

Apr 032014

C-Max Hybrid 2.0L ATK IVCT Engine

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles

Car was simply dead, with no power, and so couldn't start it. Put it on a battery charger and finally got it to start again.

- Joseph M., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #16

Mar 112014

C-Max Hybrid 2.0L ATK IVCT Engine

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

Car was simply dead, with no power, and so couldn't start it. I was gone for the weekend so spouse couldn't drive it for 3 days until I got back. Put it on a battery charger and finally got it to start again.

- Joseph M., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #15

Apr 152015

C-Max Hybrid LX 2.0L Ecoboost

  • CVT transmission
  • 15,090 miles

Have owned car 2 years. Approximately 6 times I have had a dead battery after having car parked in my garage. First two times I thought I had left something turned on, but didn't know what. Always charged battery myself. Then received recall notice that computer needed to be reset so that it would not drain the battery. After that, it was a year before it happened again. On last oil change I reported it, and when I picked up the car was told that charging system was checked out and was OK. It has happened twice since then. Service desk just says bring it in and let them check it. I don't think that will help as they couldn't find a problem before and they maintain that Ford hasn't told them there is any problem.

Seems like whatever switch in the computer which is supposed to shut of drainage before battery is dead is intermittently not doing so.

Ford has a telephone firewall preventing any customer from talking to anyone but the dealer. Any one with any ideas. I like the car except for this.

- Maurice S., Seattle, US

problem #14

Feb 182014

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

click to see larger images

battery goes dead intermittently when parked

Dead battery for no apparent reason. This was the 2nd time it occurred. Everything was off. Doors were closed etc etc.

- Michelle L., Greeneville, TN, US

problem #13

Feb 102015

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

This situation happened twice. The local Ford dealership did research and found TSB14-0155.They used this technical bulletin from Ford to fix the problem. So far, 3K miles later, it has worked. In addition, Ford re-wrapped the cables to insure that would no be a problem. They re-programmed the power train control module and several other steps. So far I am happy with the results.

- Dawn W., Carthage, MO, US

problem #12

Mar 052015

C-Max Hybrid SE Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 21,000 miles

This is the fifth time in 16 months since purchasing the C Max that the Battery has been drained completely after not being driven for a few days. Dealer can not explain why this happens - I noticed they no longer have any C Max's on their lot or in the show room. Purchased an ammeter to check for leakage when car is completely off - reads 420 mille amps (.4 amps) - enough to drain the batter down every 3 or more days.

Awaiting call from Dealership manager to address the issues, which all Ford Dealers know about - but do not acknowledge - this is the new Paradigm in America: Stonewall any issue that is uncomfortable! As stated, the physical evidence is that Ford Dealers do not sell or showroom these vehicles any longer to my knowledge.

I will provide an update after meeting with Manager and Ford Rep.

The only solution at this time is to carry jump start unit - the same as the Ford Towing Contractors carry - about $100/ or make sure you start your car everyday.

- mgoldman, Gainesville, FL, US

problem #11

Jan 282015

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,564 miles

Got stuck at work this time! Dead Battery AGAIN!. Jumped it and took to dealer that night. Unable to find a problem! Got car back, but was called the next week to drop car back off at dealer for further testing by a Ford Rep/tech. Had the car for about 1 week. This time they say that there was wire chaffing at right front section of body for door. Harness repair and isolate harness. Isolated harness at left front of body by door. Check rear of vehicle by deck lid for wire harness chaffing. None found. I just close my eyes when I push the remote to unlock the vehicle and hope the lights come on!!

Does wonders for you faith in FORD products! Do not feel I will buy another FORD product when my lease is up if I survive this POS car. NOT DEPENDABLE!!!!! Afraid to take it anywhere for fear of coming out to a dead vehicle. Ford will not admit they have a problem with this vehicle and replace it!!!

- oot, New Kensington, PA, US

Read the next 10 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?