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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    Sorry I should've said Tim156 is absolutely right.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    I've read that with the dual clutch transmission the clutches are supposed to disengage when you hit the brakes and coast. I've had mine for about a week now and I haven't noticed the engine RPM drop immediately after I hit the brakes and coast. RPM reduces gradually as if the clutches are still engaged. My car was built in 12/11 and has the latest software update (01/12) and I wonder if Ford eliminated this feature to help fix the low speed clunking and hunting problems in early builds. My only concern being that while they improved the smoothness of the transmission they may have hurt fuel economy. Anyone have any knowledge on this?
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    I do not have any Knowledge specific to the design parameters of Fords new Tranny. However I do not believe that in just touching the brake ever so slightly that the engine would become diengaged ( auto matic neutral ) from the wheels. I cannot believe that any transmission in this day and age would be set up that way. It is unsafe and you would wear out your brakes very soon.
    I did have a 1965 SAAB which had that feature ( actually it was designed to disengage as you lifted off the throttle). The driver had the option of using this or not, in hilly country this was definitly not a good thing to do. I'm not sure why they had this feature, I would imagine that because we were dealing with a 2 cycle engine on the SAAB, and the nature of its throttle action deceleration was a bit wierd with the transmission locked up. Acceleration was not great feature but I loved the engine building from "piddling" torque through screaming revs, similar to the Motorcycles of that era.
    Now considering This new Ford tranny, we have a much more sophisticated device, enabled with dual clutches, and a computer doing thousands of calculations. Evidently there are upgrades to the computers' program which are being applied to earlier cars coming off the line. It is possible as well that the programming will also adjust itself, at least this is what one of the reps told me. :confuse:
    As some of the contributers to this blog have argued, they do not feel comfortable not being in complete control of the tranny . "Each to their own " :D
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    It's not the same as a true automatic going into neutral since an automatic doesn't have a clutch. In this case the clutch would disengage when tapping the brakes and coasting, just like depressing the clutch pedal on a true manual except that on the Focus's dual clutch automated manual the computer is doing it. Here is how Ford described it in their 2009 press release on the transmission:

    Neutral coast down – The clutches will disengage when the brakes are applied, improving coasting downshifts and clutch robustness as well as reducing parasitic losses for increased fuel economy.

    I remember reading on a blog somewhere someone talking about that, tapping the brakes and the engine rpm's going down to idle even if you're coasting at 50 mph, and I guess as soon as you depressed the accelerator again the clutch would reengage and the engine rev.
  • 2012 Focus Titanium (built 12/2011). I have noticed a marked difference when starting from a standstill that if I immediately go from Brake to Gas (even gently) it takes a second to engage then seems to jump once the brakes disengage/clutch engages as I have almost applied to much throttle anticipating a response. But if I am just a bit patient and release the brake give it a second then apply the throttle there is almost no lag or drag, just a normal feeling of acceleration. Just wondering if this is the Hillside Assist being too helpful and if there is a way to disengage it. It can be irritating when you want to be sporty, or try to be economy conscience and don't time it right.
  • Steven,
    Over the holidays I spent considerable time looking at vehicles for my grandson. Mazda3, Civic, Subaru Impreza and the new Focus were considered.
    I had concerns about the Focus transmission from what I had read. I drove all the vehicles, including three different Focus models and never felt any transmission problems like yours.
    Grandson is now driving 2012 Focus, first 1,000 miles have been trouble free and he loves the vehicle.
    What did you end up buying?
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    haven't purchased anything yet.still researching.from what i have read on these forums is that all 2012 focuses that were built after november 2011 have the new flash update for the transmission and those that were built before that date have to get it done from the dealers.don't know when your focus was built but most people on this forum who are complaining about the transmission probably had there cars built before november 2011.
  • We have been having the same exact problem. We have had it serviced 3 times and is presently in the shop right now. The first time they replaced a solenoid (I'm sure I'm not spelling this correctly). Seemed to be okay but then my daughter took to to school and started to act up again. Apparently, all the metal shavings were not cleaned out. Got that taken care of but then it started acting up again. Changed another solenoid, fine for two weeks. Now it's in the shop again.
    I am very aggravated but they have assured me that they are doing a thorough cleaning and replacing the original solenoid and a gasket. We shall see.
    One thing I did notice, it needs to "warm up" before it acts up in our case.
  • jay80009jay80009 Posts: 6
    Problem. When driving at highway speeds over 50 to 55 mph, once in a while a very hard downshift occurs out of overdrive. I can prevent this by anticipating when a downshift is likely to occur (when I am approaching a long sustained up grade ahead) What I do is let up on gas pedal slightly to relieve strain on drive line and disengage overdrive manually by pushing the overdrive button on the shift lever. I might add that the hard downshift has never happened under 50 mph.
    The shifts (under 50) are always very smooth as are all of the other shifts are always very smooth.

    Anyone out there have any ideas or have experienced a similar situation? Thanks, jay80009
  • Carb,

    I had a similar problem with my 01 ZX3. Seemingly arbitrary electrical events would cause a downshift, or it would downshift hard during decel. Turns out a tranny control module was fried. We replaced the module, which promptly fried again. By a stroke of luck, the electrical guy discovered a bad ground wire in a tail light. which was causing the light to ground through a path of opportunity that included the control module. Fixing the tail light fixed the transmission.

    I'll bet you've got a bad transmission sensor or control that may have broken through no fault of its own.
  • jay80009jay80009 Posts: 6
    thanks for your input. not exactly same symptoms but VERY similiar. will bear investigations of similiar type fixes. could be very dificult to find. OH for the days of the 1939 ford (my first car) things were so simple then. jay80009
  • grosstonnage, ...your experience might help us with the continuing saga of Focus issues. I have been meaning to post the following: .....
    On or about Jan 21, 2012, I removed the battery terminals and cleaned them and the cable clamps with backing soda. I also used a wire brush tool that was made for the purpose and cleaned the clamps and terminals to bright shinny metal. The clamps were put in place and the connections were sprayed with silicone spray...
    It is now Feb 4, and the car has been driven on around town trips about 6 times and we believe the transmission problem has not re-appeared yet...
    It is now March 4, 2012 and a strange think happened to the Focus today. I was driving... The car started fine, I backed it out of the driveway and made it down our street to a stop sign. The engine died at the stop sign or when I pushed on the brakes, it died, I shifted out of Drive and into Neutral and tried to start it--I forgot that the shift lever had to be in Park before starting. I shifted into Park and tried to start it,...nothing, no response from the starter. Tried to activate the Hazard lights and nothing, My wife looked at the brake lights from outside the car as I pressed the brake pedal, ...nothing, The shift lever would not come out of park, the car could not be pushed because it was in Park-gear. We asked the Lord Jesus Christ to help us because we were headed for Church and choir practice. We could not leave the car dead at a corner intersection. I walked back to the house and got my car, a ford Escort, and jumped the Focus battery. Praise God, the Focus started. My wife drove it back to our garage and we took the Escort to church. When we came home I decided to try and start the car and it if did start, I intended to back it into the garage so that a tow truck could access it more readily. The car started up perfectly and I drove it into the street and turned it around and backed it into the garage, no problem--clearly we have an intermittent problem. We intend to take it to our local automotive repair garage, we trust them. My wife does not want to end up stuck some where, especially on the freeway so she will call AAA and have the car towed to the garage. We will have them run a diagnostic or the charging system and I will ask them to check the replaceable relays for signs of malfunction..and I intend to byy for my wife one of those "Battery Booster" portable things--I will report what the auto guys find out.... carburetor1 signig off
  • jay80009jay80009 Posts: 6
    To grosstonnage. And I think I have problems. Bear in mind that my problem only occurs on the highway over 50-55 mph. So I doubt that it is related to your problem. If my situation doesn't get worse I can control the problem. Being that my car has 104,000 miles on it and there are other issues that are going to have to be addressed eventually (timing belt, front struts and who knows what, I am considering selling the vehicle. Keep me posted if you finally find the answer. These things seem to very hard to figure out. Cars are way too complicated these days. I sure miss the days of my '39 ford.
  • My 2012 is now in the shop for berring replacement. 2213 miles had it for 4 months. I am going to trade it in for 2013 focus perhaps it is different or something else. Honda Mazda. When the dealer drove my car their answer was push on the gas petal harder. As for the 40 mpg I will be one of the class action lawsuit for misrepresentation. You will see
  • you can send me a message if you would like to get together me address is my name plus
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    bearing replacement at only 2200 miles on a 2012 ford focus???doesn't suprise me and i wouldn't purchase a ford car if you gave it to me....
  • My 2012 Focus has 9300 miles on it. Today while driving down a normal road at 30 mph it started cutting out while accelerating. Each time it would shift it would rev up like I put it in neutral. Plenty of gas in it too. Out of the blue it just started happening. Was fine when I got up to 60 mph on the freeway. Got to the office and turned it off. Didnt do it again on the way home but the check engine light is still on. Very irritated about this since it is a brand new car. And I too am interested in the class action, checked my focus MPG today...only 30 and that is freeway time. Not happy about that either.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    Have you gone to the dealer to have the tranny software reflashed? It's usually an easy process and many have reported much improved results afterwards.
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