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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • see tons more complaints here

    then see also and do a forum search for the word transmission.

    This has been a bad execution of a good concept, ask any VW GTI owner (no problems)
  • August 02, 2013 I just bought a Focus auto tranny w/sport manual shifter in June and have the same shudder in first gear after it warms up as we read on the internet. This is totally not right. What on earth is going on with Ford that they don't fess up to the problem and let all the owners know about a fix.

    I took it to the dealer and they said the transmission is new and has to get used to my driving! Have you ever heard such a sorry excuse? I've owned 9 cars in my life so far and have never had a problem of this kind-- you get in and go--no transmission shudder. The only other car I had a transmission shudder from was in July 2013-- I rented a Ford Focus from Hertz-- go figure!

    C'mon Ford--cowboy up!
  • What did they do to fix it? Anything? The sound and shuddering may be normal for a Ford Focus-- but that is the only car in America that does that. Radiation poisioning is normal from atomic explosions but that doesn't mean that the explosions are good for you.
  • I wouldn't get too concerned just yet. I have a 2012 Focus with 25K on it. Mine shuddered for the first 3000 miles and then stopped. So far it has not come back and the transmission performs beautifully. In fact, the entire car is good.
  • Thanks, that was helpful. However, it still leaves me wondering about FORD engineering. How many car transmissions don't work well for the first 3.000 miles? And why is FORD not communicating with Focus owners about this known problem? The reputation of these transmissions is a PR nightmare and FORD is keeping it's head in the sand.
  • kippckippc Posts: 1
    I guess this problem is only with Automatics???
  • for all the proof you need, please see post #73 at the thread called 2013 focus titanium trans noise, at which says>>>>>

    Had my 15k maintenance yesterday, again.. complained about the low speed / gear chatter and the ford rep just lost it and signed me up to have an engine / transmission pull apart, new clutch pack assembly, new engine and trans seals, the works.

    He said I was not the only one to complain, and he's tired of giving people the run around.
    He said almost 9-10 focus trade-in's get this treatment only because they KNOW the probability of something failing is too high.

    Im glad to see even they're getting tired of this nonsense.

    Try different dealerships, guys... I was just lucky to find someone who is getting fed up.
  • Bought a new car from ford dealership. but found metal grinding noise from the transmission at around 20miles/hour for low gear to higher. It should not be normal though the dealer guys think it is normal.
  • abqwinterabqwinter Posts: 6
    edited August 2013
    It is unreal how many and how consistent the complaints are about the Ford Focus first gear and how dealers across the spectrum are are telling owners "it is normal with this transmission" and dismissing the owners. It looks like a conspiricy by FORD, and the dealers, to really hide this problem. It is time to stop the charade and get the thing fixed.
  • The only people I see getting any real help are the ones who contact ford CS reps like Crystal below. She can also be found at You can also post your problem(s) at fords focus FACEBOOK page, where there is a ford CS rep called "eric at ford" who is also helping owners like yourselves get their cases escalated.


    p: 800.392.FORD
    t: @FordService @FordFocus @Ford
  • Yes, only the DCT automatic, the manual trans gets rave reviews.

    But the automatic is the subject of hundreds of unhappy customers who can be found at

    and also at , just do a forum search for the word transmission
  • that same DCT which has been such heartache for focus owners is great fun and NO heartache in VW-Audi vehicles. In addition, goto to new car auto show and read the transmissions, it is in over half the automakers offerings under various names.
    The problem is not the type of transmission, it is fords design.
  • Food for thought, the dealers all have a memo they show to customers trying to tell them that many of these symptoms are normal.
    But many customers report that after various fixes like new clutches, seals, throwout bearings, the symptoms disappear.
    If the symptoms are "normal" how can they disappear?
    Furthermore, ask any VW GTI owner if his DCT transmission does all those things, especially the clattering/grinding noise. Why doesn't the GTI have those normal" symptoms?
  • What's sad about your experience is that the seal leak is a known issue that ford has issued a TSB about. All they had to do was look to see if oil was leaking at the bottom of the bell housing to confirm this know issue and get you fixed the first time.
  • I have read many posts where the owner got fed up and mentioned the lemon law and/or ford buying back his car and each ended like yours, the dealer said they "just" found a TSB that would help.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    "that same DCT which has been such heartache for focus owners is great fun and NO heartache in VW-Audi vehicles. In addition, goto to new car auto show and read the transmissions, it is in over half the automakers offerings under various names. The problem is not the type of transmission, it is fords design. "

    So epically wrong, Mr. Uninformed - uh - I mean Mr. Cassandra. Just look at the DSG wikipedia page, and specifically the section "Problems and recalls of DSG-equipped vehicles." Here's an excerpt:

    Since 2009 there have been widespread concerns from Chinese consumers particularly among the online community, who expressed that Volkswagen has failed to respond to complaints about defects in its DSG-equipped vehicles. Typical issues associated with 6-speed DSG include abnormal noise and inability to change gear; while issues associated with 7-speed DSG include abnormal noise, excessive shift shock, abnormal increase in engine RPM, flashing gear indicator on the dashboard as well as inability to shift to even-numbered gears.

    I buy the notion that DSG's generally perform better than DCT's, but that's due in large part to DSG's having been in use since 2003 and benefiting from gradual refinement in all the years since. Ford's dry-clutch DCT by contrast has only been in use since 2010 or so. Hence we are still fairly early in its long-term development and refinement. I have one or two relatively minor compliants with mine with 18k miles on it, but overall it works just fine.
  • I stand epically corrected Kam. Sadly though, when you make your point about VW also having many problems, you may be painting an even grimmer picture for focus owners.
  • some owners there have discovered a spot where your focus air intake have a leak.
    when taped up so it works as it was meant to, their cars run better.
    worth your while to go read the posts and see the pictures.
  • I had the same issues starting at 1k miles. The dealership had to replace the clutch assembly and then reprogram the transmission several times. It drove fine for a few days and then started up again. I had true metal on metal grinding in the assembly the first time. Acceleration up a hill was horrible and merging into traffic well there were a few close calls. They had the car for 2 weeks the first time and it was noted on my service report they even called Ford engineers to help out.

    I also had electrical issues which I think was part of the car not holding the reprogram. The radio and sirus units were replaced and the "a-pin" unit that controls both had to be replaced 2x at the dealership while working on it. Other issues included the window post rattling, volume control not working on steering wheel and radio and strut bearings making "old car aches and pain" sounds.

    I finally applied for the lemon law because my safety was more important. I submitted all my documentation (the car was in and out of the shop over a total of 30+ days) wrote a factual letter to support my issues and tried to have a bit of humor about a frustrating event. My car was repurchased and I am sticking with Ford. Matter of fact a new Ford Focus. Am I glutton for punishment? Maybe. But I love this car and want to give it another chance because it fits my lifestyle and my business needs. I will let you know how it goes. If it doesn't go well look for a 2013 Ford Focus obituary in a newspaper near you.
  • I have a 2012 Focus, I bought it just over a year ago. I already have 35K on it as I live in Los Angeles. It has shuddered and made the noises the entire time. Just last weekend I was in heavy stop and go traffic going up the hill into Griffith Observatory here in Los Angeles and the computer system prompted me that my "transmission is overheating". My engine temperature was fine (and it was happening in the evening around 8 pm, not in the heat of the day). It prompted me to pull over and stop for 15 minutes. The computer actually counts you down with periodic prompts as to how much time you have remaining. This is absolutely ridiculous! No other car on the road had that problem, I've never had that problem on any car I've ever owned. So for those who've been told it will just go away are being lied to! I'm curious as to what they now have to say about the transmission overheating.
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