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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • rlc001rlc001 Posts: 9
    Just curious what you meant by the "hill assist failed"? I think it is supposed to only hold the car for about 2 sec then it will release if you are stopped at an incline of ~6% grade.

    Also, is the "re-program" referring to the 12B37 transmission software upgrade or did you already have that on your Focus but the "re-program" was on some other transmission adjustments? We could all learn from that if we adjustments as well.

    In any case, it's great to hear that your issues had been taken care of. Best of luck!
  • badtran64badtran64 Posts: 4
    After reading well over 200 posts on two websites regarding shifting problems with the DCT, my opinion is that Ford should be required to put a warning label on their cars equipped with the DCT. The label would point out that the car has a learning curve. That it must learn how it’s purchaser is going to drive it. It’s buyer must learn how to drive it. Until car and driver are educated, driver may experience shuddering and lunges when gears shift. The car may require 2k miles or more and then it may smooth out.

    Sales persons should be required to tell customers that purchase a car with the DCT that they could have shifting problems. They should have to explain that the engine may shake and seem like it is going to stall and that shifts from 1st to 2nd might include a big lunge.

    There should also be a second warning label regarding “roll back”. There are airbag warnings in place now, and there needs to be one to let drivers know their car will roll backward on a hill and could create an accident.
  • melm1melm1 Posts: 6
    Yes, I was unpleasantly surprised when our 2012 Ford Focus suddenly started to roll back on me when I started up from a stop on a hill! However, my normal movement of my right foot to the gas pedal was fast enough to catch it; and, knowing this, it never happened again! But "again" was not very long as the recall to reprogram the tranny and ABS control system took care of it all! So if the recall takes care of this, I see no reason for a warning label, as long Ford addresses this on all the "Foci" as soon as possible!
    As far as shifting is concerned, the behavior seems little different from a regular automatic transmission. If you are really hard on the accelerator, the shift can really be notably harder, but, again, no more so than some automatics I've driven. Maybe we're just fortunate?
  • melm1melm1 Posts: 6
    The 6 speed dual clutch transmission is really a manual transmission that's automatically controlled. The only difference that you might notice is that it does not have a torque converter! With a regular automatic tranny, the drag of the torque converter pretty much keeps your car from rolling backwards on a hill when you take you foot off the brake. The downside is that this drag loads the engine and consumes more fuel than, for example, a manual tranny in neutral or with the clutch disengaged!
    We complain when the Focus rolls back when we take our foot off the brake. But, think about it, that's NO LESS than what would happen with any manual transmission if you still have the clutch disengaged! The real problem is that it takes is by surprise the first time it happens!
    Ford addresses this, and pretty cleverly in my opinion, is to program the controls of the transmission and brakes (via the ABS control) is to detect the hill and keep the brakes applied for a few seconds after you take your foot off the brake pedal and until you get it on the accelerator! When you hit the gas, it releases the brakes.
    I just don't know yet why this did not work on many Foci when they were delivered and required a recall. Was this "fix" a late idea at Ford after people complained, or we're the cars supposed to have this hill assist all along but cars came off the Assy line with the system not working??
  • drjjjjdrjjjj Posts: 25
    I'm I big fan of nearly everything on the new focus except thedumb auto tranny! I'm not sure ford has ever built a decent/robust FW drive tranny! I'm buyng a prius instead after researching the heck out of it- it's the real smart car folks, can't find any faults and even kinda like the looks-slick watts! Picky Engineer
  • jshirejshire Posts: 1
    I have completed all service bulletins for this issue. The Transmission PCM reboot made the issue worse. Between gear 1-2 now the vibration/hesitation is more noticeable. I am stationed in Germany and getting knowledgeable answers is difficult. Please help.
  • chrislindsychrislindsy Posts: 4
    edited July 2012
    my 08 focus se has the 2.0L automatic tranny. i took a 500 mile trip which put total mileage at 62,000 miles. when i got off the hwy and stopped in town to drop my buddy off i left the car idling in park when i left it started shifting hard into 2nd and 3rd gear and would not shift into overdrive even at 65 mph while i was driving i turned the car off and back on and it fixed the problem. later i drove it and the check engine light was on i hooked my code reader up and it gave P0171 (system to lean bank one) i reset the code. the next morning i had it idling in park for a few minutes and it had the same problem as before. i went home and parked it and left a half hour later and no problems. i called a tranny shop and they told me to bring it in and they would hook their computer up to it but it needed to be acting up when i brought it in. i left it idling for a few minutes while i put gas in it and sure enough it shifted hard and would not go into overdrive. they hooked their computer to it and it only had the P0171 code nothing else. i shut the car off and restarted it and the car ran fine for a few miles and then slipped out of OD and started shifting hard i left it parked for 3 hours and when i drove it it started out fine at first then after 2 miles it slipped out of OD and only after i turned the car off and back on did it act right.

    Does any one know what the problem is with this tranny please help My e-mail is thanks :mad:
  • chrislindsychrislindsy Posts: 4
    edited July 2012
    hey im having tranny problems in my 08 focus se and im wondering if it may be a solenoid problem i dont think its solenoid A but it still may be one of them i posted my problem its #535 if you would take a look the tranny shop said it may be a solenoid manually sticking since its not throwing computer codes or maybe a valve in the valve-body. what do you think.
  • just because the cable connections are fine doesn't mean that the cable inside its plastic is not broken that may be why when you pushed the arm to change gears it worked see if you can do that again with out some one in the care moving the shifter. it does sound like its broke try puting the shifter all the way back to 1 then go out and move the arm i bet you can move it to all gears.
  • hey every on i fixed my problem it was the mass air flow senser i took it out hit it with some electronics cleaner and no more transmission problems dont ask me how that is connected with the transmission as of right now i have no ideal but i will do some research and find out. :D
  • I feel your pain. In the UK the ford dealer did not even know what parts to order so I called back to the states and ordered all six of the solenoids. I will know if the $800 is work it in a few weeks when I get time to change them.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    Should one buy a six speed ? I don't see it offered, :confuse:
  • Good news. My German made 2001 Ford Focus was slipping out of gear and I ordered all six solenoids from the US and all the parts matched. Replacing the solenoids fixed my problem of the transmission dropping out of gear when it shifted from second to third and sometimes other gears. I could not find any way to recognize which solenoid was causing the problem so replacing all of them is probably the only solution. The cost for all six was $800 and I had to get someone to ship them since the parts had to be picked up on person.
  • dtrtfocusdtrtfocus Posts: 2
    edited August 2012
    So last summer my 04 zts focus wldnt go faster than 35mph ( bought used from local Chevy dealer) took car to selling dealer whr warranty was, they said was a sticking caliper n brakeline & fluid issue. After reading posting now believe it ws a solenoid issue. Either way car ws fixed no further issues. Last week got 2 blocks from home n car just stopped accellerating. Engine was fine but Trans just stopped working with no "signs" of trouble. :confuse: No o/d light on, no CEL, no hard shift or slipping. Just stopped engaging! Any help or recommendations as to problem? Just solenoid, Tcm or do I need new Trans? If so is it better to rebuild or replace w/another used Trans? Help! :sick:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    This may be overly simplistic, but did you check the fluid level? If it is too low, it will reach that point where it simply doesn't have the fluid pressure to engage.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Have to be honest w/you..... No I haven't checked fluid levels!!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Do that before anything else at this point. If it is low, top it off with the appropriate fluid type, then test again.

    If that is the problem, the next thing is to determine why the level was low (e.g., leak, but how severe and where?).
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Please please tell me where is that wire is !!! I have exactly the same problem in my car as u described by word, your advise is really appreciated.
    The agency requires 1500 $ from me !!! and I don't have this money to waste on the car.
  • Just trade it in. Dont waste your time with a Ford, and besides they are not reliable.
  • My boyfriend and I Bought a slightly used ( we found out later it was a rental car) 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback on 09-01-12. After driving the car for a couple of days my boyfriend mentioned that that the transmission was not right but he thought it was just because we were new to the car. Then, when driving to work, I noticed that when I stopped on any incline street between taking the foot off the brake and placing it on the accelerator, the car rolled back quite quickly to the point that I almost hit the car behind me. Days later, I started to feel that the steering required both hands at all times. It was constantly wandering and shaky specially during turns. To top it off, on 09-27-12 something unexpected happened. I was in the drive way, I shifted from reverse to drive and the car took off at a lurch. The car accelerated so rapidly even with my foot on the brake pedal. I lost complete control of the vehicle. The car failed to slow down hitting two other cars and tearing down a fence. I could finally stopped the car when I quickly shifted to park. To my surprise I was researching and I found out in many different sites hundreds of complaints from customers who have addressed the same issue. I do not understand how Ford sells this car with all these problems risking people's lives. This is a serious issue. How many fatalities are they waiting for? Are they going to do something ever about these malfunctions? This is ridiculous if I have know all these issues with this car, I would have never bought it for sure. This is what you get for supporting a national product.
  • I have a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 with 180,000 miles, I have put over 50,000 miles on it since we bought it in 2008 and with no problems, Just maintenance, I drive this car everywhere & anywhere, I will buy another Ford Product when this one is done,
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    Socal19, you need to take the car to the dealer to get the appropriate software and hardware updates that are available. There is a transmission software update that will minimize the hill rollback (although this is a common behavior of dual clutch automated manuals and indeed all true manual transmissions). It may very well also address the lurch you had. There is also a fix for the wandering steering. Since you bought a rental, it was probably a very early build (in the 1st model year of a complete redesign no less) and may very well not have received all of the available updates. Take it in and get it thoroughly worked over. There are also many owners who have reported no problems whatsoever and love their Focus. The Focus routinely make the top of the list in compact car comparison reviews. My DCT was a little quirky in the beginning but it's running great now and the car drives very well and gets great gas mileage. Good luck.
  • I just wanted to thank aokrongly for posting this and everyone else who participated in this thread and gave their experiences and tips.

    Like many others I too had the same experience with a Ford Focus transmission. In my case, it was my girlfriend's 2006 Focus ZXW station wagon. We were on the highway returning from a trip when we felt the transmission slipping. We made it home but the next day it would not go into third gear without revving really high and shifting in and out. We took it to the dealership where my girlfriend had been getting the car serviced faithfully and regularly ever since she bought the car (about 3 years I believe) and they said it needed a new transmission - which would be at least $4500 Canadian. They said this was indicated because "there were metal bits in the fluid." My gf was quite upset and I was skeptical of the dealership, so I googled "ford focus transmission problems" and luckily came across this forum and the posting. With just this thread and a Haynes manual, I convinced her we could do it. We went to the dealership and bought the "A" solenoid, which they were able to order in within one day - which led me to think they must replace them regularly or it wouldn't have been so easily obtained. Next we went to Canadian Tire and bought the silicone and a drain tub.

    I'm somewhat handy but I've never worked on a transmission before, but by following this post I was able to replace the solenoid and put the transmssion pan back on. We let the silicone set for 24 hours and the next day took it for a test drive. It worked perfectly. I wanted to wait a bit to make sure it lasted, and it's been over a month since we did the repair, and the car is working just like nothing ever happened. Clearly the transmssion did not have to be replaced, and we paid about $90 for the part and another $40 for the fluid, gasket silicone, and the drain pan. Significant savings! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  • I noticed a couple days ago that when i sped up from 0-20 it was revving really loud over 20 mph it would sound just fine. I took it to the shop and they took a look at it said i had no 2nd gear. They said it would be 2400 to get a rebuilt transmission. The car has 49000 miles on it and im not that much of an aggressive driver anyone else have tranny problems with a low amount of mileage?
  • Mine shifts so fast - 4th gear before 20mph LOL with light acceleration. The main issue I've been experiencing - going in reverse, come to a stop, put in drive - and rpms just go up - no movement. It has also happened at several lights - hit the gas and only rpms go up. Any advice for a fix??
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    Easy - take it to the dealer. Sounds like the computer is not telling the 1-3-5 clutch to engage properly. Only the dealer can address that. There may be updated software applicable to your car that will improve the DCT performance.
  • irohiroh Posts: 1
    I bought my 2012 Focus hatchback brand new. It too rolls backwards on a hill pulls out very choppy at times and in slow traffic the tranny slips then bangs into gear. Don't worry Ford and my dealer Gilboy Ford of Whitehall PA tell me this is perfectly normal and I shouldn't worry about it. As much as I like the car I don't trust it as you have discovered. I hate to do it but I guess my next step is the better business bureau. Should've bought the Chevy...
  • Bought my 2012 new, has had issue from beginning, been back to dealer 4 times, they keep telling me nothing is wrong, shudders, shakes, doesn't accelerate as it should, every time i bring it back they tell me nothing is wrong, but they adjust something and now I only get 27mpg on the hwy!! doesnt need to brake in! I have almost 10,000 miles on it and have never had a car behave as this one has. This car sucks have never had more problems, next Sat we meet with GM at our dealer, we will see what they actually do, hell I would even take an even trade if I get one that doesnt have all these problems, I would take it!
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    Don't you have a lemon law in your state. :lemon:
  • my 2012 focus has been in shop two times for hill assist not working at all, even with 12b37 upgrade and i do not blame the dealership for this. i blame ford motor company for not being able to fix problem as of right now. the service department has their hands tied and probably are getting information slowly about fix. since this could be a safety issue, you should call ford motor company as we did and are awaiting return call and call NHTSA and report the hill assist failure as a safety issue.
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