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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • Only if you can be certain that the Fusion does NOT have the same type transmission as the Focus does. I'm not positive, but I believe the Fusion has a more traditional automatic. Check with a Ford service department, to be sure. Do NOT rely on what the salesperson tells you.
  • bernie59bernie59 Posts: 1
    I am having similar problems with my 2012 Ford Focus SE. It shakes and shudders upon stop and go. I am worried that this shaking is going to cause other problems down the road. I have had my car in twice for software upgrades that did absolutely nothing to help this problem. I was told that the computer senses the way I drive and this is why it does this!!!!! It is apparently normal and in no way harmful to the car. I find this hard to believe. I would never have bought this car if I knew this was part of the package. I lodged a complaint with Ford headquarters and they directed me to go back to the dealer. I sure hope this problem will be fixed. I will never buy a Ford again! I should have stuck with GM.
  • My Focus' transmission is very jerky at parking lot or slow city speeds. Then the other day it dropped out of "drive" into neutral (although the stick was in "D") and the engine started racing; then it dropped back into drive and thrust forward; then again, back into neutral, engine races and then it drops back into gear; all through a busy city intersection.

    Yesterday the backup sensor was on although I was driving forward. I had to pull over and shut the car off and start again to get it off.

    I took it in to Lief Johnson Ford (Austin, TX) this morning. Clearly, I'm not the only one with these issues. I have a rental for the weekend. I guess we'll see what happens next.

    P.S. Ford "Sync" is the worst!!!!
  • jlutzeljlutzel Posts: 1
    I had the same problem(s) with my 2012 Ford Focus SEL. It started in July 2012 at 300 miles and continued until FMC bought it back in December 2012! The story of it senses how you drive is implausible. What if my wife drives it? My son? They tried "reprogramming." (Twice) They rebuilt the transmission (twice). The installed a new transmission (only once). All to no avail.
    I filed a complaint with the BBB. FMC was very responsive and made me whole.
    Believe it or not, I miss my Focus SEL. It had everything in it. All but a good transmission. I hope they get it resolved so I can buy another one.
  • gbitzapgbitzap Posts: 1
    I just took a video of my 2012 Focus SE with 6 speed manu-matic being stuck in one gear and not accelerating. I put the pedel to the floor and it held at 2500 rpm and would not felt like I was driving a golf cart with a regulator.

    I then put the shifter in S mode, which made no difference AND the S on the dash was not backlite (showing which gear you are in). Going back and forth between D and S made no difference, or going to Park and back to D or S. Once I shut off the car and restarted it, the problem went away.....for now.

    If/when this happens again and does not fix itself, I would need to get towed. Luckily I was just pulling out of a parking lot and was able to go back in to it, as I was initially in traffic, stuck going about 10-15 was not a great feeling and hard to understand what was going on at first.

    Also, my Change Engine Oil message comes up every time I start the car, and I changed the oil about a month I need to push a sequence of buttons to let my car know the engine oil was changed? This happened after I brought it in for the wiper motor recall, so they probably "updated" the software...possibly causing the transmission glitch at the same time...

    I am going to call the dealership tomorrow.
  • trevor_ctrevor_c Posts: 1
    New to edmunds, but I found it by looking up the same exact problem as everyone else. This forum came up as one of the top results on Google.

    I have been having the grinding issues between 1st and 2nd gear since about miles 17,000. I brought it in around mile 18,000 and they said it was just normal transmission sounds and gave me some piece of paper that said it just needs time to break in and stuff about it being normal sounds. But I was at 18,000 miles. I would think everything has already been broken in by now. And it sure didn't sound normal to me...

    Now I'm at 23,000 miles and I just took my car in again on Monday because the grinding was getting worse. I told them about the Throwout Bearings and burnt up clutch issues that everyone on this forum was talking about. I haven't gotten any details on what was wrong exactly, but they did say they have to replace the clutch assembly. And unfortunately they are on backorder right now so I'm without my Focus for a few weeks...

    And on a side note, I'm also on my 3rd Navigation/touch screen. Had issues with it completely turning off and not coming back on among many other issues. Now on my 3rd unit and the GPS does not work, it runs super slow with it completely freezing half the time, and bluetooth connection issues with my phone so I can't even use the features more than half the time.

    I was attracted to the technology and looks of this car. But I'm ready to trade it in after many visits to Ford.

    Also, has anyone actually found a long term fix for this problem yet? I have yet to come across a single Focus owner with these problems to find a long term fix.
  • Well I feel your pain! I've had my 2012 focus se for about a year now and only have about 7700 miles in it. ... we too were told that it will "learn" the way you drive and get better. Well that was the craziest thing I ever heard. So. . Meanwhile.. my cute little car shakes shutters and jumps upon alteration. .. and its random. . Doesn't always happen. .as my husband's like driving down a wash board road...eventually things are going to start falling off the car. .. that will probably be the fault of the owner I'm sure! We are actually taking it in in Monday. . Seems like my struts are loose or more likely have been shaken so violently that they have come apart. I'm also bringing up the shudder issue. .just to hear what they say. . And isn't it ironic that no ones car did that during the test drive? ??

    Dazed and confused... and all shook up!
  • Hello, Ford, are you listening? Class action suit coming your way!! I'm sure you're ready.
  • My 2012 Ford Focus has been in the shop for 25 days now. Needs a clutch, but guess what they are on back order. Ford has a big issue on their hands. I have been given a date sometime at the end of July for a clutch to arrive to fix my car, but then I ask will the car even be fixed or will this happen all over again. I have five more days to wait and I am calling the lawyer to proceed with the lemon law. This is ridiculous.
  • That does seem a bit extreme! I can't believe it is taking that long to get a part that to me seems like a common one. ... well I'm going in today. .. curious as to what I'll be told. .... I'm expecting the usual. ."it's normal"....good luck!

    Still dazed & confused! & all shook up!
  • 2012 Ford Focus Titanium, 33K mikes and the dealer is rebuilding the clutches after the transmission failed to shift.. The system said the transmission needed service immediately...
    This is 4 days after the last transmission reprogramming. Can't wait to see what happens next.
  • skitzoedskitzoed Posts: 2
    Sam problem as some of you have mentioned... No shuddering or bucking, but twice now, when accelerating around 65 / 70 MPH, either between 4 to 5th gear, or 5 to 6th gear, my car had lost all acceleration, like it was looking for a gear.... Engine would rev, but it was as if the clutch wasn't grabbing. First time they did the infamous TSB (re-flash software), and this time we'll see... I'll keep you posted. Definitely contact Ford Customer Service, as they can elevate the investigation and record all failures.
    I understand that it's hard to troubleshoot a very intermittent problem, but by now with the amount of failures I've read about, there should be a known remedy... Time to read into the "Lemon Law".....
  • skitzoedskitzoed Posts: 2
    Wanted to add that going to neutral and back into D did not correct it.... Had to pull over and shut off / restart the car....1st time was around 9,000 miles, and this time was at 16,000. At 4500 rpms, the car would accelerate ever so slightly, like the clutch was barely grabbing... Seems like a failed solenoid to me, let's see what they find or don't find..... Ugghhh.
  • ptbishptbish Posts: 7
    edited May 2013
    Have had my 2013 Focus SE HB 6 spd auto. trans. for less than a week; already have been back to dealer for transmission issue...clattering noise from first to second gear (especially going up hill), odd shuddering, weard shifting (yes i am aware of the type of tran. this is, but something seems wrong!) Service mngr. gave me what sounds like a familier refrain on this forum: "needs to break in for 6k miles or so, will learn your driving style, is all perfectly normal" Why am I not convinced. So tell me, how do you get Ford (dealer) to fix a problem that they deny even exists? What good is the warranty if they won't acknowlege that something is wrong? Same thing with the lemon law. Do I just drive it, accept its faults (a brand ****ing new car!) and wait for it to completely tear up? Where do we go from here? Oh, and like almost everyone else, I love the car otherwise.
  • Sorry to hear you've joined the club! My 2012 focus se less than 8k miles and have had for about a year now is in the shop for that very thing. . Shudder shake and jump. . Almost sounds like a song. Well it's determined that it's a clutch or clutch related and no denying the noise.. it was heard. . Like another person posted.. my parts to are in back order. .. until the end of June. .I found that quite comical! After reading everything. . Apparently my Ford dealer said that there are over 3800 parts in backorder for this very thing. .. you'd think that they would realize that there's a problem. ..hmmmm.. go figure!

  • maniac4maniac4 Posts: 41
    Im trying to wrap my head around this tranny. I wished I had extra one to fiddle with. But im not touching mine. Now suppose this. Do you think the Ford escape tranny would fit the focus? Its a 2.5l engine but the block looks identical.Even the valve covers are the same. Not sure about the RH axle carrier bearings but the shafts can be cut or lengthened. If it can fit . Ford should go that route. What do you do when you have a problem? you get rid off the problem right?. There has to be a swap that can be done. I do know the escapes are a cvt type transmission.You could use a external fluid cooler and not even need to change the cooling system. Also curios if the Mazda skyactive tranny would work.Can anyone suggest a swap kit. Ford should do this me thinks. Sometimes you got to walk away no? Ford should do this.I honestly think this transmission is not going to be around too long. It might be more cost effective for ford to swap over than to piddle around with something thats somewhat undesirable.They know there is a problem, I think they are trying to figure out what to do.Swap it is the better of two evils. any opinions.
  • ptbishptbish Posts: 7
    I appreciate the input. At least now I'll have some info. next time I go to the dealer to discuss "the problem". Can you give any more detail about the parts that are needed fix.... ? I'd like to be as educated as possible before I talk to the service mngr. again. thanks
  • Sure when we pick it up for strut work which the car was still sitting in the back. .I saw it. .I will ask the dealer specifically what the parts are called... probably be on invoice showing backordered... hopefully next week. . Fingers crossed.. not even sure if those parts are in. .. so i got a rental. .2012 Ford fusion. .. same tranny. .. runs beautiful! Should I'd got a fusion. . Would a should a could a... but didn't! Live and learn! Let you know when i get the part name. . I'll check with the hubby too...

  • Are you still having problems? Mine has 3000miles and i got the same story from the service manager. "needs to break in" wth!!
    cant believe i am driving a brand new (not cheap) car and it sounds like a bucket of bolts!
  • Thank you to everyone on here posting about their Ford Focus and the issues!! I have felt so alone until today!! I have a 2013 Focus Titanium with the powershift/select shift and have transmission issues, displays goes blank while in drive, back up camera/detector let me back into something, the black trim is turning all white, the skirt around the bottom is falling off, i roll backwards (and forwards) while in drive on the smallest of hills, lots of wind noise on the highway--so loud you cant talk to anyone live or on the phone and when i hit a bump i feel like the car is going to fall apart. The transmissions issues range from the shifting noise that they say is normal from 2nd-4th gear, the jerking while taking off or just doing anything. I was so excited to buy this car---my very first ever on my very own and i am so upset i dont know what to do. Neither the service or sales manager while acknowledge me or that i have a problem with the car. So seriously considering trading it in!! Sad, just Sad. :cry:
  • puffinalongpuffinalong Posts: 32
    edited May 2013
    You'll lose a lot of money on a trade.
    I agree with your post though I tried to warn everyone on here
    but, to no avail. I have a Focus Ti and I don't drive it hardly at all. I have 1600 miles on it.(in 4 months) I'm dumping it and going back to a German or Japanese car.
    Consumer reports ,which I should of read stated the Focus had a black circle for reliability.
    How it got rated # 1 compact car is crazy. The car is noisy,rough riding and the transmission is suspect.
    You can't expect Edmunds to help you as Ford advertises on here.I've been on Edmunds for 20 years.I use to love the Integra days and Nippon Only,Himmler,Syder,Luv My Sepher all those guys were knowledgeable.
    You never hear about the class action suit brewing over the Focus DCT transmission on here.
    Sorry you had to join the club,but hang on to it for at least 2 yrs.You have a 6 year warranty on the tranny.So keep bringing it back and put My Garage and Ford motor in your favorites .You will be able to print out all your service calls.I have had 4 electrical visit as the sync and nav went kaput and car locked me out twice. Unreal for 23k and trying to be patriotic.
    Be well and prosper. Puffin
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    "You can't expect Edmunds to help you as Ford advertises on here."

    Simply not true. :) We try to help everyone. That's what we do.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    The amount of misinformation on here is comical:

    “I do know the escapes are a cvt type transmission.” – maniac4

    No it isn’t. It’s a conventional torque converter automatic.

    “.. so i got a rental. .2012 Ford fusion. .. same tranny. ..” - starluck3000

    No it’s not. Like the Fusion, it’s a conventional torque converter automatic.

    I understand the pain a lot of you feel, my Focus had the shudder a couple of times. But the dealer replaced the clutch pack about 5,000 miles ago and the tranny has been pretty much perfect since then. Sure it behaves a little funky now and again, that’s the way the DCT is. And it’s a heck of a lot better than a CVT that so many manufacturers are going to these days.

    There’s a new Motor Trend compact car comparo that puts the brand new Sentra dead last. Why? In large part due to its CVT that sounds and behaves horridly. I think this is just becoming the nature of compact, highly fuel efficient cars.
  • maniac4maniac4 Posts: 41
    Ford clearly calls the fusion transmission a E-cvt automatic. What do you call it?
  • maniac4maniac4 Posts: 41
    Fusion my bad.....yes funny stuff. LOL. Just fix it already!.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    I can't even imagine where this notion came from. If we refused to help anyone who has an issue with a vehicle manufactured by one of our advertisers, we'd have zero posts. Hosts also regularly encourage members to report serious issues to the NHTSA, since that's the best way to gather complaints in one place, and they're the only ones who can investigate and force a recall if needed.


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  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    Ford clearly calls the fusion transmission a E-cvt automatic. What do you call it?

    That's for the hybrid only. All other Fusions have a conventional TQ automatic. Doubt you got a hybrid as a loaner / rental, so you were probably driving a conventional auto.

    I agree, I'd prefer a conventional auto in the Focus too. But there does seem to be something to the claim of increased efficiency of the DCT. The Focus has pretty much the fastest acceleration in the class but is still competitive on fuel economy.
  • ptbishptbish Posts: 7
    I'm glad to here Ford was able to fix your problem. At the risk of beating a dead horse to death (ha, ha), the problem I , and many others, are having is more than just a little shudder and quirky behavior; the thing sounds like it's got loose metal rolling around when shifting from 1-2, and 3-4. At the same time it tends to hesitate badly. This is a flawed design and needs to be recalled before someone gets killed.
  • ptbishptbish Posts: 7
    I thought things had settled down the last few days, but I think it was only because I was doing mostly highway driving. I just got back from tooling around town in my beautiful new car, and the "clatter" monster reared its ugly head again. I have the day off tomorrow, so I thing I am going back to the dealer to get the service manager to ride with me.. not expecting any results, just want to start getting the thing documented. I am at 750 miles, btw.
  • maniac4maniac4 Posts: 41
    I just know the dealer will say something like
    A you just arent used to it
    B Its fine its all in your head
    C I dunno whats wrong
    D You test drove it and it was good right? you prolly broke it.
    E Wheres my lunch you just wait right here while I hide{dern fool knows im stuck there.}
    F You got a oil leak at the seal but its just dandy.No Worry
    G get lost, Ive never met you
    YOU GET TO PICK THE EXCUSE! thats what I call customer service. :(
    I heard them all. Im not violent but want to pinch his head off. Try to keep cool. I cant though.

    Im not pointing fingers but its sad to see people working real hard for a car like this. Its just wrong. I need a lawyer. Its as if they literally put their hands in your pocket and took your money. Why is it always the working folks getting hosed. But dont fret none they will set you right up with a cup of cofee and a million excuses. Everyone of these problems are fixable tsb,s prove it. But how do you get the dealer to fix it?
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