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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • 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.
  • Is the VW's tranny wet or dry?
    TY Puffin
  • This just happened to me on Monday. They said the car had no problem. I took the car in two weeks ago and they said they uploaded new software. I think I am getting the runaround. I will try once more at the dealer the call Ford HQ.
  • Kam, a wet tranny is better than a DCT
  • I just got home from the bank and the teller 2013 Focus Ti lost it's tranny.
    Ford has had this problem for 4 years now and has played new Focus buyers for fools.
    Also, the mechanic haven't got a clue about Sync as they can't keep up with the technology.
    I have a 2013 and to day because it has 3500 miles on it I got The Premium EWP at a steal.
    Why ? Because, when I trade it salesman love EXP's in force.
    I have had the Focus Ti since February, but drive my 328 from spring until November .
    Still feel for the girl at the bank it was her dream machine.
    Well read my post and Maniac's go back to pages 34 and so on . All I can say is that when Edmunds post the address who to complain to at the government level there is a problem.
    Spread the word people. Peace and prosper, Puffin
  • dgnoiddgnoid Posts: 1
    Had a 2011 Fiesta with DCT and spent more time in the shop than on the road. Dealer got so fed up with it, I thought they were going to assemble it with velcro so it came out easier. Traded for a 2013 Focus and it was worse. My wife finally fixed it by totaling the car out last week. She hit so hard it broke the transmission case. I installed a 2013 Civic and it is all better now.
  • I have a 2002 ford focus ztw with auto transmission and am experiencing the same problems. Transmission slipping periodially while driving and lights flickering. I have changed the alternator several times and that does not fix the light flickering. Sometimes when shifting from park to drive there is a hesitation to go into gear and when it does engage it slams into gear. While driving at highway speeds when going up a slight hill the transmission appears to come out of gear and then go back into gear. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to remedy these issues and if they are related?
  • angieb7angieb7 Posts: 1
    I just brought the 2013 Ford Titanium on Aug 3,2013 and I ended up taking it back the dealership about the noise and the way it changed gears and it is a automatic. They took it for a test drive and said everything is okay. And that it has a selective shift transmission and its going to change like a straight drive. I was not please with that but I still hear a noise. And I am have electronic problems the Sync sticks on station and you can't really turn your radio off without it popping back on. What problems are you experiencing?
  • To understand the scope of problems being reported you should take as long as you need reading posts at the website focus fanatics dot com.

    Do a forum search for the word transmission to get started.

    Most focus's seem fine but a small percent are plagued with these problems and their owners battle a dealer memo which says its all normal and you must be driving it wrong. If you end up with one of the problem vehicles, you face a very discouraging uphill battle against the "everything is normal" memo.

    This memo's mis-information can be quickly de-bunked by driving at VW GTI which also has a dual clutch transmission.

    Fixes posted over there range from re-flashes, to clutches to complete teardowns.

    Worth your time to read the hundreds and hundreds of posts over there from other focus owners.

    Also if you goto fords focus facebook page, scroll back days under "recent posts by others" and you can see people over there seeking help for the same symptoms.
  • I also have a 2012 Ford Focus I have 98,000 miles on it but it has always been a problem since day one. In face the transmission actually began shifting hard when it hit 1,000 miles and between July 2011 until now I have constantly taken it back with them only telling me that thats just how the transmission is. O by the way it is a Ford Focus SE.....I feel like the t est dummy tellng you to take it back tell them you want to switch it out if you are still under warranty. The car is horrbly made....from the insulation floors and everything my bike is more qualified to ride than this car. O yea my transmission overheats and I stay in chicago. The computer tells me to wait 8 minutes.....the engine is also running hard....but the biggest concern is the trans! Im really stuck with a piece of [non-permissible content removed]....Fords are terribly built they should be ashamed and I hope that hopefully we as consumers will one day get our money back for alll this crap!
  • I'm on Focus Fanatics a lot and Ford has just been fined for not recalling the Escape soon enough. The Focus will be next and well it should be. Spread the word Puffin
  • Now lucky to get 22 MPG; thing shutters and shakes; thrusts and rushes. Horrible horrible and unsafe car. Taught me for buying American. It's a shame. Truly.
  • This thread is located at:

    Here is the message that has just been posted:
    It's been a while since I posted. But I watch this thread constantly, looking for info "just in case". I went to my dealership today for routine maintenance, and like always, I asked about the transmission issues they've seen. I let them know that on this site, I had seen that some have received "new & improved transmission replacements". My rep told me that, yes there is a revised trans, with a re-designed clutch assembly, that Ford has available, for the replacement of defective trannys. Mine, "KNOCK ON WOOD!!!" is still flawless at 32,000 miles. But I do have the extended 100k warranty, which he said if mine does start to act up, they would probably implement the replacement tranny. I am now FULLY CONFIDENT, that Ford is on top of this, and I know longer have a feeling of dread. But to those of you who are having the serious issues, look for dealerships that really care. If you are in the Virginia area, go to Williamsburg Ford [headbang] THEY ROCK!
  • That is great news to hear ,I just wish ford had better p.r about these issues.
  • After our 2012 focus was in service department for third time for same transmission problems they told us everything was correct and they gave us that memo of characteristics of the transmission that other people have been getting,so i have sent a formal complaint letter to Ford Motor Company this week and I will post the reply if I receive one.
  • Is the DCT the exact same transmission on both the focus and the fiesta?
  • I have a 2013 Focus hatch with the DSG tranny. I've only run into rough shifting after coming off the highway in extreme heat. Specifically a Vegas run over the July 4th Holiday and when we got off the freeway for gas the car shuddered and stumbled on take off and had rough shifts. There is a TSB for this condition and my dealer did the ECU reprogram for me and haven't had the problem since, even in stop and go in Palm Springs a few weeks ago.
    I've had no other problems, love my MyFord and Sync.
  • I received my reply letter from Ford today as I mentioned sending complaint letter in message#744. The letter basically said that owner satisfaction is very important to them. However, limits must be placed on the efforts to resolve customers concerns and they support the decision of dealerships service department. This focus is the 6th Ford I have purchased and is the last Ford I will ever buy.
  • I replaced the "out speed sensor" and it seems to have solved the problem. I was waiting for any recurrence of the problem since it was intermittent but now a month has passed and no problems.
  • Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately I got rid of the car 1 1/2 years ago. Your solution sounds very promising and now I wish I still had the car to try it out myself. I really did like the 05 Focus a lot.
  • I own a 2012 Focus SE hatchback with over 18,000 miles. It has the sports package with sunroof, winter package and convenience package and 6spd sportshift automatic. At about 6K I had to take the car in for a "slipping" transmission. When taking off from a light the car would lag a bit and the wheels felt like they were hopping or jerking. I guess I must have a great dealership because they were well aware of my issues. Re-programmed and away I went. I have not had any issues since. I love the DCT transmission and the sports shift can be fun when you have learned how to use it. Overall, this is a fun car to drive.
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