Originally Posted by Rat Fink
One of the first parts of in the symptom chart is a symptom labelled as "Harsh or Soft/delayed engagement or shifts". The first step to see if this can be corrected is by performing an adaptive drive cycle after the PCM/TCM have been updated to the latest software level if one is available.
It is quite common in the symptom charts for every new Ford auto trans equipped vehicle to outline that the tech should verify the pcm/tcm are at the latest revision level and perform an adaptive drive cycle to see if that corrects the issue prior to digging any deeper to address any shift concerns. That is why most people are having the update done so readily.
When I diagnose an auto trans for a shift concern, I perform visual checks first. (trans fluid level/condition, linkages, check for leaks, modifications etc.) and make sure the vehicle is safe to road test. I then check for any codes that might reveal any possible issues and check Oasis for any TSBs or SSMs that might give some related info and I perform a road test to verify the concern. If there is a TSB or SSM that addresses the concern then I follow it. I also check for any available updates and perform a tcm/pcm update and perform the adaptive drive cycle (quite often TSBs related to shift concerns end up recommending a pcm/tcm update anyways). I then have a before/after of the update to see if the concern has been corrected. If it has, I release the vehicle to the customer. If the concern is still there, then more intrusive testing is required.
Our dealership has sold dozens of these cars and to date I have only ever had to look at one for a shift concern (early build) and the pcm/tcm update fixed the issue.
Thank you for your detailed response. Does that mean (maybe I am misunderstanding) that the dealers themselves are performing the TSBs without looking at the customer's transmissions to verify that there is a problem? Also, why did Ford quietly update the transmissions on the post 8/12 cars, then? It does not make sense to have two different programmings for the same model year car, with the same engine tuning, and the same make and model of transmission.
Again, I will see what Ford Engineering has to say on this issue.