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Old 07-09-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 95846
Location: Houston, TX
What I Drive: 2012 Kona Blue Metallic SE-Sport

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My '12 keeps breaking and I've never been in this situation before so I'd like to ask for advice.

TL;DR at the end but I'd suggest reading the full story to get a better picture of the situation.

I know this can drag on so I'll attempt to type it in a way that will break up the monotony and not have just a giant wall of text.

In October I bought my '12 Focus SE-Sport. Everything was great for the first 900 miles or so, until a grinding noise began happening in shifts from 1st to 2nd gear, and to a lesser degree 3rd to 4th gear. I brought it to the dealership the next Monday morning (this happened on a Saturday evening while I was at work as a pizza delivery driver). It had roughly 1,100 miles on it when I got to the dealership. They spent a couple of days checking it out before saying that I need to put more miles on it to break it in and it's probably nothing. They showed me a pamphlet that says a "green clutch" is at work in the Focus and Fiesta and it takes a while to break in and that this grinding noise could happen but would go away. They said it would go away by 1,500 miles and if it didn't to bring it back in.

At 1,700 miles it still had not gone away, so I took it back in and I got a different service adviser. He said it may take a couple of days to check it out but he would get back with me on it. Three days later I had received no phone call from him so I called him and he said "The sound is normal" and even went so far as to say that he had noticed the sound in his own '12 Fiesta and that it happened in al of the cars as a quirk to the new DCT. I was convinced that the sound was not in fact normal and I decided at my next earliest convenience I would take it to a different dealership to have it looked at.

I was pretty busy that next week so it was about a week from the date that I got it back before I could take it into another shop. During that week my radio started having intermittent periods where no sound would come out of the speakers. It was happening on everything from Sirius to the Phone to the Radio. It would play things fine and people could hear me on the phone, but no sound came out of the speakers. So when I took it in to the new dealership I explained both problems and they said they needed to keep it for a few days to check everything out. Igot a call 2 days later saying they couldn't get it to make the sound go out but they'd order a radio anyway and replace it. Also they said the grinding sound was normal.

3 weeks later they called me back to let me know the radio had come in and that they could install it in about 2 hours while I wait. I agreed and everything was done. I noticed the next day that the new Radio would not read any CDs, I tried roughly 10 of them. I called them back and they said they would need to order another radio, which would take another 3 weeks. During this time I got in touch with many people on this website and found a few with the same grinding issue as me, as well as finding 95% of the people that had no grinding sound. This was enough to convince me that my previous service adviser was incorrect and that the grinding sound does not happen in every Focus. When the new radio came in 3 more weeks later, I went up for another waiting session to install, 3 hours this time.

I got in contact with the member FordCustomerService on these forums and Noemi was awesome. Got me hooked up with the Customer Service Manager for the Houston area who got in contact with my dealership and scheduled for me to drop the car off to them again, and this time I got a rental car! They had said they couldn't give me one before until they figured out the problem so I had to go days without a car each time I took it in, since they never found a problem, saying it was normal. I emailed this video: to the Ford CSM for my area which she said she forwarded to the engineers to take a look at. It is the exact same noise as mine is making, and as you can see from the uploader comments (which are from a member of this forum) they have replaced the transmission in his twice and no luck, as well as recalibrating it with no luck (I didn't know at the time that the calibrations would not work as that is what they have been trying in mine every time I take it up there but it's not working on mine either). He is in the middle of the Lemon Law process now.

I got the car back a couple of days after taking it in, saying all they needed to do was a reprogram of the transmission controller and that it's not making the noise now. I was ecstatic. I went for a week with no noise, so I decided to install a cat-back exhaust. I had had the exhaust for weeks but didn't want to put it in when I had this problem so that they would have no issues hearing it. Soon after the install the noise returned. It was then that I found out that while the transmission is in learning mode for the first 1,000 miles or so after being reset, that the noise doesn't happen. After it finishes learning the noise begins and gets constantly louder until it plateaus at a loud state and happens almost every time I take off.

I took it back in to my dealership and they called me the next day saying they tried a new reprogram on the module and that it wasn't making the noise anymore again. This was after the transmission specialist there rode with me and listened to the noise himself. They also performed the recall on the wiper blade at this time. Again about a week or so later, ~500 miles, it was making the noise again.

I called the Ford CSM up again for the second time now, left a message and got no callback. 2 days later I called her again and she answered, and was more that helpful to get my car back into the dealership. She also talked to my dealership and apparently the last time I brought it in before this one the transmission specialist said he didn't even know my car had came in again since the time we took the test drive. During the time between the last 2 reprograms, the passenger's side window switch stopped rolling the window up. This was about the same time that 12B37 came out. I took it back into the dealership and they said that they replaced the faulty window control switch on the passenger's side but they couldn't hear the noise when they took it out and they "didn't want to put too many miles on my car." They performed the 12B37 recall and gave it back to me to see if that would solve the issue.

It's three weeks later now and the sound is back, along with an occasional stuttering off the line before the 1-2 shift and a hard shift into 4th which was never there before. I'm pretty sure that 12B37 was made to address some issues with the DCT, but not specifically for my issue, and it ended up making my issue worse.

This is the first new car I've ever bought, I bought a '96 ranger from an auction when I turned 16 in '99 and drove it for 12 years until I bought this one with no major issues. I decided to use a local promotion to get this new car, and it's been a disappointment ever since. I wanted this car to be my new baby, my toy to mod, and everything since I hadn't done anything to my Ranger in all the years I drove it.

I'd like to implore you guys from the forum, as you're much more experienced and knowledgeable in this area than I am, as to what I should do in this situation. It's obvious that "reprograms" aren't going to fix this issue. Should I pursue Lemon Law filings and bring legal action? Give them a chance to replace everything that could be the problem? They have not replaced a single part as of today. Should I ask for a replacement car? I don't think they would do that, but I'm not sure. Please folks I really need your input on this issue as I'm not sure which direction to head with these problems. The car has ~16,500 miles on it now, I have the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty on it.

If there are any other questions anyone has I can answer them, I wish in hindsight that I had just gotten the manual. My ranger was manual and I picked automatic on this one just for a change and because the automatic was rated with higher fuel economy than the manual, which is a big deal for me since I drive the car for a living. Thank you in advance for reading this long story and helping me out.

TL;DR Car has been in the shop 10 times in 9 months for 3 separate issues and is still not fixed, and is actually worse than it was before. Looking for advice on what actions to take next. Thanks.

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