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Old 07-09-2012, 01:34 PM   #1106
Lscman
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Fan#: 95211
Location: northeast, PA
What I Drive: 2007 ZX3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by STACY810 View Post
It has not gotten better after 8000 miles. My car is unsafe and I am afraid to drive it. I regret the purchase. There is no excuse for the way my car runs. My sister bought one also. She called to see how I liked mine. I told her what was going on and she realized what she thought was maybe bad gas was actually the transmission also. I found out by looking on the internet what the problem was. Send out a recall notice or something....my first Ford and will be my last.
I apologize if technical explanations about what's going on are not welcome in this thread. However the psychological support and repeated trips to dealers for free coffee with hot air do not seem effective. Owners need a better understanding of the technology and properly weigh pros and cons before objecting.

The same driveability issues were experienced by many owners of BMW 3 series SMG M3 cars (autoshifting sequential-manual gearbox with dry clutch) produced from year 2000 thru 2004. Fyi, this is the same exact technology. The biggest difference was this occurred at BMW nearly a decade ago and it involved premium cars cost $40K+ instead of $20K. Fyi, these M3 SMG cars drive the same today as when they were sold. The mfr tried to soften them for dissatisfied customers to no avail. BMW did not find a magic wand to wave after manufacture and, I predict, neither will Ford. However the new and used BMW M car buyers quickly got the message and those who wanted cadillac shifting migrated to the non-SMG i-version cars. At the same time, a BMW M SMG fan-base grew to truly love these cars that some loathed. Now they are actually sought after. BMW later reduced the noise & vibration of their shiftless dry clutch design by increasing it's complexity and technology. This pushed the MSRP over $50K, but consumers who wanted truly smooth shifting were wisely instructed to buy another product that is less perfomance and efficiency oriented.

Ford needs to follow BMW's lead wrt consumer education. It's not at all coincidental that the new Ford Focus shiftless dry clutch transmission technology and it's occasionally clunky NVH behavior is almost identical. Discriminating BMW owners who demanded perfectly smooth operation caused a tremendous ruckus with customer service while those who wanted crisp shifting and efficiency were sold on the technology and had total fun driving it while ignoring the occasional roughness. Both camps exist here too for similar reasons. In my opinion, this Ford transmission will NEVER shift like an automatic with viscous torque converter and trying to pretend that it will by instructing customers to make repeated visits to the dealer will only exascerbate the negative consumer feedback and resulting backlash.

Why not explain why the car behaves different instead of pretending it doesn't?? Well I know the answer to that rhetorical question. Ford is not prepared to buy back 100K+ cars that exhibit some "unfamiliar" behavior caused by computer-controlled dry clutch. This technology gives you more rear wheel horsepower, better acceleration and better fuel economy!! You get all the advantages of a manual tranny without the need to shift or operate a clutch pedal! Picky consumers whined about chattering posi units making scary noises and locking torque converters causing whiplash back when they debuted. The subjective behaviors (quirks) that were specific to these new technologies were soon forgotten and/or accepted. This auto-shifting manual tranny with dry clutch is a much more significant change. To this day, locking converters feels harsh compared to non-locking designs. However the consumer adapted to accept them with their added economy. The new Ford Focus automatic tranny maximizes efficiency and performance with a finite penalty in NVH that is acceptable to most and unacceptable to some who expect viscous qualities. Behavior indeed varies some from car-to-car. This is because dry friction material used in clutches and brakes do not have consistent "feel" ("grip" or "bite"). You can get harmless vibration or shuttering now and again. Car usage (short trip, long trip, stop and go) plus break-in behavior will greatly affect the friction material operating behavior and feel through it's life.

In case nobody noticed, all the worry about these cars breaking down from grabby clutch operation at low speeds is unwarranted. It's just a different feel & it's not gonna breeak anything.

Last edited by Lscman; 07-09-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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