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Old 11-11-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Brand New 2013 Focus, Issue?

Hey guys,
I just recently purchased a brand new 2013 Focus SE automatic transmission and after driving it for a while, I began to notice that on acceleration from around 1-25mph the car seems to miss or stutter like a manual transmission car that hasn't been given enough gas. The problem occurs no matter how much or little I press down on the throttle and it is starting to worry me because I have bought multiple Ford vehicles over the past ten years and none of them have had any issues like this. I took it to the dealer and they said, of course that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Looking for any advice/opinions because as it is right now, I am regretting the purchase of my car, especially if its going to always going to give me this issue.

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:18 AM   #2
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These cars are new, so we haven't worked on one. Some problems are due to people driving the DCT like a normal automatic transmission. It is closer to a manual transmission that it shifted automatically. The trans computer looks for things like throttle input and vehicle speed to determine what gear is the best one to be in. For the sake of fuel economy, the transmission will try to put the car in the tallest possible gear at the time. This can lead to some groaning from the engine- like a manual in 2nd gear at <5 mph. This sound is most likely the "grinding" that some DCT owners complain to Ford about, and Ford can't find a fix because it doesn't act like that when the service techs take it out for a drive (see Ferris Beuller's Day Off).

The way I see it, there are 2 possible fixes you can try from your end. 1) Use select shift. In this mode, the transmission will not shift into the next gear until the engine is at its maximum rpm 6800-7000, unless you tell it to by pressing the "up" button. Use the select shift until you're moving, and then knock it up into D when you feel like you want the computer to take over. You can read about select shift mode in your owner's manual. 2) Reset the modules/ drive differently. Ford computers (all OBD2, really), learn from driver input, so you might want to clear out all the information from the previous owner and test drivers. This might really cause some stress because of all the MFT settings you might have, but hey, at some point in the car's life you're going to have to do this anyway. You might as well learn now while you're in control. Disconnect the negative battery terminal for about 10 mins. Replace the terminal, tighten, and start the engine. Allow the engine to idle for a minimum of 5 minutes after the rpms have fallen from "cold start" mode. Do not be critical of engine rpm during this time. If the new Focis are anything like the old ones (and I think it's logical that this operates in the same way), a reset ECU will perform tests to determine the optimum air/fuel ratio. During this time the idle will fluctuate slightly, and be slightly high. When the test is finished, the idle will drop to where it should be normally- around 700 rpm. Now this time when you drive the car, be careful to avoid the "why doesn't this act like a hydraulic automatic" trap. Try to keep your foot on the brake pedal until it's time to move the car- just like it was a manual transmission. Don't hover or allow the car to creep forward in gear. Either be on the brake or on the gas in a low speed situation. Just like with a manual, the effect of being in a tall gear isn't that big of a deal once you're moving.

You can find a lot of text written on this site about 2012 Ford automatic transmission problems. You'll probably find people who were in the same situation as you're in who never resolved it. You'll also find a lot of people who tried advice like this, and that solved the problem. We've had more than one Ford mechanic report back that people who trade their car in for "transmission" problems don't have transmission problems. Then there are people with real transmission problems, who IMO, get shuffled around like they don't have problems because there are so many people without problems who swear up and down that they have problems. The real transmission problems are : car not moving while in gear, burning smell while driving, loud humming at highway speeds, and car stalling at every stoplight if not shifted into N. We don't get many of those, but it is sad that when one does surface- the person is more likely to be ignored by the dealer than have the problem repaired on the first visit in. For situations like that, we have a Ford Customer Service representative on this site who can help make dealers cooperate if they are being uncooperative. In your case, I hope you'll try my advice and not think I'm insulting your driving skills. I also hope it works out for you.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:24 AM   #3
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This sort of thing is total BULL FECES! This is a digital, electronic car. MAKE them plug into it and analyze the data. In the aviation community we call this the flying lawyer. If they will not do this file a complain with the BBB.

They sound like they have no Technicians. They more in likely would pay their mechanics what they are worth but they have minimum wage laws that prevent it!

Good Luck!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:43 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=whynotthinkwhynot;4451448] Ford can't find a fix

Totally and completely UNACCEPTABLE!!! Open the wallet and FIX IT!

By the way thanks for your time WHYNOT
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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Bullitt how many mile are on the car now?
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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I'm a senior master tech at a ford dealer, get complaints all the time on these cars.... it is a manual trans!!!! the internals are the same as a manual except it has some electrical shift motors. the above post is correct about the way they feel. This trans will rattle and make noise just like a manual. Back it up, it feels the same and even makes the same noise. Sorry ford is no help on this one yet.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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have had some with bad clutchs and leaks at bellhousing, but as a tech, 90 percent of complaints are normal and we wont get paid to look at all of these cars.... you see why the techs get fed up with it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=md11mx;4451454]
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Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Ford can't find a fix

Totally and completely UNACCEPTABLE!!! Open the wallet and FIX IT!

By the way thanks for your time WHYNOT
What, are you expecting dealership techs to re-engineer the cars? That's exactly what it would take to "fix" these issues. And last I heard flat rate techs get 10 paid minutes to diagnose ANY problem during the warranty period, if they spend more time than that they're doing it for free. You can blame Ford for that policy, not dealerships.

I'm sympathetic to dissatisfied owners, but I really have to wonder how many people bought cars without test driving them first.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
These cars are new, so we haven't worked on one. Some problems are due to people driving the DCT like a normal automatic transmission. It is closer to a manual transmission that it shifted automatically. The trans computer looks for things like throttle input and vehicle speed to determine what gear is the best one to be in. For the sake of fuel economy, the transmission will try to put the car in the tallest possible gear at the time. This can lead to some groaning from the engine- like a manual in 2nd gear at <5 mph. This sound is most likely the "grinding" that some DCT owners complain to Ford about, and Ford can't find a fix because it doesn't act like that when the service techs take it out for a drive (see Ferris Beuller's Day Off).

The way I see it, there are 2 possible fixes you can try from your end. 1) Use select shift. In this mode, the transmission will not shift into the next gear until the engine is at its maximum rpm 6800-7000, unless you tell it to by pressing the "up" button. Use the select shift until you're moving, and then knock it up into D when you feel like you want the computer to take over. You can read about select shift mode in your owner's manual. 2) Reset the modules/ drive differently. Ford computers (all OBD2, really), learn from driver input, so you might want to clear out all the information from the previous owner and test drivers. This might really cause some stress because of all the MFT settings you might have, but hey, at some point in the car's life you're going to have to do this anyway. You might as well learn now while you're in control. Disconnect the negative battery terminal for about 10 mins. Replace the terminal, tighten, and start the engine. Allow the engine to idle for a minimum of 5 minutes after the rpms have fallen from "cold start" mode. Do not be critical of engine rpm during this time. If the new Focis are anything like the old ones (and I think it's logical that this operates in the same way), a reset ECU will perform tests to determine the optimum air/fuel ratio. During this time the idle will fluctuate slightly, and be slightly high. When the test is finished, the idle will drop to where it should be normally- around 700 rpm. Now this time when you drive the car, be careful to avoid the "why doesn't this act like a hydraulic automatic" trap. Try to keep your foot on the brake pedal until it's time to move the car- just like it was a manual transmission. Don't hover or allow the car to creep forward in gear. Either be on the brake or on the gas in a low speed situation. Just like with a manual, the effect of being in a tall gear isn't that big of a deal once you're moving.

You can find a lot of text written on this site about 2012 Ford automatic transmission problems. You'll probably find people who were in the same situation as you're in who never resolved it. You'll also find a lot of people who tried advice like this, and that solved the problem. We've had more than one Ford mechanic report back that people who trade their car in for "transmission" problems don't have transmission problems. Then there are people with real transmission problems, who IMO, get shuffled around like they don't have problems because there are so many people without problems who swear up and down that they have problems. The real transmission problems are : car not moving while in gear, burning smell while driving, loud humming at highway speeds, and car stalling at every stoplight if not shifted into N. We don't get many of those, but it is sad that when one does surface- the person is more likely to be ignored by the dealer than have the problem repaired on the first visit in. For situations like that, we have a Ford Customer Service representative on this site who can help make dealers cooperate if they are being uncooperative. In your case, I hope you'll try my advice and not think I'm insulting your driving skills. I also hope it works out for you.
I quoted this post because it is easily going to be one of the most helpful and truthful posts in this thread. The only thing I would mention on top of it is that you can disconnect the negative cable for the battery from the jumper terminal located on the drivers side strut tower.

How many miles do you have on the car? If you are under 1k, I would think that your battery reset and the ecu relearning would rectify this. Try to ensure that you are relatively aggressive with the car during the relearning period. Do not baby it and don't RACECAR. Just be firm with it and give it a little more time than you would like, and don't expect it to feel like a torque-converter auto.

Take note of what was listed as actual problems. If your car is or begins doing any of that, take it back to the dealer.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
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Mine exhibits the behavior described in the first post. It is very minimal and it does not especially bother me. It feels like any other manual transmission to me - it has been a long time, but I remember how they feel to drive. I find it really is only noticeable the first few minutes of driving. I also find if I put the transmission in 'sport' rather than drive, it is nearly non-existent as the revs seem stay a bit higher. So far, I tend to keep the car in 'sport' driving around town and then shift to drive for the highway or more open stretches of off-highway roads.
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