Purchased 2012 Focus SEL - Transmission Issues, having to trade it in. Should I pick up another? - Focus Fanatics
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:35 AM   #1
jeriku
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Purchased 2012 Focus SEL - Transmission Issues, having to trade it in. Should I pick up another?

Hey guys, I picked up a 2012 Ford Focus SEL from Carmax last Monday.

First let me start by saying, I LOVE this car. The power that it has for this type of sedan (coupled with the MPG and enough space for my four-member family).

The issue? This past Friday I began experiencing the transmission slipping during low speeds. Mostly upon take off. After doing some research on the vehicle, it doesn't appear to be normal. I do understand that this vehicle has two manual transmissions that shifts electronically. However, once again, when you're stopped and you begin to take off slowly - the vehicle jerks around while trying to upshift. It's actually pretty scary when trying to pull out into oncoming traffic.

Anyway, I'm going back to Carmax today. They have agreed to let me swap out the vehicle for another. I really want to believe that I had picked a bad egg and simply choose another Focus.

However, the wife doesn't think this is a good idea. Are transmission issues wide on this vehicle? I've also looked at the 2012 Cruze LT and the 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS. All three vehicles are around the same price with the same MPG.


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Old 11-16-2012, 07:41 AM   #2
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Accent is a subcompact while cruze and focus are compact. Elantra is the similar one. But I say test drive another one. Mines fine.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #3
jeriku
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Quote:
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Accent is a subcompact while cruze and focus are compact. Elantra is the similar one. But I say test drive another one. Mines fine.
Ah, so the Accent is similar to the Fiesta? (in size)
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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Just get the same Focus with a 5spd manual transmission. Problem solved! :)
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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However, once again, when you're stopped and you begin to take off slowly...
That is the problem, there is no taking off slowly. Just give it some gas and it should go just fine. If not take it back there could be something actually wrong with it. Mine does not take to easy pull offs from full stops. It is accelerate by wire and it knows it is stopped so it won't do anything radical unless you press the pedal all the way to the floor. But it does need a firm and positive input to know that you want to go now, otherwise it gets confused and can tend to jerk around and up shift too soon. Just my experience. This thing is different than driving any previous hydromatic auto. Also, if it hasn't had the transmission software updates, it reacts worse in these situations.

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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Also, if it hasn't had the transmission software updates, it reacts worse in these situations.
How can you tell if your vehicle is properly updated?
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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How can you tell if your vehicle is properly updated?
I am not sure, but I think a dealer would have to check. We are up to what I call version 4.0 Mine came with 2.0 installed, version 1.0 was in the car I test drove and it was horrendous, but I ordered one anyway. The bloggers said a better version had to be coming. Only subtle differences in 3.0 and 4.0, although I liked 3.0 best. Something else to try is to not hypermile it. Drive it more aggressively than you might normally. Also try a few hard accelerations, like on freeway on ramps, that seems to help mine if it gets in a funk. It has an adaptive/learning transmission and too much hypermiling shifts all the shift points too low/soon and it tends to affect the slow speed / parking lot drive-ability. At least that has been my experience. When I just drive the car, and occasionally like I stole it, the transmission works great. If you get an update done, don't freak out when you drive off the lot, it will be bad, but it will get better as you drive.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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People like me without problems are going to tell you to get another; people with problems are going to say "no."

I would either get a Job 2, or get a 5-speed if you're wanting to be ultra-safe.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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Most of the time when I hear of low speed drivability, not clunking and grinding, I think it could be someone not familiar with the computer automated adaptive learning dual clutch six speed manual transmission in the new Focus. It takes some getting used to and learning how to deal with its idiosyncrasies. I think this is the case most of the time when people complain about the DCT, not to say there aren't some defects out there. I would not ditch the car until I figured out which it is, and it can usually be figured out fairly quick.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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And one more thing is to run premium fuel, preferably Shell V-Power. This will help with low speed drivability and performance all the way around, and it doesn't cost any more, probably less as you should see an increase in MPG's with premium to offset the higher cost. It usually takes a tank or two for the ECU to fully adapt to the better fuel.
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