Originally Posted by offroad
Thanks for all the comments, guess a bit of browsing would have found my answer.
Does DCT account for most of the owner complaints on these cars, are they pretty reliable in 5spd manual form?
The DCT does count for a lot of the complaints. But I will be the voice in the wilderness and say I like it a lot. I have two SEL focus and have not had problems with either. Here is my disclaimer.... while I say I have not had problems with them, I can say there are quirks. It is computer controlled. There is just no way a computer can account for all the variables that arise with shifting patterns and other conditions. When driving Manual, we automatically adjust our actions to the performance of the car and think nothing of it. So any odd behavior is just chalked off as a aberration or our misjudgment. Only when it occurs frequently do we think it could be the transmission. with the DCT, the computer doesn't know enough to avoid these odd occurances and will act strange and cause noises and poor performance and in the worse cases cause actual problems with the hardware. I think most complaints are from being too sensitive to the odd times it behaves poorly and being hyper aware of it, where the same thing in a manual would be ignored as driver error. Can it stutter at slow speed? yes, like any manual does if the clutch is engaged poorly. Can it over heat? yes, like any manual with bad clutch engagement will. Some people are very bad manual drivers and will burn out clutches fast, others are very good and can make them last well beyond their normal service life. It all depends. My cars DCT has acted strange at times, most issues are brief and are due to conditions that the computer can not account for. I usually just shift to 'S' mode drive a bit and go back to 'D', problem solved. If I were to have those issues with a manual, I'd change gears and use the clutch differently as needed. I am far more capable of making minute adjustments to conditions than the computer in some circumstances but by and large it does a fine job of shifting and choosing gears if I drive with some common sense and treat it as I would a manual. I doubt many people know how to do this and expect the DCT to act like any other auto and slush out the odd moments. (my older cars with auto ALL had odd moments in certain conditions, I just accepted that as normal) So I don't think it is a bad or unproven or flawed design, it is just a different concept we are not used to. And like ANY transmission, auto or manual there are normal and abnormal conditions that effect them differently and plenty of service issues with them. For those who have had real problems with the DCT, I am not saying your issues don't exist, just that they are not the norm nor are they endemic, but mostly we hear of a problem and when we feel our car do something similar we jump up and say oh no! mine is doing it too when I suspect it was only a hint of what others have felt and not at all something to worry about. HAving bored you all with this, if you are happy with a manual car, or think you would not put up with a trans that does things a bit differently than a torque converter auto then get the manual, you'll be happy. I am happy with my DCT and will be happy to keep it for a long time. The Focus is a great car, probably the best one I have ever owned.