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Old 06-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
hgrizzard
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Exclamation 2012 Focus Transmission Shaking

I've had my new Ford Focus for less than 2 months. I'm about to take it back to the Northside Ford Service Center in San Antonio, which will make my fourth time to have it back in service since I bought it. At very low speeds, like in stop-and-go driving, with light breaking pressure, the car shakes and shutters. At first I was told it's just the way the new transmissions are. I drove to another dealership and drove another Focus. The problem was not there. So I took it back in and was they given a copy of a service bulletin that says the shuttering problem will soon clear up and the clutches needed time to break in. The problem got worse. I took it back in a third time, and on the way a cooling fan motor burned up, and after a week they said the cooling fan motor was replaced and the shuttering couldn't be felt. Well I drove it off the lot, turned around, and asked the service rep to go for a ride. When I showed him what I had been experiencing he was wide-eyed and went back in to get the transmission expert who also took a ride and said that's a real problem because our legs were shaking inside the car. The tech then agreed that he would not be happy paying $21,000 for a car that acted this way. So now, I'm leaving it at the service center again. Oh, and the trans tech now says he thinks if may be a braking problem. Has anyone experienced the same thing? I'm very, very close to just parking it and hiring a lawyer. I feel taken for a ride, and not in a Ford Focus.


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Old 06-04-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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This is normal. Many people have complained about this before (including Fiesta owners), but they're just not used to dual clutch transmissions. This isn't a PowerShift exclusive issue either. The DSG system used in Volkswagens have the same issue. It's just how these transmissions work. They have a very notchy feel to them because they're technically automated manual transmissions.

What makes this different from regular automatics is the absence of the torque converter, which smooths out the shifting process. You're probably asking "well why the hell don't they have one?" Because torque converters are highly inefficient and sap a lot of power from the engine and reduce fuel economy considerably. The only solution would be to switch to a CVT or another traditional automatic car.

Sorry to put it so bluntly but that's just the reality of it. If it makes you any happier Ford is talking about development of an 8-speed transmission in the future (which is not dual clutch). Personally I would love to get my hands on a PowerShift car. Ford is probably the only manufacturer in America that is pioneering this wonderful technology for entry level cars (bonus points for using a maintenance-free dry system).
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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You got to be kidding

Coffee sitting in a cup in the cup holder began splattering over the seats. If that is the new normal then forget Ford. The transmission tech said he would not buy a car that did what this one did. Can't believe they would design a car that acts this way.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
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Have you been in a manual transmission car before? I don't mean to sound asinine, just asking. Basically it's not the smoothest ride all the time. You'll have rough shifts, and yes a break-in period is involved. Maybe your case is a little more severe and you have every right to complain to Ford. But I figured I'd offer a heads up that dual clutch transmissions by nature are a little more jolty than your typical automatic.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmoose View Post
Have you been in a manual transmission car before? I don't mean to sound asinine, just asking. Basically it's not the smoothest ride all the time. You'll have rough shifts, and yes a break-in period is involved. Maybe your case is a little more severe and you have every right to complain to Ford. But I figured I'd offer a heads up that dual clutch transmissions by nature are a little more jolty than your typical automatic.
I like how you attack the guy for not knowing "that's just how transmissions are" and "have you ever driven a manual!!!" when he clearly states he drove a different focus that does not have the problem and he had 2 different service people say it's not normal. There is a difference from DSG shuttering and an entire car shaking. Thanks for all the sterling advice moose.

To the OP: I wish I could help but I'm still waiting for mine to get delivered ><
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by safetyguy14 View Post
I like how you attack the guy for not knowing "that's just how transmissions are" and "have you ever driven a manual!!!" when he clearly states he drove a different focus that does not have the problem and he had 2 different service people say it's not normal. There is a difference from DSG shuttering and an entire car shaking. Thanks for all the sterling advice moose.

To the OP: I wish I could help but I'm still waiting for mine to get delivered ><
That's not attacking. Mmmoose could show you attacking if he wanted to. He's one of the most knowledgeable people on the boards, you'd do well to make friends with him.


I would assume the shuddering is simlar to what happens if you attempt to do a "no-gas" start in a manual vehicle? When you let the clutch out real slow and then the RPM's drop low enough and then the computer tries to keep the car running and boosts RPM?
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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There's a new section of the forums specifically for the 2012 Focus, and there is a section that is specifically for technical advice/chat. You might be better served posting this concern in one of those areas:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/f...play.php?f=121

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/f...splay.php?f=47
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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Moved to Ford Focus Technical Chat.
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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Thanks, lyonsroar. This is a very common complaint for the PowerShift transmission. Dual clutch transmissions in general is a new technology for a lot of people. "Shuddering" is a very broad term that can vary in severity from person to person. And we know from several examples throughout different manufacturers that this type of transmission tends to be a little harsh at slower speeds.

As another example (albeit a normal automatic), my car "shudders" violently if I put it into Reverse gear right after I turn the ignition. It has this feature where it warms up the catalytic converter by revving the engine during startup automatically. So when I throw it into reverse, the entire transmission literally shakes violently and makes a loud clunking sound like it's about to rip itself apart. I freaked the f' out when I first discovered this after buying my car, thinking something was wrong. Turns out it's a built-in feature for most Aisin transmissions. Someone was explaining to me that I'd typically have to wait a few seconds for the car to warm up a bit. Never had a problem since.

Lots of cars come with quirks like that. With the EPA cramming more and more restrictions into our cars, manufacturers are thinking up unique ways of handling those challenges with their own patented technologies. The dual clutch transmission is another example that comes with its own set of quirks. Although now it sounds like this case is probably not normal, since no new car is supposed to shake to the point of spilling coffee everywhere. Notchy feeling of gears shifting, yes... but not physical violent shuddering.

I apologize for sounding so harsh and blunt in my post. It wasn't meant as a personal attack. But like I said you have to realize that the term "shuddering" can be interpreted in a many number of ways. Maybe a quick video clip through a cellphone or digital camera could offer a little more insight into the problem. In any case the OP did the right thing and got the dealership involved ASAP. They have the tools and knowledge to know if it's really an issue. I was just going by the brief description that was posted and the previous complaints of the PowerShift transmission being harsh (typical in Fiestas).
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:40 PM   #10
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Good luck on getting it fixed. Yes the Dual-Clutch tranny's are a bit more "Jolty" but mine doesn't act this way at all! Mines very smooth actually, for the type of transmission it is.
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