Odd fluttering, 'something loose' under hood sound. Grill shutter? Transmission? 2013 Focus Titanium - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
GSReview
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Odd fluttering, 'something loose' under hood sound. Grill shutter? Transmission? 2013 Focus Titanium

The best way I can describe this sound is as an odd rattle of sorts. It's a very noticeable, seemingly out of place sound when starting from a dead stop, sometimes louder than others...

I just wouldn't expect such a rattle from a new vehicle. It actually sounds as though something is loose but it's not noticeable at higher speeds.

Again, an odd flutter or 'rattle' best describes it. Hoping it has nothing to do with these transmission horror stories I'm reading about.

Thanks for any advice in advance. Here's a quick video:

http://youtu.be/-vOFyxxcTig

R.P.



Last edited by GSReview; 03-15-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSReview View Post
The best way I can describe this sound is as an odd flutter of sorts. It's a very noticeable, seemingly out of place sound when starting from a dead stop, sometimes louder than others...

Could this be the active grill shutter? I just wouldn't expect such a rattle from a new vehicle. It actually sounds as though something is loose but it's not noticeable at higher speeds...
Hi GSReview,

I wanted to follow up with you here as well as over PM. I've escalated your case to your regional customer service manager; please keep me posted on any updates.

Thanks!

Crystal
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #3
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Thank you. I've just received a message that someone would contact me by Monday.

It's interesting to note, I've had a couple days to research this and have since found numerous YouTube videos and on-line complaints describing the exact same issue.

To my surprise, there are also multiple stories of new owners being told their vehicles are operating within normal parameters after taking them in to the lot for service. There's absolutely zero reason for a brand new car to rattle and shimmy like it's coming apart and I have no intention of 'enduring' this issue for the next 3 years at 350.00 dollars a month.

As mentioned by PM. This is the point where new owners should be enjoying their vehicles, not having to become educated on lemon laws and fearing the worse after having read practically identical stories.

Absolutely miserable with this. We've paid off 7 new vehicles and never experienced anything like this before. It's understood issues can happen with any new vehicle, but to see practically identical issues reported with the same results is alarming. Even worse, I've yet read the first review where anyone reports the issue as having been resolved.

I'll be the first to write a glowing review should this be corrected, but to say my guard is up is an under statement. I actually had clients in my car today who "both" said (as the car was jerking to accelerate) at practically the same time, "what is that noise?!" Very embarrassing.

All of that being said...I sincerely hope the service department doesn't attempt to tell me the vehicle is operating within normal parameters. Because, that would of course mean, random jerking, rattling and failure to accelerate is normal on the 2013 Ford Focus. Besides, any reasonable person could spend 15 minutes in this car and know something isn't right. I just can't imagine anyone keeping a straight face and proclaiming otherwise, but the service horror stories are out there just the same. We'll see soon enough.

Thanks for your attention just the same, Crystal. Your help in all this is appreciated. I really want this to all work out. I like the car when it's operating properly...it's just every 10 or 20 minutes that rattle reminds us we may have made a terrible decision.

I will keep everyone updated and do indeed plan to document everything on-line so I can help other new owners. This will either get squashed and be a glowing testimonial to customer service and efficiency or a cautionary tale by way of a documented saga.

R.P.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:06 AM   #4
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I had my 2012 focus in for the same trans. issues. What is probably happening is the input shaft (trans.)seal is leaking on the DCT.(dual clutch ) This clutch is a dry clutch. Unlike most automatic trans clutch discs are bathed in ATF. These are designed to be dry. Good Luck. P.S. When this trans. is operating properly, it is the smoothest shifting unit I have ever driven. I used to be a Audi & Mercedes tech.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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Thank you for the info J.T.

-R.P.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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Very frustrated and exactly as I feared...

Just got back from the Ford service center where I was informed they couldn't duplicate the problem. They really spent no time with the vehicle or even bothered to have me ride along.

I shared video of the problem while it was happening and the service center acknowledged what the problem 'probably' was but since they couldn't duplicate it on site they said couldn't do anything. How's that for logic!? As J.T. mentioned above, they even admitted there has been a problem with the transmission seal leaking onto the clutch causing the rattle/slippage with the Focus. I kindly mentioned, "great we know what the problem is, let's sort it out and be done with it..."

Regardless, even with the video and full knowledge of previous issues, I was told nothing could be done thus far. I even showed the video to my salesman who said, "Um, yeah...a new car shouldn't be making that noise...they'll take care of ya!"

Well, no. No they didn't.

They sent me on my way and said someone would be in touch. I'll update further when I hear something. Just wanted to give a quick courtesy update for those who contacted me with similar concerns.

Not impressed at all thus far. I find it ironic that I purchased a brand new vehicle so I could travel and now I have the same concerns as I did with my old car...will it strand me? Is it safe? Difference is, I'm paying 350.00 a month for the worry and inconvenience.

R.P.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
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Do not panic. If you do not get satisfaction, go to another dealership. I purchased my 2012 focus used from a nissan dealer and had no problems. Unfortunately, you may have found a uncaring service writer that thinks you are spending his money. It is common knowledge that these gearboxes {mostly seals leaking onto clutch plates causing chatter) are causing a lot of issues. Stick to your guns, try another dealer, and do not lose composure. Try calling head offices. Good luck, J T
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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Go to another dealer, but problems that can't be duplicated can't be diagnosed, and can't be repaired. Internet speculation is not going to help you much, and will probably just worry you more. There are a ton of "transmission problems" out there that are driver problems not transmission problems. One FF member solved his sluggish acceleration, and groaning transmission by shifting the car into "S" instead of "D". What was happening was that the computer was choosing to put the car in 2nd gear at a near standstill. If you've ever ridden in a manual transmission vehicle with a driver who shifts gears too soon- you'll know the sound, he did. Many people don't though, and it seems that Ford hasn't had luck programming the transmission to mimic a hydraulic automatic in every situation.

In your case, this is what I would do. I would figure out what circumstances create the sound that you are hearing. Then take it to another dealer, or converse with our Ford Rep on this site to find a new Ford dealer to go to. Replicate the problem there. You won't get anything but more frustrated if you can't replicate the problem yourself. You also need to describe how to replicate it for the tech. That will get your problem solved.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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Ford customer service is aware of the issue and the claim has already been escalated. I've been dealing with a regional mgr. In fact, I spoke with her today and was informed they would contact me in 24 hours to discuss what's next. Like I said, the issue is pretty much established. The service center tech saw the video and basically repeated exactly what you (J.T.) already said was the problem. The issue is getting the problem to 'act up' on demand. It comes and goes making this all the more frustrating. Pretty much why I shot the video...

The service center said they didn't see any fluid on the clutch but they also said since the vehicle only has a few hundred miles on it, it could take longer to be noticeable to the eye...I'm paraphrasing. The point was, just because they couldn't see it, didn't mean that wasn't the problem but they sent me on my way claiming they couldn't do anything thus far. Interestingly enough...the first light I came to after leaving the lot, the transmission rattle and shutter started, again.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #10
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Have you tried the S setting? It's not the same as L was in older transmissions. In this vehicle, it holds the gears longer, and won't shift until you let off the gas slightly. Read up on it in the owner's manual. That helped another FF, and it won't ruin your warranty.

The typical programming for these trans makes it so that the trans is always trying to find the tallest gear possible for X speed. That means you'll hear some groaning and rattling- just like you would in a manual trans that was shifted into 2nd at 5 mph.

The other FF's basic assumption was to use S around town, and D on the highway. Remember, it's an automatic shifting standard transmission, dual clutches means that while one clutch is holding a gear, another clutch can engage a different gear. These types of transmissions have been around for a very long time, and have always had these sorts of complaints whether it was the VW Autostick or the Hondamatic of the 70's. F1 cars use DCT trans. It doesn't operate the same as a hydraulic automatic- what we're most used to, GM TH350, 400, C6, and nearly everything else. The problem with the techs is that they don't drive the car like you do, they drive it like a rental. Also, they know not to hover over the brake or the gas like you would in a hydraulic automatic. You have to train yourself to be on one or on the other- in D. In S, you won't have that issue at stoplights because it won't try to shift into 2nd.

I hope that might help- that's my main purpose writing this.
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