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Old 05-17-2014, 09:04 AM   #1
jmh123
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Is the DCT faulty or just unfamiliar?

I'm searching for a new car and I love the 2014 Ford Focus Titanium, but I'm a little hung up on all the noise I'm hearing about the DCT.

I can't tell if it's actually problematic to the point that parts don't work, or if it's just that people used to driving automatics are unfamiliar with the feel of an automated manual transmission, or both.

Having driven a car with its share of mechanical troubles, I want something I can rely on. If there are serious problems with the Focus's DCT, that's one thing. But if it's just a matter of feel, that's another.

Can anybody point me to some reliable info on this?


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Old 05-17-2014, 09:43 AM   #2
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You can find all kinds of information regarding this problem within the forums. Using the search feature will net you a lot of results.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh123 View Post
I'm searching for a new car and I love the 2014 Ford Focus Titanium, but I'm a little hung up on all the noise I'm hearing about the DCT.

I can't tell if it's actually problematic to the point that parts don't work, or if it's just that people used to driving automatics are unfamiliar with the feel of an automated manual transmission, or both.

Having driven a car with its share of mechanical troubles, I want something I can rely on. If there are serious problems with the Focus's DCT, that's one thing. But if it's just a matter of feel, that's another.

Can anybody point me to some reliable info on this?
It's both. There's only anecdotal information here, but it suggests that early Focuses had 3 primary DCT problems:

1) Underdeveloped software that,after multiple revisions seems to be working OK.
2) Transmission shaft seals that were prone to leaking and contaminating clutches. Newly-designed seals seems to have largely solved that problem.
3) An undefined issue with the clutch itself, as we're now up to version "D"

These real problems combined with the very different feel of a DCT and a woefully unprepared dealer network has given the DCT a bad reputation that will take time to remediate. The DCT issues are really ones of driveability, with clutch chatter being the most common. Out and out DCT failures are really rare.

I'd give the following advice to a potential buyer:

1) Don't settle for the the typical 15 minute test drive a dealer wil offer. Ideally, rent one for a weekend and drive it in as many different environments as you can (stop and go, hills, suburban light-to-light traffic,etc.). See how it behaves and whether you like it.
2) Be aware that the DCT will be a different experience, even if it works optimally. I really like the DCT above, say 20 mph, but don't care for it at launch. Others seem to have this opinion, too.
3) With a new 2014 the odds are very good you'll get a DCT that performs well. But the odds of getting a troublesome transmission are probably higher than with any other mass-market car you can buy. Are you willing to chance it?

The Focus is a terrific "C" class car. It's stylish, comfortable, a great highway cruiser, quick enough, a good handler and is economical. It also doesn't scream "cheap" or "this is all I can afford" the way some of its competitors do. The DCT is the wild card here. Whether it's worth the risk is up to you.

And if you want only objective information, try Consumer Reports. They aren't high on Focus reliability generally, but give it OK marks for "transmission - major" and worse than average marks for "transmission - minor" issues. This seems consistent with drivability issues rather than catastrophic failures.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan50 View Post
2) Be aware that the DCT will be a different experience, even if it works optimally. I really like the DCT above, say 20 mph, but don't care for it at launch. Others seem to have this opinion, too.
This!

We bought a 2013 Focus SE Sedan with 8k miles and it had the shifting issue.

Brought it back to the dealer and they replaced the clutches and reprogrammed.

Got it back and within 12 hours it was actually worse than we we brought it in as it now shifted worse and had a new, very loud metallic grinding noise.

Brought it back, they redid it again and now my wife has reported no issue.


I drove it once and didn't like it at all.

Before reading any information about it, I told my wife that it felt like I was driving a standard without any control on acceleration. This caused me to accelerate faster than I normally would.

Little did I know that is exactly what this transmission is...


My wife likes it and that is all that matters to us, I will drive it again sometime and see if it feels any different.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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good luck

Just sold my 2012 focus with under 18k since the tranny was garbage......the part that scared me about my car was that it was flawless until about 12k miles.......if I kept it sooner or later the clutches would have to be replaced on my dime, period. If you buy a focus you're taking a risk that it's a good one, and imo they sure aren't cheap enough to justify that chance.

Tbh I'm really lucky to have gotten rId of mine and received what I owed on it. The dealer just never had it violently shake when they drove it ;)
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh123 View Post
I'm searching for a new car and I love the 2014 Ford Focus Titanium, but I'm a little hung up on all the noise I'm hearing about the DCT.

I can't tell if it's actually problematic to the point that parts don't work, or if it's just that people used to driving automatics are unfamiliar with the feel of an automated manual transmission, or both.

Having driven a car with its share of mechanical troubles, I want something I can rely on. If there are serious problems with the Focus's DCT, that's one thing. But if it's just a matter of feel, that's another.

Can anybody point me to some reliable info on this?
please take the time to check deeply on this transmission. A focus is going to run you 20-25,000 of your hard earned dollars.
Its your money, and therefore worth a few hours reading so you do this with your eyes wide open. (your choice).
IMO, most focus owners don't have these problems BUT woe unto you if you get a bad one.
Please check for yourself, there have been posts by 2014 owners as well encountering these problems.

http://www.wtae.com/investigations/i...sions/24333878

You are going to get responses minimizing this and others who now will never buy a Ford again.
Think for yourself and I agree you need to drive this over an entire weekend to see things happen.
There are hundreds of posts here, some people complain at the ford facebook focus page and also the lemon law blog.
IF you value your hard earned dollars PLEASE don't skimp researching this problem.

It is far more than people don't understand how it works. Like many others here I have had a long string of automatics and standards as well as a vw gti wet dual clutch (focus is dry).
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:40 PM   #7
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And if you drive a car for the weekend and it's great......keep me in mind, as I said mine was PERFECT for 12k miles.....and then all of a sudden I had a lousy tranny.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:39 PM   #8
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Purchased a 2013 last July and have not had a problem with the DCT. The 2012 models did have problems as stated above. New model and technology problems are common with most manufacturers. This tranny is a standard with an automated clutches and shifting. I have found that you can idle away from a stop or accelerate away from a stop; but there is an area between the two that has to be noted. If you are accelerating slowly away from a stop and decide to go much faster you don't have that conventional TC to let the engine rev much higher and then have the vehicle catch up with the revs. The vehicle can stumble in this situation, also idling uphill at stop and go speed, it is best to stop wait and go as you would with a standard tranny. This situation can cause the stuttering that many complain about as the clutches engage and disengage.
I am a supporter of this tranny and will recommend it with some advise " This is not a old time auto tranny, but an automated standard tranny and must be driven as such."
Good luck with your research and test drives.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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I own a 2014 with the DCT. I'm only at 3,000 miles so far but to this point i have had no problems at all with the transmision. It drives and shifts great. I love the car!
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:37 PM   #10
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I had a '12 Titanium, and while I experienced none of the bad behaviors I've been reading about (lurching, grinding, hesitating, overheating, leaky seals) I didn't keep the car long enough for some of those issues to manifest. I have to say that it performed 99% flawlessly for the short time I had it.

What I did experience is something I haven't seen mentioned on this forum. Twice, while cruising along at 50mph, I had to slow to allow someone in front of me to turn right, and upon accelerating back up to 50mph, the transmission refused to upshift past 3rd gear. Both times I confirmed with the shifter and the dash indicator that I was not in manual mode. The car had downshifted from 6th to 2nd, upshifted to 3rd and stuck there after achieving 50mph again. I had to shift it into "S" mode and force an upshift to 4th. I returned the shifter to "D", curious to see what it would do next, and it continued shifting on its own up to 6th.

I haven't seen that complaint out of any other member here, so the odds of you encountering it are slight, but be on the lookout for it.
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