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Old 10-10-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
Focus805
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Automatic Transmission Fluid Maintenance

Hi all: I'm new here but pretty experienced with a DIY wrench having graduated to my SEL Hatch 300A (with polished 17's) from my beloved and dearly departed '99 VW Eurovan.

I notice that the Focus automated manual tranny does not appear to have a routine fluid replacement interval, just 150,000 miles, which coincidentally is elsewhere described as the expected operating life of the transmission. OTOH, the manual recommends fluid changes at 30,000 for heavy duty conditions. Gotta be a happy medium!

Has anyone given thought to upping the fluid maintenance and, if so, how? I haven't got the factory maintenance book yet, but will. I find the notion of a "sealed for life" transmission disturbing, especially on a vehicle I'd like to keep indefinitely. The manual appears to say there is a fill plug, but doesn't mention a drain plug. I haven't gotten down low to check yet.

BTW, I've had zero fit and finish issues or operating problems in my first week of ownership (KOW). I could gripe about a 1 mm panel misalignment by the shifter, or perhaps a 2 mm difference in the spoiler centering, but honestly I prolly wouldn't have noticed either if I hadn't seen them here first.


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Old 10-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #2
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I'm not 100% positive but the DSG we employ is a dry-clutch... I don't think we have transmission fluid, probably just lubricant to keep things as friction-free as possible, friction = heat = slow evaporation? Might just need to be re-lubricated after so long.

Don't quote me though, just some wild guessing.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #3
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I think, if I am not mistaken, that the Ford Focus DCT is a "dry" one while the DSG (VW) is a "wet" one.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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The Focus auto definitely has fluid -- from page 363 of the Owner's Guide:

TRANSMISSION FLUID
Checking 6-speed automatic transmission fluid
The automatic transmission does not have a transmission fluid dipstick.

Refer to your scheduled maintenance information for scheduled
intervals for fluid checks and changes. Your transmission does not
consume fluid. However, the fluid level should be checked if the
transmission is not working properly, (i.e., if the transmission slips or
shifts slowly) or if you notice some sign of fluid leakage.
Transmission fluid should be checked by an authorized dealer. If
required, fluid should be added by an authorized dealer.
Do not use supplemental transmission fluid additives, treatments or
cleaning agents. The use of these materials may affect transmission
operation and result in damage to internal transmission components.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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The transmission has a fill plug and a drain plug so you can change the oil easily.

The correct transmission fluid is:

http://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubricant...ission%20Fluid

There seems to be some confusion about "wet" and "dry" for these types of transmissions. In this context, it is referring to the clutches. Otherwise, it is essentially a manual gearbox that is operated electronically. I don't know of a manual gearbox that doesn't require some kind of gear oil.

Considering that the factory gear oil is synthetic and that it is not used for the clutches, 100K+ miles seems to be reasonable.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon View Post
The transmission has a fill plug and a drain plug so you can change the oil easily.

The correct transmission fluid is:

http://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubricant...ission%20Fluid

There seems to be some confusion about "wet" and "dry" for these types of transmissions. In this context, it is referring to the clutches. Otherwise, it is essentially a manual gearbox that is operated electronically. I don't know of a manual gearbox that doesn't require some kind of gear oil.

Great stuff -- thanks. What do you think about intervals? 30,000 factory heavy duty guidelines or????
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for clearing this up. I was under the impression that this was a dry clutch as well.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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Are you sure that is not a "dry" one ?

Quote:
There are two fundamental types of clutches utilised in dual clutch transmissions: either two wet multi-plate clutches which are bathed in oil (for cooling), or two dry single-plate clutches. The wet clutch design is generally used for higher torque engines which can generate 350 newton metres (258 ftlbf) and more (the wet multi-plate clutch DCT in the Bugatti Veyron is designed to cope with 1,250 Nm (922 ftlbf)), whereas the dry clutch design is generally suitable for smaller vehicles with lower torque outputs up to 250 Nm (184 ftlbf).However, whilst the dry clutch variants may be limited in torque compared to their wet clutch counterparts, the dry clutch variants offer an increase in fuel efficiency, due to the lack of pumping losses of the transmission fluid in the clutch housing.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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Here is something interesting.

http://www.dctfacts.com/latest-news/...ch-Europe.aspx
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focus805 View Post
Great stuff -- thanks. What do you think about intervals? 30,000 factory heavy duty guidelines or????
Well...

I'm sure you can get a number of different opinions on this (like which brand of motor oil is best).

The manual transmission (MTX75) does use the same XT-11-QDC gear oil. One could argue that the manual is more likely to be subjected to "abuse".
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