DCT issue during only one trip? - Focus Fanatics
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:41 AM   #1
mechanizeddeath
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DCT issue during only one trip?

I've had absolutely flawless shifting performance from my Focus up until today. I was heading home and noticed the shifts seemed to be taking much longer than usual, with up to a second of neutral between shifts. The problem got steadily worse as I got closer to home, to the point where eventually it wouldn't move forward at all. I got out of traffic, then stopped and restarted it, and although it was moving again, I was still having the delay in shifts.

The only thing I have done to the car recently is change the air filter, so on the offhand chance that it had something to do with that, I pulled the new filter out and reinstalled it. I also had a CEL show up not long after I changed the filter, but I have no way of knowing what the code is, as my 15 year old code scanner doesn't seem to play nice with the Focus.

I did notice that the air filter went in a lot easier the second time, though I have no idea if this is because I put it in wrong or because I had practice putting it in the first time. I also pulled the battery for about 5 minutes, just because.

Whatever the reason, the car runs perfectly fine now, and I drove about 50 miles without the issue reoccurring. So my question is this: would an improperly installed air filter have any effect on the DCT shifting?


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Old 07-05-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
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For what it is worth, some time ago a member reported that putting an aftermarket air filter in had cured his shifting problems. So, I imagine it could have contributed to the problems you experienced. Sounds completely improbable, but then who knows.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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The air filter issue seems unlikely to me, especially if was replaced with an OEM part. I guess you could recheck the fit just to be sure: there is a tab on the filter that fits in a slot on the housing, but you probably noticed that.

Two other guesses:

Disconnecting the battery seems to purge some of the DCT's shift memory, so it could have to relearn shift strategy in certain situations.

If traffic was heavy and the PCM's logic thought the clutch was in danger of overheating, it will make the DCT behave oddly to convince you change driving patterns or conditions. But this would usually be accompanied by a warning light.

There are lots of stories here about odd engine/transmission behavior cropping up and going away after a restart or the next day for reasons that are unknown. The good news is they typically seem to occur only once.
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAfromMN View Post
For what it is worth, some time ago a member reported that putting an aftermarket air filter in had cured his shifting problems. So, I imagine it could have contributed to the problems you experienced. Sounds completely improbable, but then who knows.
I know right? I felt silly even thinking it might be related, let alone asking it, but these newer cars are so complex and interconnected that I wouldn't be surprised at an airflow issue causing delayed shifts, as improbable as it might sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan50 View Post
The air filter issue seems unlikely to me, especially if was replaced with an OEM part. I guess you could recheck the fit just to be sure: there is a tab on the filter that fits in a slot on the housing, but you probably noticed that.

Two other guesses:

Disconnecting the battery seems to purge some of the DCT's shift memory, so it could have to relearn shift strategy in certain situations.

If traffic was heavy and the PCM's logic thought the clutch was in danger of overheating, it will make the DCT behave oddly to convince you change driving patterns or conditions. But this would usually be accompanied by a warning light.

There are lots of stories here about odd engine/transmission behavior cropping up and going away after a restart or the next day for reasons that are unknown. The good news is they typically seem to occur only once.
No one around here stocks the filter yet it seems, so I bought the Motorcraft one from RockAuto. Aside from my issues getting it in the first time, it fits perfectly and the tab is lined up at the bottom.

As a side note, I wasn't too fond of the filter design, but on the other hand with the closed end of the filter being visible through the open end of the air box, it creates a great place to write down the date and mileage of the filter install.

Traffic was light with only a few cars on the road, and I doubt it was getting too hot, as it was only about 70-75 out and it behaved just fine in heavy traffic on the 85+ degree days we were having last week. No warnings on the dash either, I'd read about those and kept waiting for a chime with a message that never came.

I'd still like to know what that engine trouble code is, but only one of my friends has a code scanner and he couldn't get his to work at all. My guess is the code will be purged by the time I get a replacement scanner that works.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:00 PM   #5
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I thought I would chime in... about 1500 miles on the odo and after 500 miles into my trip to nc traffic slowed and was stop and go for just a short bit. For the next 100 miles or so the transmission lost its mind...surging...early shifting...horrible shuddering and inconsistent shifting. After arriving and a night of rest all was fine. I debated making an emergency stop at the local ford dealer but everything was mostly fine after that. Love the trans when it works... Scares me when it starts to act crazy.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:57 PM   #6
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It's a DCT, what did you expect?
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