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Old 07-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
DudleyF
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Your opinion: Will Ford "fix" the 2012 Focus for good?

Just curious what everyone's consensus is: do you think Ford will iron out all the technical issues with the PowerShift and MyFordTouch and get this car ironclad and rock solid for the long run?

I do not currently own a Focus, or a Ford for that matter, but have been researching for some time to replace my daily commuter car and the 2012 Focus (5-door Titanium in particular) is by far my favorite of anything and everything out there right now. I love the style, inside and out, the features, the ride, the tech, the materials on the interior, etc. I have test-driven a 5-door Titanium twice and was as in love as one can be with a car, BUT reading about all the issues with the PS and MFT does make one very nervous to pull the trigger, so I keep lurking and browsing sites like this one hoping to hear the announcement that Ford has finally worked everything out and all the new ones run like clockwork.

I buy new, pay cash and keep my cars a long time (10-years minimum), so although efficiency and comfort are important, reliability is paramount (I have a 100-mile daily round-trip commute). My current commuter is a 2002 Honda Civic EX, and outside of routine scheduled maintenance, two set of front brake pads, and several sets of tires I have had only ONE repair in the 11 years / 155,000 miles I've owned it so far; at 147k a rear sway bar link broke. That's IT. And this experience was the same with past Hondas I own as well, so the Focus would have big shoes to fill for me. Before you tell me to "just go buy another Honda, rice boy" I should note I've driven the new Civic multiple times too, and just don't care for it, especially when compared to the Focus.

Just a viewpoint from outside looking in: you have an awesome car Ford, and I really WANT to be a convert, but you need to be truly world-class with your quality to sway people away from the established Japanese brands.


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Old 07-11-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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Instead of giving my opinion (which really would mean didly-squat for your purposes) I'll try to stick with facts & tell you that my 5/24/12 build date Titanium 5-door has performed flawlessly since about 200 miles on the clock. (it's approaching 500 now). I did notice some wierd behavior from the transmission during the first couple hundred miles, but it has since smoothed out and operates very comparably to a traditional automatic. The one difference that probably won't ever resolve itself is the strange behavior (for an automatic) it exhibits when reversing up hill. I don't like it, but I do understand why it does it. It acts very much like a manual-transmission when I back up my fairly steep driveway and into the garage, so I do have to make allowances for its tendency to roll forward if I let completely off the throttle. My auto-equipped Optima would just hold its position when I let off the gas, so you do have to pay attention when backing this car up hill. It just took some getting used to. What I'm getting at with all this: I think the programming in the more recent build dates may have tamed this transmission.

I've only had one instance with MFT that made me leery of it, but it's also learned to behave and I hope it continues. I probably haven't seen the last of the "System Update" screen, but it's been fine since the one day that it refused to turn on, and then refused to turn off. I will also tell you that it's been a bit less than willing to act right when attempting to play music from my IPod Touch via BlueTooth. It refused to remember the connection to it and my phone (HTC Incredible 2), and would 'forget' one or the other every time I turned off the car. But being a problem solver by nature, I just bought a short USB cord and plugged in the IPod....and it's been fine ever since. Sometimes I just find a way to fix something rather than go get in line at the service department.

My last items are in regard to overall build quality. The last few cars I've owned have been Japanese and Korean, and as picky as I am, I wasn't able to find anything awry with any of them in regard to fit & finish. I've already found 2 items on this car that I'm less than thrilled about.

The paint on the hood, sides & rear of the car looks great. The paint on the roof is less than stellar. From an angle (the only way to view the roof without a ladder) the paint has a dull haze to it. It reminds me of paint that's been sitting out in the sun for a couple of years. It's not faded..it's just not shiny or terribly reflective. I'm still trying to decide if I should get out my orbital buffer and have a go at removing the haze / smoothing out the clearcoat, taking it back to Ford for a remedy, or just living with it. Due to past experiences, the last thing I want is a re-paint. But dull paint on a new car bugs me. I'm a fanatic about having a clean, shiny car.

The other fit & finish item I've found concerns the area where the hood, right fender & right A-pillar converge. It's VERY different (the gap is wider and misaligned) on the right than it is on the left. My impression is that the hood is imperfectly shaped on the right side...like perhaps someone dropped the hood on the extreme aft right edge and bent it slightly, all before it was installed & painted. But in the interest of not having anything re-painted, I've opted to just ignore this. It's just disappointing that after 15 years of refusing to buy an American car because of some pretty bad quality problems with my '97 Ford Ranger, and having several cosmetically & mechanically perfect Japanese & Korean cars, I discover something like this still going on with Ford. This should've never left the factory as-is. Again..I'm nit-picky with stuff like this...it may be something that few others would've even noticed. To me, it's like a sore thumb.

Sorry to ramble. Just trying to give you the facts about my recent purchase. All is good, with a couple of small flies in the chardonnay. I think the Focus is something you'll be happy with as long as your expectations aren't too high in regard to the DCT. I've started noticing the noises from the transmission, but I know why it's making them, so until it leaves me stranded aside the road, it's steady-as-she-goes. Happy hunting!
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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I also have a late a later model FF (Ti HB built on 5/7/12) and have had no issues with the DCT in the 5500 miles I've put on it. I think I remember one or two instances were it acted a little weird in the first couple hundred miles but I've either adapted to it or the car has to me.

I should mention that I have lot's of auto experience given the many rental cars I drive every year and also a lot of manual experience as all but two of the 8ish cars/vans I've owned have been 5-speed manuals. With 5500 miles on my DCT I don't even have to think about it anymore.

OTH, some of the early adopters seem to have ongoing issues with the DCT and they may or may not be fixable with software updates. I really think some of the early adopters either had faulty parts or flawed assembly or the bad software early on may have damaged hardware so it's my opinion that some will need to have parts replaced. I also suspect that there will be additional refinements to the control software. The bottom line is that Ford can't walk away from this as it is too important to there future to have a viable DCT offering.

MFT may be a similar thing... I think the fact that many of the late adopters have had few issues while some/many of the early adopters are still having huge problems in spite of the fact that the software should be the same for everyone. And, since some of the early adopters have required the replacement of the APIM to resolve there problems suggests to me that either there was some bad hardware in the early cars or the early software is hosing the hardware. I have no way of knowing which of the two is more likely or if both is the case. It is certainly possible that the early software so badly managed the storage (flash memory) that it damaged it and now the APIM needs to be replaced to fix it. I just don't know...

But, as with the DCT system, MFT it too important for Ford's future for them to orphan it now. I am certain that there will be additional updates and it's likely the next one will be within about 3 months...


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Old 07-11-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the responses. I still like this car enough I plan to continue lurking for awhile until I make up my mind one way or the other.

cbdallas: thanks for your detailed comments. I do not consider what you wrote "rambling" at all, as I am equally picky about fit and finish, rattles, etc. and go over all my cars for about 45 min before accepting delivery (which tends to piss off a lot of dealers). Your feedback on paint and alignment is a valid concern in my book.

raptor1956: I drove nothing but manuals (exclusively) for 30 years, so the manual-like quirks such as rolling back slightly on a hill, etc. actually do not bother me at all. The grinding, clunking, and long hesitations I have read about do worry me, and even more worrisome yet is the question I keep asking myself: "Will this transmission need replacement 50,000, 80,000 or even 120,000 miles down the road?" If the answer to that ends up being "yes" I'll have been only a temporary convert, will return to what I know works and likely never give Ford another chance.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum


Moved you thread to the 2012 section since your asking about opinions and not a actual problem that way you get more opinions from actual 2012 onwers

The focus had problems with it first came out. This model is no different and I'm sure ford will fix what ever problems that are popping up. It just make take a year or two of real world use before they iron everything out. Just like they did with the first generation. People tend to forget the major recalls we had on the first year model and some seconds, after that it was all good.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor1956 View Post
OTH, some of the early adopters seem to have ongoing issues with the DCT and they may or may not be fixable with software updates. I really think some of the early adopters either had faulty parts or flawed assembly or the bad software early on may have damaged hardware so it's my opinion that some will need to have parts replaced. I also suspect that there will be additional refinements to the control software. The bottom line is that Ford can't walk away from this as it is too important to there future to have a viable DCT offering.
Agreed. I have a May 2011 build and I'm certain that first few months of transmission programming absolutely raped my clutch. It chatters going into 1st on almost every shift, but I'm going to let it be until it fails because it doesn't really effect performance. It also shakes at idle a little bit.

EDIT: I know for a fact in addition to the programming updates, Ford as changed the shoulder rivets on the clutch, beefed up an engine mount (to quell that vibrating on idle), as well as improved processes to prevent unbalanced clutches.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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I have a June 2011 - issues? None.

I haven't had to go for TSBs on the DCT either. MFT sucks, but that's a given since they went crazy with it and didn't optimize it at all till the update.

As far as the DCT goes. People who have a 2012 Focus probably don't know how DCTs work. They will never, ever be as smooth as torque converters. I knew, coming from experience with VAG dual clutch boxes that I shouldn't expect for slow speed smoothness.

At high speeds? Oh god does this gearbox work wonders, but thats a given for all DCTs.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:06 PM   #8
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Just make sure you take a really long test drive, maybe renting one for the weekend, before you buy. The DCT is a different animal, even when it's working as intended. Mine (after 2 software updates) is great at speed but a little clumsy around town.

There's a tendency here to blame expectations of the user for dissatisfaction with the DCT. Don't buy that explanation - make up your own mind. Ford seems to working diligently on the problem, but they aren't there yet. Will they ever be? Maybe.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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Aside from chattering clutches, my dct treats me very well. I have a 160 mile daily commute and my focus was a great decision, I get almost 40 mpg on every tank at 70mph. As far as mft, I don't have it and I don't care.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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I have driven over 28,000 kilometres in my car and the only real issue is noise from the front suspension, which is going to be fixed under warranty.
Have you considered the manual? I have the 5 speed and I find it easy to row and well matched to the engine, with plenty of overtaking power.
I too had a 2002 civic (manual) and until the 2012 Focus came along every other small car (apart from the expensive Golf) had a driving experience and interior that could not compare. The Focus is comfortable and rattle free and quiet - something I really appreciated after driving the noisy Civic for 250,000 kilometres.
I actually bought a 2012 Civic (auto) for my wife. Very comfortable and roomy, but with horrible fabrics and plastics. One fault too - the interior fan sounds like a bearing is faulty. 40,000 km so far and no other issues.
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