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Old 11-25-2014, 04:48 AM   #1
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Tranny reliability of 2012-up?

A friend needs to replace his car, and is thinking about late-model Focus SE or Titanium. But he needs reliability. I told him my '02 and my wife's '05 have been great for over a decade. But he has heard there are some transmission issues with the 2012-up automatics.

Can anyone report if there are issues, and if they should be considered serious enough to factor into what could otherwise be a great car?

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Old 11-25-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
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Moved to the MkIII section,

Here & in the Tsb, recall & problems section for the MkIII you can find plenty of information.

Problems can be significant, and range from not being happy with the feel to "lemons" with repeated Dealer visits for repairs. '12-eary '14 has an extended warranty on some of the most likely problems (clutches/seals/programming) to 100,000 and the TCM is covered through 80,000, normal drivetrain warranty to 60,000/5 yr..

I've only seen a couple posts from folks involved with fleets to help determine frequency of major repair, those showed about 10% needing major service. Hard to quantify, as most posts are related to problems. '12 was the worst for many issues, serious ones should be addressed by now.

None are immune to trouble, including '14's, though if you look back at old posts the earlier cars had some with "new car" transmission problems as well.

Most suggest a long test drive including stop & go traffic to check out a used car, and it's a good idea to take one in a new car as well to see if the different way it drives is acceptable.

(Short answer)
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #3
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Also if you can drive stick the manuals have almost no issues compared to the autos. Both are still very good but it seems with the auto you are rolling the dice so to speak.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:34 PM   #4
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If Ford would step up & address this issue head on instead of putting bandaid after bandaid on it they would have a otherwise awesome car. It's only downfall is the DCT transmission... They never advertised it as a dual clutch trans, they refer it to a "automatic".... The following is a exact qoute from their manuals & online website

"Part of what makes Focus so satisfying to drive is its fully engaging available PowerShift 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers seamless gear changes and excellent responsiveness. Select models also include SelectShift technology which allows you to change gears at the touch of a button. SelectShift is standard on the SE Appearance Package and on the Titanium".

Since my wifes car hit around 400 miles, it has been the exact opposite of the discription above. Started off as a intermittent Herky jerky when taking off from a stop, noises & grinding sounds, expecially when making left turns, slipping in first going into second gear... its ridiculous & getting worse.

A clutch wears out, plain & simple thru normal use. Just like the pads on your brakes, it has to be replaced... If I had known that it was a dual clutch automated manual, I would have put more thought before the purchase of my wifes car... Which now has 7700 miles on her '14 hatchback and in need of a new clutch. We already been to the dealer & they informed us that its on backorder... My wife lately has been increasingly up my backside about this.. I'm a ford guy & it was me that convinced her to get it and now I feel like a ass. I convinced her to trade in her perfectly fine 2010 cobalt which was almost paid off and now its bitting me where the sun dont shine so Ford, if you're listening, please save me. She is seriously considering trading in her "lemon" and looking at Nissan's & Honda's now...

On the other hand, I too bought a '14 Focus hatchback for myself (after trading in my perfectly fine '12 Mustang) I have just turned 900 miles and so far no issues at all, runs/shifts fine & love it..

But from what I've been reading its only a matter of time... We're not wealthy people & we both need reliable transportation...
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonW956 View Post
If Ford would step up & address this issue head on instead of putting bandaid after bandaid on it they would have a otherwise awesome car. It's only downfall is the DCT transmission... They never advertised it as a dual clutch trans, they refer it to a "automatic".... The following is a exact qoute from their manuals & online website

"Part of what makes Focus so satisfying to drive is its fully engaging available PowerShift 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers seamless gear changes and excellent responsiveness. Select models also include SelectShift technology which allows you to change gears at the touch of a button. SelectShift is standard on the SE Appearance Package and on the Titanium".

Since my wifes car hit around 400 miles, it has been the exact opposite of the discription above. Started off as a intermittent Herky jerky when taking off from a stop, noises & grinding sounds, expecially when making left turns, slipping in first going into second gear... its ridiculous & getting worse.

A clutch wears out, plain & simple thru normal use. Just like the pads on your brakes, it has to be replaced... If I had known that it was a dual clutch automated manual, I would have put more thought before the purchase of my wifes car... Which now has 7700 miles on her '14 hatchback and in need of a new clutch. We already been to the dealer & they informed us that its on backorder... My wife lately has been increasingly up my backside about this.. I'm a ford guy & it was me that convinced her to get it and now I feel like a ass. I convinced her to trade in her perfectly fine 2010 cobalt which was almost paid off and now its bitting me where the sun dont shine so Ford, if you're listening, please save me. She is seriously considering trading in her "lemon" and looking at Nissan's & Honda's now...

On the other hand, I too bought a '14 Focus hatchback for myself (after trading in my perfectly fine '12 Mustang) I have just turned 900 miles and so far no issues at all, runs/shifts fine & love it..

But from what I've been reading its only a matter of time... We're not wealthy people & we both need reliable transportation...
Hi RonW956,

I've looked into your case and updated the notes, as well as reached out to your CSM for a call. Please keep me updated on how your wife's Focus is doing so I can keep the notes accurate and timely.

Meagan
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FordService View Post
Hi RonW956,

I've looked into your case and updated the notes, as well as reached out to your CSM for a call. Please keep me updated on how your wife's Focus is doing so I can keep the notes accurate and timely.

Meagan

Will do thanks!
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. H's wanting to buy one, but needs real reliability. He may just go with a manual.
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gcassidy View Post
Thanks for all the advice. H's wanting to buy one, but needs real reliability. He may just go with a manual.

I really wanted a manual but after a 500 mile radius search there were none, so I opted for a "auto".... All the negative reviews I've seen online were about the auto, hardly any for the manual tranny... good luck!
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:45 PM   #9
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Went with the manual version... never regretted my decision...fun car to drive!!

Bonus...its cheaper than the DCT!
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:12 PM   #10
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I can't speak of the long term reliability. But I can tell you my experience so far.
I bought our SE sedan new. First new Ford car we have ever purchased. Drove on vacation with a few hundred miles on it and the car just quits pulling while running down the road. Had to pull into the emergency lane and shut it off and restart it before it would "go" again. Had the same experience twice coming home from vacation.
Took car to dealer and was told "it's learning how you drive", funny my 2013 F150 is still learning "how I drive" but that is a completely other story.
Last week it started bogging down on take off and the jerking between shifts. Took to dealer, they reset something and said the pressure was off on something that it is good to go now but it will take awhile before it does right because again "it has to learn how you drive".
Tonight taking off from a 3 way stop the car starts jumping, like literally the front end was bouncing up and down and some weird loud grinding and popping sounds coming from it. So again I will take it back to the dealer and I am sure they will tell me the same thing again.
Needless to say I am very unhappy. I bought this car new in July and I am honestly afraid to drive it. For a car to just quit pulling in 70 mph traffic is just a safety hazard and risky.
The next time someone ask me "have you switched drivers lately because these transmissions have to learn how you drive" lecture I may not be so polite. It has nothing to do with who's driving it they apparently have a problem and don't know how to fix it.
As far as reliability I am afraid I would say as of right now my car isn't reliable. I am taking it in one more time but if it does it again it is gone and that will be my first and last Ford car. I am probably going to do the same thing with my first Ford truck if that problem doesn't get resolved as well.
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