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Old 02-05-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
BeepBeep2
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2012 Focus SEL from Hell...

Okay, well here goes.

I own a 2012 Ford Focus SEL which we bought in August from a local car dealer at 37K miles. It now has 45K miles.

The car drove okay, for the most part, though I had lots of issues with the radio/SYNC button group on the steering wheel going nuts (Vol down = vol up, vol up = play next song, or buttons completely not responding)...

Though after getting used to the car some, I noticed that on WOT launches, at the top of second gear, the clutch would slip and jump RPM to 7K as well as delay into third, as well as pretty harsh stuttering in slow rolling traffic.

At 38K miles, I went ahead and installed an aftermarket GREEN Air Filter and "snorkel delete". Of course, this is an oiled filter, though it is very lightly oiled and came pre-oiled from the factory. (It is not as if I took it and soaked it in oil.)

At 40K miles, I took the car in to the dealer to see what they would do about the transmission stuttering and the 2nd gear problem (which was only second gear)... they were happy to do a PCM and TCM reflash as per TSB on this car which had a June 2011 build date and no history of service. (This was a rental/fleet car... )

Immediately after I went off the lot, I noticed MAJOR issues with the transmission. Crawling in traffic was most definitely fixed, however simple upshifts from 2-3 around 25 MPH @ 20% throttle were missed (crazy lurch) as well as when WOT in 2nd gear, at 6K RPM the car would disturbingly cut throttle, fall down to about 5K RPM, go back up to 6K with full force, rinse and repeat 2-3 times. When getting up to highway speed at 50%+ throttle, during a double downshift the car would sometimes stutter extremely bad before finding the way to go.

I went straight back to the dealer about it, having about 150 miles on the car since the reflash, and they told me to give it "at least 500 miles to clear up".
As far as I know, the relearning time stated for the PCM/TCM reflash procedure is only 200 miles.

I went back in after 600 miles with the issue still happening (albeit less often) and they went ahead and scheduled me for a service appointment.

By 42K miles, the issue occurred much less, however, the same issues still occurred intermittently. (A bit of an annoyance...car randomly becomes a brick on the highway)

I've since been struggling with my local dealer to fix the problem...
On one instance, they emailed Ford for assistance and Ford came back to them that if they could not reproduce the problem with a test drive, to have them keep it and a technician spend extra time driving it. (ie. He would drive it home, etc.) ...so my service advisor set up an appointment for me to drop the car off for them to do so.

Two weeks later, I show up to hand him the keys and drop the car off, and they act like they had no idea what was going on, and needed to "take a test drive with me" but with both the service advisor and a mechanic.

The mechanic was a man who argued with me previously for almost 30 minutes about "knowing the way a manual transmission works" when I had first come in with the issue after the reflash about 2nd Gear and the transmission not shifting into 3rd correctly under WOT. At the end of the argument he thanked me for wasting his time ...

Both the guys took me out for a 5 minute test drive on a day where it was 15 degrees and snowing with my 42K mile ContiProContact OEMs worn to nothing, so that I could reproduce a problem that occurred 1 out of 20 times at WOT, and another issue that occurred about once every 10 hours of driving?

...so after the test drive (where the 2nd gear issue at WOT actually occurred, mildly) they tried to tell me that it "felt like traction control engaging" because "after all you were flat on it right after you got out of the turn"

...the not-so-polite mechanic also demanded I pop the hood open so he could look at "why the intake was so damn loud" and then gave me a nice 20 minute speech (outside in the cold) on "reasons why you don't put a K&N in your car" (not a K&N, but oiled nonetheless...), he was trying to tell me that the issue could be my air filter "because you just don't know, you probably ruined the MAF".

I basically told him to piss off about it because I'm just not that stupid (you're telling me that my filter oiled and ruined the MAF in only 3K miles, and that it causes my intermittent transmission issues?), and he turned around and ignored me all the way inside the building. The assistant service manager came to me noticing the commotion and lent a helping hand.

This escalated further until "the interstate vehicle specialist" offered to go on a test drive with me. Apparently it is really hard to get him in. That hasn't been done yet, I've kind of insisted against it...how am I supposed to ensure the car acts up in the 2 minutes I sit in with him when the chances are something like 1 in 900?

I tried to simply get them to do the PCM/TCM reflash once more and they won't do it. I noticed they left residual codes in the computer from the PCM update they still haven't cleared. C140_00, C121_00, C131_00, C151_00 ...etc.

Now last Thursday, on the highway I was using about 50% throttle to get around a semi truck and the car did similarly with the double downshift that it had before - I was left a sitting duck at 45 MPH with a GMC Envoy coming up behind 75 MPH. Lost all acceleration for a second while the car kind of "found its brains", but this time, the car gave a message:

"Engine Malfunction: Service now."

I took a picture of the dash, dismissed the message, and noticed the car was in a sort of "limp mode" with the [ i ] indicator light glowing orange. Straight to the dealership I went, and left the car running to make sure they saw it.

The assistant manager pulled the car into the shop (he saw the light as well), but when they took the car through the line to check alignment, etc, they shut the car off. On the next start, there were no codes saved, the info light was out, and the car was no longer in limp mode.

I drove the car home after the manager took notes so they could send to Ford to check through the OASIS system any similar cases.




That report came back, which report was sent by the mechanic/technician, indicating that "An aftermarket air filter and improperly seated air box cover under WOT instances may cause the issue as described, and no further action is suggested unless codes are produced or the issues are verified in a future test drive"

I'm sure my car almost stalled on an incline yesterday as well with the transmission shaking and the car turning 450 RPM because of my air filter, right?

For the first time in 5 months, my issues with the steering wheel audio controls came back too, and much too often, the car refuses to lock with the FOB for almost 30 seconds :)


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Old 02-05-2014, 04:21 PM   #2
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That dealer is a prick.

Just take out the oiled cloth air filter and temporarily replace it with a stock paper filter. Then go to a different dealer and start over. Your transmission problems are well documented in this forum but that dealer used your third party air filter to blow you off.

Your tranny problems could be as simple as a software flash or complicated as leaking seals contaminating the clutches. You may even need a new clutch pack.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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That's just insane. Those people sound like morons. Hope it gets fixed soon I hate dealing with dealerships
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavsine View Post
That dealer is a prick.

Just take out the oiled cloth air filter and temporarily replace it with a stock paper filter. Then go to a different dealer and start over. Your transmission problems are well documented in this forum but that dealer used your third party air filter to blow you off.

Your tranny problems could be as simple as a software flash or complicated as leaking seals contaminating the clutches. You may even need a new clutch pack.
The assistant manager is rather nice, and is willing to keep the paperwork open. I think he knows there's an issue, but is either pretending to be uneducated (or legitimately does not understand) the way cars work. They've already done the TSB reflash once and it's in OASIS so a new dealer will be asking me about what's been happening.

The only other two Ford dealerships in the area didn't treat us so well when we were looking to PURCHASE a car so how can I expect their service centers to be better?

I'm rather manually and technically inclined, it's not like I'm really this stupid...though I am 18 years old with a "souped up Focus" as the technicians probably look at me.

I'd be happy to take the filter out, hit the MAF sensor with MAF cleaner, get a stock paper filter and reinstall the damned useless snorkle if that would get people to listen to me.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
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One thing I have learned, if your going to a dealership to bitch about your car and you being that young, bring your father or a father figure. You wouldn't let a 8 year old tell you that your wrong would you? That's how you look to them.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SlickWilly View Post
One thing I have learned, if your going to a dealership to bitch about your car and you being that young, bring your father or a father figure. You wouldn't let a 8 year old tell you that your wrong would you? That's how you look to them.

Have done so already on a few of the occasions. Especially the last time I took it in with the "Engine Malfunction" error.

Ford apparently thinks the error is caused by my air filter! I'm betting Mr. "Yo dogg you ruined your MAF" Technician made sure to put that in the filing report when they sent it out
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:14 PM   #7
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If they want to bring that up, tell them to grab another MAF and stock air filter and take it for a test drive, that way when it does it again you can tell them "Yoo Dawg, you stupid, still not work!"

Lol. Goodluck buddy
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
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Op please find new dealer. What a bunch of bs that prick of a mechanic barfed
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
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Good luck with that!
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:18 AM   #10
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sorry to hear about your horrible SEL. I too have a 2012 SEL, bought it with 30k, it was also a rental/fleet.

But I have had no DCT issues. Then only thing has been the cheap foam material in the trunk liner that the dealer replaced via a TSB.

That said, at 42k miles currently I am going to take it to the dealer and have the clutch seals and all of the DCT inspected before my 60k power train warranty expires.

Luckily I have a really good customer service dealership. A shame that not all FORD owners can say the same.
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