2012 SEL Shudder / Tip-in bog / MPG issues - Focus Fanatics
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:42 AM   #1
Stryker777
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Exclamation 2012 SEL Shudder / Tip-in bog / MPG issues

Ford Fanatics Technical Guru's:

Scheduled appointment with a Santa Barbara Ford Dealership on 2 Dec 2011.
**Dropped the car off on 2 Dec and picked it up on 8 Dec given they had to wait on parts. It appears the large scale issues have been resolved but the SYNC issue remains and now a new problem has cropped up that will be addressed later. The dealership service adviser communicated status daily and was very professional to deal with. They have an after hours drop off and given they close at 530pm and we are 60+mi from the dealership, it is handy when I cant get off until 5pm. I will keep this updated as trends / issues crop up.

(** = First dealership visit findings / solutions / outcome. )

PROBLEMS:
1) Idle shudder under light braking: If sitting at a stop light while applying light pressure on the brake (enough to keep the car from moving but not mashing the pedal to the floor), then the car will shudder. If I pull the e-brake up two clicks (just enough to cause some resistance) and do not apply pressure to the gas or brake pedal, it will shake your legs off and darn near spill coffee (if you have an open container).
** - Dealership stated this was covered under a TSB and a new transmission clutch was ordered / installed. Shudder problem resolved.

2) On throttle tip-in from a stop the car lags / bogs / hesitates like it is deciding whether to go then picks up aggressively.
** - Dealership stated this was normal but suspect solution for #3 fixed the issue. Could not duplicate when I picked the car up.

3) *-Severe hesitation on down-shift tip-in (e.g. while passing). Was not as prominent until until after the first scheduled maintenance visit at 5000mi. This has caused near miss situations when turning across traffic from a turn lane and my wife has nearly been T-boned more times then I can count. We thought this might be the 'adaptive' learning technology but it can be quite hazardous if you don't judge the speed of on-coming traffic just right and adjust for the 2+ second lag in vehicle response.
** - Dealership noted this on the work order but there was no documented solution; however the adviser stated they reflashed one if the control units / modules. Problem resolved. Could not duplicate when picked up from the dealership.

4) The MPG isn't anywhere close to the advertised 40mpg. The only time I have ever come close was when the car had around 3000mi at sea-level with the cruise set at 55mph on a straight level road. Any deviation would mean a reduction. In the first 4000mi we experienced a drop from mid 30s in combined driving situations of speeds less than 65 on moderate hilly terrain to less than 28 under the same conditions. Possibly related to the problems above.
*-Current Mileage=8000 - MPG averages 27 with 50/50 highway / town mix, light hills and a very conservative driver.
** - current milage 8430. This is TBD. Dealership noted that this was a Non Problem.

5) *SYNC always starts up on LINE IN accompanied by a harsh buzz like a guitar was just plugged into an amp.
**-Dealership noted this was a non-problem (suspect they did not duplicate). Able to duplicate immediately. SYNC still starts up in line in and with a notable buzz.

6) *SYNC selectively inop from vehicle start-up. Steering wheel controls and radio controls all inop except the radio button itself. Requires shutting the vehicle off and letting sit to restore full SYNC & radio control functionality. Problem has happened several times in the last 8000mi. Could be related to #5.
**- Dealership noted Non-problem. Suspect they could not duplicate.

Post first visit problems:
1A) Transmission disengages harshly (bangs) on tip out between 2 - 1 downshift. My Fusion still does this and it acts like it gets confused. It is most predominant when accelerating for short distances before a stop where it shifts into 2rd briefly but bangs into first upon deceleration like it thought it was going to shift into 3rd but can't react to the slowing input fast enough. Will look to resolve later when I have another 2.5hrs hours to drive the 120mi to get it into the dealer.

_____________________
*Pre-first visit comments: Hopefully we can work together to expediently solve these problems. While I understand cars are built by humans and nothing is ever perfect, the fact there are so many people with similar issues means Ford has problems that need to be solved that extend beyond just my car which is really disappointing. The only reason we bought a Ford (again) was because enough years had passed from our last horrible Ford experience (Windstar) and that of our friends (Taurus/Explorer), coupled with the positive consumer reports and seeming 'come back' of an American company that didn't sell its soul to the Federal Government. Need a vote of confidence and for this to be just a 'blip', not another haunting.
____________________

//VR//
Stryker777
Central California

Owner of:
2012 Focus SEL
2010 Fusion SE
1986 Toyota with 200k/mi, no reported problems or trips to the dealership since the window regulator in 1987.



Last edited by Stryker777; 12-09-2011 at 12:47 AM. Reason: ** - Service visit 2 - 8 Dec 2011: 8426mi
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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1) That is because the the clutch is engaged and the car is trying to move forward, but can't. With the foot off the brake (or almost off, as you can tell) it wants to roll forward like a normal automatic. Same with the hand brake. The shuddering is because the car obviously can't move forward, and the clutch is engaging/disengaging constantly in an attempt to move the car. There probably isn't a 'fix' for this because it really isn't an 'issue'. Don't idle with your foot barely on the brake or the handbrake engaged with it in gear. Ford seemed to have designed it that way, I think it's unlikely they will change it.

2) Give it more go pedal. Also try running 91 or 93 octane fuel.

3) Those are EPA estimates. Most people do not see those numbers, especially if you're driving 70mph or greater. I don't think I've ever owned a vehicle that reached EPA estimates unless I was on a very straight and level road, with cruise control set at about 60-65.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:36 AM   #3
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My 2012 has a manual tranny. so no comment on the tranny.
The mpg, I can get 42mpg plus in country roads with 45mph to 50 mph averages. have to be no stops, no other cars, just cruise control at a lower than speed limit or at with 50 mph... As soon as i go up to 55 i drop mpg to 39 or so. Any traffic and it drops.
Nowhere does the claim of 40mpg mean at 65mph..
I can keep it up near 40 mpg, like 37 and up in the city with really light foot on gas. and very early shifting. With 'normal' city hit the gas driving the mpg drops to 27 mpg. And worse with a lot of congestion and stop and go.
So a lot depends on ones style, and the environment to get high mpg. This car is a lot better than my Contour was, which it never mattered what i did, it got 20mpg all the time.
I like that my efforts can really change the mpg I am getting.
I agree it does seem some 2012 Focus get better mpgs than others. mysterious.
And no excuse for the tranny issues.


.... Not as any criticism, but just a comment if it helps, if not not meant to be insult:
so, small engine do NOT do well with just standing on the pedal. Just wondering if actually trying to step too hard on the gas is the issue for the bog. The bog is pretty standard response in a small low torque engine at low RPM getting a big throttle hit. also if the gearbox in NOT in first gear..?
Small typical Honda/motorcycle engine really benefit from a light touch on the gas pedal, and using the RPMs to push the car, not the throttle. Hard to explain what i mean, when the tranny shifts gears as soon as possible,,,
But i definitely believe part of the bog is user misunderstanding that a WOT at low RPMs IS going to cause a bog. period. (in any engine I ever saw.. small motorcycle, VW 50hp beetle.. you do NOT want to punch the gas hard at low RPM.... finessing the throttle...
If I am off on this and it has nothing to do with this than I apologize in advance, but that is the usual situation...
With the fuel being geared to maximise fuel savings, and NO big fuel gush for rich large throttle low RPM . it is guaranteed to be happening.. It is just the laws of mechanics..

IF Ford offers a remap of throttle for the folks it might cure the issue, but it would kill MPG in the city, bad.
Feel free to vent at me for bringing this up, as i know a LOT of folks will be angry i even brought it up again.

Added: and i wonder yet if it is something to do with WOT and 'unintended acceleration' where the car just decides it may be a mistake' and will not accelerate???

Last edited by Elizabeth; 09-27-2011 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:14 AM   #4
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I don't agree with Joeywhat regarding there is not a fix. If that issue was a prevalent as it is on the this forum the media would be all over it and they are not. My SEL has been silky smooth from the get go. With the car in drive it behaves just like any other automatic.

Same thing with the bog. Our car goes as soon as you step on the gas no bog or hesitation.

My recommendation is to keep after the dealer, there has to be a fix.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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2012 SEL Shudder

Stryker777


Can you do this for me go get a cup of coffee and then go get in a car or a truck with a manual trans put the coffie in the cup holder, put the trans in 1st gear set the E-break, let the clucth all the way out VERY FAST and than push it back in and than let it back out and than back in. you should by now have the coffie all over you as you SHOULD. the trans in your focus is a manunal trans shifted by actuators setting the E-break well the car is in drive with your foot off the main break is not a good idea and will make the car act very odd. this is by design Ford did not think someone would set the E-break at a stop light while in gear. the shudder you are talking about is the springs in the clutch disk trying to do their job. this is totally normal. i sense an update of the owners manual coming...
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012TI View Post
Can you do this for me go get a cup of coffee and then go get in a car or a truck with a manual trans put the coffie in the cup holder, put the trans in 1st gear set the E-break, let the clucth all the way out VERY FAST and than push it back in and than let it back out and than back in. you should by now have the coffie all over you as you SHOULD. the trans in your focus is a manunal trans shifted by actuators setting the E-break well the car is in drive with your foot off the main break is not a good idea and will make the car act very odd. this is by design Ford did not think someone would set the E-break at a stop light while in gear. the shudder you are talking about is the springs in the clutch disk trying to do their job. this is totally normal. i sense an update of the owners manual coming...
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:13 PM   #7
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2012TI, my car does not do any of that. If I stop the car there is no shuddering as I slow to a stop. While stopped at an idle there is no shaking or shuddering regardless of the brake pedal pressure. On a level road with foot off the brake the car will slowly creep forward with no shaking or shuddering. On a hill after a brake application the car will sit there without my foot on the pedal with no shaking or shuddering. If I apply gas to pull away then take my foot off it will roll back but there is no shaking or shuddering.

I can either slowly pull away with minimal application of the gas or aggressively there is no shake or shuddering.

I think the vast majority of folks have my experience and i don't believe any of the shaking and shuddering some folks are experiencing is normal or acceptable.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker777 View Post
I am experiencing similar issues as others. We noticed these issues from the get-go and based on recommendations from consultants on this forum, entertained the idea that they were just 'break in' issues; however, they are not related to break in (which is a concept not so prevalent on modern, close tolerance vehicles). Now that the car as 6100mi and is well past any break-in period, we will be taking it to the dealership to start this journey like many others.
Quote:
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the trans in your focus is a manunal trans shifted by actuators setting the E-break well the car is in drive with your foot off the main break is not a good idea and will make the car act very odd.
Hello Stryker777,

I'm glad you are bringing your concerns to your dealer's attention. As 2012TI posted, your example of the vibration occurring while using the parking brake may be normal, as it is designed for use while in Park. Please let me know if your dealer is unable to assist so I can help.

~Natasha
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgc333 View Post
2012TI...If I stop the car there is no shuddering as I slow to a stop. While stopped at an idle there is no shaking or shuddering regardless of the brake pedal pressure. On a level road with foot off the brake the car will slowly creep forward with no shaking or shuddering. On a hill after a brake application the car will sit there without my foot on the pedal with no shaking or shuddering. If I apply gas to pull away then take my foot off it will roll back but there is no shaking or shuddering.

I can either slowly pull away with minimal application of the gas or aggressively there is no shake or shuddering.

I think the vast majority of folks have my experience and i don't believe any of the shaking and shuddering some folks are experiencing is normal or acceptable.
This account is what all well built automatic vehicles should feel like. My 2010 Fusion is exactly as you describe. Appreciate the balanced and objective response. Still trying to carve out time to have the dealership look at it. I am anxious to test drive another 2012 SEL to contrast the differences. Perhaps that would be the best way to help the service department.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordCustomerService View Post
Hello Stryker777,

I'm glad you are bringing your concerns to your dealer's attention. As 2012TI posted, your example of the vibration occurring while using the parking brake may be normal, as it is designed for use while in Park. Please let me know if your dealer is unable to assist so I can help.

~Natasha
Natasha,

We have an appointment this Friday to address the problems in the first post. [edited: removed short list - all problems and outcomes will be posted at the top]

Regarding the vibration: Using the e-brake set at only 10% is nothing more than another form of resistance to the transmission, no different than wind resistance. I found that by setting the e-brake, I could easily and consistently replicate the problem thereby increasing the chance of getting the problem addressed by the dealership. However, I have seen a trend from other threads where Ford's official position is that the vibration was 'normal' or by design. Hope that is not the outcome of my visit. While it might not be severe enough to cause mechanical damage, it most definitely does not inspire confidence or a sense of long-term reliability for the consumer.

Last edited by Stryker777; 11-30-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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