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Old 03-22-2019, 10:54 AM   #109
IrishBrewer
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What I Drive: 2012 SEL Hatch, 2003 Cent. Sedan

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A couple things to note for anyone who is now beyond the extended warranty period. As Tom said, the shudder problem isn't always just the seal failure that results in clutch contamination. I checked underneath my 2012 and the interface between the transmission bellhousing and the engine was dry as a bone indicating that I likely don't have a seal leaking. However, I was starting to see the shudder return on the 1-2 shift. I have been through 3 warranty-covered clutch/seal replacements and have the latest generation of parts.

I recently found out that with a laptop, free Forscan software (with extended license) and the appropriate scan tool (under $20 from Amazon), you can run the adaptive learn service yourself. It goes through the same steps as a Ford technician would with the factory scan tool. I did this and it reset all of the shift parameters to my existing clutch - I didn't change a single part. After running this procedure that takes about 12 minutes, my shifting has improved dramatically with no 1-2 shudder (except for a bit on the first test drive which is said to be expected).

So, what I learned from this is that over time, the adaptive learning that happens out on the road as the system tries to make modifications based on your driving style gets out of whack over time. So, this confirms what Tom suggests that it is a software issue, not hardware. I would suggest taking a look at your bellhousing area under the car and if it looks good but you are experiencing transmission problems, give this a shot. It is actually much less hassle than going to a dealer and having a clutch replaced under warranty. I can see doing this every 2nd or 3rd oil change to keep things working great. One suggestion is to follow the procedure outlined on the Forscan forum explicitly. They recommend having your battery fully charged and vehicle connected to a battery charger throughout the test. I would also have your laptop plugged in during the process. You want to minimize the possibility of the test being terminated before it has been completed. Also, perform the procedure outside because near the end of the test, you have to start the car and rev the engine to WOT.

What this also means is that when/if needed, a clutch replacement job is not beyond the reach of a shadetree mechanic. You can fashion all of the tools you need to do the job pretty readily with a piece of plate steel, some steel pipe/caps and a few other miscellaneous parts. Then when it is all buttoned up, you run the adaptive learn in Forscan and you should be good to go. RockAuto has a nice LUK clutch kit for $350 so you could get the job done for around $400 as opposed to up to a couple grand.

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 03-22-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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