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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Were the DCT issues sufficiently improved upon in 2017-2018 models to make them reliable and safe? I've got my eye on some low mileage '17 and'18 Titanium Hatchbacks but cannot find enough about them on the forum regarding DCT issues. Is that because there are fewer complaints about them in those model years?
 

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Were the DCT issues sufficiently improved upon in 2017-2018 models to make them reliable and safe? I've got my eye on some low mileage '17 and'18 Titanium Hatchbacks but cannot find enough about them on the forum regarding DCT issues. Is that because there are fewer complaints about them in those model years?
They were improved, but not enough in my opinion to trust them.

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Were the DCT issues sufficiently improved upon in 2017-2018 models to make them reliable and safe? I've got my eye on some low mileage '17 and'18 Titanium Hatchbacks but cannot find enough about them on the forum regarding DCT issues. Is that because there are fewer complaints about them in those model years?
2016-18 Focuses with the DPS6 auto have a newer revision of the TCM(transmission control module) and clutch with other parts being updated as well. However, no DPS6 trans will be free of potential problems.
Ford has gone thru many design iterations of TCMs over the years to get them more reliable and to a degree they have the newest versions performing acceptably well and lasting for quite a lot of miles on average. It's somewhat rare to hear of a newest version TCM failing but it does still happen from time to time. Any TCM of any year regardless if it's a newer updated one will still be at risk to malfunction. It's the basic nature of the design. Though, Ford has refined the obvious failure issues with them drastically since the car was introduced for the 2012 model year.
My 2012 was bought with 121k on it in March of 2020. The dealer replaced the TCM and clutch right before I bought it. I drove the car for 50k miles with very few trans issues and of those none were of major concern. Some shuddering shifting from 2nd to 3rd on hot days near the tail end of that 50k point but not much of a worry or even a nuisance as it was barely perceptible. My car popped out of gear twice. Once going in reverse and once in OD but that was really it for complaints.
At just about 120k miles an original clutch will need to be replaced. That's the magic mileage where it wears out. Not that big of a deal since most manual trans clutches wear out at some point around 150k or so and this trans is basically a DCT(dual clutch transmission) manual with electromechanical control.
Clutch actuators are pretty reliable now. Ford redesigned them too.
I would still consider buying another auto MK3 Focus but I would demand a service history to see when/if the clutch and TCM have ever been replaced if it's a 2015 or older. Even my 2012 was one of the most reliable and cheapest to maintain vehicles that I've ever owned.
 

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Were the DCT issues sufficiently improved upon in 2017-2018 models to make them reliable and safe? I've got my eye on some low mileage '17 and'18 Titanium Hatchbacks but cannot find enough about them on the forum regarding DCT issues. Is that because there are fewer complaints about them in those model years?
I had a 2017 2.0 DCT, it had multiple transmission issues within the first 20k miles, it spent as much time in the shop as on the road. DO NOT BUY! Get a manual if you must get a focus.
 

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Ford has revised the TCM in these cars many, many times and is still probably doing it because they have a few more years of warranty liability to deal with. I'm sure the 2016-18s didn't have the newest TCM that's available now or at least has been available for the past couple years. So, perhaps they were still more problematic when those cars were new. I've only heard of one person on here complain that a newly replaced TCM needed to be replaced itself because it was defective. Everyone else on here in the past 9 or 10 months that got their new TCM had no follow up problems that they reported so if it has the newest version it apparently is reliable. Mine certainly was for 50k miles.
As I said above my 2012 had high mileage on it when it got a new TCM and clutch and afterwards it never had to go to the dealer or any shop for that matter. The car cost me almost nothing in maintenance other than a set of tires and oil changes and I put a lot of miles on it. I never had a trouble code come up in all that time so my car was a testament to the new TCM reliability. I'm not saying it was perfect but nothing concerning ever came up.
In the case of poor1.0 I guess there's just some cars that have inherent problems that can't be fixed. Depending on the dealer they might not care about fixing a car properly. Some dealers are dishonest, cheap, and/or incompetent.
 

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That is not a transmission I would want to daily drive out-of-warranty.....

You’re probably just looking at the low prices on them..... aren’t you?

And why are the prices low? It’s because that transmission is garbage & the resale value is terrible....

I’m not even sure why you’d consider own however to each their own....

If I was looking for a basic sporty commuter to go from point A to B, I’d buy a Toyota & never look back....

Those clutch packs are going to cost you around 2k when they fail.


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I know looks & styling are subjective however I’ve always felt like the 2012+ Focus was better looking vs. anything Honda or Toyota has to offer..... it’s a shame Ford never got that transmission right.


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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thank you all for your responses. Truly appreciated.

@Pokerrun388: actually price has little to do with it. If I don't buy a '17-'18 Focus, I'm buying a new car under full warranty. What it's about is I've had earlier generations of Focus, loved them, and that history plus, as you say, the personal issue of looks and style are what draw me to the '17-'18 hatchbacks that I've looked at. Also they're all CPOs which provides a bit of protection. Admittedly, not enough.
 

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Thank you all for your responses. Truly appreciated.

@Pokerrun388: actually price has little to do with it. I've had earlier generations of Focus, loved them, and that history plus, as you say, the personal issue of looks and style are what draw me to the '17-'18 hatchbacks that I've looked at. Also they're all CPOs which provides a bit of protection. Admittedly, not enough.


I just don’t think it’s worth the headache.... if it starts being jerky & hesitating on acceleration, then you’ll have to take into the dealer & go through all of that nonsense.... they keep it for a day ‘nothings wrong with it’ yada yada.... same bs story.

Then who really knows what ‘CPO’ actually covers.... when you read the fine print, it’s basically ‘limited’ so they always have a way to make the customer pay..... I feel it’s somewhat of a gimmick.

I’d probably just pay 2-3k more for a Corolla Hatchback or sedan.


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That is not a transmission I would want to daily drive out-of-warranty.....

You’re probably just looking at the low prices on them..... aren’t you?

And why are the prices low? It’s because that transmission is garbage & the resale value is terrible....

I’m not even sure why you’d consider own however to each their own....

If I was looking for a basic sporty commuter to go from point A to B, I’d buy a Toyota & never look back....

Those clutch packs are going to cost you around 2k when they fail.
I’d probably just pay 2-3k more for a Corolla Hatchback or sedan.
But prices actually aren't low and resale value is anything but terrible. They're just about as much as any other domestic car in the same class. I just shopped for a 2012+ 2 months ago and they were anything but cheap. That includes autos btw. I looked at private sellers, used car dealers, Ford(and other manufacturer dealers) used cars, and many, many online listings.
And if the current version of trans is such garbage then why did my 2012 go for 50k miles without any codes registering or any other major issues? Because the TCM and clutch is notably more reliable now than it has been in years past. Like I said above it's not quite perfect but nothing major had come up in 50k miles of driving for me on a new TCM and clutch.
hstrymkrs and 71_340 as well as many other members on here have put thousands of miles on their DPS6 with major work done on them and have no problems too.
Any clutch job on any dct trans that anyone makes will cost about $2000 give or take. There's nothing different with the DPS6 other than a pretty consistent 120k mileage where they wear out. It's the TCM that's the big concern.
 

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Thank you all for your responses. Truly appreciated.

actually price has little to do with it. If I don't buy a '17-'18 Focus, I'm buying a new car under full warranty. What it's about is I've had earlier generations of Focus, loved them
...looks and style are what draw me to the '17-'18 hatchbacks that I've looked at. Also they're all CPOs which provides a bit of protection. Admittedly, not enough.
If they're CPO then pretty much everything mechanical on the car is completely covered for 1 year/12k miles on top of any remaining warranties like the 150k/10yr TCM warranty or original 5 year powertrain warranty. After that you get the 7 year/100k miles powertrain warranty from the time the car was originally sold off the lot when new. Therefore, knowing the in-service date(when the vehicle was originally sold) is important. If a 2017 model was sold new on July 17, 2017 then that car would have until July 17, 2024 for any CPO powertrain warranty claims to be made.
I would demand to see any service records for the car before buying one. This way you can tell if the car has ever had a newer TCM put in. It's a shame that Ford has completely gotten out of the compact car market. After the ugly C-Max stops production the smallest vehicle that they'll be making soon is the Maverick. It seems that they just want to make more expensive bigger profit vehicles now which is a shame and against the original Ford doctrine that the company was built on.
 

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But prices actually aren't low and resale value is anything but terrible. They're just about as much as any other domestic car in the same class. I just shopped for a 2012+ 2 months ago and they were anything but cheap. That includes autos btw. I looked at private sellers, used car dealers, Ford(and other manufacturer dealers) used cars, and many, many online listings.
And if the current version of trans is such garbage then why did my 2012 go for 50k miles without any codes registering or any other major issues? Because the TCM and clutch is notably more reliable now than it has been in years past. Like I said above it's not quite perfect but nothing major had come up in 50k miles of driving for me on a new TCM and clutch.
hstrymkrs and 71_340 as well as many other members on here have put thousands of miles on their DPS6 with major work done on them and have no problems too.
Any clutch job on any dct trans that anyone makes will cost about $2000 give or take. There's nothing different with the DPS6 other than a pretty consistent 120k mileage where they wear out. It's the TCM that's the big concern.



I haven’t looked a prices since prior to COVID, so I’m sure they gone up a lot. I briefly looked in 2019 though & there were some very good deals on some 2018s with very low mileage.

The Titanium hatch is a great looking car & I love the infotainment, but I think if I was in the market for a basic commuter, I’d pass on it & look at other options.

Ford has always had good looks & styling on their cars & SUVs, but the sales numbers show that buyers buy other brands because they’re more concerned about long-term reliability.

Ford sticking an ST badge on the back of a soccer mom SUV is another sad thing to see.... Seriously? That’s a shame for all of the enthusiasts out there that actually know how to daily drive a manual trans.


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Sales numbers were impressive for many years with the MK1 and MK3 Focus. About half of the years of the 2000-2018 production run in the US exceeded 200k units a year(2000-04 and 2012-15). After a new bodystyle came out sales typically declined year after year but that's typical in just about any model. Even in the very end it was still a decent selling car with 113k units sold in 2018 which even eclipsed Mustang sales. Ford Focus US car sales figures(carsalesbase.com)
Ford has been better than the industry average in problems per 100 vehicles(JD Power IQS) since 2014 except for year 2020. Ford was rated as better quality than Toyota in 2017 and has been every year since except for this year 2021. Ford has been in the top 10 of all manufacturers for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Ford was among the best non-luxury brands since 2015(#5), 2016(#5), 2017(#2), 2018(#3), and 2019(#3).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, I didn't find any bargains either on the hatchbacks I have my eye on. I know the used car market has been on fire throughout the pandemic and assumed that was the reason why.

If they're CPO then pretty much everything mechanical on the car is completely covered for 1 year/12k miles on top of any remaining warranties like the 150k/10yr TCM warranty or original 5 year powertrain warranty.
Glad you mentioned this. Does the 150K/10 year TCM warranty now include model years '17 and '18? I thought it was only applicable to earlier model years, '12-'16.
 

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No, the 150k/10yr TCM warranty is only applicable to the 2012-15 models and some of the cars at the very beginning of the production run for 2016. If they were made from November 5, 2015 onward then the warranty doesn't apply as these were claimed by Ford to have an updated(at the time anyway) TCM.
Several revisions have been released since then however so this is why it would be important to get the Ford service history if/when the TCM was ever replaced in a 2016-18 Focus. The more recent the better of course. Based off my experience with my newer TCM any that were replaced in the spring of 2020 or later would be pretty reliable but idk when my version was first released. It could have been released a year earlier for all I know. The Ford parts guys can tell you when an earlier version TCM was superseded to a new part # for any given year of Focus. I'm sure they have a part # history since every time Ford engineering makes a revision it gets a new part # with at least a different suffix at the end. Maybe make the salesman do legwork and have them get a pic of the TCM in the particular car that you want to buy and have them cross reference it with the part # that's called for now. Make them know that it's necessary for the sale to go thru because you want to know the exact version of TCM in the car.
 

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Keep in mind when friends have asked me about a MK3 Focus, I've told them to run from them if they are looking at an automatic.

Based on the number of responses where the transmission was acceptable, I don't think I would have an issue getting one with lots of the caveats above followed. The bottom line to me would be the selling/servicing Ford dealer. I've only owned Ford/Foci since 2013. The first one was a 2003 SVT which I had the clutch and full suspension rebuilt at my local dealer. They allowed me to provide parts and I paid them for service and felt I was treated extremely fairly. That got me very comfortable with them. I trust they would satisfy me regarding any warranty work needed. Since 2016 it has been a 2013 SE 5MT and now a 2015 Ti 5MT for me. Other than standard tires/brakes/oil changes, all of which I do myself, I haven't really needed the dealer.
Were I in your shoes, and was comfortable with the dealer, along with the warranty, I would get into one. It's a great car if the transmission holds up.
 
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