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Discussion Starter #1
I’m considering a used Ford Focus SE HB but the DCT problems have me spooked. A manual is not an option due to back problems.

My central question: did Ford finally resolve the early oil seal and clutch problems after the 6-15-13 cutoff date for the extended DCT clutch/seal warranty? I've found some nice Focuses built after the cutoff date but they're all a few thousand miles out of the 60K mile powertrain warranty. Is this the result of pragmatic sellers who like to drive cars under warranty or is the used Focus market a desperate "fix and dump" orgy?

If I do get a reliable copy of the DCT, will the Powershift last for the 150K miles I like to keep a car? It seems one design flaw of the DCT is the use of dry clutches, the survival of which depend on a power shaft seal accessible only with a $2000+ teardown. Even if the seal heroically holds for 150K miles there's normal clutch wear; do the clutches last the life of the car or are they essentially an inaccessible wear item?

I want to believe a Focus will put a smile on my face for years to come but I'm on the ledge about to jump on a boring but reliable alternative for fear that the Powershift will sh!t the bed. Can anyone talk me down?
 

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dont buy it! if i could change 1 thing about my purchase it would be to have bought a manual. on my 3rd soon to be 4th clutch just dont do it
 

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My 14 has the latest clutches that was put in a year ago and I've had zero issues with them but 95 percent of my driving is all highway. Also I've had the TCM replaced 2 years ago. So I've been real happy with my 14 and I'm gonna keep it for a few more years. Gonna add a warranty to my Focus when it hits 100k. I'm at 85k right now.
 

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Old Phart
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I'd bet every dime I could raise, house/car/shirt off my back, that there are an unusual percentage of late 2014 MkIII Focus DCT cars traded in because the power train warranty is ending.

Yes, the late model ones had the new oil seals - and that problem is pretty well ended by that - yet clutch & shudder issues remain with a fresh clutch pack just released for late 2016 cars and all replacement units.

Earlier cars (through early 2014) got an extended warranty to 7?/100k miles on clutches/seals/programming. Actually a preferred buy IMHO because of the longer coverage, and the chance to NOW get the latest version for free if it shows issues adequate to qualify for replacement while still under that extended warranty.
 

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Old Phart
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Also the clutches and seals for my Focus expires at 100k. I think all of the 12, 13 and 14 all has that warranty.
Late 2014 is NOT covered, details in MkIII Problems section where the 14M01 extension is stickied.

Some time in June for the change to the newer seals/clutches IIRC, after which the extension doesn't apply.
 

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#dailydriven
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i'd definitely test drive it first. I have a '14 and have zero issues but there are people who have them on the '14's. I'd like to think that mine will last up to 150k miles but i doubt it. even though my transmission works great, i still think i'll have to replace the clutches when the car gets older just as a regular maintenance thing. my goal is to have my car completely paid off before any major issues come up. only 2 years left until it's paid off so i think i'm good.
 

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If you're really concerned then don't buy a DCT (I know I wouldn't buy a DCT period) and shop another brand/model with a more traditional auto.
 

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I looked at my build date and my Focus was made late 2014 and I have the extended warranty but if you decide to buy it just call Ford customer service and they will tell you if the Focus has the extended warranty for the clutches and seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone, it sounds like by late 2014 the shudder was less common and the oil seal was improved enough so it doesn't leak at low mileage.

Earlier cars (through early 2014) got an extended warranty to 7?/100k miles on clutches/seals/programming. Actually a preferred buy IMHO because of the longer coverage, and the chance to NOW get the latest version for free if it shows issues adequate to qualify for replacement while still under that extended warranty.
I thought of this but I've been Carfaxing earlier builds with the extended warranty and about 80% have had two to four clutch packs and TCM reflashes. Yet on later 2014 builds I see many without any DCT service. They're going strong despite using older clutch designs than the earlier builds serviced with a 2015-2016 clutch pack.

Thus it seems that Ford either cannot or will not fix whatever the real problem is on the earlier builds covered by the extended clutch warranty. Or perhaps the severe shudder and chatter damages other DCT components that aren't serviced.

Maybe I'll roll the dice on a later 2014 build still under the powertrain warranty, then get one of Tom's tunes to minimize clutch slippage. I guess I'd feel better about that gamble if more people on the forum posted about trouble-free DCTs. I realize forums will magnify the significance of any problems but I'm just not seeing the comments about 100K mile Focuses that never had any DCT issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I looked at my build date and my Focus was made late 2014 and I have the extended warranty but if you decide to buy it just call Ford customer service and they will tell you if the Focus has the extended warranty for the clutches and seals.
You can run the VIN for the build date. Later than June 5, 2013 means it's not covered.

I'm forbidden to post links otherwise I'd provide the websites for this info.
 

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My 2014 had a terrible shudder only thru 1st to 2nd gear and it jerked on take off at times.. Car only had 15k miles

Sent from my HTC0P3P7 using Tapatalk
 

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I took the same gamble. I bought a 2014 Focus HB Sport with the DCT. Had a clutch and TCM replaced under warranty. Recently bought Toms tune to try and increase clutch life.
 

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If you really like the Focus and need automatic, look at the Mazda 3. Very similar car. When I bought my '12 Focus (manual transmission) I parked it next to a neighbor's '12 Mazda 3 (also a manual). They looked extremely alike, just minor cosmetic differences (grill, radio, etc).

The Consumer Reports auto issue just came out, take a look at the reviews on used vehicles, be sure to check out the Mazda 3.

I would recommend the Ford Focus with manual transmission to anybody, great car, great transmission. But not a Focus with DCT, it's a lemon.

Note: DCT started in '12 on the Focus, an '11 Focus with automatic would (should) be fine. I test drove an '09 Focus SES a year ago, nice car, very roomy.
 

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Wanting to believe vs. what is best for practicality, never would I dream the two could be in such contention with each other.

There are plenty of nice cars out there with almost zero issues at all, locking into one with a years long stream of same issues is NOT a good plan.
 

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To be 110% honest if I were to go back when I was looking for a new car, I would've gone with the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze I was looking at or the 2014 Hyundai Elantra. That isn't to say that I don't love my Focus because I really do but I should've done some more research because I assumed Ford fixed the DCT when I bought it.
 

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Old Phart
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From another former member/owner who switched to Hyundai for a DD - watch what model/version because some are DCT with similar issues.

He liked his Hyundai in initial use, and it was the mountain roads/stopping on steep grades near home that drove his Focus nuts.
 
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