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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I was looking at a used '12 Focus SE hatchback with manual transmission.

I've been reading about some transmission issues, are those only with the automatics? And a general question: how long would a '12 Focus be expected to last? Miles and/or years. I am coming from the world of Hondas and Toyotas; this car would be mine for a couple of years then would be given to my son to drive.

Thx.
 

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Yep, they only effect the autotrans witch are actually automated manual transmission... Allot of the problems come as a result of people not being able to understand manuals and treat them like they have torque converters and not clutches... Like would you drive a manual trans through a parking lot riding the clutch and brake the whole time? But people who drive autos sure will ride the brake through the parking lot witch means the clutch will be rode to and cause undesirable effects of "jerking" while the clutch engages and disengages and rides itself to do the required task eventually causing the clutch to wear out. Others are just actual problems, but mostly it comes from people not knowing how to drive it...

But yeah, the manual trans is the same one ford has been producing for 20 years for the zetec engine and is tried and true with no problems.
 

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I recently bought a 2013 manual and near as I can tell, yes, the transmission issues are solely the autos. The 5spd is the MTX75, a transmission Ford has used since 1992. Its pretty solid.

So far as longevity, I fully expect my new(er) car to run over 200k miles, just like Focus1 has, and Focus2 is aiming for...
 

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you could probably get 300K out of it with proper maintance. my buddy has a 2004 with the 2.3 duratec pushing that right now. the mtx-75 is a solid trans. can't go wrong with that. i had it in my 07 zx3. awesome transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the information. Any word on the clutch itself, does it last a normal (or expected) amount of time? And how much are the clutch replacements? (2012 Focus)

On newer Accords the cost for a clutch replacement is around $2,000, something about removing the engine.
 

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The majority of transmission complaints has been the automatics, but I've heard some complaints with the manual too.

So far so good with mine at almost 52k miles on my 2012 DCT. If you were to buy a DCT, I would get some kind of extended warranty. Then again if I were buying ANY used car, say over $5k, I would purchase some kind of warranty anyways.
 

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Thanks for the information. Any word on the clutch itself, does it last a normal (or expected) amount of time? And how much are the clutch replacements? (2012 Focus)

On newer Accords the cost for a clutch replacement is around $2,000, something about removing the engine.
Assuming that the clutch is the same as previous Duratec Focis, and I have no reason to assume that it is not, it will last for a long time with a good driver. Mine has 175k and 10 years on the factory clutch. At $150k, I budgeted money for clutch. The added expense is for a dual mass flywheel, but the reason the clutch lasts so long is the dual mass flywheel.

I don't know about Hondas, but I do know why the Duratec clutch is expensive to replace, and you should know too. It uses a dual mass flywheel which takes up some of the initial engagement force so that clutch engagement is much smoother. This sort of thing was typically used on expensive European manual transmissions and light diesel trucks. In a passenger car, it also helps the clutch last much longer. I've seen where one FF on here has over 200k on his factory clutch. Lots of this depends on the driver, and the driving pattern. Someone who spends more time in the city than on the highway will not have a clutch that lasts as long mileage-wise.

OK, the problem with the dual mass flywheel is that it MUST BE REPLACED. This part will only last as long as the clutch, and if you pay someone who doesn't know what they are doing to replace your clutch, you will be replacing it again in 20k miles or so. A DMF like this one is basically two pieces of metal separated by a giant circular spring, so instead of slipping the friction plate to get the car moving, the DMF takes some of that force out and this results in less wear to the friction plate.

As with anything nowadays, there are a lot of extra parts that must be replaced like the flywheel bolts. We had one FF with an SVT (also a DMF car) who had a unscrupulous mechanic change his clutch, and when he was at Focus Fest, the flywheel bolts broke because those weren't replaced as required.

Just keep in mind this parts list for a future clutch change:

1) Clutch kit: friction plate, pressure plate, release bearing: $400
2) Slave cylinder: $60
3) Dual mass flywheel: $400
4) Flywheel mount bolts: $60
5) Fluids, misc: $100
 

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Then again if I were buying ANY used car, say over $5k, I would purchase some kind of warranty anyways.
Ford Certified Pre-Owned program adds 100k mile warranty to the mileage of the vehicle when you purchase it. For example, my wife's Cmax had 7800 miles on it when we purchased it as a CPO. We have a 107800 mile bumper to bumper warranty on the car. I will never purchase another brand new car.

Now I just need to get my wife to take the car in for repair when it's due.....
 

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Factory original clutch on Focus1.
It has 220k on it and is still perfectly strong...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info, I'll be looking at it tomorrow (Tuesday). It boils down to whether I can convince my wife that a newer ('12) Focus is better than an older ('07 or '08) Civic. And of course whether the car passes my mechanics' tests, which I'm sure it will.
 

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Eh. If its only a '12, unless it has 70,000 miles on it, certfied is overkill (and overpriced)
Check the CarFax. Unless it was owned by a rural dweller like me, the work it's had will be in there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for your help.

I am now the proud owner of a blue '12 SE hatchback with the winter package (heated seats / side windows). 5 speed manual. $9.9k plus about $425 for tax, title, license. 29K miles.

I had been wanting a Mazda3 hatchback but the new Mazda3s have a very tiny rear window, when you look over your shoulder (I guess they want you to use the video screen all the time?) and the price on this Focus couldn't be beat.

I need to spend a little time browsing the back posts to see what upgrades are possible, such as new rims (easy) or if a new head unit is feasible, or even needed.

I did have a quick question - I was given two keys. I called the dealer, they wanted about $135 plus tax for a new key (it is the key with four buttons, not the flip style fob) with free programming. I was looking for a cheaper way to do it Can I order a key online, precut, based off of the VIN? Could I program it myself since I already have two keys?
 

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I am now the proud owner of a blue '12 SE hatchback with the winter package (heated seats / side windows). 5 speed manual. $9.9k plus about $425 for tax, title, license. 29K miles.
Fantastic price!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Had a few questions:

1. What does MK, in the MK3 stand for? I know it means third generation but wasn't sure what MK meant.

2. The radio isn't recognizing the flash drive. Am I not telling the head unit correctly to look for it (isn't it the auxiliary input?), am I using the wrong size (8mb) or brand (I think it is a Kingston), or what?

3. This is probably in the owner's manual, but how do I activate the side mirror defrost? I have the winter package. When I turn on the heated seats does the mirror defrost turn on, or is it on all the time?

4. Are there only the two 12v outlets? One behind the cup holder, and one behind the center arm rest (for the rear seat passengers).
 

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Had a few questions:

1. What does MK, in the MK3 stand for? I know it means third generation but wasn't sure what MK meant.
Mark. See this.

2. The radio isn't recognizing the flash drive. Am I not telling the head unit correctly to look for it (isn't it the auxiliary input?), am I using the wrong size (8mb) or brand (I think it is a Kingston), or what?
What are you trying to do with this key? You won't be able to browse the key for pictures and stuff. You can put music on it or a MFT patch to upgrade the system. And with 8MB, you won't be able to do both (maybe 2 or 3 songs...).

3. This is probably in the owner's manual, but how do I activate the side mirror defrost? I have the winter package. When I turn on the heated seats does the mirror defrost turn on, or is it on all the time?
When you have heated seat ON, the rear mirroir and side mirror defrost won't be ON also. You have to activate it by pressing the button (under the temperature control). This button will activate the side mirror and rear mirror. Also note, when the engine is cold, the defrost system may be active at any time without the button being illumited in order to put load on the engine for a fast warm up.

4. Are there only the two 12v outlets? One behind the cup holder, and one behind the center arm rest (for the rear seat passengers).
Yes. There's a lot of fuses free (behind the glove box and in the trunk) you can use to add 12v outlets if required.
See above for answers.
 

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Just to add to number three, your mirrors come on with your rear window defrost.
 

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Hi, I was looking at a used '12 Focus SE hatchback with manual transmission.

I've been reading about some transmission issues, are those only with the automatics? And a general question: how long would a '12 Focus be expected to last? Miles and/or years. I am coming from the world of Hondas and Toyotas; this car would be mine for a couple of years then would be given to my son to drive.

Thx.
I have heard nothing but good things about the manual version.
As to the automatics, you can read a few years of posts here about the problems, far, far beyond the "its different you have to get used to it" speeches.
Ford has voluntarily extended the warranty on the automatic and I have seen posts that revision F is working to fix problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
On the flash drive, I have music (and podcast) in mp3 format, nothing exotic. I'll play around with it some more tomorrow. All I am looking to do is to plug in the .mp3 player and have the head unit recognize it, and play tracks.

Sort of a related question but is there a trick to getting my cell phone to recognize the head unit for bluetooth connectivity? My phone is less than a year old, a Nexus 5, running android lollipop 5.0.1. As far as the radio goes, stock radio without Sync. At least I don't think it has it, I am still trying to figure it out. My car has the convenience package and the winter package only.

On the automatic transmission warranty extension, what are the details on that? A coworker also just bought a '12 Focus, though with automatic transmission and a little over 60,000 miles.
 

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2. The radio isn't recognizing the flash drive. Am I not telling the head unit correctly to look for it (isn't it the auxiliary input?), am I using the wrong size (8mb) or brand (I think it is a Kingston), or what?
You need to tell sync "USB".... Auxiliary is the little headphone size jack thing... I think you mean 8GB and any size up to 64GB (or more) is supported and any brand is fine... You can have whole albums in folders and then tell Sync to play specific songs, albums and artists.

The rest of the answers were right but thought I'd clarify that one...
 
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