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Discussion Starter #1
So like the title says I am looking to buy a 2012 ford focus to upgrade my wife from her 2001 cavalier. I love the look of the car but I am hearing terrible things. Please stop me if I am going to buy nightmare. I figured with it being a 2012 they would have all the problems worked out by now.

It is a
2012 White Titanium HB.
39,000 Miles
Automatic

They said that they have had no transmission problems so far.....hmmmm.


Thank you for any and all info.
 

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There seem to be two categories of transmission problems

The first one is the shuddering/shaking clutch related problem that has been at least partially addressed by extending the warranty & revising the replacement clutch parts [principally the seals]

The problem other folks [like me] have been experiencing seem to be related to the 'transmission control module' [TCM]. There are no preliminary issues or symptoms, but when driving the transmission seems to shift itself into neutral - and you coast to a stop. [this is probably the same issue when the car refuses to start, as internally the transmission is in gear even when the indicator says 'P'].
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So is there a scenario with the automatic transmission that people are having no problems at all? Or is it pretty much all of the 2012-2014 models doing this with the auto?

The person I am buying the car off claims to have no tranny problems in 39k miles and has not been back to dealer for updates. Possible?
 

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So is there a scenario with the automatic transmission that people are having no problems at all? Or is it pretty much all of the 2012-2014 models doing this with the auto?

The person I am buying the car off claims to have no tranny problems in 39k miles and has not been back to dealer for updates. Possible?
Possible - I had no troubles for 56k miles, and was concerned about the clutch issue, right up to the time the TCM issue surfaced. The car may be fine for years, or fail tomorrow. There is no way of knowing which is which. [What does Carfax say about the VIN?]
 

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Possible, but at least 10-15% have problems & some of those can be major or repeated ones.

You'd want a long test drive, first to see if you are comfortable with the different operation vs. a traditional automatic & second to look for odd behavior from that one. (at a minimum)

Clutch issues show up the most at low speeds & when turning from a stop. Stop & go driving is NOT where these work well, and they don't "creep" like the automatics you would be used to. You'd avoid that type of low speed operation as an owner as much as possible, but for a test drive it's what you'd want to check out. "Shuddering" &/or poor shifting is a sign of one to avoid. Try things that it isn't good at, like getting on & off the throttle at low speed to see it's reactions. Even working well they aren't always smooth in that situation and when bad can be very rough.

One point to emphasize is that many folks just aren't happy with these, even when working "properly". If your wife isn't happy with how it feels when she drives it, you'll never be happy with the purchase even if you have NO problems requiring Dealer service.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay thank you for you the input. I should probably just stick with my original choice of the 2012-2013 Elantra. I just wanted something more technologically advance but not worth it if is does not have dependability.
 

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I've got a 2014 Se bought in Feb already have 12430 miles on it no problems. The transmission isn't a slush box like gm trans but once I learned it no problems and love the car. All its asked for is gas and 2 oil changes so far
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well I would hope with the 2014 models that would have mad some improvements after all of the complaints with the 2012. Or are they the same?
 

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The guy who delivers Pizza to my house drives a '14 Fiesta. We struck up a conversation when he saw my Focus in the garage. He's had his in the shop 3 times for shuddering & hesitating with no permanent fix in sight.

Between the problems posted in this forum and my conversation with my delivery guy, it's looking like Ford is trying to fix this problem with Band-Aids. I'd shy away from the automatic if I were shopping. GREAT car with a manual transmission.
 

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GREAT car with a manual transmission.
I agree. Always want a few more things (another 15 HP or another gear) but should last forever like my 99 Ranger.
 

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I have to say, I am at 100k and my DCT has been flawless. Just sayin
 

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I'd say overall, Ford does have a little bit of an issue on their hands and is not fully wanting to acknowledge it. I will also say though, that probably for every one bad DCT out there, there are plenty of others that are just fine. Currently, my SE DCT has 23k on it which is little mileage, but others have said they much higher and have had no problems at all. With Ford extending the warranty on them, I'd personally say you are safe, but that's just my two cents.
 
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