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I am a new Focus owner, bought in November 2014 White SE it had 15 miles. There are so many aspects of the car I love, BUT I hate to drive it. I am hoping to get some direction from others who drive a 2014 themselves. My previous car was a 2008 BMW 328, but I wanted something more affordable but still great looking and good gas mileage. Let me say the two cars are like night and day. With absolutly no knowledge of the Transmission in this car (basically being a manual shifted by computer, I did not do my research DUMB) I took it to the dealer complaining about jerking from a stop into first gear and also just alot of clicking and general noise I hear when coming to a stop. I got the Ford handout explaining the nuances of this transmission. I was well speechless. You mean to tell me this car is SUPPOSED to behave this way??? Well I have reviewed many many posts by others who have had Transmission issues and clutch replacement on the Forum. I would not describe my issues in the severe terms others have described but the car just annoys the hell out of me. I have the intermittent jerk from stop especially on an up hill incline. I feel like the car is sluggish when I give it gas on curving hilly terrain especially. I feel like I am having to floor it to get a decent response. I live in a very hilly area and coming to a stop on very steep incline is common in traffic and I was SHOCKED when the Focus began to rollback in traffic! I have driven a MT many times in my life and this car reminds me of driving in a MT vehicle with a driver who is a newbie and is not driving the MT properly. I am not having the extreme shuddering that others have described, just a bit of a jerk from stop into first. I am considering going to another dealer and test driving another Focus so I can compare to my vehicle. What do others think? Is this normal or am I experiencing a beginning bad transmission or clutch issues? The dealer of course says this is just normal. The car has 2,700 miles as of today. The manfacture date was 8/2014.
 

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Let's get this into the MkIII section where you'll get more responses.

You'll also find more info. here & in the stickies both here & in the MkIII problems section.

There's a lot of accumulated info. here by now on "normal", "odd", "just plain wrong" and driving tips to get the best reactions/make it do more of what you want it to.
 

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I am a new Focus owner, bought in November 2014 White SE it had 15 miles. There are so many aspects of the car I love, BUT I hate to drive it. I am hoping to get some direction from others who drive a 2014 themselves. My previous car was a 2008 BMW 328, but I wanted something more affordable but still great looking and good gas mileage. Let me say the two cars are like night and day. With absolutly no knowledge of the Transmission in this car (basically being a manual shifted by computer, I did not do my research DUMB) I took it to the dealer complaining about jerking from a stop into first gear and also just alot of clicking and general noise I hear when coming to a stop. I got the Ford handout explaining the nuances of this transmission. I was well speechless. You mean to tell me this car is SUPPOSED to behave this way??? Well I have reviewed many many posts by others who have had Transmission issues and clutch replacement on the Forum. I would not describe my issues in the severe terms others have described but the car just annoys the hell out of me. I have the intermittent jerk from stop especially on an up hill incline. I feel like the car is sluggish when I give it gas on curving hilly terrain especially. I feel like I am having to floor it to get a decent response. I live in a very hilly area and coming to a stop on very steep incline is common in traffic and I was SHOCKED when the Focus began to rollback in traffic! I have driven a MT many times in my life and this car reminds me of driving in a MT vehicle with a driver who is a newbie and is not driving the MT properly. I am not having the extreme shuddering that others have described, just a bit of a jerk from stop into first. I am considering going to another dealer and test driving another Focus so I can compare to my vehicle. What do others think? Is this normal or am I experiencing a beginning bad transmission or clutch issues? The dealer of course says this is just normal. The car has 2,700 miles as of today. The manfacture date was 8/2014.

They have said the computer learning process can take up to 3000-5000, miles. One suggestion is to take it somewhere you can floor it to highway speeds 3-4 times can help.
 

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smashing on it might help. Cant fix the rolling back as they dont have any hill hold functions build in to the ABS on the car.
 

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I've owned two with no problems, but I have a heavy foot. Just floor the beast every chance you get and let it work its way through the gears. No computerized algorithmic indecision that way. The damn thing learns to shift this way. It likes being mistreated.
 

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i've owned two with no problems, but i have a heavy foot. Just floor the beast every chance you get and let it work its way through the gears. No computerized indecision that way. The damn thing learns to shift this way.
^^^^^^ yes^^^^^^^^
 

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I've owned two with no problems, but I have a heavy foot. Just floor the beast every chance you get and let it work its way through the gears. No computerized algorithmic indecision that way. The damn thing learns to shift this way. It likes being mistreated.
This. it's no joke. give the thing some gas and dont baby it and it will drive much better. i did this from day one and have had zero problems with my car.
 
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Roslyn, that's my MK3's name. She's a pretty one too ;) But yes, what Old Farfegnugen, you NEED to drive this car with fast starts off the line. The engine and transmission are intended to be driven a bit more aggressive. So you can get to your necessary speeds a bit quicker.
 

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The shift forks will make audible noises at low speeds, it is a trait of the design.
Jerkiness is caused by clutch plates that are "green," that is, not completely broken in.
Ford gives a break in time for the clutch plates of 1000 miles, but it actually takes much longer. For me, break in did not occur until around 11000 miles. Break in time will be long if you, like me, drive mostly on freeways. I would recommend driving the car on surface streets as much as possible during the break in period, take some tours around town, this will let the transmission engage and disengage, and it will learn the touch points for smooth engagement. I will also suggest that when accelerating, set your throttle and hold it in position until you are past 2nd gear, around 20mph. If you try to modulate throttle as you would in a conventional auto at speeds below 20, you will experience jerks. The throttle is very sensitive on these cars, so you only need to depress about 1/4" to get a reasonable take off from a stop. You will know you are accelerating reasonably from a stop, as one would drive everyday, when 1st to 2nd gear shift happens between 2500 and 3000 RPM. When you need to drive at "crawling" speeds (parking lots, bumper to bumper traffic)Try not to use the "creep" function, as it puts a lot of stress on the clutch, instead, keep reasonable distance from the car in front of you and use a little throttle to move slowly in a controlled manner.
 

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From your description, it is normal behavior. It is a good idea to use the "S" mode and be a bit aggressive. The shift points tend to be a bit firmer and seem to break in the clutch sooner. As for hill assist, I think if you come to a stop on a grade, if you let off a bit then apply firmly and let off, the computer will then 'hold' the car on grade, just enough to move your foot to the gas pedal.
I still don't get this complaint about learning to drive a vehicle, every car I've ever owned I have had to 'learn' from standard to automatic. every car has it's quirks and takes a bit to learn. But maybe that is from driving so long and owning so many different cars from early 60's to todays cars. You want to talk about learning to drive a car, own 60-70's cars, transmissions, manual shift tricks, double clutching, popping clutches, automatic trans rocking in snow, cold start procedures in cold weather, pumping techniques for carburetors, it was an art form to drive some cars. My dad had a Valiant that only he or I could start, it would flood out if anyone else tried to start it, we knew the secret to how many pumps and how each pump was done. LOL!
Above all, keep your head and take the time to understand what the car is telling you. If you pay attention to it, you will find it second nature on how to drive it and you'll hardly ever notice the difference. If not, then this car is not for you.
Interestingly, every Chevy except one I have owned has been a pain to drive. The one exception was an old wagon, 80's model of some sort, that I couldn't care less about, it was just temporary transportation for me. That one never gave me any problems, probably because i didn't expect it to be anything other than junk! Go figure....
 

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I've owned two with no problems, but I have a heavy foot. Just floor the beast every chance you get and let it work its way through the gears. No computerized algorithmic indecision that way. The damn thing learns to shift this way. It likes being mistreated.
This exactly.

Should've done more research OP, these "problems" are very well documented on here, and its not like they wouldn't be apparent on a decent test drive.
 

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The shift forks will make audible noises at low speeds, it is a trait of the design.
Jerkiness is caused by clutch plates that are "green," that is, not completely broken in.
Ford gives a break in time for the clutch plates of 1000 miles, but it actually takes much longer. For me, break in did not occur until around 11000 miles. Break in time will be long if you, like me, drive mostly on freeways. I would recommend driving the car on surface streets as much as possible during the break in period, take some tours around town, this will let the transmission engage and disengage, and it will learn the touch points for smooth engagement. I will also suggest that when accelerating, set your throttle and hold it in position until you are past 2nd gear, around 20mph. If you try to modulate throttle as you would in a conventional auto at speeds below 20, you will experience jerks. The throttle is very sensitive on these cars, so you only need to depress about 1/4" to get a reasonable take off from a stop. You will know you are accelerating reasonably from a stop, as one would drive everyday, when 1st to 2nd gear shift happens between 2500 and 3000 RPM. When you need to drive at "crawling" speeds (parking lots, bumper to bumper traffic)Try not to use the "creep" function, as it puts a lot of stress on the clutch, instead, keep reasonable distance from the car in front of you and use a little throttle to move slowly in a controlled manner.
I was going to join tout that with 2,700 miles your clutches probably haven't been broken in yet. Give it more time. In my case it took slightly more than 5,000 miles before things smoothed out and my MPG improved. Also, Ford released a new clutch pack for our cars to help eliminate the shuddering/jerkiness; it Clutch Revision "F". Along the way, since the car was redesigned for 2012 Ford has released updates and Revision F is the most recent. I had major problems with my 2013 and Ford offered to repurchase my car. However on the last service visit, they did replace my clutch with Revision F and things have improved considerably. My car as a whole has issues that they haven't been able to figure out, hence the buyback. I'm not discouraged though. I think Ford has a great car and they've been working on solutions to make things right. I'm so confident, I ordered a 2015 Focus Titanium hatchback to replace my 2013. I love the way the car handles, the way it looks, the technology the car offers and all I'm generally satisfied with the build quality. As a former Bimmer and Benz owner myself, my advice to you is give your little car a chance. It will grow on you and once your issues have been worked out, I think you'll find living with the Focus is easy.
 

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smashing on it might help. Cant fix the rolling back as they dont have any hill hold functions build in to the ABS on the car.
I believe there is a TSB specific to fixing the rolling back problem.
 

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This exactly.

Should've done more research OP, these "problems" are very well documented on here, and its not like they wouldn't be apparent on a decent test drive.
Actually, in his defense and my own experience, they are not always apparent, when new or newly repaired. Mine all but disappeared in the cold new england winter, and then reappeared in the hot weather.
 

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I was going to join tout that with 2,700 miles your clutches probably haven't been broken in yet. Give it more time. In my case it took slightly more than 5,000 miles before things smoothed out and my MPG improved. Also, Ford released a new clutch pack for our cars to help eliminate the shuddering/jerkiness; it Clutch Revision "F". Along the way, since the car was redesigned for 2012 Ford has released updates and Revision F is the most recent. I had major problems with my 2013 and Ford offered to repurchase my car. However on the last service visit, they did replace my clutch with Revision F and things have improved considerably. My car as a whole has issues that they haven't been able to figure out, hence the buyback. I'm not discouraged though. I think Ford has a great car and they've been working on solutions to make things right. I'm so confident, I ordered a 2015 Focus Titanium hatchback to replace my 2013. I love the way the car handles, the way it looks, the technology the car offers and all I'm generally satisfied with the build quality. As a former Bimmer and Benz owner myself, my advice to you is give your little car a chance. It will grow on you and once your issues have been worked out, I think you'll find living with the Focus is easy.
I will say I never noticed any jerkiness with my 2014 when it was brand new. I bought it with 20 miles on it.

I think part of it might how quick you get into the gas after taking your foot off the brake, since it's not like a typical torque-converter where the transmission is almost always engaged. I've never attempted to drive it like a slush-box auto because I know that's what it isn't. Maybe that's why it's always behaving for me.

At any rate, you are right about the rest of it, it's been growing on me ever since I've bought it, and I had a good opinion of it when I bought it. [grinking]
 

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I had the benefit of learning to drive on a manual transmission, and continued to drive MT's for the next 15 years. As a consequence, I have always engaged both feet when driving, even in automatics. Rollbacks don't happen when you use your left foot for braking, and takeoffs can be engaged smoothly, just like you would do with a full MT. I don't need the system to help me. That being said, I would urge you to go to your local Ford dealer and ask them to apply the TSB14-0197 software updates that address both transmission shift points, as well as the touchy highway steering (especially in strong winds). My car is smooth, stable, and predictable, and I don't need to gun it off the line. I do frequently use S mode though, which tends to hold 1st gear a bit longer, thereby mitigating the shift algorithm "indecisiveness" (ie. shudder).
 

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I've owned two with no problems, but I have a heavy foot. Just floor the beast every chance you get and let it work its way through the gears. No computerized algorithmic indecision that way. The damn thing learns to shift this way. It likes being mistreated.
So true, you have to drive this car aggressively. If not, she misbehaves.
 
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