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First an apology, yes this is a powershift transmission based post but I feel my issue is different to the other treads regarding clutch slippage – I’ve become a bit of an unwilling expert on this given I have a Focus with 12,000 on the clock (< 2yrs old) yet it’s had 2 replacement clutches, 1 clutch clean and most recently a re-torque of all the mounting bolts.

While I’ve experienced the low speed shuddering/noises etc there are other issues that haven’t been resolved. Hence this post in the hope that someone else has some knowledge or similar experience because the Ford dealership has no ideas.

Reduction in power
Noticed a drop in power (compared to how the car drove a year ago), on shallow inclines the car feels like it’s working hard to get up the hill. Press the gas pedal a little and nothing happens the car continues to struggle, press some more and the car will eventually drop down a gear but by this point that’s not enough so car has to drop down another gear (clutch sometimes engages harshly with an audible thud), unsurprising this results in the car lurching forward way faster than you intended, when following slow moving traffic up a hill this becomes a real problem.
Garage re-torqued the clutch mounting bolts in an attempt to reduce the vibration felt but the problem still exists suggesting the vibration really is the engine struggling rather than incorrect alignment of the clutch mounting.​

Oscillation of RPM
This is the one that has always pointed to clutch slippage but so far hasn’t been resolved by any of the work done on the car to date. It has been replicated by a Ford technician, even though they claimed to have solved it on the last visit (re-torque) this is very much not the case.
When on an incline and attempting to maintain a steady speed, the RPM will oscillate. This can be very slight to quite significant (hard to measure when driving but tachometer will oscillate 250 – 400rpm).
Behaviour varies significantly based on incline, loading of vehicle, speed, gear etc. Demonstrated to technician with 2 people in car at 20mph (he would only drive in “D” so don’t know which gear for sure), will also happen in 5th at 40mph. Generally the oscillation occurs at around 2000rpm when on an incline.
Worst behaviour is only ever short lived but it when on the freeway at freeway speeds that it can become nausea inducing, the slight oscillation on long but shallow inclines could make anyone prone to car sickness feel really crap very quickly.​

Lumpy acceleration
Accelerate, either with several people in the car or up an incline, and the car will exhibits noticeable steps in the acceleration. Feels like car pauses for moment, this is visible in the motion of the tachometer, the pauses can happen across the whole range of RPM and is not related to gear changes (can be replicated in manual mode).​

I suspect all the above are related but have no way of joining the dots, the car has exhibited these to some degree most of its life. I feel Ford are not that interested as its reliable, get me from A to B and in the big scheme of things not that serious – but that’s not the point, car was marketed as a pleasant/fun car to drive which it really isn’t, at best it’s frustrating at worst it’s nauseating, the cars under 2 years old and low mileage so concerned all this is a warning of more serious (expensive) issues in the future.

Worth noting I’ve driven manuals all my driving life, this Focus was my first car after moving from England. Wish I had held out for a manual version but at the time of buying there were none available in an almost 100m mile radius. Our other car is a huge Honda Odyssey which drives incredibly well even when fully loaded with 7 people!

Thanks and hoping someone can offer advice.
Steve
 

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You are describing my old Focus to a T.

It was extremely reluctant to accelerate slightly from a steady speed. It didn't like mild grades, and would often lose speed on slight inclines. Acceleration was uneven and 'lumpy' as you call it. The driving characteristics of the car could be best described as 'rage-inducing'. And then there were the vibrations and the noises it made...

I had no luck getting Ford to correct any of these issues.

The only advice I can offer is to trade it in for something different.

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
 
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