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10-22-2014 11:51 AM  3 years agoPost 1
rapid roy

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Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin USA

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Looking to buy a new ford focus and was hearing a lot of bad stuff about their dual clutch six speed automated manual transmission. Some people have no trouble and some have all kinds of grief. Does anyone have any experiences with this transmission, and if so were they covered under warranty?

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10-22-2014 03:30 PM  3 years agoPost 2
helibill

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London, Ontario, Canada

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I have a 2013 Ford Focus. I bought it used with a little over 30 000 km. The car ran fine on the test drive then never again because of the transmission.

They did end up replacing a physical part in the transmission which made it a bit better. They also did several software updates which helped. However, each time they updated the computer, it increased my fuel consumption. The car lurches a lot at slow speeds when shifting gears because they (designers of car) tried to maximize fuel economy. They can make it run smoother by burning more gas and making it less efficient. This was unfortunate as I bought the car for the gas mileage. The replacement part was covered by warranty.

They also told me to drive the car more aggressively as accelerating faster will make it shift through the gears better. To me this was a ridiculous solution but it actually works.

Also, the more practice you get with this type of transmission, the better. Some people said to drive it like a manual which I started doing. If you give it power at the wrong time, it will bog it down and lurch - similar to letting the clutch out too quick on a standard car. Now, with practice, I can drive the car quite nicely and I have grown to somewhat like this car after over a year of owning it. I debated taking a big loss and selling it multiple times.

The interior quality of the car is quite nice and it is nimbal on the road. It has firm electric steering and accelerates quickly.

Unfortunately this type of transmission has a different feel for it so even when it is running correctly, it can be a little odd.

Also, never let your focus roll back once you place it in park or it will cause the car to lurch when shifting gears for a few days. Usually flooring the car up to a good speed will help fix this. Avoid stop-and-go traffic.

I will never buy a Ford again after this experience.

If you are still considering the Ford, make sure you test drive it well at low speeds. Do stop and go's. Let off the gas at slow speeds, then give it some and see what happens.

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10-22-2014 05:49 PM  3 years agoPost 3
Four Stroker

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Atlanta

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I have a 2012 Focus and had very similar problems. The last recall - two years and 9 months after purchase - apparently fixed it. Still 2 dry clutches and a solenoid actuator is never going to be as smooth as a wet clutch with hydraulic actuator. The recall stated that seals were leaking fluid onto the dry clutches which kind of implies that software was never going to fix the problem.

Only the cheap cars, focus and fiesta, have the dry clutches.

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10-23-2014 01:36 PM  3 years agoPost 4
helibill

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London, Ontario, Canada

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Four Stroker - Is your Focus running smoother now?

I am considering taking mine back in but it is hard to replicate the problem as it doesn't happen all the time now.

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10-23-2014 02:18 PM  3 years agoPost 5
Four Stroker

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Atlanta

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I got a recall notice in the mail or Customer Satisfaction Program 14M01 August 2014 stating that some transmissions had oil leaking onto the dry clutches. After I got it back, it works about as well as Ford wants a cheap car transmission to work. If you drive like a little old lady until it shifts into second gear everything else is fine. They extended the transmission warranty to 7 years of 100K miles. The start from a stop and first to second shift is the only problem I have had. Oddly, if you are starting up turning, it does fine.

I don't know if they replaced any parts or just reprogrammed it yet again. It did take several hundred miles to smooth out. Might have been breaking in of the new dry clutches ? or just the fuzzy logic thing.

I was tempted to trade it in for a Honda Fit. I test drove several and went back home and drove the Focus. The Focus is an overall much better driving experience - after the last fix. Mine has a folding forward rear seat and flat cargo area great for heli's. So I kept the Focus. The Focus has several advantages over other cheap cars. The interior is not all black WalMart stretch pants material. It has 160 HP. It has some sound deadening material - much quieter than Honda or Mazda. It handles quite well.

The rear view for backing up a Focus is a major and permanent design flaw. But the back up camera in the Fit is useless. It keeps you from bashing into the other car's bumper but does nothing for the sides.

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10-23-2014 04:42 PM  3 years agoPost 6
HeliAdict

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Texas

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I will add in my experience. Have mine for 1.5 years. At first I did not like it. Took it back and it has been updated. It is all good now. It is different but after you are used to it, it is not bad. I could do better managing the shifting myself but it does ok most of the time. Mine has not had to have the seals replaced but that could happen at anytime. The car has 32k miles. The DCT transmission is not a bad idea just needs time to work out the bugs. Other high end auto manufactures are using the idea also. At the end of the day I guess it comes down to luck as to wether you get a good one or bad.

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10-23-2014 07:04 PM  3 years agoPost 7
Four Stroker

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Atlanta

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I drove my Focus to lunch today and consider it completely fixed. It took several hundred, maybe three hundred, miles to re-calibrate / break in itself after the last update. I am convinced I had the fluid leak and they replaced the dry clutch pack, seals, and reprogrammed it. They did not want to elaborate at the dealer ?

If you want sporty get the 6 speed manual. For normal mom and pop driving I assume a new Focus would be fine. Mine shifts as smoothly as I would have ever expected when I bought an econobox. The VW transmission of the same concept is flawlessly smooth - Jetta test drive.

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