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8.3

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
16,125 miles
Total Complaints:
46 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (33 reports)
  2. replace automatic clutch (6 reports)
  3. swapped it for another...ford says their is no solution (4 reports)
  4. replace clutches (2 reports)
  5. ford forced to buy back focus (1 reports)
2012 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Jul 222015

Focus SLE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought my car about a year and a half ago. About a week after buying the POS (miles were around 33,000) I started to notice that my car didn't want to start from a stopped position or want to go after going around a corner or up the on ramp to the highway. I also started to feel a shutter when I tried to go. I had to take my car in and they told me they needed to replace a few parts and reprogram my transmission. After that about two months or so I had to take it in again for the same issues. Again they "replaced and reprogrammed my transmission".

After they "fixed" my car it seemed to be OK for a while. About a week or so ago I started to hear a grinding nose when I would turn and get on the gas or if I was trying to go up a hill. I was also having the loss of power again when I tried to take off. So as normal, I called the dealership and took my car in. They told me after the test drive they did some "reprogramming" and took it for another test drive and still had the "grinding nose" that I was talking about. When I called the dealership to find out what they figured out with my car they told me that everything was within normal specs. REALLY, WTF. I asked them again about the nose that I heard and they said, yes it is all normal. How can this be normal if I didn't have this the first two times I took my car in and now all of a sudden I am having this issues?

So i picked my car up today and took it for a quick test drive with one of my uncles (who is a mechanic) and the first turn out of the dealership parking lot he heard and felt the nose that I was talking about. We went a little further down the road and still had the same problems. He told me this can't be normal. I don't know what to do with my car anymore. I bought a little newer car so that I knew it would be reliable and instead I got a car that is in the shop all the time. I am glad I found this site and see that I am not the only one having problems with my car. I hope that Ford gets their sh*t together and takes care of this problem. I don't want to be stuck on the side of the road somewhere and not be able to use my car.

- , Kewaskum, WI, USA

problem #45

Jan 012014

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Ford better fix this at no cost to consumer!! It's going back to Carmax tomorrow!

- , Newport News, VA, USA

problem #44

Oct 212014

Focus SE 2.0L Duratec Ti-Vct I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

I've had awful performance from my Focus since about 35,000 miles. I'd had the rolling backwards that many described, and increasingly worse hesitation off the line before then, but it really didn't get bad until around that 35k mark.

One morning on my way to work, I had just merged onto the highway and was still speeding up in 4th or 5th, when suddenly it shifted rough and I lost all power. The CE light came on and I was quickly slowing down. I pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the ignition. When I turned it back on it seemed to work again, though it definitely felt like it was shifting too early, leaving the car feeling breathless.

I took it to the dealership, where they said the ECU needed to be flashed. Got it back a week later and it seemed fine (in the sense that it was just back to rolling and being slow in low gears). The problem got worse over the next several thousand miles and I took it back to the dealer a second time, only to hear that nothing was wrong and I was driving it too hard. Fed up, we sold it a few thousand miles later and purchased a Chevy Sonic, which - aside from a few gripes about the interior and tiny driver armrest - seems to be a great alternative in that price range.

Ford can't ignore this issue forever.

- , Olmsted Township, OH, USA

problem #43

Nov 012014

Focus SEL 2.0 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Vibration, shake when accelerate low or high speed . Feels like the car doesn't want to go and is going to die on me in the middle of the road. I have looked up on Internet to see what the problem is, and find out a lot of people have the same problem. Some people even took it to Ford dealership and Ford didn't stand behind their own problems. What are shame. And some people said it's going to be around 3 or 4 thousands dollars to fix this stupid problem. With car only has 50000 miles on it and already have transmission problem I think it is ridiculous. I hope more people would complaint about this so Ford will take care this problem for those owner of this vehicle.

- , Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #42

Aug 182013

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,256 miles

FORD has manufactured a terrible automatic transmission. Took it in today was told there is no fix. Bill Currie FORD Tampa. Service manager - Bill Cornish.... Said it could never be fixed.

This car has only 28K on the clock.

Personally, I think FORD has its dealers denying problems and not properly documenting complaints to avoid a tremendous recall.

How do I know this? The Assistant Service manager told me that they get a tremendous amount of complaints on this, And are kept busy all the time.

I have had cars with PDK transmissions and This does not react as a good one. Also the service manager says it is a manual transmission made into an automatic. So that is an excuse for making a lousy transmission?

I'll never buy another FORD. Should have bought the VW I wanted.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #41

Oct 092013

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

I bought the car new and it was great until ~21K miles, then the 6 speed trans began to slip, ...badly. Took it into the Ford dealership and after 4 days they told me it was the trans. They said they replaced the seals, clutches, etc, and it ran OK until ~31K miles, and then same issue occurred. Took it back to the same dealer and they said it was OK, it just needed the computer to be reset. Now have 32K miles on it and it's worse.

I'm writing a letter to Ford today, telling them of my absolute displeasure with the car, and why is it when you look at other people who have had issues with the same trans, all they can do is to reset the computer!!! I should have gone with my gut, and bought a Honda.

- , Middletown, DE, USA

problem #40

Mar 032014

Focus SE 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When I purchased the car back in 2012, I noticed that the trans would shift very roughly, especially from first to second. I thought maybe because it's new and it would work itself out. Well after the first three thousand miles it did not, so on my first oil change I told the service manager about the problem. He explained that the cars computer needed to learn my driving habits and that it would eventually go away, but by the second oil change it had not. So I told the service manager again about the problem, when they were done with the car he told me they reprogrammed the control module for the trans and that it should take care of the problem. Well it did not so I went back a third time, he explained that this was a new type of trans, it was an automatic stick basically. The trans was split into two halves, the one side was 1st,3rd,and 5th, the second side was 2nd,4th,and 6th and all were controlled by a computer. So they reprogrammed againand it did seem to work fine for a while but it started acting up again after about 500 miles.

So I wrote in a service feedback that Ford needed to step up and take responsibility for this problem. I also stated that the dealer was very understanding of this issue and did try to rectify the problem,but to no avail. About two weeks later I got a call from the dealership stating that they would replace the clutch assemblies in the trans at no cost to me. They had the car for two days but did supply me with a loaner. That was several months ago and the car seems to run fine now. Of course I constantly monitor it and the dealer did say if there were any further issues to bring it back, knock wood so far no problems.

I would suggest approaching your dealer with the same proposal. I know it can be frustrating at times and I sympathize with those who have had the same issues. Good luck to all.

- , Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #39

Oct 012014

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

The transmission jumped out of gear at speed on the freeway, 45-55 mph. Check engine light came on. Unable to engage transmission, even tried the manual option. Turned ignition off, then turned back on. Transmission engaged intermittently, sometimes shifting into what seemed to be a couple of gears too high. Sometimes revved up like it was in neutral. Engine light stayed on. Was able to get home. Started car up next day, and engine light was cleared, car ran ok. Took to dealer the next day, drove fine for about 8 miles, suddenly as I was slowing down for a red light, there was a clunk and transmission seemed to have jumped out of gear, but was engaging intermittently. The check engine light came on, and it stayed on. Limped to the Ford dealer, with transmission seemingly slipping in/out of gear. Left it running for them. Service supervisor saw the engine light, said they would get right on it. Somebody must have turned the ignition off, as they have been unable to find any trouble code in the ECM, or duplicate the problem, some 78 miles of test driving and they have had it for about a week. I don't think they will find anything and we will be back driving this car with great uncertainty as to when it will happen again.

Update from Oct 15, 2014: Dealer had car nearly 2 weeks. Yesterday (10/13) we got them to return our call. They said the key had been misplaced. Today (10/14) we were called by the police department, dealer has reported car stolen. I suppose the transmission issue is now moot, unless we recover the vehicle. I can't help but be suspicious.

- , Mililani, HI, USA

problem #38

Oct 102013

Focus SE Flex-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

SHIFTS HARSH,CAN NOT FIND GEARS AT TIMES,TERRIBLE ON TAKE OFF,DOWNSHIFTS JUST AS POORLY.

- , Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #37

Jul 112014

Focus SEL HB 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 23,000 miles

Read my description to another customer by Markforjg24 or Mark West. Also had trouble with a/c, heat, sound system shutting down about a year ago due to the computer needing update. Mad as hell when anything goes wrong with this car. Wish I'd never seen it. Bought it for fuel mileage, liked the body style, wanted a HB. Right now I'd rather have a GM product and they were on the very bottom of my list.

Update from Jul 29, 2014: Dropped car off at dealer early morning. They replaced necessary parts in transmission and had car fixed around 2pm. Car drives great now, just like it did from showroom. Will see long term how it does. Hoping for best.

- , Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #36

Mar 052012

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought the Focus off the showroom floor the end of Feb. 2012. The very first day I went to drive it to work, it began making a loud grinding noise and would not shift into gear. This within 3 miles of my home. The dash engine light also came on. I went back home and called the Ford dealership. They towed it in but the dash light had gone off and they could not figure out what was wrong. They told me it was a "Microsoft" patch that they had applied. The shifting was still...shaky. I reported it before leaving that day. They drove around the block with me and told me this was "normal". It even rolled backwards when taking off on a hill but they told me this was normal. Each time I took it in for service or for the other issues that came up, I reported the problem. It again failed to shift into gear at all the end of June 2014. Of course, I'm over the 36K mark and now I have to pay. Now they say it is a "transmission module" that needed replacing. They kept my car a week and treated me like I was the problem. The could care less that I'd had problems with it all along. There are other issues as well. Only two years old and should not be having these issues.

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #35

May 012014

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

I bought my 2012 Focus in April. It was 2 years old with warranty left, 15,000 miles. So happy....for a week. Shudders when it backs up, shudders when it shifts into gear. Moves backward when put into park. Leaps forward when put into park. Delays when gas on to move fast. Jerks all day. Went to Ford to fix it, ladies at front desk knew it was clutch in transmission because "they all do that". Ok. They kept it three days. Adjusted it. I get it back. Works for one week. Then same thing. I take it back. They replace clutch in transmission. I get it back. Does same thing. When I am leaving I tell service department I went from a Honda to a Ford and maybe i took a step down, they did not like that comment, told me "no one ever has to come back" after clutch in transmission is replaced. that was a lie. I am now calling them again. I am so frustrated. this was my first car in nine years. I work too hard for my money.

- , Visalia, CA, USA

problem #34

May 072014

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,156 miles

After my first service trip to the Ford Dealership late December, and being unable to take it in during a ridiculously blizzard-laden winter, I returned to the dealer on 05/02/2014 stating the same symptoms:

- Hesitation/Stutter when Accelerating from a stop - Rolling backwards on hills

This time they replaced the transmission clutch and seals, because apparently engine oil was leaking all over the clutch, causing it to slip. Again, after about a week or two, the hesitation issues returned. But now the car shuddered noticeably when idling. I have a dashboard GPS mount, and the whole screen shook as I sat at traffic lights ... which is really the only time I look at it. I know I'm more sensitive to the car than the service guys are, and I noticed how much it the floor vibrated after they serviced the vehicle.

However, since this is my first car with a "Hybrid" Transmission (Automatic + Sport mode), I was second-guessing myself, thinking that maybe I'm crazy, and this is really how the car is supposed to feel. I know cars with manual transmissions are a little more "shaky", but I've driven several automatics, friends and families' cars, several makes and models, and they accelerate and decelerate smoothly.

So, I took my car to get a second opinion from another Ford-Certified Dealership on 05/29/2014 (Matthews Paoli) to see if maybe I'm just whining about nothing....

And after a quick inspection (same-day), they confirmed that the pump seal was leaking onto the transmission clutch, causing it to slip. But because it was related to the work conducted by the Jenkintown Dealership, they couldn't service it for me -- I had to take it back to my Jenkintown dealership.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #33

May 032013

Focus Hatchback SE

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,300 miles

Bought used @ 1 year in 2013 with ,10,000 miles. Was told by salesman that tranny is a manual run by a computer. Turns out it's much more. It has twin independent variable camshaft timing and a dual clutch tranny with computer drive. No problems at first other than lousy pickup when merging on highway. Then started grinding noise under hood and shuddering. Hesitation and slipping feeling of gears, especially in first 3 gears. Took in & had download to computer. A little better for awhile but started back up again. A couple of times it has slipped & hesitated while turning left leaving me feeling very vulnerable to oncoming traffic. I've had it into the shop 3 times for downloads but that is all they can do so they say.

I recently asked them if it could be retrofitted to a standard manual clutch and transmission but was told no, it cannot.

Someone also mentioned on here rattling noises from center dash and around driver's seatbelt anchor. I too have that.

I really like the car, the color, the look, etc., and selling it isn't an option because I still owe on it probably more than I could get for it now. I'm at a loss as to why Ford put this transmission on the market with so many glitches in it and that there is no fix for it. Will it take someone getting killed in an accident before something is done to fix it for good?!

- , New Castle, PA, USA

problem #32

Nov 082012

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,500 miles

Well, I have had this issue from 250 miles on till now at 41,500 miles, not even 2 years later. The clutches were replaced last October but it still has issues. It left me stranded during rush hour traffic in a center turn lane when the tranny got to juddering so bad it cut off. Luckily after a few minutes it started back up but it still has problems. It HATES stop and go traffic which is everywhere during the day and some evening hours in my town. It has also started its whole roll backwards deal again. That is getting old.

- , Winterville, NC, USA

problem #31

Oct 012012

Focus SEL V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,427 miles

the transmission on the new focus is garbage. have been at the dealer many times for shifting problem rattling and shaking. it makes the whole entire car shake ..has been fixed many time and programed and clutch changed but still have same stupid issue.

- , Windsor, Ontario, canada

problem #30

Nov 262013

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

The clutch in the transmission slips during shifting. RPM momentarily spikes by 2000 RPM. I took it to the dealer and their "fix" was to reprogram the shift points to about 500 RPM higher. This relieves the stress on the clutch and I believe covers up the problem. (Until the warranty runs out) I brought the car into the dealer with a 36 MPG (Good mileage is why I bought the car.) The car now runs like it is low gear and the MPG dropped down to 29.

WARNING WARNING if you let these turkeys reprogram your car the changes are permanent and cannot be removed. I now have to shift manually (S mode) to get the advertised MPG. They told me to drive the car 1000 miles so it could "learn" my driving habits. (This will be just long enough so the lemon laws don't apply.) I have to ask my self why could I drive the new car off the lot and didn't have the "learning" before getting great gas mileage.

There is a class action suit in California and they report that a leaky oil seal causes the slippage. I think that this is a great car to buy if you want transmission problems. The company knows about this problem and they put the "shucks" on me with the computer reprogramming "fix". I normally keep a car for 100K miles but today we went looking for a different car. In my opinion, if there was a little honesty I would not seek a different brand.

- , Cumming, GA, USA

problem #29

Dec 312011

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Wasn't long after I bought this car, it started acting stupid. Doesn't shift right and stutters all the time. Sometime you wonders if it's going to stall. I have had it at the dealership 5 times…been given a rental 3 of those times, once I had to buy a rental myself. They tinker with it, once they actually replaced the entire transmission, or so they say. Then they give it back, tell me to give it about 500 miles to learn my driving habits again, blah blah blah….same story every time. After about 2 days, it is doing it again. Sad, really sad. I love my car….I think it is a pretty car and I love the inside, but I can't stand driving it anymore. And Ford just won't do anything to fix it. I know a gentlemen, they actually took his car back….I know another couple, they are having the same problem. So it isn't just me. I am currently shopping to trade mine in. I am a Ford retiree. I get the A Plan….I have yet to set foot an a Ford dealership lot….I will NOT be buying a Ford…terrible that they know there is a problem, yet they don't even attempt to make it right. I am extremely disappointed in this company I was once so proud of …..

Right now…I am looking at a Chevy Malibu. :) Hoping they find one with everything I want on it. Hoping they take the stupid Focus….I'm done with it…piece of CRAP!

- , Mount Washington, KY, USA

problem #28

Oct 282013

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

Do not buy a focus, it is a lemon! The transmission is bad and Ford knows about this problem. They are selling cars that are dangerous. If mine is not fixed the next time I take it into the Ford dealership, I going to contact the Better Business Bureau. All who have a focus should contact the B.B.B.

- , Southaven, MS, USA

problem #27

Sep 162013

Focus LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

I HAVE TAKEN MY AUTO IN TO DEALERSHIP ((Cal Wortherington Ford twice about this problem, slipping transmission, I have been told TWICE by the HEAD Mechanic (a 90 yr old man!!!) that this is normal on this car. One of the younger mechanics there tells me "Oh, it's because inside the gear box it may be automatic but it shifts gears like it's a stick, so it's normal"....

Am I imaging things! Why, because I'm a Woman!!! I'm NOT STUPID! I know the transmission is slipping, I have had two of my friends who one has a Auto shop and the other is mechanically inclined, I TIRED OF GETTING THE RUN AROUND ON THIS! I KNOW WITH THE PAPERWORK I HAVE DOWN LOADED FROM YOUR SITE I HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF A LEG UP ON THEM, AND I AM TAKING IT BACK IN THIS FRIDAY THE 1ST OF NOVEMBER AND I'M TAKING A MAN. LET'S SEE IF ALL THAT I HAVE CHANGES THEIR TUNE!

Update from Nov 15, 2013: I firmly believe the reason they didn't take me seriously was and still is because I'm a female and they thought I'm stupid, so I had a male friend go in with me and he went on the test drive with a lead mechanic and they didn't even make it out of the car lot before the mech stated oh yeah I'm familuar with the problem we will order parts for the clutch and call u back in when we get them, so I'm waiting for the parts to come in still to this date its been two weeks today. If I could place a sexual discrimanation case I would do that, they have no right just because I'm a woman (no penis) should they be allowed to treat me as stupid! So I am waiting on a call when the parts get in

- , Anchorage, AK, USA

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