2013 Ford Focus transmission problems: jerks, hesitates when you take off

Jerks, Hesitates When You Take Off

2013 Ford Focus (Page 1 of 6)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one — it's always been a headache.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
33,100 miles
Total Complaints:
106 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (51 reports)
  2. replace clutch (18 reports)
  3. software update (9 reports)
  4. waiting for ford to figure out what it takes to repair it (8 reports)
  5. replaced clutch mechanism (7 reports)
  6. rebuild tranmission and replaced input shaft seals (4 reports)
2013 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #106

Feb 222019

Focus SE 2.0L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,273 miles


5th time's a charm, right? I'm at 92,000 now and starting to have issues again..

- Will E., Knoxville, TN, US

problem #105

Oct 012018

Focus SE 2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,084 miles

The car is a lemon, it has too many problems overall.

- Levester L., Los Angeles, US

problem #104

Jul 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

For the first 10 minutes of driving, the car acts completely normal. After that, the car shutters shifting into first or second gear. Once its in motion though, the higher gears work fine. Previous two transmissions in this car died, this is the third. Last Ford I'm ever buying.

- Brandon J., West Bloomfield, US

problem #103

Mar 012018

Focus SE 2.0L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


Transmission was almost completely gone at 100k miles. Just over the warranty. Fixed it with a new clutch. Still acting up at 166k miles.

- Eric K., Hendersonville, TN, US

problem #102

Apr 152018

Focus 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Bait and switch. I called the dealer about a 2016 Ford Focus. When I got to the dealer, they only had this 2013 for me to test drive. Low miles, 100000 mile warranty, a really nice little car. Well that was really nice of them to help me get in debt over a piece of work that already had recalls on the transmission. A true Ford F*cking Tough car.

- Gerri C., Martinsville, US

problem #101

Jan 112016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

We took our Focus to our local Ford dealer and they said there was a problem with the clutch. When they took the clutch off they could not get it back on and had to wait for a new part. Our car was in the shop for over 30 days waiting on the part. Ford would not give a rental car so the dealer provided us with an older used car to drive. After we had the new clutch replaced it was fine for a short time.

- Gloria M., Urbana, OH, US

problem #100

Jul 192017

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles


When my clutch went this time for the 3rd time since I bought the car in 2015 it went out with a bang. Meaning that it literally exploded under the hood....

- greg144, Orilli, ON, Canada

problem #99

Jan 012015

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

So I have purchased a used 2013 ford focus sedan and loved how quick it was with excellent acceleration and very good handling for a car of its class. Fuel economy was outstanding and that was another reason to enjoy the car. Very soon I noticed grinding and jerking when I would take off and thought maybe that's rare and would go away on its own. I did not get check engine light so I assumed nothing serious is happening but I wanted to check transmission fluid level since I'm a mechanic and it seemed like transmission wasn't working right. I couldn't find a way to check the fluid level but I did come across articles online that dealers update software and these cars are under a recall for transmission problems. I figured it shouldn't be a big issue and took it to the dealer to get an update. They performed an update on computer and told me that it is normal for this car to operate the way it does since its a new type of transmission. for the first couple days after doing an update the car seemed fine and I thought the issue will not come back but IT DID!!! I called them but they said that they can only try to reset and update it one more time and for this time I will have to pay out of pocket so I asked if its guaranteed to be fixed and they told me they don't know if that will help. At this point I figured its pointless to keep taking it to them and decided to just keep driving it. Almost got used to the noise and jerking when accelerating from the start and one time when I was doing an oil change I noticed the bottom of my transmission was wet with fluid!!!!!! I was so angry because now I knew this car will not last very long since its losing transmission fluid. I decided that its pointless to try to deal with ford and I want to save myself a problem of being stuck in the middle of the road and sold it off to mechanic for cheap. Will never buy another ford that has even one complaint about engine or transmission.

- Thrift E., Seattle, US

problem #98

Aug 102017

Focus SE 2.0L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,655 miles

This is probably the 5th or 6th time its been back in the shop for the same thing since 2013. I'm really upset because the car is jerking and shaking when I turn to the right. I took it in and the dealership put it on a monitor. They told me they couldn't do anything about it because it didn't register high enough on the monitor. What the hell? How bad does it have to get? Do I have to have an accident before they will do something? Who made this asinine rule? If somethings wrong, then SOMETHINGS WRONG.

And, they know exactly what's wrong. Everytime they try to fix it, it lasts about 3 months or so and then it starts all over again.

I had asked my original salesman back in 2013 that I wanted a replacement car or my money back (paid cash for the car). He said he couldn't do that. I have dealt with this crap for 4 years now and its still not right. Why do I have to wait til my car is in horrible conditions to get it fixed RIGHT.

Now, my 100,000 mile warranty is about to run out and then where will I be? I bought a lemon, they knew it and the condition and situation will not be honored after warranty. Will it? I need some answers and a good attorney.

- Judith A., Blytheville, AR, US

problem #97

Jul 092017

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Two transmissions in 11 months I have owned the car is ridiculous.

- Judith M., Lima, US

problem #96

Jun 262013

Focus SE 2.0L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles


Purchased (Cash) 2013 Ford Focus in May 2013 in Trumann, AR. Car started shaking and jerking the following month. I called my salesman and he said just drive it, it will work itself out. He said mine did the same thing. I continued to drive it and it only got worse. I called trying to get car into the shop in Trumann about 3-4 times. They never had time or did not have a mechanic available.

I moved to Blytheville, AR in September 2013 and continued to call the Trumann dealership to get something done. They never could get me in to fix the problem. Mean time, the shaking and jerking and hesitation continued to get worse. I finally took car to the dealership (Cannon) here in Blytheville and they could not have been nicer. However, they attempted to fix at least 3-4 times.

Ended up replacing the clutch I think 2 times. Worked on the transmission at least 2 times. I had both filters in the car go out and they replaced those. That was covered under my extended warranty. It seems like every 3 months or so it starts the hesitation/delay and jerking again. I thought they had gotten the problem resolved since my last visit but it has slowly started the jerking again. I will be calling them this week.

- Judith A., Blytheville, AR, US

problem #95

Sep 272016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,847 miles


- Lisa B., Fransville, US

problem #94

Feb 192016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,600 miles

I purchased this vehicle as a Pre-Certified vehicle, suggesting it was in excellent running condition. A month later I returned to the dealership with the complaint of shuttering during start up form a stopped position. The dealership said it fit the criteria for a repair. Now at 12,500 miles later the problem has reoccurred. Haven't taken it back yet. What a disappointment again with a Ford product.

- Charles D. M., Woodhaven, US

problem #93

Jul 142016

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Had transmission fixed around 39000 mi. News seals and programmed computer. Now a little over 50000 mi. I think it starting to act up again.

- Dan T., Hemet, CA, US

problem #92

Dec 312014


  • Manual transmission
  • 9,000 miles

First off, it's a stick, so I thought at it was user error at first. Car is sometimes sluggish and lags in first, bucks around before it gets going. But it does it to everyone that drives it. Not necessarily dangerous, but I avoid U-turns or crossing roads that require good timing.

Of note, when the rear main seal failed the first time, I brought this up and Ford did warranty work that included reinstalling the transmission and replacing fly wheel and clutch. Problem persists.

- Nataly A., Palm Harbor, US

problem #91

Sep 012013

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

My Ford Focus, started shuttering, hesitating when talking off, lurching not long after I purchased it. It has been in service several times, it drives good for a while and then the problems start again. Now they say mine does not meet the standards for a clutch replacement, I like to see them drive it for a while and then tell me that. I only have a total of 25,000 miles on my car and should not be having all these issues and no, that is not a typo my 4 year old car only has 25,000 miles on it.

I also want to say that I also own a 2014 Ford Fiesta (husband's car) with the same issues and the Fiesta has had two clutch replacements which did nothing to solve the problems. This will be the last Ford cars for us.

- mouche2, Greensboro, US

problem #90

Feb 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles

This Ford Focus only had 75 miles on it when I bought it. I needed a vehicle that would get me not only to work but my son to all 13 of his Specialist. When this problem with the transmission started I took it right in it would shake, jump and transmission just wasn't shifting right. I was told its the type of car at first. Then they replaced the clutch several times, reset the clutch and computer and this December transmission had to be replaced. Costing me a single mom 2300.00. My dad went up there with me several times demanding to have a new car and that this one was a lemon. They did nothing. Now the electrical system is all messed up the radio will static then make a big popping noise then the radio goes dead until you turn car off and turn it back on. My truck opens at random while in drive. I was going down interstate and out of nowhere it came open it was so scary. I took the car in and was told that they don't know why but if I want to spend the money it may take 300.00 to figure out what is wrong then cost to fix it. I am so sick of this car it's been nothing but a headache. Even with the transmission replace it stills misses out, jumps and shifts hard when you are taking off. I don't know what else to do I how so much money on this car and can't afford to even trade it. I believe that if ford doesn't want customers then treat us this way but if they value us then you would think they would make it right. Turn all those cars in and get something new that runs right for all these families. Will never ever get another Ford every again. Sad thing is that's all I had owned and had such good luck until know. When I buy a brand new one has been nothing but trouble.

- Michelle M., Mcpherson, KS, US

problem #89

Apr 222014

Focus Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

ford should buy all these cars back garbage my car has been to the shop already 5 times, today makes 6 for the same problem. now it shuts off and the gauges go crazy. i was told it comes from the transmission module and it jerks and makes noise the service tech said its the worst car ever and that i was lucky it wasn't a fiesta. Ford you lost a life time customer never again will I buy Ford

- Rafael B., Orlando, US

problem #88

Jan 032017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I purchased this car used in January 2017 and wanted to buy something I could purchase outright. This was within my price range. I just thought this was something I had to live with but it is really annoying. I had to drive in traffic to work and you must softly and carefully press the gas to avoid the sputtering and occasional jerking.

- cmichelle, Mira Loma, US

problem #87

Dec 192013

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,717 miles

Transmission feels like it slips, revs up and then jumps into next gear. This happens from being at a complete stop, then accelerating, to slow or high speeds. Car is warmed up when this happens. Sudden jerking is felt when transmission jumps into next gear. Car has also lost power when trying to accelerate while pushing the gas pedal -very dangerous when left turning (which was when it happened the first time). Car also seems to jerk more when it is driving at slow speeds, around 30km/hr, especially at low speeds while ascending a small hill. Car has also lost power/no response on gas pedal while driving at a steady speed.

- derekrb, Surrey, BC, Canada

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