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Ford: Another victim of Dual Clutch Transmission

By SYF77 on 02 Nov 2011

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In an effort to improve the performance of the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission in its 2011 Fiesta and 2012 Focus, Ford has issued several technical service bulletins over the last two months in the US. The brand’s PowerShift transmission was cited by Consumer Reports as a reason for the automaker’s decline in the magazine’s annual reliability survey.

The transmission has been criticized for being slow to respond in city driving and for displaying a lethargy that suggested the engine would stall. Fortunately, it behaves better at highway speeds. “It is quite a challenge to deliver something that is very, very fuel efficient and yet feels just like a conventional automatic, and there are some balances and some tradeoffs that we make,” said Greg Burgess, a Ford engineer. In a technical service bulletin dated Sept. 13, the automaker informed dealers that some 2012 Focuses “may exhibit various automatic transmission and engine driveability concerns.” It went on to instruct the dealers how to reprogram the power train control module for smoother accelerations, reduced hesitation, better low-speed driveability and improved shift scheduling. That bulletin addressed models built before 12 Aug 11. Richard Truett, a Ford spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that Ford had made the change to all new Focus models starting on that date, and that the alterations would not change the car’s Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings.

Another bulletin dated 2 Sept 11 advised dealers to reprogram the module on the 2011 Fiesta if consumers complained about hesitation when accelerating from a low speed after coast down, harsh or late D1 to D2 upshift. These problems are not unique to Ford. Volkswagen’s 7 speed dry clutch DSG faces similar issues. From VAGSG forum, it appeared that Volkswagen Centre Singapore has found a permanent solution to the harsh D1-D2 upshift problem. Let’s hope it works.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

  • 1
Ilmw Nov 04 2011 10:33 AM
Torque converters are lossy, while humans are not the best shifters in manual. Dual clutch is the best of both worlds and is the way forward. Implementation wise, of cos there will be initial teething issues. Mito's Fiat TCT and other DCT are like-wise.

Give it a few years.

ps: sadly, Japanese are late/not following...
Green: Conti -> diesel, Jap -> hybrid
Emission: Conti -> turbo small-engine, Jap -> nothing
Drive train: Conti -> DCT, Jap -> nothing
Mecontle Nov 04 2011 08:23 PM
Felipe Nov 04 2011 10:41 PM
One needs to be aware of replacing dual clutch transmission parts. Its very unlikely anyone on dual clutch can get to 100k mileage without a single fault.
Watwheels Nov 05 2011 12:50 AM
I think some ppl need to do some reading before claiming whoever has nothing.
  • 1
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