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Hi all, I just put a deposit down on a 53 plate 1.4 Duratec as a bit of a shopping trolley for the wife. We love the car but are a bit nervous about this Duratec gearbox?

It drives really well when manually selecting the gears, but when in full auto, there seems to be some lag during gear changes, it seems to take about 2 seconds delay while the clutch engages and the gear drops into place, it's almost like a kangaroo feeling or stutter? It's a noticeable lag where the engine cuts power.

Now, not having ever owned an auto box on a car this small the dealer is telling me that this is fairly usual for the size of engine?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Everything else seems pretty nice considering the age of the vehicle, just for the record it has 42k on the clock and drives superbly in manual.

Cheers in advance for any opinions.

I too have the Fusion 1.4 Zetec durashift, and I would certainly agree that the gearchanges do appear to be a little on the lethargic side, when compared to modern dsg type auto boxes, but as long as the change is smooth, I would have no real does take a little getting used to. At the end of the day the durashift box is essentially a manual box (indeed it is known as a semi-automatic), operated by solenoids and controlled by a secondary ECU (electronic control unit, or sometimes referred to as a 'brain') Citroen use a very similar unit, quite prolifically on many of their cars very successfully. Essentially, these gearboxes are incredibly reliable, however when they do give bother, it is essential that someone who knows exactly what they are doing, tackles the repair, as usually they are reasonably simple to diagnose and repair, in the right hands. The odd horror story you may hear is when someone without the required technical knowhow has attempted to tackle what could easily be a very minor fault, and created a real dogs dinner for someone else to pick the bones out of.

hope this helps.

Pete. L
Thank you Pete, that was exactly the sort of educated, reassuring reply I was hoping for. Lethargic is the perfect word to describe our concerns. I'm sure that it's something we will get used to. It seems like a lot of car for the money and we always worry when something seems to good to be true. I will heed your advice and welcome recommendations for good mechanical Engineers in the Derby region to keep her running sweet. Thanks again for you reply.
Oh Dear.....Went to collect the car today and noticed an immediate (bad) judder when pulling away from the dealers house in auto mode. The judder definately wasn't there when I tested it on Saturday night, but the car had been warmed up and to be fair I may have been mistaking the judder as lethargy. The noise from the judder was actually quite scary and it has completely put my wife off the car. To make matters worse we got the the garage to pop some Petrol in it, and the battery died so we were stuck like lemons at the pumps waiting for support.

Now - to be fair to the dealer he was amazing.! Came to our rescue at the Garage, Jumped the car, took us back to his house and promptly refunded ALL of our money (cash!) without question. He then proceeded to drive us home (35 miles) with the car in semi-auto and it didn't judder once?!! It Just had a slight stutter when going up a pretty steep hill.

I've asked the dealer if he would consider fixing and reselling us the car fixed, but he doesn't want to lose more money on the car, and has basically said now that he knows about the fault he would consider a small discount if I want to rectify the issue myself. He also stated that he will not sell the car with a known issue without telling the next potential buyer, and I totally believe him. He seems a proper genuine car dealer. So it's a case of take a (small £100) discount and accept the fault is on the car - or walk away.

So, after that long rabble, I wondered if any of you had experienced this before and could potentially give me some indicative figures for the repair? I have read up on Acctuator replacement being one potential fix @ Approx £120 plus labour?

Does anyone have any other ideas - or - should I just walk away? The car is lovely and drives like new in semi-auto!! Very gutted, blown a lot of cash sorting insurance etc would really like to buy it... :( Any Help or comments appreciated....

I won't name the dealer in question, but total respect to them. They were very courtious and reassuring to both me and my wife and I am very thankful of that.
It was not a good start , i think i would walk away there will be plenty other examples out there in that price range , give them a long test drive from cold.

You might buy it and the problem could be alot more to fix , if it was 100 mark i'm sure the dealer would fix it before passing it on , so i'm guessing he may think otherwise to try and move it with 100 discount.

Agreed, and thanks for the reply. Just FYI this is a 53 (2004) model 1.3 Fusion 2 Duratec, with heated front screen, 42K miles on the clock, 2 owner car, MOT's to back up seemingly low mileage, NO True service history, (just a few reciepts) The car is very clean in and out (my wife is really fussy about that) :) Price £1890 with 6 months road tax. Hence why I am a bit gutted.
Yeah, I agree with 'Preee' really, I'd generally be inclined to walk away, they are 10 a penny out there, although I can see your point about value for money, however.........if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! query I have..... as far as I knew they didn't put the durashift box in with the 1.3 engine....only the 1.4...???? Just as an afterthought, I have to say, if our car is left for more than a couple of days....there can be quite a judder when first pulling away.... but it very quickly disappears, and I put it down to a bit of condensation on the flywheel.
[quote name='Nahgwaan' timestamp='1322071473' post='153688']this is a 53 (2004) model 1.3 Fusion 2 Duratec[/quote]

[quote name='pete121' timestamp='1322167063' post='153863']as far as I knew they didn't put the durashift box in with the 1.3 engine....only the 1.4...???? Just as an afterthought[/quote]

I think that was a typo, he does state initially that it was a 1.4 in the original posts

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