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8-speed auto box - is this normal?


xn43
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Hi,

I just picked up my 2019 Focus Estate Ecoboost auto (1.0T, 125ps) the other day, 20k miles on the clock. This is the first automatic I have driven for any longer than five minutes, and it seemed smooth on the test drive. I'm wondering if the below items are normal behaviours for an automatic, or for this particular gearbox. Over the weekend, I have driven approx. 150 miles in the car and have noticed the following:

1. From speeds 1-20 (assuming 1st/2nd), the shift feels smooth if I'm accelerating gently. However, it generally shifts up to 3rd around 20/21mph and there often is a noticeable jerk when this happens. It isn't a major jerk, just enough to jolt you forward a little bit - similar feeling to coming off the clutch slightly too fast in a manual. This happens even when accelerating very gently.

2. When coming to a stop, the downshifts are also slightly jerky even when braking gradually to a stop - a fair bit more jerky to stop than in a manual. I can understand that it would never coast to a stop and therefore it wouldn't block downshift as you may do in a manual, however it sometimes doesn't feel too comfortable.

3. When setting cruise control, using the steering wheel control to increase the speed a few mph will cause the transmission to shift down. That seems understandable as the default with cruise control would be to speed up as fast as possible, however the last time I did this the RPM seemed to fly up to ~5k for a good 5 seconds or so which seemed excessive. 

Overall, I'm not entirely sure what to except from an auto box or this particular Ford 8 speed box, however I had in mind that I wouldn't be able to feel the gear changes except for the obvious increase/decrease in RPM. 

Does anyone have similar issues with this gearbox? Or, is this a common occurrence with auto boxes?

Thanks

 

 

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New automatics have adaptive learning. It will take 400 - 500 miles for the gearbox to learn your driving style.

From what i have read it would indicate that the previous driver was a bit more aggressive and active compared to your driving style. If after 500 miles your feel it is still not as you expect it, you can get the dealer to reset the adaptive learning of the TCM, or you can do it yourself with FORScan.

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To add to what Unofix is saying:

Get the software updated in the PCM and TCM, in fact, it's a 2019, get all the software updated, early MK4s had loads of software glitches. You're out of warranty now, just pay them to do it, it's worth it in the long run

Power can be an issue too, especially with adaptive shift learning. Is stop/start working OK? 

As Unofix said, the TCM has adapted itself to the previous driver, it will take a while to adapt to you, it will though. Soft and hard shifts are part of the relearn process.

Also, as this is your first automatic, you have to learn a bit more throttle control compared to a manual, in a manual you can plant the throttle all you want and the car will just accelerate or decelerate to suit, in an auto it will think you want to go faster, if you press the throttle a bit more, and will down shift to give you acceleration. 

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15 hours ago, unofix said:

New automatics have adaptive learning. It will take 400 - 500 miles for the gearbox to learn your driving style.

From what i have read it would indicate that the previous driver was a bit more aggressive and active compared to your driving style. If after 500 miles your feel it is still not as you expect it, you can get the dealer to reset the adaptive learning of the TCM, or you can do it yourself with FORScan.

Thanks very much for your reply, that does make sense. I've ordered FORScan so I'll take a look at that and see how it goes.

5 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

To add to what Unofix is saying:

Get the software updated in the PCM and TCM, in fact, it's a 2019, get all the software updated, early MK4s had loads of software glitches. You're out of warranty now, just pay them to do it, it's worth it in the long run

Power can be an issue too, especially with adaptive shift learning. Is stop/start working OK? 

As Unofix said, the TCM has adapted itself to the previous driver, it will take a while to adapt to you, it will though. Soft and hard shifts are part of the relearn process.

Also, as this is your first automatic, you have to learn a bit more throttle control compared to a manual, in a manual you can plant the throttle all you want and the car will just accelerate or decelerate to suit, in an auto it will think you want to go faster, if you press the throttle a bit more, and will down shift to give you acceleration. 

Thanks for the advice. I'll give FORScan a go first to refresh the adaptive learning, and look to get the software updated afterwards since I know that requires the dealer. At the moment the car definitely feels like it wants to go faster than I am pushing it, and very quickly climbs up the gears - so does sound like that's what it was used to.

The power is generally fine, however I did notice that it is less responsive at times (generally in higher gear). Start/stop seems to work fine as well, triggers when I press the brake fully down. 

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Just now, xn43 said:

Thanks for the advice. I'll give FORScan a go first to refresh the adaptive learning, and look to get the software updated afterwards since I know that requires the dealer. At the moment the car definitely feels like it wants to go faster than I am pushing it, and very quickly climbs up the gears - so does sound like that's what it was used to.

The power is generally fine, however I did notice that it is less responsive at times (generally in higher gear). Start/stop seems to work fine as well, triggers when I press the brake fully down. 

Sorry, I've mislead you.

When I said power I meant battery voltage, if the battery performance is poor the first thing it affects is the transmission TCM, which, unlike the engine PCM, has no LOS or LIMP mode so can go a bit doo-lally if it's low on voltage

If you buy a more expensive LEAD and pay for FORscan there's no reason why you could not update the modules yourself, providing you follow the how to guides to the letter

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18 hours ago, unofix said:

New automatics have adaptive learning. It will take 400 - 500 miles for the gearbox to learn your driving style.

Not so, 'new'. My 1995 FTO had a TipTronic gearbox which had a similar learning ability to your driving style. To 'reset' it back to factory, you just needed to disconnect the battery for 30 minutes. I'm sure modern cars would be much more sophisticated though...

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17 hours ago, StephenFord said:

Not so, 'new'. My 1995 FTO had a TipTronic gearbox which had a similar learning ability to your driving style. To 'reset' it back to factory, you just needed to disconnect the battery for 30 minutes. I'm sure modern cars would be much more sophisticated though...

Adaptive shift learning can only be reset in the module on these, so either Ford or FORscan

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On 7/13/2022 at 1:54 PM, DaveT70 said:

Sorry, I've mislead you.

When I said power I meant battery voltage, if the battery performance is poor the first thing it affects is the transmission TCM, which, unlike the engine PCM, has no LOS or LIMP mode so can go a bit doo-lally if it's low on voltage

If you buy a more expensive LEAD and pay for FORscan there's no reason why you could not update the modules yourself, providing you follow the how to guides to the letter

Oh right sorry, the battery seems completely fine. FORScan came up with no DTC error codes.

I did reset the PCM module today, however I don't suspect that affected the transmission - it seems very similar to before. I saw that there was an option to reset all adaptive learning under the PCM, however I was concerned this might cause issues as it resets other areas such as fuel injection learning. I feel like this may be the only option present on FORScan that would include this adaptive transmission learning, however.

Are you familiar with FORScan modules? I had the following ones appear, but it didn't include TCM and I couldn't see any other modules that would match the TCM - do you know if any of these do below?

Thanks again for your help on this!

image.thumb.png.92652de8b544453afc2bbc77410960e3.png

image.thumb.png.9babcf338396195711fc432fc99cd3d3.png

image.thumb.png.fa02ec5e889287772293a6bdf49c5d56.png

 

 

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Sorry only got time for a quick reply. The TCM should be there I have almost the same car and it shows on mine. 

What lead are you using and where did you get it from? 

This kind of thing is usually to do with poor ELM327 chip sets. 

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Mmmm.

@unofix when you say almost the same car do you mean 1.0 auto?

PCM and TCM are combined on some models, I know MK3.5 6F15 and 6f35s are combined

@xn43 perform a reset on the TCM option but you will need to perform a relearn drive cycle

Make sure the transmission is warm and do the reset adjacent to a road where you know you can get to at least 50 MPH, but also be able to keep stopping at starting and going no faster than 20 MPH

Ignition on engine not running, transmission warm, A/C off

Perform the "reset transmission adaptive learning (or shifting)" on FORscan

Start the engine, do not touch the throttle

Let idle settle down to normal

Handbrake off, foot hard on brake pedal

DO NOT TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF BRAKE PEDAL at all through these next stages

Engage D wait 6 (proper) seconds

Engage N wait 6 seconds

Engage R wait six seconds

Engage D wait six seconds

Engage P wait six seconds

Keeps following this exact process until the bumps and clunks have disappeared

You can take foot off brake on last "P" engagement after bumps have gone

Next stage

Engage D and under very, very light throttle, pull away and take vehicle speed up to 20 MPH and then bring the vehicle to a stop, keep foot on brake for at least 6 seconds

Repeat this 6 times

Engage D and under medium acceleration take the vehicle up to 50 MPH and bring the vehicle to a stop, keep foot on brake for at least 6 seconds

Repeat 6 times

Engage manual mode (if you have paddle shifters) and select 1st gear

Engage "L" mode (if you don't have paddle shifters)

Accelerate gently up to 25 MPH, release throttle and let the vehicle slow down using engine braking to an almost complete stop without touching the brake pedal until you can slow no more

Once you do stop, hold brake pedal for six seconds

Repeat 6 times

There you go, transmission reset and relearnt, you may get a few bumpy downshifts for about 100 miles, then it should be OK

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7 hours ago, unofix said:

Sorry only got time for a quick reply. The TCM should be there I have almost the same car and it shows on mine. 

What lead are you using and where did you get it from? 

This kind of thing is usually to do with poor ELM327 chip sets. 

I'm currently using https://www.amazon.co.uk/FORScan-Adapter-ELMconfig-Diagnosis-PIC18F25K80/dp/B083FML519/ref=sr_1_1?crid=L7POOPWO2CNB&keywords=elm327+ob2d&qid=1657874858&sprefix=elm327+ob2d%2Caps%2C72&sr=8-1 which is the first one that comes up on amazon, it's designed for FORScan apparently however I did get a notification when connecting up to my car that said it was not a recommended adapter, and that it could mean fewer features appear. So, it could be that TCM is missing because of that.

Which one are you using? I see that OBDLink EX is the recommended one from FORScan, was thinking to try returning mine and getting that instead.

2 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

Mmmm.

@unofix when you say almost the same car do you mean 1.0 auto?

PCM and TCM are combined on some models, I know MK3.5 6F15 and 6f35s are combined

@xn43 perform a reset on the TCM option but you will need to perform a relearn drive cycle

Make sure the transmission is warm and do the reset adjacent to a road where you know you can get to at least 50 MPH, but also be able to keep stopping at starting and going no faster than 20 MPH

Ignition on engine not running, transmission warm, A/C off

Perform the "reset transmission adaptive learning (or shifting)" on FORscan

Start the engine, do not touch the throttle

Let idle settle down to normal

Handbrake off, foot hard on brake pedal

DO NOT TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF BRAKE PEDAL at all through these next stages

Engage D wait 6 (proper) seconds

Engage N wait 6 seconds

Engage R wait six seconds

Engage D wait six seconds

Engage P wait six seconds

Keeps following this exact process until the bumps and clunks have disappeared

You can take foot off brake on last "P" engagement after bumps have gone

Next stage

Engage D and under very, very light throttle, pull away and take vehicle speed up to 20 MPH and then bring the vehicle to a stop, keep foot on brake for at least 6 seconds

Repeat this 6 times

Engage D and under medium acceleration take the vehicle up to 50 MPH and bring the vehicle to a stop, keep foot on brake for at least 6 seconds

Repeat 6 times

Engage manual mode (if you have paddle shifters) and select 1st gear

Engage "L" mode (if you don't have paddle shifters)

Accelerate gently up to 25 MPH, release throttle and let the vehicle slow down using engine braking to an almost complete stop without touching the brake pedal until you can slow no more

Once you do stop, hold brake pedal for six seconds

Repeat 6 times

There you go, transmission reset and relearnt, you may get a few bumpy downshifts for about 100 miles, then it should be OK

Thanks for the instructions, would you say that a PCM module reset would achieve the same result to start the relearn process? If so, do you know if that would take a similar re-learn drive?

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No, it has to be TCM, reset adaptive learning.

I use OBDLink EX

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3 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

when you say almost the same car do you mean 1.0 auto?

I mean that mine is a 2019 Focus Mk4 Estate Automatic. I acknowledge that mine is a 2.0 Ecoblue hence the statement "almost" the same.

3 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

perform a reset on the TCM option

The OP is saying he can find no reference to the TCM 

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1 hour ago, xn43 said:

Which one are you using? I see that OBDLink EX is the recommended one from FORScan, was thinking to try returning mine and getting that instead.

There are two different leads that seem to be recommended the most, the first is the ELM327(modified) from a company called TunnelRat Electronics. The second is the fairly new 'vLinker FS' which should be a bit more future proof.

ELM327(modified): https://tunnelrat-electronics.fwscart.com/USB_Modified_with_switch_ELM327/p4541936_17045457.aspx

vLinker FS: https://www.obdiitool.co.uk/wholesale/vgate-vlinker-fs-elm327-for-ford-mazda.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwoMSWBhAdEiwAVJ2ndpHV9f8MNHtBRzeaB2Nas3_a-RvZUw62TdIi6afXAh5O4W_XhQgu9BoCrkgQAvD_BwE

The lead you have now is probably fine, but I have no experience of using that exact one.

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2 hours ago, xn43 said:

FORScan only recommend two named adaptors, the OBDLink EX and the Vlinker FS, these adaptors were developed in conjunction with the FORScan team and the adaptor that you have is neither of them. It might still be ok, it might not. Developed for FORScan is a cheeky bit of marketing and does not mean the same thing.

Before buying another adaptor try ignoring your old profile and let FORScan connect up again with a new Profile. If there was a glitch when you first connected up or an adaptor problem then every time you connect up using the old profile  it will only read what is stored and not look for the TCM if it didn't find it the first time. 

A faulty Module can also result in FORScan not finding it, but there are usually fault codes logged for the other Modules that are trying to connect with the faulty one. 

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As PCM/TCM is combined, TCM will only show up in the service and maintenance section for you to reset adaptive learning.

If it doesn't, then you may have a problem with your lead.

Check the driver's are installed correctly

Check the connection setting are correct

Delete the stored profile for your car

Reconnect and see if TCM shows up (if not in modules but at least in service menu)

If not, you need a better lead

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5 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

As PCM/TCM is combined, TCM will only show up in the service and maintenance section for you to reset adaptive learning.

If it doesn't, then you may have a problem with your lead.

Check the driver's are installed correctly

Check the connection setting are correct

Delete the stored profile for your car

Reconnect and see if TCM shows up (if not in modules but at least in service menu)

If not, you need a better lead

Thanks, I got the OBDLink EX and tried it yesterday - I could see more options than the other one, including the Gear Shift Module (GSM). I did reset that, but I believe that's just to do with the actual shifting knob in the cabin and it didn't make any difference. I still couldn't see the TCM.

I'll check the driver installation and try again later on today to see if I can pick up the TCM module.

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55 minutes ago, xn43 said:

I could see more options than the other one, including the Gear Shift Module (GSM). I did reset that, but I believe that's just to do with the actual shifting knob in the cabin and it didn't make any difference. I still couldn't see the TCM.

Did you delete the stored profile and start with a new profile on reconnect?

If you use the original profile Forscan will only find what it found before

Have you ensured the connection settings for the EX are correct? (Check Forscan forums)

Have you ensured firmware in the EX is latest level?

Yes, GSM is just the shifter

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8 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

Did you delete the stored profile and start with a new profile on reconnect?

If you use the original profile Forscan will only find what it found before

Have you ensured the connection settings for the EX are correct? (Check Forscan forums)

Have you ensured firmware in the EX is latest level?

Yes, GSM is just the shifter

I installed the latest OBD Ex drivers, deleted the stored profile upon every reconnect and updated the latest firmware on the OBD Ex - unfortunately no TCM appearing still. Thanks for the suggestions in any case, was worth a try. That's two different adapters I've tried now.

I've emailed the dealer to see what they can do in terms of doing a TCM reset, doesn't look like my warranty would cover it. It's frustrating when I could be shifting smoother in my old manual '17 Focus! New one is much nicer in every other way though.

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9 hours ago, xn43 said:

I installed the latest OBD Ex drivers, deleted the stored profile upon every reconnect and updated the latest firmware on the OBD Ex - unfortunately no TCM appearing still. Thanks for the suggestions in any case, was worth a try. That's two different adapters I've tried now.

I've emailed the dealer to see what they can do in terms of doing a TCM reset, doesn't look like my warranty would cover it. It's frustrating when I could be shifting smoother in my old manual '17 Focus! New one is much nicer in every other way though.

So, under service and maintenance on left hand side (the spanner), TCM (reset adaptive shift learning?) does not appear?

Last thing to try:

Turn on ignition, do not start engine

Disconnect battery earth cable

Disconnect battery positive cable

Place protection over battery terminals so they cannot be touched by cables

Touch the positive and negative battery cables together and hold for a couple of minutes, you may have to jump them with a cable if they don't reach

Reconnect positive cable

Reconnect negative cable

Start engine but do not touch throttle for at least 5 minutes

Now reconnect to Forscan (delete profile) and try again

If it still does not show up then under PCM select "reset all adaptations" that should reset adaptive shift learning, If you get a clunk on the first time you engage "R" or "D" after restart then you know it works, then follow the drive cycle advice I gave earlier, If not, Send Forscan a message, they may be able to help you, they will ask for logs, follow their instructions

My MK3.5 1.0 auto is a combined PCM/TCM but it still lists TCM to reset adaptive shift learning

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