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Ford Focus mk2 auto transmission woes


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I have a 2010 Focus 2.0 TDCi with an Auto Transmission - got it 3 years ago at 58k miles, it's at 70k now. I went with a Diesel since I was hoping to do some trips to Europe, the automatic was mostly because I am a LHD driver with a pretty incompetent left hand, so manual RHD is very annoying to drive. Mostly due to the pandemic I had only done a trip to France until a couple of weeks ago when I drove through France, Italy and crossed to Greece. It did not go well:

Somewhere in France, I had to floor it to avoid a truck boxing me-in, and I could tell I did not have full power, a bit later I got the engine light. I stopped, plugged in an ODB2 thingy and it told me about Turbocharger low boost and restricted DPF. Called my old mechanic in Greece, he told me it might be something simple to fix like the turbo collar tube, but I had to turn it in ASAP. I checked and all mechanics around me were closed or closing by the time I could get to them. Asked my UK mechanic as well, he told me I could reset the error and try driving gently and if the error does not come up again I could make it to Italy or even Greece. So I tried that and it seemed to be OK, no light again, reached the city fine. Next day I drove to Italy, was going reasonably smoothly, although I was seeing what seemed like "slippage" around 2k rpm which was just a bit concerning. However, I was staying overnight at a village with heavy inclines to get to/from it and that's where I started seeing a heavy slippage, like I would switch to semi-auto, select gear 4 for example and with constant speed going up an incline, the tachometer would oscillate. So next day I found a Ford that could help near Napoli which was on my way and went there. I told them I was more concerned about the transmission than the turbo, but they were very confident it was just the turbo that was causing the transmission to get incorrect feedback. So they found the hole in the collar tube, fixed it (280 Euros - feels a bit on the high end for a tube that is on an easy to access area, but was same day service) and told me they were sure the transmission is fine. The car felt much better, but I could tell there was some slippage still, although not that obvious in the motorway. When I drove to the Amalfi coast though, I could tell the problem was quite obvious. Drove to Bari, crossed and arrive in Athens where I found someone who specialises in Auto Transmissions (my old mechanic who was correct about the collar only does Stellantis auto transmissions). They drove around the block and told me it is obviously failing and I would need a new - not sure what the term is it would literally translate to "multi disk" - , seal and filter for a total cost with work at 1800 euros. If I wanted them to open it to replace the inside filter and do a rebuild it is another 300. One additional problem is that, like almost all such businesses in Athens, they will be closed until the end of the month.

If you have read this far, thanks. As you can see I am in a sort of predicament, the car does slip around on inclines, so I have to be very careful with moving around while here, as I can't fix it right now, and fixing it means I will probably stay longer than I planned, but that's not really a problem as I have family to stay and can work remotely.

So, do the prices quoted and suggestion of what to fix seem reasonable? Or should I try to shop around more (which has to be when the shops open again, so will be an extra delay)? Is it comparable to the UK?

Curious, would anyone try to drive back to the UK with such an issue? The main reason I would consider trying is that I was planning to get a newer car this year, so dumping 2k on it is not ideal, but otherwise I can afford it.

Should I try to get used to a manual gearbox with the left hand for the next car, or is it my luck (and perhaps I drove too much with the turbo compromised) and auto gearboxes don't go poof that easily?

Thanks!

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The 'multi disc' almost certainly refers to the fact it's a dual clutch system, and unfortunately on the focus it is well known for the issue you describe. It's likely one of the rear main seals or bearings have leaked oil and the clutch is slipping. 

Ford rolled out uprated clutch kits and stronger seals to try and eliminate the issue but without much success. There was a class action law suit continentally and Ford bought back thousands of vehicles. It's worth researching to see if you could take advantage of that. 

As far as cost and safety go, I'm not sure so can't answer that with any certainty. Personally I would try and limp it home but it's a gamble. 

Im sure some of the more mechanically minded members will be able to help you answer your questions, I can only really tell you the history of the problem. 

Read the "faulty application" section HERE for more information. 

 

Good luck and safe travels

Jon

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jonro2009 said:

The 'multi disc' almost certainly refers to the fact it's a dual clutch system, and unfortunately on the focus it is well known for the issue you describe. It's likely one of the rear main seals or bearings have leaked oil and the clutch is slipping. 

Thanks. It is indeed the double-clutch "powershift". The transmission guys told me the same thing, that they would expect to have some leaked oil, although I don't know if I am supposed to see anything drip to the ground when it is parked (I don't).
It does feel a gamble to try and drive it back, and also a bit stress-inducing! If only we didn't have the RHD peculiarity, I'd be able to just sell it discounted as it is and take a plane 😄 

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The repair of the clutch and service of the automatic gearbox makes sense. The cost seems about the same as you would pay at a dealer in the UK.

With out knowing just how bad it is to drive, it is hard to give advice. If it was me I'd do what ever I could to get it back home driving gently and steadily avoiding harsh acceleration.

 

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On 8/9/2022 at 4:47 PM, unofix said:

With out knowing just how bad it is to drive, it is hard to give advice. If it was me I'd do what ever I could to get it back home driving gently and steadily avoiding harsh acceleration.

It's quite stressful to drive, which is why I am thinking of avoiding the cross-continental attempt (even though I have European breakdown). You can see it slipping if you hit the accelerator a bit more even on level roads, but inclines are the problem, you can hear the engine revving a bit more then less in a constant cycle, while you are just going a constant speed.

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