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Fix Durashift Problem 2


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this is a write up of a common problem with fiesta 1.4 durashift problems.

well worth checking especially if you follow the excellent guide posted elsewhere for the actuator guide bush.

this is a seperate problem that gives very similar symptoms to the actuator bush, such as

non start

various dash display irregularities

rough gear changes

no gears/changes

ideally, if your fiesta is suffering from any of the above symptoms then you need to look at both the gear change actuator bush/shaft, explained elsewhere on this forium....AND the wiring loom which i shall try to go through now.

i have come accross the following problem on 4 different fiesta durashifts, plus i have spoken with a very well respected diagnostic tech for info from his personal experience...this is the interesting part

along with the 4 fiestas ive come accross with this problem, he informed me that he has dealt with far, far more and found exactly the same. guess what, he has yet to come across a durashift that needed actuator motors or the control unit.... I find that suprising when ford themselves seem to diagnose ecu/actuators more often than not..

the following is a very inexpensive, but time consuming operation.

so i shall begin :)

as most will know, the positioning of the control module and actuators leaves them very vulnerable to all the rain/salt/grit etc of day to day driving, there lies the problem.

the control module has 2 main plug connections, the lower plug carries the wiring from the main engine loom, the upper plug carries the wires to the gear actuators.

first, disconnect the battery. [dont forget to check you have radio code] i find it far easier to remove the battery and battery tray when repairing these, especially if removing the actuator to check/repair the guide and bushing at the same time..just gives more room to play with.

disconnect the 2 plugs from the control module

to make life easier for yourself, disconnect the cooling fan, reverse light switch and actuator connectors too...remove the clips that secure the looms to the gearbox and cooling fan housing [just carefully lever them away]

this gives enough movement to be able to lift the loom and allow you to work from above rather than crawling around underneath.

you now need to carefully remove all the insulation surrounding this section of the loom, a sharp stanley blade is useful for this, but be careful you dont damage the wiring within.

as you strip the loom insulation, it will become apparent that the plugs to the actuators/ upper control unit plug is a seperate loom from the main engine bay loom...its this particular section of loom that is often found damaged/corroded

once insulation is completely removed from this section, carefully inspect all the wires for any signs of corrosion [wire insulation is slightly bulged], cuts in insulation and complete breakages..this is very common, so take your time and check carefully, but more often than not, damage is obvious.

at this point i should add that because this loom is relatively short and seperate from the main loom, it may well be available to buy from Ford, as yet i havent asked as they are quite straight forward to repair for any reasonably confident DIYer.

in order to repair this damage, cut the wire, you now need to peel back the wire insulation untill you find good, clean copper on both sides of the cut, this is important, corrosion needs to be removed, so if the copper is looking black, then keep cutting back...this corrosion can often go right back to close to actuator connectors, try not to cut back too closely to this plug, often find the wire is still not shiny new copper, but can be cleaned with gentle rubbing with emery cloth or similar.

you will now need to solder a jump lead between the cuts, this is far more permanent than using electrical connectors to rejoin the wires, but its your choice. i recommend soldering though...making sure you use same size wire for jump lead

take your time to get it right, when done, you now need to reinsulate the loom, i find it best to use insulation tape to cover the whole loom, then refit the loom casing and cover this too with insulation tape.

go back to the main loom that leads to the lower control unit plug, remove the outer loom insulation, you only need to go back about 12"-18".....once wires are exposed, once again check carefully for any damage on the wires, repeat the repair and reinsulation process...

reassemble the looms, battery etc.

that is it, your done...combine the above with the checking/repair of the gear selector shaft/bush and you will have cured 99% of problems with the durashift...

hope you find this useful and informative, sorry about the spelling etc, but been a hard day ;] and guess what, one of the jobs today, was repairing the loom of a durashift :) hence the write up.

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just a quick update/correction

gearbox actuators ARE known to fail, i misinterpreted what the techie told me...came to light when working on yet another non-start durashift..been getting a run of these last couple of months.

once again, found corrosion within the loom as explained [hopefully ;) ] above.

put it all back together, got it running, took for a spin, started off fine, but couple miles down the road it struggled to change gear, ending getting stuck in first.

managed to get it back, but knew that car was stuck in gear, so soon as engine cut out, knew i was back to non start.

double checked everything was still in place then plugged machine back in....sure enough, code for clutch position sensor was logged again, went into live dats and found ecu thinking car is actually in fourth gear, whilst selector is in neutral...hence the loss of gear changes and return of non start.

rang to pick the techies brain again, between us came to conclusion its the actuators, something he has come across a few times, it was the control unit and gear selector unit that he and a trained ford diag tech had never yet been able to fault or change,

real shame as this means i'll probably have to sub the work out as i dont posess the necesary software to programme the new actuators in.....hopefully a few calls tomorrow will turn up trumps.

so anyway, apologies for the misleading info in above post, but just be wary if anyone tries to tell you the ecu or gear selector are knackered...chances are, they're wrong

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  • 4 months later...

First - Thanks for super writeup of the electrical loom check.

This problem for me only started on Monday when wife was trying to get to work. After not using the car for a few weeks she had forgotten to put foot on brake pedal to initiate start up. Have had the car 3 months. It is a Fiesta 1.4 - 55 reg, 56k miles.

Symptoms were no gear indication in display, then loss of display and then after me checking connections the transmission warning message with red led. Tried starting with brake depressed, display reappeared with no gear indication then dissappeared when key turned to initiate starting.

INITIAL thought - Possible low battery as car had not been used, so jumped it. Car started - all looked good so drove away to charge battery, managed two up and three down gear changes then set it to auto to continue. After 1/2 mile sudden loss of drive and no gear indication in display - engine still running.

Display would only show a gear, 1 or R whenever brake pedal was depressed, also auto option could be removed or selected but could not engage gear. Parked car on side of road and recovered it today.


Read about the electrical and actuator solutions, chose to go the electrical route for initial ease.

I dicided not to follow the suggested practice of removing the battery, only removed the air intake and found that there was adequate room to acess the loom and remove all the tape & protective plastic conduit. Started at 2pm, taking it slowly and with a sensible approach had the loom seperated within 40 mins.

Found no electrical wiring problem by inspection so next is to investigate the Actuators.

I did stupidly fall into a trap of trying to put the wrong plug back in the control unit and found stupidly it would not fasten. Why I did it was because of the quantity of major connectors showing - fooled as not all pins are used.

So am about to tackle the actuators but will have to wait as about to go on holiday tomorrow. Had a quick visual check and need to confirm best practice / sequence in removing them.

Will read again the actuator article and consider options on return in 16 days.

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  • 2 weeks later...


A MILLION thanks to the guy who originated the post.

Owner of a Fusion Durashift ETS which was stuck in 3rd.I dismantled the actuator, cleaned it, and after reputting the parts together, the engine wouldn't start. So I read this post, opened the wires, and there it was, a little one,broken completely. Soldered together, put everything in place, and it WORKS.

So, bravo one more time!

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  • 2 years later...

One year ago I had a transmission problem with my Fiesta 1.4 2006.

I found this post and it helped me (saved 2500 EUR that ford dealer wanted to charge for a new TCM). The symptoms were same as described bad shifting, couldn't start from time to time...

Some time ago AGAIN problems with durashift transmission. Car only stopped in the middle of a tunnel and doesn't want to start. Display shows TRANSMISSION ERROR, but there is no gear indicator, no D, no P, no R simply nothing).

In the local Ford service they diagnosed these faults (print screens in PDF ) but they still are not sure that it is TCM, and the car is sitting there now for more than 20 days.

Could it be that the loom broke somewhere again, and is there any way to test the TCM to make sure it is faulty. I found a service in Germany that repairs them and i have sent them these fauls and the also cant confirm that it is TCM.

If anybody has some idea please help.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello I know this is an old post but I was wondering if anyone could help me please. (I apologise I know nothing about cars, just passed my test and spent all my savings on this car to now have it not even start)

I bought a car now just under two weeks ago. 2005 Fiesta finesse semi auto (durashift)

The car won't start, engine isn't firing, transmission light flashing on the dash.

A neighbour kindly helped and ran a diagnostic tool which gave the codes p0300 (cylinder misfire) and then p0700 (transmission) 

I have unfortunately spent all my savings on buying this car in a private sale two weeks ago, I am trying to get it towed to a local garage but I was wondering could anyone help me on this issue at all? 

If anyone either knows what repairs it is likely to need and or the cost? 


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Transmission problems with this car are often caused by seized electric motors. The RAC man gave mine a thump with a hammer and then sprayed with WD40. I haven't problems for 2 years.   Also wiring connectors can become corroded.

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On 21/11/2016 at 9:03 PM, TTT said:

Transmission problems with this car are often caused by seized electric motors. The RAC man gave mine a thump with a hammer and then sprayed with WD40. I haven't problems for 2 years.   Also wiring connectors can become corroded.


I had it towed yesterday and the actuator is going to be repaired, hoping this fixes it.


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Look out for corroded connecters. spray with WD40. Fault codes are only FULLY readable when connected to the Ford mainframe server, ONLY available at a Ford main dealer. Use a hammer ! Look at the post from LASSIE. Good luck.

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  • 6 years later...

Hi everyone, 

I've recently bought a 2005 Fiesta 1.4 petrol Durashift for my son and unfortunately it has a problem... When the car is cold, the gear shifts are very jerky and sometimes the car stalls (and a couple of times when its stalled the car won't start as its stuck in gear (I get transmission fault shown on the dashboard) but then after a minute or two, it does start again).

However... after about 10 minutes of driving, everything is fine and the car shifts perfectly every time and will continue to do so for hours. I have checked all the wiring to the actuator as suggested by others online and that is all okay, so I'm now suspecting the clutch actuator needs repair - but - I'm not 100% certain it is this as once the car is hot its fine.

I've checked using a code reader and there were no codes in the ECU. 

The car has done 40k miles.

Any help with this would be massively appreciated as we don't have money for main dealer.

I've seen that most issues like this are due to the clutch actuator and I've found somewhere on eBay who do a reconditioning service for a reasonable price. A big question I have though is how easy is this to remove and refit? Does the system need bleeding? They say on the advert "This is not plug and play after the repair" but no further information.

PS: We live in Hertfordshire (if anyone knows somewhere we could take it to get repaired).

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Firstly before spending potentially big money, spend £19.95 and buy a good quality ELM327(modified) lead from TunnelRat Electronics. Next get a laptop and download FORScan (free for laptops) and then you will be set to check all Ford specific DTC's.

How good is the battery on the car ? Is the voltage always at least 12.5V or more ?

I'm sure @DaveT70 will be able to offer some advice on checks you can do.

FORScan: https://forscan.org/download.html

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

and keep your code reader for for use on other makes, but not Ford 😉

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Thanks Unofix this is appreciated. The battery seems solid although I haven't checked the voltage output. I will do that tomorrow.

And I will order the ELM327 and FORScan too.


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