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Second Opinion Please - Ford 07 Fiesta Semi-Auto Transmission Issue

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Hi Forum,

This is my first post, and i'll try to keep it as short as possible - This is in no way a rant at ford, more a genuine request to see what others would do in my position...!

Some background

About 2 weeks ago, the ladies Ford Fiesta 1.4 2007 Semi Auto (import, 60,000miles) started having transmission issues. What started as occasionally taking a bit longer to change gear from 2nd to 3rd has developed into a serious issue.

Whilst driving the car up a gentle hill, the car did not change from 2nd to 3rd, instead, the gear disengaged, and there was a message on the dashboard saying 'transmission malfunction'. I consulted the manual, which says that you should turn the engine off, wait 10 minutes, and try again. the car was started, and the remainder of the journey was uneventful, I drove the car back shifting gears manually in semi auto mode with no problems. I have also driven the car on a handful of journeys in manual mode, and have had no issues with forcing gear changes.

Due to the fact that the problem was identified by the dashboard, and was probably electronic, I though it would be best to take the car straight to the Ford Main dealer to read the error codes, and possibly replace a faulty sensor of something.

What I have done so far...

Both my local ford garages said they do not fix gearbox issues, but found one in a neighboring town that was happy to take a look!

I paid ford to run a diagnostic check, (~£90) and this did not turn up with any errors. Therefore I was asked to authorize an hours labour (@ ~£75 per hour) to do some further investigation by a technician. Nothing turned up. So had to wait 5 days for the master technician to return from holiday to further investigate.

I have just been informed that the gear change lever is faulty and needs replacing at a cost of £750. However this did come with some caveats. Apparently, when changing this mechanical part, it is common for the Transmission control module to fail shortly afterwards, costing around £1100 to repair.

I have done some research, and have discovered that the TCM does not fail often, and is hardly ever at fault when transmission issues exist with this type of vehicle.

What to do now??

I'm guessing I have a few options,

1. Pay £750 for a new gear shift lever and hope that the TCM doesn't fail shortly afterwards

2. Take the car to an independent garage to fix.

Any opinions or insight gratefully appreciated....!

Cheers, rich

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Hi Rich,

To be honest that is Ford price, if you were to buy the part off the web and get it shipped in, you could take it to an indie and get it fitted, totalling probably less than half that fee!

the TCM shouldnt fail "shortly after" just because you changed the shift lever. Unless you need to manipulate the TCM physically and potentially break something in the process, or upset its happy place, (like bending a wire back and making it fragile).

I would say, worst case scenario, you need to buy a TCM and shift lever (if this is indeed the issue) in which case, buy the parts yourself, find an indie / auto specialist, and see what they can do for you.

Then if it dies, you at least have tried the cheaper fix.

There should be error codes if transmission warnings popped up on the computer though...

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Hi James, thanks for the response, I have since been told that the issue is not to do with the 'gear shift lever', and is actually to do with the actuators.

Apparently they need to be replaced, The girl on the service desk got it wrong.

Apologies for the incorrect information, can i re-ask the same question...

Would a Transmission control module need to be replaced following the replacement of the gearbox actuators. I know that the TCM needs to be re programmed, but surely it would not need to be replaced.

I have found out that sometimes the TCM will not accept the reprogramming, and therefore needs to be replaced...

Does this make sense..?

I took your advice and rang around a few gearbox specialists in my area, only one of them would even take a look at a tiptronic gearbox, and said that I would need to source the part from ford. The actuators cost £775, and Ford are only charging £35 for fitting.

So the labour cost isn't any cheaper if I use a small garage. Therefore I authorised ford to replace the actuators. I am crossing my fingers that this will work and the TCM will not need to be replaced...

If after replacing the actuators, the TCM needs to be replaced, I am not sure what to do... again, any advice on the new info above would be extremely useful!

Thanks again, Rich

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If its the actuator, there is something here where someone has managed to fix it. Go to this thread, and have a look. Even if you cant do it yourself, if you point an independant garage at this thread, it may help!


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To be honest, If a Ford mechanic told me the sky was blue I wouldn't believe him.

I would never in a million years take my car to Ford for repairs. Find a good, independent garage (there are lots about) and let them do the job (they wouldn't have charged you nearly £200 for non-productive diagnostics, either). Small garages do a better job generally, because they can't afford a bad reputation, whereas Ford don't give two Tom T1ts.

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