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Lost All Drive Whilst Cruising At 80Mph In 6Th Gear (Mk3 Tdci)


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I got a transmission failure that I don't understand. I was driving my Mondeo (Mk3 TDCi 6-speed manual) on the motorway the other day at 80mph in 6th gear when I lost all drive through the transmission and the car began to slow down.

It was as if I had de-clutched the engine from the transmission. When I pressed the accelerator the engine revs increased but the car continued to slow down. I coasted to the hard shoulder and had the car recovered to my home.

Now the symptoms are as follows:

- clutch pedal appears to be operating normally.

- with engine running, I can move the gearstick into any gear (including reverse) with out depressing the clutch.

- I can start the engine with the car in any gear and it doesn't move.

It's as if the car is permenantly de-clutched. I have not had any problems with the clutch or gear selection prior to the failure on the motorway nor did it make any unusual noises at the time it occured.

Any idea what the likely cause of this failure is?

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I wouldn't mind betting it's the Clutch & Dual Mass Flywheel that have disintergrated!! I'm no mechanic mind, so don't quote me on this but I've just had mine done. Changed it to a SMF which works okay...apart from a bit of vibration when pulling away (under load) in 1st & 2nd gears. I can live with that as the cost of the DMF is pretty hefty!!

Sorry there's no 'Good News'.



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Thanks Chris, I had the clutch & DMF replaced in 2010 at 75k and its done about 40k miles since then. When it went last time I got the usual symptoms beforehand of clutch slip etc.

Bit surprised if its gone again and without any warning or actual noise as it failed. The bit I don't understand at the moment is that I can select gears with the engine running without any difficulty or noise/protest from the gearbox.

If it is the clutch I don't think I will bother getting it fixed as the cars only worth about £500 in good running order which will be a shame as it is still in generally good condition and used to drive very nicely!

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Actually, just thought I wonder if it's a driveshaft popped?? If it's all still selecting gears etc then maybe worth investigating that??!

Can't hurt before you right it off as a loss. Worth trying?? Pain in neck cars aren't they?!

Cheers Ian,


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I would put my money on the clutch having failed. I towed a focus home one night that this happened to.

Any idea what brand of parts were fitted when it was replaced? by all means have a visual check of the gearbox and shafts etc but I think you will find the problem is inside.

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It's almost certainlty the clutch or dmf that has failed. If it was a driveshaft you wouldn't be able to select the gears easily without touching the clutch, as the gearbox internals would still be moving. 40k is not fantastic mileage but well within the normal range. Most likely the clutch linings have stripped off completely, this often happens on the motorway and gives no warning

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I wouldn't have thought ther was any real cost advantage as the dmf is not very expensive for these. The cylinder for the 6-speed is however about 4x the price of the 5-speed one. The solid/dmf argument is very much unresolved with enthuisiastic supporters of both. I have recently received a very long email explanation of 'Why DMF' from LUK in their monthly newsletter, but unfortunately I am prohibited by law from reproducing it. I have to say I don't completely buy it, I think it's mainly a very successful marketing exercise, but I would stick with the dmf personally.

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