Middleman

Budding Enthusiast
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About Middleman

  • Rank
    Member

Profile Information

  • First Name
    Mike
  • Ford Model
    Focus 3 Vtec
  • Ford Year
    2018
  • UK/Ireland Location
    Surrey
  • Interests
    General Automotive
  1. Thanks for your suggestions Botus. I think I have found what I need here https://www.motorsafety.org/ford-recalls-nearly-3000-focus-vehicles-due-to-potential-clutch-fracture/ As well as showing how the "solution" was presented to USA owners it has a useful timeline of the 18S07 recalls by both Ford Motor Company in US and by Ford of Europe over here. I checked that what is known as the 1.0L Fox GTDI engine with 6-speed manual transmission in US is the same as the Focus 1.0 Zetec edition 6Spd 125PS we ordered on the New Vehicle Invoice. I found the Engine family list helpful at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_EcoBoost_engine
  2. We have already sent a letter of complaint to the Manager of Ford Customer services about the handling of the case by them. This was because they were clearly ignoring the fact that the warranty conditions had changed and they were no longer allowed to reject our claim just because it was the clutch that had failed. They can only reject it if they can show that the failure was caused entirely by “Normal wear and tear”. It was obvious that the offer of a “Goodwill payment” because the clutch had failed so early was exactly the same as what had been offered in previous cases who had the warranty conditions that did allow Ford to refuse their claim just because it was the clutch that failed. Apart from that they have not supplied any evidence at all. I do know that they never came to look at the clutch and flywheel when it was stripped down by the local dealers. Nor did they look at the data from the software added at the Safety recall. All the warning messages about the clutch slipping were displayed in a 24 hour period. If that is recorded in the data then it is good evidence that the clutch failure was certainly not due to normal wear and tear. I realise though that I may still have to go to the Small Claims court to recover what we have already spent and what we may still have to pay to get a full clutch system fitted (including a new flywheel) should Ford Customer Services not relent. I noticed that Ford UK have signed up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice who have their own complaints and investigation process. That may be the easiest way of making Ford change their ways.Has anyone else tried that? I cannot agree with you that having the recall software fitted is a benefit for me. It seems to be that it could be a liability, a kind of ticking time bomb. I gather that this clutch fire under the bonnet or flywheel shattering has never actually happened. It is just that some people think it might and could kill someone. .
  3. Sorry for the delay in replying Botus. I think you misunderstand the timeline. The recall was in late April and that was when the local Ford dealer did the test for a slipping clutch and put in the software mods. The day of my wife's motorway journey that I was talking about was 2 months later near the end of June, with another 1250 miles on the clock. In between there had been no signs or sounds of the clutch slipping (except when changing gear or pulling away of course). Nor had there been any warning messages from the software mod saying that the clutch was slipping. It was in the evening during a short local journey on the day before the motorway journey that she saw the first one of those. I still have no idea what caused the clutch to start slipping but it was on an uphill stretch of road (probably about 1 in 20) and my wife might have changed gear. She cannot remember. In those 2 months between, one of the thing we did, in late May, was to take a short break in the Lake district. We shared the driving up there and back so I had plenty of time to spot any clutch problems if there had been any. While in the Lake district we went up and down many steep hills including some 1 in 4's and the Focus just sailed up them all. That was probably a better test than any dealer could have done at the recall, but it still does not help to find out why, a month later, the clutch first started slipping that evening on a much gentler slope.
  4. Sorry about "superboost". I think it was me who got that wrong first. Must remember to use "overboost" in future. Names are important otherwise you give the wrong message to the person who is reading it and they give you the wrong message in reply. I am still looking for the right word to describe a clutch when the plates are being pressed together and not slipping, after the "engaged/disengaged" argument a bit earlier in this thread. Finding the correct word that both parties understand has been the major problem in first the communication with my wife in understanding what exactly happened on the motorway journey while the clutch plate was being wrecked and making the claim through Ford Customer Services for a full replacement of the faulty clutch on the basis of her evidence. I have now discovered a few more interesting things from my wife 1. After the new software added at the time of the safety recall has detected a slipping clutch and reduced the engine torque, there is no sign of any assistance at all from the turbo. All her accounts of how fast she could go are consistent with what might be expected from a non-aspirated 1 litre engine. This then would appear to be how the torque is reduced. 2. On the motorway she tried to keep her speed up to 70mph. This is to avoid the bullying by other motorway drivers who object to being uinable to drive at that speed by a car travelling slower than they are.. This takes place even on the inside lane, which she was using, when these drivers get trapped behind her by middle lane traffic without any openings. After they get into the miiddle lane and have passed her they immediately swing back into the inside lane and try to block her to show their anger that she was not travelling fast enough. I know that it happens because I have seen it when I have been travelling with her. 3. She could usually just about get to 70mph but this meant she was “thrashing the engine” which is known to cause clutch damage when a dual mass flywheel is fitted to the car, as I believe it is on our 6 gear manual transmission Focus . So the software that is supposed to be protecting the clutch is doing just the opposite under these conditions. 4. On an uphill section of the motorway she could not maintain 70mph. I asked her which gear she was in and she said 6th. I asked her why ever did she not change down to a lower gear, and she said that when she did change down the instument display panel kept advising her to change back up to 6th. Clearly that bit of the software does not know that the turbo is not providing any boost. 5.On the 4 or 5 occasions that the warning messages were shown advising her to find a Ford authorised dealer to check the clutch condition, she remembers that 2 or 3 were on uphill stretches. It might have been that they all were. I assume that before the message was shown the clutch was not slipping and now it was, so it is no surprise that it happens on uphill gradients. 6. It does seem to me that once a slipping clutch is detected and the torque is reduced this continues even if the clutch stops slipping. The only way to reset back to full torque is to stop the engine. As for communicating with Ford customer services you are quite right. They believe they have the protection of the parent company so can ignore little matters like what the warranty now says and do not believe they would ever have to provide any evidence to justify rejecting our claim. So they did not bother to look at the clutch parts that my local dealers had set out on a bench for them to look at or the parts still fitted to the car and gearbox that were left on the raised platform for 12 days so that they could be examined. They did not even ask to see the data that the Safety recall software had stored. No wonder that they never discover what goes wrong with Ford clutches.
  5. Sorry not to have replied before, Botus. it was due to both being away and failure of my computer. I am hoping that I can now resume trying to get Ford customer services to honour their Warranty. It is important that I do not make mistakes even if they do not affect the arguments as it weakens the case and might allow them to wriggle out of their legal obligations. So thank you for what you wrote. I know now that the turbo is running all the time and it is superboost that you normally feel when you try to accelerate hard. That is what is missing while the safety recall software is detecting a clutch slip and why my wife could not easily get the car to go faster than 60 mph. After the clutch plate was replaced and we got the car back again the clutch was juddering as I said in a previous post. It was after I did accelerate hard and felt the superboost, that the plate appeared to have bedded down and the juddering stopped. This might possibly prove relevant to why the old clutch plate did not bed down and stop slipping during the motorway trip when it was destroying itself.
  6. I think you are talking about the basic ParkAssist which we have on our Focus3 Vtec. We probably got it in the optional "Convenience pack" (that comes with a built in toilet too - just joking 🤣). I was talking about the full version that you get in Titaniums or by purchasing the "Performance pack" with a Vtec. That does operate the clutch and brake as well as the accelerator while you are parking. I don't know for sure if it also stops and puts you into reverse as well. The basic ParkAssist looks for parking spaces long enough to park in but I think you have to stop the car and put it into reverse when it tells you to. It then just steers you into the slot and tells you when to stop if you have not already done so. That rear facing camera that I also bought gives you a lot more confidence that you are not going to hit the car behind.
  7. Thanks for your reply Botus. I have been trying to feed in gradually all the information about the update and what I have managed to learn from my wife about the 24 hour period when the clutch condition went from not slipping at all to worn out. From what she has told me I am pretty sure that the software update must prevent the turbo from operating when it detects the clutch slipping. Normally when you start going up a motorway incline and the speed drops below 70mph you just press the accelerator pedal and you both feel and hear the turbo switch on. As she says the speed shoots up so fast that you have a problem holding it down to 70 mph. On her motorway journey that morning pressing the accelerator pedal did nothing at all. Not until the incline finished was she able to slowly coax it back up to 70 mph. I am also pretty sure that TomsFocus has got it wrong when he says the clutch is a fully mechanical system.On the invoice that I had to pay to get the car back on the road it says "fitted new clutch and slave cylinder" so at the very least it is a mechanical and hydraulic system. I know that what is usually called a servo does not need any electrics but normally it will include at least analogue electronics to set up a map of pedal movement versus hydraulic pressure. Had we ordered the performance pack option that has to include full digital electronics so that the clutch can be controlled by software for features such as full hands-free parking. I have explained that the Warranty I got in March 2018 no longer allows Ford to reject claims for full replacement of the clutch assembly just because it contains a "friction" component whose purpose is to absorb normal wear and tear. They now have to show that what caused the failure of the clutch was just normal wear and tear and I do not think they have a leg to stand on in this case to prove that.
  8. Yes perhaps so but let us apply some logic to this. It could also be a bit noisier because the engine is working harder than it would normally have to in order to maintain a speed of 70 mph, and the reason that it has to work harder is because the software that was installed by the update which is the subject of this thread, is preventing the full engine power from being applied to the transmission. How does the software do that? Was it reducing the amount of fuel that would normally be supplied with the accelerator pedal pressed down to whatever position my wife was holding it at? Or perhaps it was reducing it by preventing a turbo that would normally be applied at that speed from being actuated? We do not know. I find it hard to believe though that the software was deliberately slipping the clutch to lose that power. Ford tell us that the reduction is applied when the software detects that the clutch is slipping and It seemed to my wife that the engine power was being reduced throughout the journey along the motorway. We presume that the warning message was displayed when the slipping clutch is first detected but we also know that stopping the car and engine turns the message off. It does not appear again when we restart the engine and continue the journey but remains off for perhaps half an hour before it comes on again. That probably means that the clutch was not slipping for that half hour, but it seems to my wife that the power is still being reduced. What starts the clutch slipping again? Probably the same thing that started it slipping in the first place but Botus tells us that he cannot see anything in the pictures of the parts that were replaced that might do that. So where do I go from here? I am trying to prevent Ford from slipping out from their obligation to supply me with a complete new clutch system under warranty. That means that they cannot pretend that it was "normal wear and tear" that caused the clutch to be wrecked. Can I do that?
  9. I have joined to talk about the clutch on mk 3 Focus models. My clutch has just failed after just a mere 15 months from new and 10,000 miles on the clock. There are a lot of pages about why they fail that attracted me to join this forum, as a clutch failing after such a short time is quite ridiculous. I am glad I did. I should perhaps mention that I am 79 years old but still quite capable of driving safely and of solving the problems that arise from owning a car. Although new here I joined the RAC motoring forum nearly 5 years ago to talk with them about another hot Ford topic, failure of the instrument cluster of the Focus Mk 2 which I then owned. I am using the same name here, Middleman, as I used there. I joined then because my instrument cluster had failed and I was trying to fix it myself. I wanted to offer some support for another member who, like me, knew quite a lot about electronics and had fixed one himself and posted full details on that forum. Instead of being thanked for doing so he was being unfairly criticised from all directions by people who clearly knew nothing about electronics. That was where the display name came from because it reminded me of the words to the hit song by Stealers Wheel "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you". The instrument cluster that I mended using his methods worked well for more than 3 years and was still doing so when I traded it in to buy the Mk3 Focus.
  10. OK it is page 10 now, so I will continue here with my post above. It is your comment on dual mass flywheels that caught my eye. Coupled with the comment by Botus " you've got the spring off a 1 ltr Micra and the power output of an 3.1 RS = clutch slip" I realised that my wife trying to continue her journey up the motorway on that "black Thursday" did not have the power output of a 3.1 RS any longer but, thanks to this 18s07 software that Ford has put on our car, now had the power output of a 1 ltr micra also most of the time to go with the dual mass flywheel of the 3.1 RS (= disaster?). So I asked her again exactly what she had seen, heard and felt in more detail. On the first 2 occasions she had seen the orange message warning her that the clutch needed a service , about half a mile from home on the Wednesday evening and a similar half a mile from home at the start of the journey early on Thursday, she was able to stop very shortly afterwards but did not see, hear or smell anything unusual. She then stopped the engine to think about what to do but found on both occasions that when she restarted it the warning message had gone. So she decided to continue the journey. These are both on 30/40 mph speed limit roads. She did not notice any power loss until she got onto the faster roads to the M40 motorway but still did not think it was much to cause concern. On the motorway though the power loss was more obvious. She found that it was struggling to maintain a speed much above 60 mph especially when going up hills. After about 5 miles the orange message came on again but now there was nowhere to stop legally before Oxford services around 15 miles further on. By now she knew that pressing OK to the warning message reduced it to an icon that looks like an eye but once again after restarting the engine the warning had cleared completely. She had not much to add about the rest of the day to what I have told you previously although she did say that getting a bit fed up with everyone else on the motorway overtaking her she had coaxed the speed up to around 70mph for parts of the journey. A bit noisier again but nothing else to tell. Nothing really to indicate what was happening to the clutch plates. We did agree that when the RAC and AA men told her about not being told by Ford what the messages meant it was probably just the messages generated by 18s07 that they were talking about.
  11. I have just found this contribution on page 4 of this thread and along with what you and Botus have written on page 9, I am beginning to think that we might have been making some wrong assumptions. I am not sure if a reply to a post on page 4 will be squeezed onto that page or will go to the end of the thread, so I will not say any more in this post but will continue with a new post on page 9 (or it might even be page 10 by now). TBC.
  12. So. It's none of the parts they have changed (and I paid for) and there is probably some part still left in my car that can easily do the same thing again. All the more reason to make Ford change the whole assembly including flywheel and input shaft at their expense. I have not yet mentioned that when my wife picked it up after the clutch plate and cover had been changed and drove the few miles home from the dealer she noticed a small judder whenever she changed gear. I took it out myself and drove it down a faster road. The clutch judders were quite obvious and got worse as the speed increased. Then they just stopped and the gear changes have since been just as smooth as they were in the 15 months before it apparently stripped in 24 hours the whole of the clutch plate surfaces that should have lasted some 7 years. Where do you go from there?
  13. I do not understand what it was that you expected to see on the back of the diaphragm fingers. Photographs do not always show what is going on. As I said 4 fingers near the top of the photograph (10 o'clock to 12 o'clock positions) are clearly worn when you see them in 3-D. They look as they would if someone had filed them flat, but it was only "filed flat" by about 1mm even on the worst one. All the other fingers are still round and the one at 7 o'clock has not even had the carbon dust wiped off by the throw-out bearing while the clutch was engaging and disengaging. I assume that the throw-out bearing will pivot so that it presses evenly on all the fingers, so you would expect any visible rubbing to be the same on all of them. I included all that stuff about the Warranty terms and conditions that should have been observed during the case investigation. They set that up after we rejected their offer of a "Goodwill payment" because of the low mileage. It was much the same as the offers they made when they were able to exclude liability just because the clutch was worn. They seemed to have completely ignored that they were now required to judge on whether or not this was "normal wear and tear". Afterwards they gave no reasons for rejecting our claim for a replacement clutch assembly to be fitted at no cost, just a phone call to say they had rejected the claim and the case was closed. Nothing on paper that you could use to challenge their judgement. What a disgraceful way to treat their customers. Anyway, back to your questions. My wife does not leave her foot on the clutch, never has done that. She did slip the clutch longer than I would though and used to rev the engine up to a higher speed than I did before letting in the clutch when pulling away. It is something she learned many years ago driving big under-powered estate cars with 3 children in the back and loads of luggage . She was always worried that she would stall the engine in the middle of the traffic. She also slipped the clutch a lot when reversing because she had backed into things on quite a few occasions. That is why we often needed a new clutch after 5 or 6 years. The ironic thing is that with the new Mk3 focus she was getting better. The ecoboost engine always seems to have power to spare and never feels as though it is about to stall, and having chosen to have a rear view camera fitted she is a lot more confident when reversing. So she is slipping the clutch a lot less.
  14. I would never have thought of looking at the back of the fingers, but I think this may be what we are searching for. When I turned the pressure plate over it was filthy dirty with a huge amount of carbon dust, as is probably pretty obvious from the photos.. I hope that you can see on them the uneven wear on the ends of the fingers as well. The fingers at the top of the photos have clear wear to the metal. I would say at least 1mm has been ground off. The ones at the bottom have no visible wear at all. Does this indicate a fault in the release fork?